Update: No Break Key?
See Part 2 to this article

So, last month I finally got my new work system. It is a nice Dell Precision M4500 running an Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, tons of Hard Drive space, etc. I also made the move to Windows 7 X64 from Windows Vista. In reality, I don’t use many of the super advanced OS features. I wants the OS to “stay out of the way” of my day to day tasks. One of those tasks is remoting into servers and headless desktops. It is not that unusual for me to have several Remote Desktop(MSTSC.exe) windows open at the same time.

Now, I will usually fire up the remote desktop windows in fullscreen mode and take care of some tasks. Once complete, I will minimize the window, like any other window. The problem appears when I restore the Remote Desktop window. Instead of returning to true fullscreen, I find that the Windows 7 Taskbar, or Superbar, blocked the window from returning to full screen. Also, the remote desktop window now has scroll bars.

Luckily, the fix is pretty easy. We all know we can use Ctrl-Alt-End to send a Ctrl-Alt-Del  message to the remote desktop. Similarly, we can use Ctrl-Alt-Break to force the Remote Desktop window to a true full screen. Superbar or not, the Remote Desktop is now full screen again!


Rudy Rodarte is a SQL Server Database professional based in Austin, TX. Over his career, Rudy has worked with SSRS, SSIS, performance tuning troubleshooting. When away from Keyboard, Rudy goes to Spurs and Baylor Bear sporting events.

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  • Abs

    This was driving me crazy. Thanks!

  • Karis

    Thank you!!

  • Erich

    Ctrl + Alt + End, does work to me. I’m using mstsc (Windows 7 Home Premium) to connect remote headless vms.

  • Erich

    I’m very sorry. In previous comment I sad ctr + alt + del works for me. Actually what I was suposed to say was the oposite: It doesn’t, I repeat, It doesn’t, and it’s driving me crazy.

    Any ideas

  • Ctrl-Alt-Del won’t work on the remote machine. If you do hit CTRL-ALT-DEL, you’ll bring up the lock screen on your local machine. If you want to send Ctrl-Alt-Del to the remote machine, you have to use CTRL-ALT-END.

  • Alex Thorn

    Thanks dude, also driving me crazy having to reconnect each time to get full screen back.

  • John

    This helped a lot! Many thanks for posting this.