Remote Desktop for Windows Phone updated today with Fn Keys and Cortana support

remote desktop

Microsoft plans to release a new update for its Remote Desktop app for Windows Phone sometime today that will add a number of new features and improvements.

In a blog post, Microsoft says the update will add a way "to access the Fn keys as part of the extended keyboard", along with a link to recommend new features in the app's About page. The blog added:

"With today's update, you will not be required to press the Back button twice to disconnect the session and go back to the Connection Center. Instead, pressing back once will return to the Connection Center but will leave the session active. Tapping the same desktop tile will quickly jump back in the session while tapping on a different desktop will disconnect the existing session and connect to the new desktop."

Finally, the update will allow Windows Phone 8.1 users with Cortana to add a new desktop connection by saying, "Remote Desktop add [a] [new] desktop." What do you think about these additions to Remote Desktop?

Source: Microsoft


QR: Remote Desktop


Reader comments

Remote Desktop for Windows Phone updated today with Fn Keys and Cortana support


Can we have it so it can be used with non pro versions of windows please? Don't know if its the app or windows which needs changing

Remote Desktop on the client, is on Professional and Ultimate. Home / Premium does not have RDP option.

ehmm and then if you "need" this so bad, and you don't have a pro/business/ultimate version, it means you are not using it as expected, and you could always use Teamviewer, which is easier and faster to setup for CONSUMERS.

well... RDP is not hard to set up though... but still Teamviewer would be a better choice if you are begging to use it in a non pro version of windows.

You need to activate RDP on the computer, it is off by default. The computer account also needs to be password protected otherwise it wont work.

Both are as you mentioned.  I wonder if it's setting on the router that needs to be changed.  I'll have to look into it when i find some extra time.

If you are in an enterprise-level network, you may need to append your corporate domain name to the name of the system you are connecting to, and also prepend your domain name to your LAN ID.

PC name: ncc1701.enterprise.com (not just ncc1701)
Credentials: startrek\spock (not just spock)

I wasn't able to set it up a few months back in my 8.1 pro laptop, I might try to do it again though.
I have been using teamviewer but I'd rather use the MS solution

I've been trying again.. I can't get it to work.. Other apps are really straight forward.. What's wrong with this app?

I use PC Remote since the beginning of WP. It has the win8 gestures and vlc mpc netflix and other websites /apps support. It also only requires a server installed. I like it very much.

RemoteDesktop by Topperware is what i've been using since my old Focus. it supports TSGW and it's quite stable after a few WP8 bugs.

As far as I know, RDP always lacks shutdown (or the GUI is hidden) when connecting non-server versions of Windows. That's why we run commands "shutdown -s -t 0", or "shutdown -r -t 0" (s = shutdown, r = reboot, t = time delay in seconds).

These command should be burned in every RDP users backbone. :)

A much easier way is to go to the desktop (click on the wallpaper to make sure it's in 'focus') and do the Alt+F4 shortcut. The dialog box that pops up has all the power options.

You can't do that yet with the RDP client for Windows Phone but I'm assume you'll be able to with this latest update.

Using this command I've created a nice little *.bat file that sits on the desktop at the ready for when I need to reboot the PC. 

Seriously?  So you call this app useless because you are not willing to pay for the proper version of Windows?  If you want a sunroof on a car, you go out and BUY a car with a sunroof.  Don't buy the base model and complain about not having a sunroof. 

WP8/8.1 is supposed to be a natural extension of W8/8.1 desktop (any edition). Making RDP a Pro-only or Enterprise-only feature is dumb. Is like Linux including Telnet only on "professional" edititions.

Oh, and talking about cars, what about Ford giving away sunroof windows to anyone who has Ford vehicles, no matter if they have sunroof hole or not? For those cars without sunroof holes on their cars, the free sunroof window is useless.

RDP is supported on RT, Professional and Enterprise for Windows 8 and all versions of Windows 7 if memory serves. Select run and type in mstsc.exe and you will find out for sure. Been awhile since I've touched Windows 7 Home Edition but it should be there. Then, you need to enable RDP connections through the UI. To access through your Internet gateway, you would need to open port 3389 for inbound connections. Do so at your own risk though.

what about YOU upgrade your windows if you need this so bad? useless? because you can't use it because you are cheap enough to upgrade? rightttttttt.

oh and there are other ways to manage your computer for free and with no RDP, like teamviewer, so stop crying and 1. upgrade or 2. use other alternatives 3. but you know RDP was only pro/business/ultimate only, so it's funny you COMPLAIN when you already know you won't be able to use this thing, I mean, it's been YEARS since RDP hasn't changed that position about being a pro feature.

At the risk of my techie credentials, I highly recomend Team Viewer as an alternative to the official Remote Desktop app.  Its crazy easy to setup on your PC's and you dont have to figure out network settings and stuff.  Their windows phone app is pretty good in my opinion.

Remote Desktop is pretty easy also. All you need to do is click a button to activate remote desktop in the computer settings and you're done, no need to install an extra software.

I'm not necessarily saying Remote Desktop is hard to set up, I'm just saying Team Viewer makes things crazy easy.  After installing it on my computers, I just need to sign into the app on whatever device and I have a list of my computers I can connect to.  I tried setting up Remote Desktop, I enabled the setting, but I still had trouble making a connection.  I'm not sure where I went wrong, but if you reply telling me that I needed to open a port or something, then that just validates my point about Team Viewer.

it is not, but if you want to connect outside your network, it's where you have to do more work than teamviewer.
especially if you want to be more secure and change the port and all that.

again, it's not hard, some people seem just not to do it right for whatever reason. but it's surely longer to set up than teamviewer.

But then again teamviewer and RDP function different, since one locks the computer, and the other doesn't, so you can see what's going on.

No way am I going to upgrade to pro just so I can fiddle with this app. It's hard to believe MS is still holding features behind a pay wall, but the company has been stuck in the past for quite some time now.

I can't believe car companies are still holding features behind a pay wall. How dare they charge me extra for more and better features than my base model car. /s

pls go MS shill. If you have a mac, OSX is free to upgrade. There are plenty of free and functional linux alternatives out there as well, but MS is still charging quite a bit for minor upgrades and unlocking features.

There's a reason MS is losing ground on pretty much every front. They still think they can run like it's the 90's and they have no competition. 

I guess there's nothing wrong with asking for more stuff in the base model, but there are only a handfull of key distinctions between Home and Pro, and only two that I can name off the top of my head: ability to connect to a Windows Domain and Remote Desktop. I don't think it's at all unreasonable for MS to reserve those features for their full-priced, professional, business-oriented OS. If you figure the OS will be around for 3 years, even Pro (currently $133 on Amazon) is only $3.69/mo vs (@ $95.60 for home) $2.65/mo. Not that big a difference.

Are they ever going to update it so it doesn't break Glance? Every time I used it, Glance stopped working until I restarted my phone, and it was a giant pain.

Whats a 1080P connection? If you mean that the screen on your phone is 1080P, then yes you will see your PC's desktop at 1080P on the screen of your phone.

I wish they would add the option to control your Windows Phone from the computer through this app wirelessly.

First, RemoteDesktop is not designed to be a consumer product. It is more of a professional tool designed for Enterprises. That being said, the phone version is missing many of the features that Enterprises need for it work over a cellular connection, like Remote Desktop Gateway.

To get it to work at home when both computers on on the same network, you have to:

1. Have Windows Professional or higher on the desktops you want to connect to.

2. Have Remote Desktop enabled on the computer you are trying to connect to.

If you press the Windows Key + Pause/Break key, it will bring up the System Information screes. Under Windows Edition it needs to say Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise for RemoteDesktop to work. To the left of the System Information is an option for Remote Settings. Click that and in the dialog that pops up, under "Remote Desktop" you need to check "Allow remote connections to this computer".  You need to be the admin to do this.

If you want to connect to your computer while outside the house, you need to enable port forwarding on your home router. That you will have to research.

Personally Team Viewer is a much more consumer friendly solution.

Or maybe one of the 50 other people that submitted it. Annoying glory hounds always think the world revolves around them.

Actually I think the glance issue has been fixed. I'm not sure what update fixed it, however I have not had the upside down glance problem the last few times I've used remote desktop.

Until it has support for remote gateway, it's useless to many IT admins like myself. It's disappointing since it's in the Windows version of the app.



If they could update the Windows 8 version so it doesn't crash when you have the 64-bit version of vorbis.acm installed (comes with and is required by the latest 64-bit version of FL Studio) that'd be great too.

How do you right-click when using the mouse pointer? Painful to switch between gesture and pointer mode, just to right-click.

Are you guys actually seeing an update? The store says last updated 8/5/2014 and there is no update for me. On a side note, until this gets RDP Gateway support it's pretty useless for businesses.

That's what I use on workstations, however it did not connect from my phone. Strange thing though .. Now it works. My bad ..

This is still the preview? That's what the download link sends me to... And there is no update. I'm on dev preview... Does that matter? Does it still mess up glance?

Me too, use it all the time even at home. At home i sit on sofa remote admin on all my home PC's. I sometimes use the app on my surface, but i tend to get less grief from the missus when i do it on my phone as she has no idea i'm tinkering with PC's.

I hope that with Threshold/Win 9 Microsoft will finally wake up and realize they're missing an opportunity here.  Phone-PC interoperability is one of the very few things they can do that would separate Windows Phone from iOS and Android, especially now that MS is offering all of their services across every platform.  

Look at what Apple is doing with Continuity and Handoff. Imagine if MS offered a dead-simple way to have your phone and pc interact seemlessly.  Remote Desktop is certainly part of that, and it shouldn't be limited to a Pro version and it shouldn't require you to mess around with ports or anything.  If they want to make some advanced version for true IT pro's that need to manage lots of devices, networks or whatever then that's fine.

All I should need is my computer, my phone and my MS account info.  Login/unlock my pc/tablet/phone then Tap to pair, or use Bluetooth, and then authenticate.  That's it.  Then give me unique capabilities for local and remote interaction between the two:

1) Local possibilities:

  • Control my phone from the PC
  • Or use my PC as a phone/SMS/alert hub,
  • Or pin my phone as a tile group on the Start screen
  • Show my phone as a floating window in the desktop
  • When I get up and leave, have anything I'm working on get handed off to the phone in the background, so I can easily pick up where I left off

2) Remote possibilities:

  • Now that I left home, when I get on the train and open Office show me the documents I was just working on at home.
  • If i open the browser, give me an option to see tabs I left open on my desktop.  
  • Give me a tile on my phone that represents my computer or tablet, or a deep-linked pin to specific folders on another device
  • If I tap on the PC tile, let me open a remote session
  • Etc.

Seriously, this is like the one big area that MS could instantly differentiate Windows Phone.

I hope it works now. Couldn't get it working from the original app so hadn't tried using it again since. No problems with the Windows 8 app.

I havent experienced a single connection problem with it in this version or the last except for the expected disconnection when its idle for long period of time. Perhaps something wrong on the PC end? All my PC's are ASUS ROG motherboards (X79, Z87, Z97) with Intel NIC's on them. Everything is up to date on each. Im using Netgear D6300 router for Wifi.