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Connect to the console session of a server using Remote Desktop Connection

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To connect to the console session of a server

  1. Open Command prompt.

  2. Type:



Value Description


The DNS name or IP address of the server to which you want to connect


  • To open command prompt, Click Start, point to programs or All programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command prompt.

  • You can also connect to the console session of a server by specifying "/console" when you type a server name or IP address in the Computer field on the General tab on the Remote Desktop Connection Options dialog box.

  • Each computer has only one console session. When you connect to the console session remotely, other users may be unable to log on to the computer locally.

  • Some client option settings are not applied when a connection is made to the console session of a remote computer running Windows XP. For example, if the client has specified a program to start upon connection to a remote computer, that program does not start if the connection is made to the console session of the remote computer. Instead, the default desktop appears. If the connection is made to a session other than the console session, the specified program starts as expected. The console session is the only session available for Remote Desktop on Windows XP Professional, so the default desktop always appears when a connection is made, even if the client has specified a different program.

  • To view the complete syntax for this command, at a command prompt, type:

    mstsc /?

Related Topics

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Create a new connection with Remote Desktop Connection

Related Topic Icon

Reestablish a prior connection

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

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