Utilizing CTRL+ALT+DEL in RDP

Ever since the introduction of the Remote Desktop Protocol, the level of workflow has skyrocketed for all Microsoft systems users. This tool allows you to remotely control and utilize a PC as if it were right in front of you. Despite the ease brought about by this incredible tool, there are still certain functions that can pose an inconvenience to some Windows users. One such inconvenience is the inability to use keyboard shortcuts with the Remote desktop protocol. 

Whether a casual or an experienced vet, every Windows user knows the importance of keyboard shortcuts in increasing workflow. One such important keyboard shortcut is the CTRL+ALT+DEL keyboard shortcut. This article will teach you how to use the CTRL+ALT+DEL keyboard shortcut in Remote desktop protocol.

Function Of CTRL+ALT+DEL Shortcut

The Ctrl-Alt-Del shortcut is the combination of the Control key, the Alt key, and the Delete key that a user may press simultaneously on a personal computer in order to initiate several different operations.

The Ctrl-Alt-Del keyboard shortcut opens the Task Manager window, which allows the user to view the state of all currently running programs and terminate any of them. 

Amongst other functions, this keyboard shortcut allows you to quickly change your password, lock your screen, switch users, or sign out of the current user. 

It also includes a security feature that allows the user to close a frozen program, as well as shut down or restart the computer. Specific options may differ based on the Windows version. 

When the operating system appears to “hang” suspended while waiting for an application program to resume, the user is also unable to regain control of the system. The Ctrl-Alt-Del key combination enables the user to terminate the “hung” program and, if that fails, reboot the system.

Located at the bottom right of the screen are quick settings which allow you to: change the network you are connected to, access the Accessibility options, and also access the Power options to Sleep, Restart, or Shut down your system. 

With all of these features accessible by initiating the Ctrl-Alt-Del shortcut, it is easy to see why it is one of the most essential keyboard shortcuts.

How to use CTRL+ALT+DEL in RDP

Generally, two methods are used to initiate the Ctrl-Alt-Del keyboard shortcut in RDP. These methods are: 

1. Enable keyboard shortcuts for RDP connections.

2. On-screen keyboard method.

Method 1: Enable Keyboard Shortcuts for RDP Connections

Step 1: Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R.

Step 2: Type mstsc into the Run box and press Enter. This will bring up the Remote Desktop Connection box.

Step 3: Type in the IP address or name of the remote computer in the Remote Desktop window and hit Enter.

Step 4: To connect to the remote computer, enter your username and password into the appropriate fields and press Enter.

Step 5: Click on the Show Options button.

Step 6: Click on the Local Resources tab.

Step 7: You will see Apply Windows key combinations under the Keyboard section. Click on the drop-down menu and select On the remote computer

Step 8: Click on Connect.

Method 2: On-screen Keyboard Method

Step 1: Type osk into the Windows search bar and select On-Screen Keyboard.

Step 2: Press “Ctrl” and “Alt” on your physical keyboard, then select “Del” on the osk window.

Appearance of On-Screen Keyboard.


The seamlessness and ease of workflow offered by Remote desktop protocol and keyboard shortcuts cannot be understated. Applying both processes synergistically can bring about a further increase in your work rate. 

This article states how to use keyboard shortcuts, precisely the Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut while using the Remote desktop protocol.

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