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Splitting a Spanned Remote Desktop (RDP) Session

In Windows 7, if you want to do a true multi-monitor remote desktop session, both the local and remote machine need to be running Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate. If you're using a different version, you can still span the remote desktop session across all of your monitors, but it will be treated as one large display. Using DisplayFusion, you can split that spanned session into smaller virtual monitors.
The steps below assume that you have two monitors of equal screen resolution on your local machine (the machine you're connecting from). If you have more than two monitors of equal screen resolution, just make sure to setup the splits in step 5 appropriately (i.e. 3x1 for 3 monitors).
  1. Install DisplayFusion on the remote machine.
  2. Open Start > Run (or press Win + R) and enter
    mstsc.exe /span
    . Note: The monitors connected to your local machine must all be the same resolution for this command to work.
  3. Enter the remote computer name and click "Connect."
  4. Open the DisplayFusion "Monitor Configuration" window, and click the "Splits and Padding" button.
  5. On the remote machine (in your RDP session), click the "Preset Splits" button and choose "2x1."
  6. Click OK to close the Splits and Padding window, and OK again to close the Monitor Configuration window.
You should now have two virtual monitors inside your spanned remote desktop session.
Apr 13, 2015 (modified Aug 12, 2022)  • #1
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