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Programming, tinkering – Lionel Lemarié

Tip: Updated: Use a higher resolution desktop than your monitor can support

Posted by llemarie on March 8, 2008

With the Asus Eee PC being so popular, there’s a lot of people looking to improve the real estate of their small computers. Here’s an update to my previous post to get fullscreen higher resolution on your monitor, be it small or big.

To make it clear: even though this technique uses Remote Desktop, it connects to the local machine only, there are no remote computers involved, no internet connections required.

There were a number of drawbacks with the technique described previously. The most annoying problems were:

  • the Remote Desktop window was not fullscreen, you could see the titlebar constantly,
  • the need for a port forwarder.

Enterprising users found solutions to both problems, so I think it’s time for an update!

1. How to allow multiple users to connect at once on Windows XP.

Get the Terminal Patch and install it. It’s really easy, just run the installer, there’s nothing to it. You need to reboot.

You can now login into your machine using multiple accounts at once, locally and using Remote Desktop.

2. Create a new user account and enable Fast User Switching

Add a new user whose sole purpose will be to Remote Desktop to localhost. Log-in as the new user for the remaining steps. No need to set the theme or anything.

To add a new user, open the Control Panel, open User Accounts, click “Create a new account”. Then enable Fast User Switching by clicking “Change the way users log on or off”.

3. Create a saved RDP session with scaled settings

Follow the instructions from here to create a .rdp file and add “smart sizing” to it.

Set the server to “”. Note that normally the local computer is but Remote Desktop will not let you connect to that address. Connecting to works however, which is strange but convenient!

Set the username as your normal username, not the new one.

4. Make it fullscreen

Update: Paul in the comments mentioned that the CTRL-ALT-PAUSE/BREAK key combination makes the remote desktop window fullscreen. It works great! No need for additional software.

Download one of those applications (Desktop Enhancers) that make any window fullscreen. I use the shareware FullScreen 2.5, but if you find a good one as freeware please do post it in the comments. I might write one at some point if there’s a demand for it.

That’s it! When you want high-res, simply log-in with your new account, start the connection by double-clicking on the .rdp : you’re connected as your usual user, ctrl-right click on the title bar to go fullscreen and voila.

5 Responses to “Tip: Updated: Use a higher resolution desktop than your monitor can support”

  1. […] by llemarie on November 3, 2007 Note: This post has been superceded. Please see this update for a better way to do […]

  2. Paul said

    The CTRL-ALT-PAUSE/BREAK key combination would bring your dynamically ‘smart sizing’ resized remote desktop session in fullscreen without any additional software

  3. llemarie said

    Hi Paul,

    That’s a great tip! It works nicely.


  4. Paul said

    You’re welcome Lionel,

    Thanks for your help too, I was looking for a way to dynamically resize my RDP session and I found it here.

    I made a little tutorial in which you might find another interesting information about remote desktop possibilies, like establishing a ‘shadow session’ allowing you to observe or/and control a remote session open on another computer.

    You will aslo find a little script to simulate the press of CTRL-ALT-PAUSE/BREAK so that your remote session opens in fullscreen directly when you launch it.


    The tutorial is in french but as I see your name I guess you will very easily understand it ; )

    Also some other interesting informations on

    Greetz !


  5. […] do remember reading someone using remote desktop to get that effect some time ago. Ah, here it is: Tip: Updated: Use a higher resolution desktop than your monitor can support llemarie’s weblog __________________ B E R T E K H + T + P + C Geforce GTX280 | Blackmagic Intensity Pro | […]

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