12/26/2021»»Sunday

Using Microsoft Remote Desktop App On Mac

12/26/2021

Hello everyone, you can now download Microsoft Remote Desktop 10 for Mac and experience quiet honestly the best remote desktop app you can use on your macOS, period. I say this because most of who are using an iMac or Macbook mostly need to remote control our Windows computers but with little effort you can easily manage to control your Linux OS and even ChromeOS computers all with this.

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Applies To: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016

You can use the Remote Desktop client for Mac to work with Windows apps, resources, and desktops from your Mac computer. Use the following information to get started - and check out the FAQ if you have questions.

Note

  • Curious about the new releases for the macOS client? Check out What's new for Remote Desktop on Mac?
  • The Mac client runs on computers running macOS 10.10 and newer.
  • The information in this article applies primarily to the full version of the Mac client - the version available in the Mac AppStore. Test-drive new features by downloading our preview app here: beta client release notes.

Get the Remote Desktop client

Follow these steps to get started with Remote Desktop on your Mac:

  1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Mac App Store.
  2. Set up your PC to accept remote connections. (If you skip this step, you can't connect to your PC.)
  3. Add a Remote Desktop connection or a remote resource. You use a connection to connect directly to a Windows PC and a remote resource to use a RemoteApp program, session-based desktop, or a virtual desktop published on-premises using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections. This feature is typically available in corporate environments.

What about the Mac beta client?

We're testing new features on our preview channel on AppCenter. Want to check it out? Go to Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac and click Download. You don't need to create an account or sign into AppCenter to download the beta client.

If you already have the client, you can check for updates to ensure you have the latest version. In the beta client, click Microsoft Remote Desktop Beta at the top, and then click Check for updates.

Add a Remote Desktop connection

To create a remote desktop connection:

  1. In the Connection Center, click +, and then click Desktop.

  2. Enter the following information:

    • PC name - the name of the computer.
      • This can be a Windows computer name (found in the System settings), a domain name, or an IP address.
      • You can also add port information to the end of this name, like MyDesktop:3389.
    • User Account - Add the user account you use to access the remote PC.
      • For Active Directory (AD) joined computers or local accounts, use one of these formats: user_name, domainuser_name, or [email protected].
      • For Azure Active Directory (AAD) joined computers, use one of these formats: AzureADuser_name or [email protected].
      • You can also choose whether to require a password.
      • When managing multiple user accounts with the same user name, set a friendly name to differentiate the accounts.
      • Manage your saved user accounts in the preferences of the app.
  3. You can also set these optional settings for the connection:

    • Set a friendly name
    • Add a Gateway
    • Set the sound output
    • Swap mouse buttons
    • Enable Admin Mode
    • Redirect local folders into a remote session
    • Forward local printers
    • Forward Smart Cards
  4. Click Save.

To start the connection, just double-click it. The same is true for remote resources.

Export and import connections

You can export a remote desktop connection definition and use it on a different device. Remote desktops are saved in separate .RDP files.

  1. In the Connection Center, right-click the remote desktop.
  2. Click Export.
  3. Browse to the location where you want to save the remote desktop .RDP file.
  4. Click OK.

Use the following steps to import a remote desktop .RDP file.

  1. In the menu bar, click File > Import.
  2. Browse to the .RDP file.
  3. Click Open.

Add a remote resource

Remote resources are 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 that gives you access to RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.
  • The configured RemoteApp and Desktop Connections are listed.

To add a remote resource:

  1. In the Connection Center click +, and then click Add Remote Resources.
  2. Enter information for the remote resource:
    • Feed URL - The URL of the RD Web Access server. You can also enter your corporate email account in this field – this tells the client to search for the RD Web Access Server associated with your email address.
    • User name - The user name to use for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.
    • Password - The password to use for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.
  3. Click Save.

The remote resources will be displayed in the Connection Center.

Connect to an RD Gateway to access internal assets

A Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) lets you connect to a remote computer on a corporate network from anywhere on the Internet. You can create and manage your gateways in the preferences of the app or while setting up a new desktop connection.

To set up a new gateway in preferences:

  1. In the Connection Center, click Preferences > Gateways.
  2. Click the + button at the bottom of the table Enter the following information:
    • Server name – 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 also add port information to the server name (for example: RDGateway:443 or 10.0.0.1:443).
    • User name - The user name and password to be used for the Remote Desktop gateway you are connecting to. You can also select Use connection credentials to use the same user name and password as those used for the remote desktop connection.

Manage your user accounts

When you connect to a desktop or remote resources, you can save the user accounts to select from again. You can manage your user accounts by using the Remote Desktop client.

To create a new user account:

  1. In the Connection Center, click Settings > Accounts.
  2. Click Add User Account.
  3. Enter the following information:
    • User Name - The name of the user to save for use with a remote connection. You can enter the user name in any of the following formats: user_name, domainuser_name, or [email protected]
    • Password - The password for the user you specified. Every user account that you want to save to use for remote connections needs to have a password associated with it.
    • Friendly Name - If you are using the same user account with different passwords, set a friendly name to distinguish those user accounts.
  4. Tap Save, and then tap Settings.

Customize your display resolution

You can specify the display resolution for the remote desktop session.

  1. In the Connection Center, click Preferences.
  2. Click Resolution.
  3. Click +.
  4. Enter a resolution height and width, and then click OK.

To delete the resolution, select it, and then click -.

Displays have separate spacesIf you are running Mac OS X 10.9 and disabled Displays have separate spaces in Mavericks (System Preferences > Mission Control), you need to configure this setting in the remote desktop client using the same option.

Drive redirection for remote resources

Drive redirection is supported for remote resources, so that you can save files created with a remote application locally to your Mac. The redirected folder is always your home directory displayed as a network drive in the remote session.

Note

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

Use a keyboard in a remote session

Mac keyboard layouts differ from the Windows keyboard layouts.

  • The Command key on the Mac keyboard equals the Windows key.
  • To perform actions that use the Command button on the Mac, you will need to use the control button in Windows (e.g.: Copy = Ctrl + C).
  • The function keys can be activated in the session by pressing additionally the FN key (e.g.: FN + F1).
  • The Alt key to the right of the space bar on the Mac keyboard equals the Alt Gr/right Alt key in Windows.

By default, the remote session will use the same keyboard locale as the OS you're running the client on. (If your Mac is running an en-us OS, that will be used for the remote sessions as well.) If the OS keyboard locale is not used, check the keyboard setting on the remote PC and change it manually. See the Remote Desktop Client FAQ for more information about keyboards and locales.

Support for Remote Desktop gateway pluggable authentication and authorization

Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced support for a new authentication method, Remote Desktop Gateway pluggable authentication and authorization, which provides more flexibility for custom authentication routines. You can now try this authentication model with the Mac client.

Important

Custom authentication and authorization models before Windows 8.1 are not supported, although the article above discusses them.

To learn more about this feature, check out https://aka.ms/paa-sample.

Tip

Questions and comments are always welcome. However, please do NOT post a request for troubleshooting help by using the comment feature at the end of this article. Instead, go to the Remote Desktop client forum and start a new thread. Have a feature suggestion? Tell us in the client user voice forum.

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Applies to: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2

You can use the Remote Desktop client for iOS to work with Windows apps, resources, and desktops from your iOS device (iPhones and iPads).

Use the following information to get started. Be sure to check out the FAQ if you have any questions.

Note

  • Curious about the new releases for the iOS client? Check out What's new for Remote Desktop on iOS?
  • The iOS client supports devices running iOS 6.x and newer.

Get the Remote Desktop client and start using it

Download the Remote Desktop client from the iOS store

Follow these steps to get started with Remote Desktop on your iOS device:

  1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the iOS App Store or iTunes.
  2. Set up your PC to accept remote connections.
  3. Add a Remote Desktop connection or a remote resource. You use a connection to connect to a directly to a Windows PC and a remote resource to use a RemoteApp program, session-based desktop, or a virtual desktop published on-premises using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections. This feature is typically available in corporate environments.

Using Microsoft Remote Desktop App On Mac Computer

Add a Remote Desktop connection

To create a remote desktop connection:

  1. In the Connection Center tap +, and then tap Add PC or Server.
  2. Enter the following information for the remote desktop connection:
    • PC name – the name of the computer. This can be a Windows computer name, an Internet domain name, or an IP address. You can also append port information to the PC name (for example, MyDesktop:3389 or 10.0.0.1:3389).
    • User name – The user name to use to access the remote PC. You can use the following formats: user_name, domainuser_name, or [email protected]. You can also specify whether to prompt for a user name and password.
  3. You can also set the following additional options:
    • Friendly name (optional) – An easy-to-remember name for the PC you are connecting to. You can use any string, but if you do not specify a friendly name, the PC name is displayed.
    • Gateway (optional) – The Remote Desktop gateway that you want to use to connect to virtual desktops, RemoteApp programs, and session-based desktops on an internal corporate network. Get the information about the gateway from your system administrator.
    • Sound – Select the device to use for audio during your remote session. You can choose to play sound on the local devices, the remote device, 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.
    • Admin Mode - Connect to an administration session on a server running Windows Server 2003 or later.
  4. Tap Save.

Need to edit these settings? Press and hold the desktop you want to edit, and then tap the settings icon.

Add a remote resource

Remote resources are RemoteApp programs, session-based desktops, and virtual desktops published using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.

App
  • The URL displays the link to the RD Web Access server that gives you access to RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.
  • The configured RemoteApp and Desktop Connections are listed.

To add a remote resource:

  1. On the Connection Center screen, tap +, and then tap Add Remote Resources.
  2. Enter information for the remote resource:
    • Feed URL - The URL of the RD Web Access server. You can also enter your corporate email account in this field – this tells the client to search for the RD Web Access Server associated with your email address.
    • User name - The user name to use for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.
    • Password - The password to use for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.
  3. Tap Save.

The remote resources will be displayed in the Connection Center.

Manage your user accounts

When you connect to a desktop or remote resources, you can save the user accounts to select from again.

To create a new user account:

  1. In the Connection Center, tap Settings, and then tap User Accounts.
  2. Tap Add User Account.
  3. Enter the following information:
    • User Name - The name of the user to save for use with a remote connection. You can enter the user name in any of the following formats: user_name, domainuser_name, or [email protected]
    • Password - The password for the user you specified. Every user account that you want to save to use for remote connections needs to have an associated password.
  4. Tap Save.

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To delete a user account:

  1. In the Connection Center, tap Settings, and then tap User Accounts.
  2. Select the account you would like to delete.
  3. Tap Delete.

Connect to an RD Gateway to access internal assets

A Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) lets you 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.

To set up a new gateway:

  1. In the Connection Center, tap Settings > Gateways.
  2. Tap Add Remote Desktop gateway.
  3. Enter the following information:
    • Server name – 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 also add port information to the server name (for example, RDGateway:443 or 10.0.0.1:443).
    • User name - The user name and password to be used for the Remote Desktop gateway you are connecting to. You can also select Use connection credentials to use the same user name and password as those used for the remote desktop connection.

Navigate the Remote Desktop session

When you start a remote desktop session, 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 desktop, tap Accept. You can choose to always accept by sliding the Don't ask me again for connections to this computer toggle to ON.

Connection Bar

The connection bar gives you access to additional navigation controls.

Using Microsoft Remote Desktop App On Mac
  • Pan Control: The pan control enables the screen to be enlarged and moved around. Note that pan control is only available using direct touch.
    • 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: The current connection name is displayed. Tap the connection name to display the session selection bar.
  • Keyboard: Tap the keyboard icon to display or hide the keyboard. 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.

Session selection

You can have multiple connections open to different PCs at the same time. Tap the connection bar to display the session selection bar on the left-hand side of the screen. The session selection bar enables you to view your open connections and switch between them.

  • Switch between apps in an open remote resource session.

    When you are connected to remote resources, you can switch between open applications within that session by tapping the expander menu and choosing from the list of available items.

  • Start a new session

    You can start new applications or desktop sessions from within your current connection: tap Start New, and then choose from the list of available items.

  • Disconnection a session

    To disconnect a session tap X in the left-hand side of the session tile.

Command bar

The command bar replaced the Utility bar starting in version 8.0.1. You can switch between the mouse modes and return to the connection center from the command bar.

Use touch gestures and mouse modes in a remote session

The client uses standard touch gestures. You can also use touch gestures to replicate mouse actions on the remote desktop. The mouse modes available are defined in the table below.

Note

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 modeMouse operationGesture
Direct touchLeft click1 finger tap
Direct touchRight click1 finger tap and hold
Mouse pointerLeft click1 finger tap
Mouse pointerLeft click and drag1 finger double tap and hold, then drag
Mouse pointerRight click2 finger tap
Mouse pointerRight click and drag2 finger double tap and hold, then drag
Mouse pointerMouse wheel2 finger tap and hold, then drag up or down
Mouse pointerZoomPinch 2 fingers to zoom in or spread 2 fingers to zoom out

Supported input devices

Basic Bluetooth mouse support is available in iOS 13 and iPadOS as an accessibility feature. Deeper mouse integration in the RD Client is available by using the Swiftpoint GT and ProPoint mice. In addition, external keyboards that are compatible with iOS and iPadOS are also supported.

For more information about device support, see What's new in the iOS client and the iOS App Store.

Tip

Using Microsoft Remote Desktop App On Mac Windows 10

Swiftpoint is offering an exclusive discount on the ProPoint mouse for iOS client users.

Use a keyboard in a remote session

You can use either an on-screen keyboard or physical keyboard in your remote session.

For on-screen keyboards, use the button on the right edge of the bar above the keyboard to switch between the standard and additional keyboard.

Using Microsoft Remote Desktop App On Mac Download

If Bluetooth is enabled for your iOS device, the client automatically detects the Bluetooth keyboard.

While certain key combinations might not work as expected in a remote session, many of the common Windows key combinations, such as CTRL+C, CTRL+V, and ALT+TAB will work.

Important

Using Microsoft Remote Desktop App On Mac Windows 10

Questions and comments are always welcome. However, please do NOT post a request for troubleshooting help by using the comment feature at the end of this article. Instead, go to the Remote Desktop client forum and start a new thread. Have a feature suggestion? Tell us in the client user voice forum.