By Ellie / Last Updated November 11, 2022

How do I change my Display settings from a remote session?


Hi, guys. I have a virtual server based on Windows Server 2016 Standard that serves as a Remote desktop Services server. Users who connect to it via the RDC client need to change the scaling of the size of text, apps, and other items from recommended 100% to 125%. However, it says ‘The display settings cannot be changed from a remote session’. Is there any workaround for this issue? ”

- Question from TechNet

The Display Settings Cannot Be Changed from A Remote Session

How to fix “The display settings cannot be changed from a remote session”

Here we’ll show you how to change display settings if you have encountered “The display settings cannot be changed from a remote session” on Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, for example.

Note: You are only allowed to change display settings like sizes of texts, apps, and other items during an RDP session. Other display configurations like Remote Desktop screen resolutions and color depth need to be changed before the remote session is established.

Step 1. Right-click the desktop within the RDP session, and click on Display settings.

Display Settings

Step 2. Go to Advanced display settings.

Advanced Display Settings

Step 3. Go to Advanced sizing of text and other items.

Advanced Sizing of Text and Other Items

Step 4. Click on set a custom scaling level.

Set A Custom Scaling Level

Step 5. Now choose a zoom level (requires logout) and press OK.

Custom Sizing Options

Bonus tip: Configure display settings during remote sessions with ease

If you would like to try a free remote desktop software that allows you to change display settings during remote sessions with ease, here we recommend AnyViewer. It offers users shortcuts to easily change resolutions and image qualities.

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Note: AnyViewer has mobile versions, supporting iOS remote access and Android remote access. You must sign into the same account on all of your mobile devices before you can remotely access computer with one click from an iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

Step 1. Install and run AnyViewer on both your work and home computers. Navigate to Log in and then Sign up on the Controller computer (if you have already registered on the official website, you can log in directly).

Log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Fill out the sign-up form.

Sign Up for AnyViewer

Step 3. You should now see that you have successfully logged into AnyViewer. Your device will be assigned to the account to which you have logged in automatically.

Free Editions

Step 4. On both devices, log in to the same AnyViewer account, then click One-click control for unattended remote support to establish a direct connection.

Connect to My Devices

Step 5. After connecting successfully, you’ll see the remote desktop. Then you can completely control it and provide remote support just like you’re sitting in front of it. You are able to change the resolution to the one that you need by clicking Screen. If you don't know the appropriate screen resolution, you can also click Adaptive to adapt automatically.


Step 6. Click Mode to change the image quality.


Notes:✎... It is recommended to upgrade your account to a Professional or Enterprise plan to enjoy high image quality. 

Closing words

This post primarily answers what to do if it says the display settings cannot be changed from a remote session on Windows Server 2008 or Windows 10 for example when you need to customize your display. It also notes that some display settings are not allowed to be configured during a remote session, for example, screen resolution and color depth. Please make sure you have these display settings properly set before establishing a remote connection.

Besides, if you want a free remote desktop tool that would allow you to quickly change display settings during a remote session, you’re recommended to use AnyViewer.