How to Span RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) client over 2 or 3 monitors (multiple monitors). There are two ways, this how to covers both approaches with screen shots.

This how to setup Microsoft’s RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) client to span across two or three monitors.

Limitations of the current RDP client include restriction of the maximum possible resolution to 4096 x 2048 which means it can span two or three monitors but not 4 (side by side). Four monitors require the resolution of 5120.

There are two ways to configure the RDP client to span monitors, the first way is more for testing or when it wont always be required (adhoc or non-permanent).

Approach 1: Adhoc

Add the option /span to RDP run command. In the run dialog box (start menu run or windows key r) type mstsc /span

Windows run command dialog box

Windows run command dialog box

When the standard looking RDP client loads, enter the details of the computer you want to connect to as usual (I am assuming you can already connect to the computer in question ok).

Approach 2: Permanent Configuration of RDP Client

On a saved RDP client file (this are created when a “save as” is performed on a standard RDP client configuration window (under the general tab), right click the file, such as example.rdp and choose notepad (or my favourite Notepad Plus Plus) to open it.

Add the following as the last line (see screen shot below):

span monitors:i:1

Close and save and run the file (connect) as usual, now your RDP session window covers all windows (up to 3 monitors or the resolution restriction mentioned above).

I recommend this setting is change as well to automatically load in full screen (not windows as default):

screen mode id:i:2

(default is screen mode id:i:1)


Click on screen shot thumbnail (below) for larger image.