By Ellie / Last Updated August 26, 2021

The issue: RDP full screen not working

RDP full screen not working means that you can’t maximize the window of the session to full screen when connecting to a remote computer. A user posted his problem on Stack Exchange. He was using a Dell Latitude laptop with two external displays. When he made a connection in Remote Desktop (Windows 7) and maximize the window, it only resized to the max resolution of his built-in display (1360 x 768), not the external monitors (1680 x 1050).

Why is RDP not full screen? 

When facing RDP full screen not working, people always get very annoyed. To solve the problem, you need to figure out the causes of the problem first.

This issue occurs if the display setting in Remote Desktop Connection is changed from the default setting (Full Screen) to a different setting. This setting change is saved in the Default.rdp file. When a connection starts, the display setting that is saved in the Default.rdp file is used.

How to solve RDP full screen not working issue?

After figuring out why RDP is not full screen, refer to the three solutions to work out the issue.

Solution 1. Display configuration  

The Remote Desktop Connection client has a handy screen resolution slider that scrolls from small to large for your screen. Make sure to set the slider to Full Screen if you want a full-screen remote connection for each connection. Please follow the steps below.

Step 1. Search for Remote Desktop Connection in the Search box. And then open it.

Remote Desktop Connection

Step 2. In the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box, click Show Options.

Show Options

Step 3. Click the Display Tab. Move the Display configuration slider to Large (Full Screen), and then connect to the remote computer.

Full Screem

Solution 2. Shortcut  to go back into full-screen mode

The above-mentioned solution works for many users. But still, some users have criticized this solution for it didnt address the real problem.

They reflected that the real problem is that when you switch from RDP into one machine with a given resolution, and then to another with a different resolution, it always remembers the last resolution. So you end up with a mismatched RDP window that will not go full screen until you disconnect, then adjust the slider again.

To solve the problem, you can go back into full-screen mode by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Pause/Break.  This allows you to switch without disconnecting and reconnecting. 

But still, there are two gotchas for this solution. On the one hand, it actually doesn't change the resolution, so it may go into full-screen mode with the blue bar at the top, but still have scrollbars at the side. On the other hand, some keyboards may don’t have a Pause/Break key.

Solution 3. Force RDP to use a specific size

The third solution is that you can force the Remote Desktop Connection to use a specific size through the Run function. You just need to press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog box, and then type in “mstsc.exe /h:X /w:X” and press OK.

Run Command Mstsc.exe

Here, h means height and w means width. X means the height and width of the Remote Desktop viewing window that you desire. Remote Desktop Connection will remember your settings for future remote screen display settings.

Free alternative to Remote Desktop for Windows PCs and Servers

As you may go through tedious procedures to fix RDP full screen not working issue, here we recommend you an easy-to-operate remote control software, AnyViewer. After you successfully connect to another computer, there is a Full Screen button in the middle at the top of the screen. You could just click it to achieve full screen.

It is also a free, stable, and fast remote control software for Windows with high safety, which allows you to remotely access your important files and folders on your computer. Follow the following steps, you can achieve remote control instantly.  

Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run AnyViewer on the host and client computers.

Temporary Code

Step 2. Click on Setting and then Recipient. Tick the third option. Then set your own security code in the box.

Accept Remote Control

Step 3. If you are trying to control another computer (the host computer), enter the device ID of the host computer on the client computer and then click Connect. Choose to Send a control request to your partner in the pop-up window.

Send a Control Request to Your Partner

Step 4. Then the host computer will receive a pop-up request to control it. People on the other side can either allow the request or deny it.

Request to Control Your Device

Step 5. If you know the security code of the host computer. Click Input security code. The code you input could either be a permanent security code that others set before (in step 2) or an automatically-generated temporary security code.

Security Code

In addition, AnyViewer can also provide users with some practical functions for remote control after a successful connection. Such as lock, logout, restart, command prompt (cmd), etc.


Users can choose image quality according to the network connection speed. If the network connection speed is better, it can provide a higher image quality. The default wallpaper hiding function makes the remote connection smoother.

Image Quality

AnyViewer provides users with different resolutions. Users can choose according to their preferences.



In conclusion, you can troubleshoot RDP full screen not working problem in three ways. Firstly, you can change the size of the screen in Display Configuration. Secondly, you can go back into full-screen mode by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Pause/Break. Finally, you can force the Remote Desktop Connection to use a specific size through the Run function. Besides, we offer you a Remote Desktop alternative, AnyViewer. It is very easy to operate. you can change the size of the screen, the resolution of the screen, and the image quality freely.