March 13, 2020

How to Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete in a Remote Desktop Session

Microsoft Windows has a neat and smart diminutive feature – Remote Desktop which allows its users to remotely hook up to another system & handle as well as control it as if the user is physically present at the other system residing at another location. As soon as you connect to another system remotely, all its keyboard actions get passed on to the remote system, i.e. when you press the Windows key, type anything, press the Enter or backspace key, etc it acts on the remote machine that has been connected using the Remote Desktop. However, there are some special cases with key combinations where some key combinations don’t work the way as expected.

Send Ctrl-Alt-Delete in a Remote Desktop Session

Now the question arises, how to send CTRL+ALT+Delete to a remote desktop? These three combinational keys are generally used to switch users, sign out, open Task Manager, and locking the computer. Previously, until the existence of Windows 7, these combinations were only used to open Task Manager. There are two methods to send Ctrl+Alt+Del in a Remote Desktop session. One is the alternate key combination, and the other is the on-screen keyboard.

Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete in a Remote Desktop Session

One of the key combinations that don’t work is the “CTRL + ALT + Delete” key combination. If you are planning to learn how to send CTRL+ALT+Delete in Remote Desktop for changing a password, you have to lock the RDP screen or log off. The “CTRL + ALT + Delete” key combination won’t work because your own OS utilizes it for your personal system. In this article, you will get to know about some methods that you can use as an alternative for “CTRL + ALT + Delete” while in a remote desktop connection.

Method 1: Use “CTRL + ALT + End”or “Fn + End”

In Remote Desktop, you have to press the key combination: “CTRL + ALT + End”. It will work as an alternative. You can find the “End” key in the upper right side of your screen; located to the top right side of your “Enter” key. If you have a small keyboard where the num-key section is not there, and you have the “Fn” (function) key which is usually on a laptop or external USB keyboard, you can hold down the “Fn” i.e. function key for pressing “End”. This key combination also works for older Terminal Server sessions.

Use CTRL + ALT + End

1. Open Remote Desktop Connection by pressing Window Key + R on the keyboard and type “mstsc” then click OK.

Press Windows Key + R then type mstsc and hit Enter | How To Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete In A Remote Desktop Session?

2. Remote Desktop Connection Window will pop up. Click on “Show Options” at the bottom.

Remote Desktop Connection Window will pop up. Click on “Show Options” at the bottom.

3. Go to the “Local Resource” tab. Make sure to select the ‘Only when using the full screen’ using the Keyboard drop-down.

Make sure the ‘Keyboard’ option is checked along with ‘Open when using the full screen’ option. 

4. Now, navigate to the General tab and type the Computer’s IP address and username of the system to which you want to connect remotely, and click Connect.

Type the User name of the remotely accessed system and click Connect. Remote Desktop Connection

5. Once you are connected to the Remote Desktop Session, perform the action using CTRL+ALT+END as the alternative key combinations instead of CTRL+ALT+Delete.

The “Ctrl+Alt+End” key is the new alternate combination that will send Ctrl+Alt+Del in Remote Desktop Session

Also Read: Enable Remote Desktop on Windows 10 under 2 Minutes

Method 2: On-Screen Keyboard

Another trick that you can use to make sure your “CTRL + ALT + Del” works when you are in a Remote Desktop connection is:

1. As you are connected to the Remote Desktop, click the “Start

2. Now, type “osk” (for on-screen keyboard – short form), then open the “On-Screen Keyboard” in your remote desktop screen.

Type “osk” (for on-screen keyboard – short form) in Start Menu Search

3. Now, physically on your personal PC’s keyboard, press the key combination: “Ctrl” and “Alt”, and then manually click the “Del” key on your remote Desktop’s On-Screen Keyboard window.

Use CTRL + ALT + Del on-screen keyboard

Here are lists of some key combinations that you can use when you are using Remote Desktop: 

  • Alt + Page Up for switching between programs (i.e. Alt + Tab is the local machine)
  • Ctrl + Alt + End for displaying the Task Manager (i.e. Ctrl + Shift + Esc is the local machine)
  • Alt + Home for bringing up the Start menu on the remote computer
  • Ctrl + Alt + (+) Plus/ (-) Minus for taking a snapshot of the active window as well as taking a snapshot of the complete remote desktop window.

Method 3: Manually Change the Password

If you are planning to use the shortcut key Ctrl + Alt + Del just to open the Task manager on your remote desktop, then you don’t have to. You can simply right-click on your taskbar and choose Task Manager.

Again, if you want to change your password on your remote desktop, you can manually do so. Just navigate to

Control PanelUser AccountsChange your Windows password

For Windows 7, 8, 10, 2008, 2012, 2016, as well as Vista, you can just click the “Start” and type “change password” for changing the password.


We hope this guide was helpful and you were able to send Ctrl+Alt+Del in a Remote Desktop Session. Still, if you have any queries regarding this guide then feel free to ask them in the comment section.