What Does The Connection Info Icon Mean in the Remote Desktop Session?

If you are Remote Desktop connecting to a Windows 8, 10, or Windows Server 2012 computer, you may have noticed that there is a new Connection Info icon on the connection bar that just looks like a signal strength bar meter. Have you ever wondered what it means?

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First of all, the Connection Info icon only appears on connection bar when the Remote Desktop session is in full-screen mode. Well, that’s easy to explain, because the connection bar won’t show when it’s in normal window model.

Secondly, even though it looks like a signal strength bar meter, it really is an indicator for Roundtrip Time (RTT) latency or the bandwidth of the connection. According to this Microsoft KB, the following table shows the relationship between the number of bars in the icon and the bandwidth of the connection:

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So, basically, it’s absolutely normal if you only see one or two bars showing up in the bar meter because most of the home Internet services only have about 1 Mbps upstream bandwidth to use. To double-check if you are indeed having a good connection, you can always double-click the Connection Info icon and a pop-up window will pop up with the mode detailed information.

But what if you are still experiencing some lagging issues in the Remote Desktop session, here is a setting that you may use to smooth it out a bit.

In Remote Desktop Connection, click Show Options and go to Display tab. Change the color depth option from Highest Quality (32 bit) to High Color (16 bit) and connect to see if it makes any different. Theoretically, it should since reducing the color depth on the Remote Desktop session cuts down a lot of traffic through the Internet.

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Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 12/30/2015

Posted in: Tips & Tricks
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