Want faster access and a more efficient connection in the Windows 7 Remote Desktop/Terminal Services client? Just optimize the settings. Here's how.
Click Start and type: mstsc
This opens the Remote Desktop Connection window. In the lower left corner, click Options.
Enter the address of the PC you're connecting to and your user name. Don't forget to check the box next to Allow me to save credentials.
Click the Display tab. Set Display Configuration to a lower resolution. Change the color depth to High Color (16 bit). This will give you faster access to the remote computer you're connecting to.
Click the Local Resources tab. Check the boxes for Printers and Clipboard. Hit More.
Check the box next to Drives. Your screen should look like mine, below. Click OK.
Click the Experience tab. Set the connection to low-speed broadband (256 kbps - 2 Mbps). Uncheck all settings beneath the dropdown. Check the box at bottom to reconnect if the connection is dropped.
Head back to the General tab. Click Save As. To keep performance snappy, perform these steps for each remote computer you connect to on a regular basis.
Now give your settings a specific name. The more descriptive name you give--especially if you are connecting to multiple computers remotely--the better. Hit Save.
After you've saved your settings, return to the Remote Desktop Connection screen. Click Connect.
The first time you connect after changing settings you'll see the following screen. Check the Don't ask me again for connections to this computer option. Click Connect.
Next, the system will prompt you to enter your user name and password. If you don't want to enter it again, check the box next to Remember my credentials. Hit OK.
If you get the following screen about certificate validation, click Yes. It's a machine already on your network. There's no reason to distrust it.
Give it a couple of seconds to connect.
Optimizing settings in Remote Desktop in Windows 7 is where it's at. It will really speed performance. You'll lose some glamorous full visuals, but the speed you get is well worth it. You'll especially notice this if you're on a slow network.
Based in Duxbury, Vt., Jeremy Lesniak is a senior contributor at BYTE. Follow him @jlesniak and email him at Jeremy.Lesniak@BYTE.com.