The Ultimate Guide: Windows Remote Desktop Shortcut Keys

This article takes an in-depth look at remote desktop shortcuts and explains how they are used. It aims to help users optimize their workflow and troubleshoot common problems.


By Carolyn / Updated on June 6, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

What is the keyboard shortcut for Remote Desktop?

Today remote desktop has become an essential tool for professionals and casual users alike. Whether you're working from home, accessing files on the go, or managing a server from afar, remote desktops offer the flexibility and convenience we need. But did you know that using Windows remote desktop shortcut keys can greatly increase your productivity? Let's dive into the world of how to use shortcut keys in remote desktopand see how they can make your remote desktop experience smoother and more efficient.

How to use remote desktop shortcut keys

Remote desktop services, such as Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), enable users to connect to and control a remote computer over a network. These services are vital for remote work, technical support, and accessing resources not available locally. By mastering Windows remote desktop shortcut keys, users can perform tasks more efficiently, saving time and reducing the reliance on mouse clicks.

Here is a list of specific Windows remote desktop shortcut keys for Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) along with their functions. These shortcuts are designed to improve efficiency and save you time when using RDP's built-in features.

Shortcuts for RDC

Functions of shortcuts

ALT + Home

Opens the Start Menu or Start Screen (equivalent to the Windows key or Ctrl + Esc on Windows)

ALT + Page Up

Switch programs from left to right (similar to Alt + TAB on Windows)

ALT + Page Down

Switch programs from right to left(similar to Alt + Shift + Tab on Windows)

ALT + Insert

Cycle through items in the order they were opened.( same as pressing Alt + Tab on Windows)

ALT + Delete

Opens the shortcut menu for the active window.(equivalent to Alt + Space on Windows)

Ctrl + Shift + Esc

Directly opens the Task Manager on the remote desktop, allowing you to manage tasks and monitor performance without navigating through multiple menus.

Ctrl+Alt+plus key

Take a screenshot of the entire screen, allowing you to paste it. (same as the Print Screen key)

Ctrl+Alt+minus key

Takes a screenshot of the active window, allowing you to paste it. (equivalent to Alt + Print Screen key)

Ctrl + ALT + End

Displays Task Manager ( equivalent to Ctrl + Alt + Del on Windows)

Ctrl + ALT + Break

Switches the client between full-screen mode and window mode.

Ctrl + ALT + Up/ Down arrow

Displays the session selection bar.

Ctrl + ALT + Left/Right arrow

Switch between sessions


Activate the connection bar in full-screen mode


Scroll the session

Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow

“Tab” out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host program (for example, a button or a text box). This is useful when Remote Desktop controls are embedded within another (host) program.

Ctrl + Alt + Left Arrow

“Tab” out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host program (for example, a button or a text box). This feature is useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded within another (host) program.

As we can see from the chart, some of the default Windows shortcuts are different from the Windows Remote Desktop Connection keyboard shortcuts. You need to make good distinctions to avoid misremembering and having shortcuts that don't work.

AnyViewer: A free remote access software with centralized shortcuts

We must admit that the difference between the default Windows shortcuts and RDC shortcuts causes a lot of trouble for many users. It is difficult to remember and differentiate between these shortcuts. In this case, choosing a free remote access software makes things easier.

AnyViewer should be your first choice. It has the advantage of being free, and the shortcuts are centrally displayed to make your experience better and save you the trouble of remembering so many shortcuts. In addition, as an all-in-one software, AnyViewer provides rich and excellent features, such as one-click control, file transfer, text chat, screen sharing, multi-session, and so on. With AnyViewer, you can enjoy a better and faster remote access experience.

Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 1. Begin by installing AnyViewer. Create an account on the AnyViewer platform, then log in to your account on both computers. Upon logging in, the PCs will automatically link to your account. (If you register on the official website, you can log in directly.)

Step 2. After logging in, your interface will look like the image shown below.

Step 3. On the client computer, go to "Device" and select the specific computer you wish to control. Choose "One-click control" to easily establish a remote connection.

Step 4. Congratulations! You are now successfully connected to the remote PC. Explore various options under the "Operation" tab. Many of these options require different shortcuts to access in Remote Desktop.

Step 5. Additionally, you can find "Settings" in the software and click "Shortcut Key" to modify and view the shortcut keys. If you want to use the same shortcut keys when controlling remotely, ensure the tip above is turned on.

★Tips: Upgrade to the Professional or Enterprise plan to enhance your AnyViewer experience and unlock a suite of advanced features:
Seamless Connections: Connect to more devices with one-click control.
Enhanced Security: Access advanced security measures with Privacy Mode.
Unlimited Device Control: Remove restrictions on simultaneous device control by a single computer.
Accelerated File Transfers: Enjoy faster file transfer rates for efficient data exchange.
Effortless Management: Manage extensive device portfolios by creating customized groups tailored to corporate needs.
Superior Image Quality: Elevate your viewing experience with enhanced image quality.


In conclusion, mastering Windows remote desktop shortcut keys can significantly enhance your productivity and streamline your remote working experience. By incorporating these shortcuts into your daily workflow, you can save time, reduce reliance on the mouse, and navigate your tasks more efficiently. Whether you're a professional managing server or a casual user accessing files from home, understanding and using these shortcut keys is essential. Additionally, exploring alternatives like AnyViewer can further simplify your remote desktop experience, offering centralized shortcuts and robust features. Start implementing these tips today to make the most of your remote desktop sessions.