Remote Desktop Connection

We show you how to use two displays to work with a single laptop.

QUESTION I use Microsoft's Remote Desktop application to connect to my laptop (running Windows 7) from my main Windows 8.1 PC and use it as though I were sitting in front of it. This is because my main PC has two full HD monitors attached and I like to use the extra screen space.

This worked fine with my old laptop, but since I replaced it, I can only make the session maximise to one screen. How can I make my remote connection use both of my PC monitors?

HELPROOM ANSWER You can configure your remote desktop session to use all your local monitors. This isn't limited to just two and you can use a combination of screens in various orientations and with different resolutions.

To enable this option, click on 'Show Options' at the bottom of the initial Remote Desktop Connection dialog box and then select the Display tab. Underneath the display size slider, tick the box marked 'Use all my monitors for the remote session', which will automatically select full screen mode for you.
Now when you connect, all your local monitors should be utilised for the remote connection, and it will appear as though your local monitors were all attached simultaneously to the laptop.

There is, however, a catch – Microsoft has limited this multiscreen mode to certain versions of its operating system. While Windows 7 Ultimate supports the multimonitor feature, Windows 7 Pro doesn't. Furthermore, both sides of the connection need to be running a supported operating system, which means Ultimate or Enterprise versions for Windows 7.

Thankfully, Microsoft has included the feature in Windows 8 Pro, so you should find that if you update your laptop from Windows 7 Pro to 8 Pro, the feature will become available.

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