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Getting Started with Remote Desktop Client on Android

Published: November 20, 2013

Updated: November 20, 2013



Devices running Android version 2.2 and newer are supported.

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 Remote Desktop Client from Google Play.

  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 Android: FAQ

After starting the Remote Desktop Client for Android 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 Remote Desktops.

  2. Tap the add icon.

  3. Enter information for the remote desktop connection:

    • Remote Desktop

      • 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.

      • 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. You can either select a gateway that is already configured, or add a new one. No gateway configured is displayed if no Gateway is selected. 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.

      • Credentials: The user name and password to be used for the remote PC you are connecting to. If no credentials are displayed, the log on screen will be displayed after clicking the remote desktop. The user name can be entered in the following formats: user_name, domain\user_name, and user_name@domain.com.

    • Advanced

      • 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.

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

      • Redirect SD card: Mount your SD card as remote file system on the host.

      • 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.

  4. Tap Done to create the new remote desktop.

Edit Remote Desktop Settings

To change the settings of a specific remote desktop tap the edit icon available next to the connection bar or within the context menu. When adding or modifying a remote desktop you can modify the following settings:

  • Remote Desktop

  • Advanced

Copy a Remote Desktop

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap Remote Desktops.

  2. Long-tap a remote desktop in the list.

  3. You can select additional remote desktops to copy.

  4. Tap the plus sign to copy the selected remote desktops.

Delete a Remote Desktop

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap Remote Desktops.

  2. Long-tap a remote desktop in the list.

  3. You can select additional remote desktops to delete.

  4. Tap the trash can to delete the selected remote desktops.

  5. In the Delete Remote Desktop window, tap OK.

Remote desktop connections that are frequently used can be marked as Favorites, which will add the remote desktop connection to the favorites screen.

Add a Remote Desktop to Favorites

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap Remote Desktops.

  2. Long-tap a remote desktop in the list.

  3. You can select additional remote desktops to mark as Favorite.

  4. Tap the star to mark the selected remote desktops as a Favorite.

  5. On the Connection Center screen, click Favorites to access the remote desktop.

Remove a Remote Desktop from Favorites

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap Remote Desktops, and then click Favorites.

  2. Long-tap a remote desktop in the list.

  3. You can select additional remote desktops.

  4. Tap the star to deselect the remote desktops and remove from favorites.

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 Remote Desktops.

  2. Tap the magnifier to activate the search bar.

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

These settings apply for all connections and session settings:

Update Settings: Tap menu, and then tap Settings.

  • Session:

    • Hardware keyboard mode: This setting only affects devices with a hardware keyboard. If your device features an on-device hardware keyboard, you can select the Native mode to use the default keyboard behavior. In Native mode, no emulation is happening, modifiers, such as the Shift, Alt, and Sym keys, have their default behavior. In Desktop mode the default, keystrokes are sent as individual keys to the server.

    • Graphics acceleration: Use hardware accelerated rendering to improve performance. Hardware accelerated rendering is available on Android 3.0 and newer, and enabled by default for Android 4.1 and newer. If rendering artifacts are visible on versions earlier than Android 4.1, select the option for software rendering.

  • Support:

    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 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.

You can use the edit icon to change the settings of your remote resource URL.

Add Remote Resources

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap Remote Resources, and then tap the add icon.

  2. Enter information for the Remote Resource, and then tap Done:

    • 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 Done to add the remote resources.

Refresh Remote Resources

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

  2. Tap refresh to the right of the URL to refresh the selected remote resources.

Delete Remote Resources

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

  2. Tap the trash icon to the right of the URL to delete the selected remote resources.

  3. In the Delete Remote Resources window, tap OK.

Drive Redirection for Remote Resources

Drive redirection is supported for remote resources. Save files created with a remote application locally to your Android device. The redirected folder is displayed as network drive in the remote session. Look for a network drive called Android on ….

noteNote
In order to use this feature the administrator needs to set the appropriate settings on the server.

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, tap Gateways, and then tap the plus sign.

  2. Enter information for the Remote Desktop Gateway, and then tap Done:

    • Gateway name: 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 a 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.

Delete a Gateway

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap Gateways.

  2. Long-tap a gateway in the list.

  3. You can select additional gateway to delete.

  4. Tap the trash can to delete the selected gateway.

  5. In the Delete gateway window, tap OK.

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 or remove it.

Delete a Certificate

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap Certificates.

  2. Long-tap a certificate in the list.

  3. You can select additional certificates to delete.

  4. Tap the trash can to delete the selected certificates.

  5. In the Delete certificate window, tap OK.

Displays a list of all low security remote PCs you have accepted to always trust. If you delete a remote PC as a trusted host, you will be prompted if to trust the remote PC the next time you connect.

Delete a Host

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap Trusted Hosts.

  2. Long-tap a trusted host in the list.

  3. You can select additional certificates to delete.

  4. Tap the trash can to delete the selected trusted hosts.

  5. In the Delete host window, tap OK.

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. On the Connection Center screen, tap Remote Desktop.

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

  3. If the Untrusted Certificate window is displayed, tap Trust Once, or Trust Always if you trust this remote PC.

Once the remote desktop connection has started, the connection bar, a small label with the name of the connection appears at the top of the screen. The connection bar includes tools you can use to navigate the session.

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 above the keyboard or at the bottom of the screen. The utility bar contains modifier keys, and enables switching between mouse modes, and additional keyboards. 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

You can use the utility bar to switch between the standard and additional keyboard.

External Mouse and Keyboard

The right mouse button is supported on Android version 2.3 and newer. Mouse wheel is supported on Android version 3.2 and newer. External keyboards are supported. If your device has an on-device hardware keyboard, review the setting Hardware keyboard mode.

The Remote Desktop Client offers a widget that enables you to create a shortcut for remote desktops on your home screen.

Add a Remote Desktop Widget

  1. Tap the All Apps button on the Home screen, and then tap Widgets.

  2. Scroll through the widgets list to find the Remote Desktop Shortcut widget and then long-press Remote Desktop Shortcut.

  3. Drag and drop the Remote Desktop Shortcut widget to a Home screen panel.

  4. In the Remote Desktop Shortcut list, tap the remote desktop you want to add to your home screen.

  5. In the Shortcut Label window, enter a label for the shortcut and then click OK. The shortcut for the remote desktop connection will be displayed on the window.

You can tap the remote desktop shortcut to start the remote desktop connection.

The following list provides additional resources for using Remote Desktop mobile clients.

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