VB Magic


Getting Remote Desktop Full Screen on Second Monitor

Filed under: Windows 7 — Tags: , , , — vbmagic @ 11:05 am

Just expanded my PC setup to include a second monitor which is a different resolution to the primary monitor. I wanted an RDP session to open up full screen on my second monitor. Easy, I thought. Loads of people would want to do that…It seems not.

Firstly I’ve not found a way of getting the remote desktop session to start full screen on the second monitor permanently. There seems no way in the dialogue box for remote desktop to do this.

I spent around twenty minutes googling to try and find a solution; but all solutions to this seem linked to an older version of remote desktop and do not work with this latest one.

I then played around with the remote desktop configuration and found a solution which works but you have to drag the window and maximise it each time.

In the display settings set the screen resolution to the dimensions of the second monitor. (Make sure to save this setting before connecting otherwise it will revert back next time you open it)
Launch the session and log into the remote account.

The window should appear on your primary monitor. Drag this window to the second monitor and then maximise it. It will then be full screen rather than windowed.

If anyone knows a way of doing this permanently, then please drop a comment.




  1. Thanks Man, this was really helpful

    Comment by Talal — 2012/07/02 @ 6:30 am

  2. Thanks a ton, it was helpful. I had my setting to “Full screen” which did not work. I had to set it to specific resolution.

    Comment by Shiv — 2012/10/16 @ 10:27 pm

  3. Hi all, i realize this is an old post but this information has surely got to be of some use to somebody. I connected my tv today as my second screen and my desktop wasn’t showing up full screen so i stuffed around in display settings on the computer for a while but had no success, everytime i tried to adjust the resolution it would say not supported on the tv screen so i had a brainwave and decided to go into the settings on the tv an it gave me the option to auto adjust so i did that and wallah i had full screen desktop on both screens. I hope this information is helpful i was quite frustrated and was about to give up completely!

    Comment by Sarah Timmins — 2013/05/17 @ 7:40 am

  4. Permanent fix requires opening and manually editing the saved RDP file in note pad. There are 4 items in the top 5 that are relevant to achieving a permanent fix.

    • screen mode id:i:2 (2 means full screen; 1 not)
    • desktopwidth:i:## Set ## to the width of screen you want to appear on
    • desktopheight:i:## Set ## to height of screen you want to appear on
    • winposstr:s:#
    0,3,0,0,800,600 works for a laptop 1280×800 screen
    0,1,-1103,82,-303,682 works for a 1440×900 dual screen set on the left of monitor.

    To get the exact numbers you may need to play around until you get a RDP file that opens the screen on the dual monitor, then open to examine coordinates used.

    Comment by rpialum — 2013/10/01 @ 5:11 pm

  5. I got results without hacking the RDP file by deleting RDP file, and persuading a non-fullscreen session to start on secondary monitor. Once that worked, I changed it to fullscreen. Frustrating! http://superuser.com/questions/100668/how-do-i-open-a-remote-desktop-session-on-a-secondary-monitor/702511#702511

    Comment by Steve Carter — 2014/01/16 @ 12:13 pm

  6. I was having this problem too, but found an easier, non-hacking solution which might be helpful to future searchers. First, move your remote desktop window to the secondary monitor and exit the session (logout or close, doesn’t matter). Secondly, bring up Remote Desktop (itself, not an existing profile), select the profile you want, then open “Show Options”. On the “Display” tab, under the Display Configuration, move the slider to the right towards “Larger”. The last setting there is “Full Screen” and that will display under the slider instead of a x,y resolution. Next time you open that profile, it will be displayed full screen on the secondary monitor.

    This applies to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012 RDP. Not tested on other versions.

    Comment by ParkRat — 2014/05/09 @ 6:17 pm

    • This worked. No hacking, and very easy. Thanks

      Comment by Chad — 2015/08/27 @ 2:08 pm

  7. Open the remote desktop client
    Move it to your secondary monitor
    Click the window maximize icon or press Ctrl + Alt + Break
    Close the window
    Open it again and it should open on the secondary monitor

    Comment by Irshad — 2014/09/18 @ 4:37 am

  8. Thanks for these comments – I combined responses 5 & 6 for an easy fix. Open the RDP file in notepad and change “screen mode id:i:2” (2 means full screen; 1 not) to 1: not. Then change desktopwidth:i:800
    desktopheight:i:600 to the resolution I want on the external monitor (in this case 1280, 1024). Now, whenever I open the RDP session I just click the maximise button and it uses the full screen properly at the right resolution.

    Comment by Jon Inrus — 2014/12/09 @ 10:47 am

  9. There is a very easy way to do this:
    Edit your RDP file (right-click->Edit). In the “Display” tab, check “Use all my monitors for the remote session”. Connect, then minimize then move to desired monitor then maximize. Settings are kept.

    Comment by MMG — 2015/05/03 @ 2:16 am

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