How To CTRL ALT DELETE On Remote Desktop

One of the most useful keyboard shortcuts is Ctrl + Alt + Del on remote desktop connections. This key combination allows you to kill the current session and start a new one, which can be very handy if your remote computer is locked up or unresponsive.

You can also use ctrl alt delete to launch the task manager, which can be used to troubleshoot issues with your remote computer.

Additionally, Ctrl + Alt + Del can be used to change your password on the remote computer. Finally, Ctrl + Alt + Del can be used to open the on-screen keyboard, which can be helpful if you’re having difficulty using the physical keyboard on your remote computer.


See How to CTRL + ALT + DELETE on a remote desktop using Windows or macOS.

Ctrl + Alt + Del Remote Desktop:

For Windows 10 and Windows 11

1. The first way is to use the key combination of CTRL+ALT+END, which will bring up a window displaying 4 options: Lock, Sign Out, Change Password, and Task Manager. You can also power off the computer from this screen.

How to Ctrl + Alt + Del on Remote Desktop Windows
Use CTRL+ALT+END on a remote desktop session

2. The second way is to use the Windows On-Screen Keyboard to CTRL ALT DELETE on a remote desktop. To do this, press and hold CTRL+ALT on your real keyboard and then press DEL on the on-screen keyboard. This will open a window displaying 4 options: Lock, Sign Out, Change Password, and Task Manager. You can also power off the computer from this screen.

To open the On-Screen Keyboard

Go to Start, then type On-Screen Keyboard. A virtual keyboard will appear on your screen that you can use to type CTRL+ALT+DEL.

Windows On-Screen Keyboard to CTRL ALT DELETE on a remote desktop
Windows On-Screen Keyboard to CTRL ALT DELETE on a remote desktop

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For Windows 7 and Windows 8

The way is to hit CTRL+ALT+END, which will bring up a task manager. If the task manager is already open, it will bring it to the forefront.

For Windows XP

The only way to CTRL+ALT+DEL on a remote machine is to use the CTRL+ALT+END combination.

How to Ctrl + Alt + Del on Remote Desktop Mac

If you are using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection to access a Windows (virtual) machine on a Mac, you should use the following keys: Fn + Ctrl + Opt + Delete (function-control-option-delete), also as shown in the picture below:

How to Ctrl + Alt + Del on Remote Desktop Mac
How to Ctrl + Alt + Del on Remote Desktop Mac

Alternatively, to just kill the session press the Command + Option + Escape key combination. This will open the Force Quit Applications window. In the window that appears, find and select Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client, then click Force Quit.

Tip: The Command key on the Mac keyboard equals the Windows key.

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How to Remote Desktop on Android, or iOS device:

Did you know you can remote desktop into a Windows machine using your Android or iOS device? All you need is the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, which is a free download from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

It lets you connect to a Windows-based computer and work with programs and files as if you were sitting at the Windows machine. The app is designed to give you the same experience as using Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection on a Windows PC.

Once you have the app installed, open it and enter the IP address or hostname of the Windows machine you want to connect to. Then, enter your username and password.

You should now be connected to your Windows machine and able to CTRL ALT DELETE as needed.

Note: If you see the error “0xf07” that says “We couldn’t connect to the remote PC because the password associated with the user account has expired,” you will need to change the password.

How to Set Up Remote Desktop Windows

You will need to initially set up your Windows machine for remote access before you can connect to it from another device.

Windows 10:

Select Start  > Settings > System > Remote Desktop, and turn on Enable Remote Desktop.

Windows 11:

To do this, go to Start > Settings > System > Remote Desktop. Under “Remote Desktop,” slide the toggle to “on” for Remote Desktop. Select “Confirm”.

How to Use Remote Desktop

When working with a remote Windows session, your network’s available bandwidth has a significant influence on the quality of your experience. A low bandwidth or high latency connection can cause a Remote Desktop to be slow or unresponsive.

To initiate a remote desktop session, type ‘Remote Desktop‘ from the start menu or search bar.

You will need the IP address or hostname of the Windows machine, as well as the username and password for an account with access to that machine.

Once you have all of that information, you can connect to the Windows machine using Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client (or another compatible remote desktop client). Simply enter the IP address or hostname into the “Computer” field and click “Connect”.

You should now be prompted to enter the username and password for an account with access to the machine.

You can also use the “mstsc /admin” command to connect to a remote desktop as an administrator. This will give you administrator privileges to perform certain tasks.

Ctrl + Alt + Del Remote Desktop – Summary

CTRL + ALT + DELETE is one of the most useful keyboard shortcuts because you can use it to kill the current session and start a new one, launch the task manager, change your password, and open the on-screen keyboard, or power off the computer.

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J.S. is the owner, content creator, and editor at I’ve worked in the IT and Computer Support field for over 20 years. The server hardware in my computer labs has mostly been IBM, but I’ve supported Dell, HP, and various other hardware. In addition, as part of my lab administrator responsibilities, I’ve learned, supported, and repaired/upgraded network hardware such as Cisco routers and switches. READ FULL BIO >>

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