Windows: How to start “Remote Desktop Connection” without the icon shortcut

On a Windows machine we were using recently, all shortcuts icons to system applications got corrupt and they were not linking to the applications they were supposed to link to.

We needed to use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection without the shortcuts icons. To do so we used the shortcut key of the Run Command screen that allows us to start any application that Windows knows where the binary is.

We pressed the keys Windows+R on the keyboard together and that showed the run command screen. In the input line we typed mstsc and hit the Enter button (you can also click on the OK button on the screen).


mstsc is the name that the executable file of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection application holds in C:\Windows\System32. The easiest way to find the name of a binary is to check the icon shortcut on a machine that it is not corrupted or just search the internet for it.

Using all monitors

If you have multiple monitors that are arranged to form a rectangle, you can instruct mstsc by using the /span parameter to match the Remote Desktop width and height with the local virtual desktop and span across multiple monitors if necessary.

Executing mstsc /span will create a bigger window to the remote machine that will cover all your local monitors. Unfortunately, this window will not operate as if it is composed of multiple monitors. If you set a window to full screen, it will fill ALL local monitors as if they are one.

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