How To Remote Desktop in Full Screen on 2 out of 3 Monitors

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Let’s say I have 3 monitors set up at home. But since doing video conferencing over RDP is still practically difficult, I’d prefer running Zoom or Teams along with some other apps outside the RDP session on one screen while running RDP on the remaining 2 screens in full-screen mode.

Possible? Yes, but need some tweaks.

First, let’s save a RDP connection with Full Screen setup that uses all monitors for remote session.

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Right-click on the RDP icon > Open With, and choose Notepad from the list. That’s right. We are opening it in the text editor to make some changes.

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The line you are looking at is called “selectedmonitors:s:x,y“. If you don’t see one, manually type it in.

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Here is the tricky part. How do I find the monitor ID to use in this line? Let’s start with the following command-line to find out all the IDs registered with Remote Desktop Client.

mstsc /l
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Pay attention to the coordinates inside the brackets. You can only use the monitors that are side-by-side listed.

For example, according to these position numbers, the correct layout of my monitors from left to right is 0, 2, and 1, not 0, 1, 2 as listed. So the only two options that would work is

selectedmonitors:s:0,2

which uses the left 2 monitors on my set up and leaves the very right one for video conferencing. Or

selectedmoniotrs:s:1,2

which uses the right 2 monitors and leaves the very left one out of the RDP session.

If you use 0, 1 in there, you will only get one screen of RDP session instead.

Once that gets out of the way, the rest works like a charm.

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RDP using 2 out of 3 monitors in Windows

Thanks to Scott Hanselman’s tip that gives me the hope that would work.

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