Using Remote Desktop Connections with High Resolution Displays

It has become quite common for laptop computers to ship with high resolution, also known as high DPI (dots per inch) displays. These displays delivery excellent sharpness and clarity, yet there are some areas where usability and compatibility can be problematic.

Due to the high resolution of these displays, items on the screen can appear very small. Windows provides an option to scale items up so they appear larger on the display than they would by default. It is common to set Windows to scale high-DPI screens to 150% or 200% of normal in order to make items on the screen legible. 

This is great, however some applications do not know how to handle this setting and continue to display in the default scale, which can seem tiny and difficult to read.

The Remote Desktop Connection application is one of these applications that does not yet handle DPI scaling well. This means that users of our ComsenseOnline service may face this scaling issue. Until Microsoft addresses this issue in the built-in Remote Desktop Connection application, there is a workaround. An alternative application called the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager allows for a setting change that makes it display more appropriately on high-DPI displays. 

To install and configure the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager for high-DPI displays

  1. Download Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager from Microsoft at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=44989
  2. Install the downloaded application.
  3. Edit the Properties of the application shortcut. Finding the application shortcut varies, depending on the version of Windows used. On Windows 10 click the start button, click All Apps, scroll through the alphabetical list to find Remote Desktop Connection Manager. Right click on Remote Desktop Connection Manager and choose More > Open File Location.

  4. Right click on the Remote Desktop Connection Manager shortcut and choose Properties.
  5. On the Properties dialog click the Compatibility Tab.
  6. On the Compatibility tab clear the check on the option Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.



  7. Click Ok.

To configure Remote Desktop Connection Manager for use with ComsenseOnline

  1. Launch Remote Desktop Connection Manager.
  2. Create a new File to hold Remote Desktop connections by clicking File > New.
  3. Give the file a name like MyRemoteDesktops.rdg and save it to your Documents folder or anywhere convenient. The program will automatically load this file for you, so the location isn't critically important. Save the new file.
  4. Right-click MyRemoteDesktops on the left navigation, choose Add Server.
  5. Under Server name: enter farm1.comsenseonline.com or farm2.comsenseonline.com depending on where your account is deployed.
  6. Under Display name: enter ComsenseOnline or other friendly description for yourself.



  7. Click Logon Credentials tab.
  8. Clear the check for Inherit from parent.
  9. Under User name: enter your ComsenseOnline username without the domain prefix. For example juser#1200
  10. Under Password enter your ComsenseOnline password.
  11. Under Domain enter: Comsenseonline.com.



  12. Click Remote Desktop Settings tab.
  13. Clear Inherit from parent.
  14. Set the display settings to a Remote Desktop size you prefer. Choose a specific size or Full Screen.



  15. Click Add.
  16. These settings can be changed easily at a later time by right clicking on the server name in the list of servers on the left and choose Properties.
  17. To connect to the server double click the server name from the left navigation.



  18. If you prefer to run the remote session in full screen, you may need to set the session to full screen mode after connecting by clicking the Session menu and choose Full Screen.
  19. The first time you close the Remote Desktop Connection Manager it will prompt to ask if you want to save the changes to your .rdg file, choose yes to save your recent changes.
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