If you often use the Mstsc shortcut for your RDP sessions with Windows, especially during those times of telecommuting, you might need to send a Ctrl + Alt + Del combination on your remote desktop session. Useful to change the password on an Active Direcotry domain or to open the Windows task manager in case of a problem.
Note that not all Windows shortcuts work in remote desktop. Copy / paste will work for example. On the other hand, if you simultaneously press the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys on your keyboard from your RDP session, this combination will interact with the local machine rather than the remote machine.
Also read: How to activate remote desktop on Windows?
Do a Ctrl + Alt + Del in remote desktop with the keyboard
To send Ctrl + Alt + Del instructions on a Windows remote desktop session, you must perform a combination with the following keys on your keyboard:
👉 Ctrl+Alt+End or Ctrl+Alt+End
Using the visual keyboard
The on-screen keyboard is an interesting solution to know for sending remote control keyboard commands. You can use it to send Ctrl + Alt + Del commands to remote desktop, but also for other keyboard shortcuts that would not work in RDP.
On your remote desktop session, open a Run window then type osk.exe. Or search Visual keyboard in the Windows 10 search bar.
Hold the keys Ctrl + Alt on the host machine then click on the Delete on the visual keyboard.
PowerShell can be used to open the Windows security interface.
Open a Powershell window then type the following command:
(New-Object -COM Shell.Application).WindowsSecurity()
You can also do without these key combinations in remote desktop to access certain options on this screen.
- Lock or Change user: click on the start menu then the icon User and finally Lock.
- Disconnect: click on the start menu then on the icon User and finally on Sign out.
- Change a password: Use one of the methods to send Ctrl + Alt + Del to the remote machine.
- Task Manager: See 👉 6 Ways To Open Windows Task Manager