How to Use Ctrl + Alt + Del on a Remote Desktop

Ctrl + Alt + Del is one of the most powerful shortcuts. It allows you to open the taskbar, reset your password, or even turn off your computer.

You may have noticed that if you’re on a remote session and you press Ctrl + Alt + Del, the Ctrl + Alt + Del of your computer intercepts and opens up instead of the Ctrl + Alt + Del screen of the remote desktop. So, what do you do if you want to open up the Ctrl + Alt + Del screen of the remote desktop?

Method #1: Use Ctrl + Alt + End instead

This is the easiest method. It involves using a different shortcut, Ctrl + Alt + End, instead of the usual Ctrl + Alt + Del.

Please note that this method will not work for all remote sessions, especially if you’re using a remote desktop within another remote desktop, as this only triggers the outer remote desktop. This is because the shortcut only triggers the outer remote desktop.

Use the on-screen keyboard

The on-screen keyboard is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a program you can use to type without actually pressing keys on the keyboard. We can use the Ctrl + Alt + End shortcut using our on-screen keyboard.

  1. Press the Win + R keys to open up the Run command.
  2. Once it is open, type osk.exe and hit OK.
    Open the onscreen keyboard
    Open the onscreen keyboard.

    This will open up the on-screen keyboard.

  3. You can now press Ctrl + Alt on your physical keyboard and End on the on-screen keyboard.

    Press End on OSK
    Press Ctrl + Alt on your physical keyboard, and End on the on-screen keyboard.

Change Windows Key Combination Settings

Another way to open the Ctrl + Alt + Del screen on your remote desktop is by going to Remote Desktop Connection and changing the key combination. Here’s how you can change the Windows key combination settings to use the same combination on your remote desktop as well.

  1. Press the Win + R keys to launch the Run command.
  2. Type mstsc and click OK. This will open up the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.

    Open Remote Desktop Connection
    Open the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.
  3. Enter the full remote computer name in the Computer field. In the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box, click on Show Options in the bottom-left corner.

    Click Show Options
    Click Show Options in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.
  4. Go to the Local Resources tab. Under the “Keyboard” section, you can find an Apply Windows key combinations drop-down. Select On the remote computer option and choose Connect.

    Select On the remote computer
    Select On the remote computer and press Connect.
  5. You can now use the Ctrl + Alt + Del keyboard shortcut on your remote desktop.

    Use the Ctrl + Alt + End shortcut on your remote desktop
    Use the Ctrl + Alt + End shortcut on your remote desktop.

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