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Getting Started with Remote Desktop Client on iOS

Published: November 20, 2013

Updated: November 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2



Devices running iOS 6.X or newer are supported.

TipTip
Remote Desktop Client on iOS is enhanced in Windows Server 2012 R2. Download the free Windows Server 2012 R2 trial, learn about the benefits of Windows Server 2012 R2, and get free Windows Server online technical training.

You can use the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client to connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience rich interactivity using a Remote Desktop client designed to help you get your work done wherever you are. For example, you can connect to your work PC and have access to all of your apps, files, and network resources as if you were sitting right in front of your work PC. You can leave apps open at work and then continue working on those same apps using the Remote Desktop Client.

Work with files and apps on another PC. If you want to work on files and access apps on another PC as if you were sitting right in front of it, the Remote Desktop Client is the way to go.

  1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client from iTunes.

  2. Set up your remote PC to allow remote connections.

  3. Create a Remote Desktop, or add a Remote Resource using the Remote Desktop Client.

A remote desktop connection summarizes all the settings for the remote desktop you want to connect to.

Remote Resources enables access to RemoteApp programs, session-based desktops, and virtual desktops published using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections. This feature is typically available in corporate environments.

ImportantImportant
For a list of supported Windows versions, see Remote Desktop Client on iOS: FAQ

After starting the Remote Desktop Client for iOS the Connection Center opens. You can use the Connection Center to:

  • Connect to a Windows PC or server

  • Access work resources published using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections

  • Manage remote desktops

  • Modify settings

A remote desktop summarizes all the settings for the remote desktop connection.

Create a Remote Desktop

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap New Remote Desktop.

  2. In the Remote Desktop window, enter information for the remote desktop connection:

    • REMOTE PC

      • Connection name (Optional): The name of the remote desktop in the connection center. This can be any string. If this is field is empty, the PC name will be displayed.

      • PC name: The name of the PC you want to connect to. This can be a Windows computer name, an Internet domain name or an IP address. You can optionally append port information to the PC name, for example: MyDesktop:3389 or 10.0.0.1:3389.

      • User name: The user name to be used for the remote PC you are connecting to. The user name can be entered in the following formats: user_name, domain\user_name, and user_name@domain.com.

      • Gateway (Optional): The Remote Desktop Gateway enables authorized users to connect to virtual desktops, RemoteApp programs, and session-based desktops on an internal corporate network from any Internet-connected device. How to configure a gateway is explained in the section on the Remote Desktop Gateway. See your administrator for the name of your Remote Desktop Gateway.

    • SETTINGS

      • Console: Connect to the console session on a server running Windows Server 2003 and newer.

      • Sound: Select the device to play audio during the remote session. You can configure sound to be played on the local device, the remote PC or not at all.

      • Swap mouse buttons: Whenever a mouse gesture would send a command with the left mouse button, it sends the same command with the right mouse button instead. This is necessary if the remote PC is configured for left-handed mouse mode.

  3. Tap Save.

Edit Remote Desktop Settings

To change the settings of a specific remote desktop tap the edit icon. When adding or modifying a remote desktop you can manage the following categories:

  • Remote PC

  • Settings

Delete a Remote Desktop

  1. On the Connection Center screen, swipe a row from right to left to delete the remote desktop.

  2. Tap Delete to delete the remote desktop.

Rearrange Remote Desktops

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap the rearrange icon.

  2. Tap and hold a remote desktop connection, and then drag to a spot on the list.

  3. Tap the rearrange icon when finished.

Search can be a useful tool when you have to manage many remote desktops.

Search for a Remote Desktop

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap the search text box.

  2. Enter text included in the PC name, or the connection name of the remote desktop to filter remote desktops list.

These settings apply for all connections and session settings:

  • Settings

    Tap Settings to manage the session settings.

    • Certificates: The Remote Desktop Client will try to validate the certificate when connecting to a remote PC. If the remote PC certificate cannot be validated, you will be presented with a choice of not connecting, or allowing the connection. If the remote PC certificate is permanently accepted, it is stored in the Certificate list, so a user can view the certificate.

    • Gateway: Display the list of available Remote Desktop Gateways. Configure, or add an RD Gateway.

    • Remote Desktop Licensing: Display the list of client licenses that are used by the remote desktop client.

    • Send log via email:

      Tap Send log via email to open the standard email client on your device and create an email that contains log details. Enter the address for the recipient and send the email, to email a copy of the log.

      WarningWarning
      Do not send this log to untrusted people.

  • Remote Resources

    Tap Remote Resources to configure Remote Resources.

    Remote Resources enables access to RemoteApp programs, session-based desktops, and virtual desktops published using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.

  • Help

    Tap Help to view web-based help.

  • About

    Tap About to display information about the Remote Desktop Client.

The Remote Desktop Client will try to validate the certificate when connecting to a remote PC. If the remote PC certificate cannot be validated, you will be presented with a choice of not connecting, or allowing the connection. If the remote PC certificate is permanently accepted, it is stored in the Certificate list, so a user can view the certificate.

View Details of a Certificate

  1. On the Connection Center screen, under Configuration tap Settings, and then tap Certificates.

  2. In the Certificates window, tap the certificate to view details.

Delete a Certificate

  1. On the Connection Center screen, under Configuration tap Settings, and then tap Certificates.

  2. In the Certificates window, swipe a row from right to left to delete the certificate.

  3. Tap Delete to delete the certificate.

Lower security PCs are displayed. Lower security PCs are remote PCs that could not be connected to using a secure channel. Swipe a remote PC, and then tap delete to delete a trusted host from this list. If you delete a host, you will be prompted if you would like to trust this connection next time.

A Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) enables authorized users to connect to a remote computer on a corporate network from anywhere on the Internet. You can create and manage your gateways using the Remote Desktop Client.

Set up a New Gateway

  1. On the Connection Center screen, under Configuration tap Settings, and then tap Gateway.

  2. In the Gateway window tap Add gateway, and then tap No gateway configured.

  3. In the No gateway configured window, enter information for the Remote Desktop Gateway:

    • Gateway name (Optional): The name of the gateway to be displayed. This can be any string. If this is field is empty, the server will be displayed.

    • Server: The name of the computer you want to use as the gateway. This can be a Windows computer name, an Internet domain name or an IP address. You can optionally append port information to the server name, for example: RDGateway:443 or 10.0.0.1:443.

    • Credentials: The user name and password to be used for the Remote Desktop Gateway you are connecting to. If credentials are not entered, the credentials for the remote desktop connection will be used.

  4. In the No gateway configured window tap Gateway, and then tap Settings to return to the Settings window.

  5. In the Settings window tap Done to save the new configuration.

Delete a Gateway

  1. On the Connection Center screen, under Configuration tap Settings, and then tap Gateway.

  2. In the Gateway window, swipe a row from right to left to delete the RD Gateway.

  3. Tap Delete to delete the gateway.

A Remote Desktop Session Host server determines if a Remote Desktop Services client access licenses (RDS CALs) is required. If an RDS CAL is required a list of the licenses currently issued to the Remote Desktop Client will be displayed.

View Details of a License

  1. On the Connection Center screen, under Configuration tap Settings, and then tap Remote Desktop licensing.

  2. In the Remote Desktop licensing window, tap the license to view details.

Delete a License

  1. On the Connection Center screen, under Configuration tap Settings, and then tap Remote Desktop licensing.

  2. In the Remote Desktop licensing window, swipe a row from right to left to delete the license.

  3. Tap Delete to delete the license.

Remote Resources enables access to RemoteApp programs, session-based desktops, and virtual desktops published using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.

  • The URL displays the link to the RD Web Access server enabling access to RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.

  • The configured RemoteApp and Desktop Connections are listed.

Add Remote Resources

  1. On the Connection Center screen, under Configuration tap Remote Resources.

  2. In the Remote Resources window, enter information for the Remote Resource:

    • URL: The URL of the RD Web Access server.

    • User name: The user name to be used for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.

    • Password: The password to be used for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.

  3. Tap Save. The remote resources will be displayed in the Connection Center.

Refresh Remote Resources

  • On the Connection Center screen, tap the <refresh> icon to the right of the remote resource.

Delete Remote Resources

  1. On the Connection Center screen, under Configuration tap Remote Resources.

  2. In the Remote Resources window, tap URL.

  3. In the URL window, tap the x button, and then tap Save.

  4. Tap Save, to finalize deleting the Remote Resources.

Once you start a remote desktop connection there are tools available that you can use to navigate the session.

Start a Remote Desktop Connection

  1. Tap the remote desktop connection, to start the remote desktop session.

  2. If you are asked to verify the certificate for the remote PC, tap Connect once, or Connect always if you trust this remote PC.

Connection Bar

  • Pan Control: The pan control enables the screen to be enlarged and moved around.

    noteNote
    The pan control is available using direct touch only.

    • Enable / Disable the pan control: Tap the pan icon in the connection bar to display the pan control and zoom the screen. Tap the pan icon in the connection bar again to hide the control and return the screen to its original resolution.

    • Use the pan control: Tap and hold the pan control and then drag in the direction you want to move the screen.

    • Move the pan control: Double tap and hold the pan control to move the control on the screen.

  • Connection name / Application name: The current connection name is displayed. Tap the connection name to display the utility bar.

  • Keyboard: The keyboard can be displayed, or hidden by tapping the keyboard icon. The pan control is displayed automatically when the keyboard is displayed.

  • Move the connection bar: Tap and hold the connection bar, and then drag and drop to a new location at the top of the screen.

Utility Bar

Tap the connection bar to display the utility bar at the top of the screen. The utility bar enables switching between mouse modes, and disconnects the session. There are additional buttons for switching between active applications or starting a new application when connected to remote resources.

Mouse Modes

The mouse modes available are defined in the table.

noteNote
Interacting with Windows 8 or newer the native touch gestures are supported in Direct Touch mode. For more information on Windows 8 gestures see Touch: Swipe, tap, and beyond.

 

Mouse mode Mouse operation Gesture

Direct Touch

Move pointer

Your finger is the pointer

Direct Touch

Left click

1 finger tap

Direct Touch

Left click and Drag

1 finger tap and drag

Direct Touch

Right click

1 finger tap and hold

Direct Touch

Right click and Drag

1 finger tap and hold, then drag

Direct Touch

Zoom

Use two fingers and pinch to zoom in or move fingers away from each other to zoom out

Mouse Pointer

Move pointer

1 finger tap and drag

Mouse Pointer

Left click

1 finger tap

Mouse Pointer

Left click and drag

1 finger double tap and hold, then drag

Mouse Pointer

Right click

2 finger tap

Mouse Pointer

Right click and drag

2 finger double tap and hold, then drag

Mouse Pointer

Mouse wheel

2 finger tap and hold, then drag up/down

On-screen Keyboards

On the iPad you can use the buttons on the edges of the bar above the keyboard to switch between the standard and additional keyboard.

On the iPhone and iPod touch devices you can switch between four different keyboard types depending on the keys that are needed.

  • Letter keyboard

  • Numeric keypad

  • Special keys

  • Function keys

Bluetooth Keyboard

If Bluetooth is enabled, a Bluetooth keyboard should be automatically detected.

Due to limitations on the iPhone OS special keys such as Ctrl, Option, and Function will not work as expected. The following keys currently work:

  • Alphanumeric keys

  • Cursor keys

  • Tab: Tab works, but Shift+Tab does not work

  • Home / Pos1: Alt+Left = Home

  • End: Alt+Right = End

  • Page Up: Alt+Up = Page Up

  • Page Down: Alt+Down = Page Down

  • Select All: Command+A = Ctrl+A (Select all in most programs)

  • Cut: Command+X = Ctrl+X (Cut in most programs)

  • Copy: Command+C = Ctrl+C (Copy in most programs)

  • Paste: Command+V = Ctrl+V (Paste in most programs)

  • Symbols: Alt+Alphanumeric keys will produce different symbols depending on the language configured

The following list provides additional resources for using Remote Desktop Clients.

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