Quick Tech Tip: How To Change Password in Remote Desktop


August 25, 2021

If you can’t figure out how to change passwords on remote desktop on Microsoft Windows, you’re not alone. Most people get confused when they type their typical path to do this—CTRL-ALT-DELETE—and it doesn’t work. Why does this happen? Because that function doesn’t work on your remote desktop. Fortunately, there are other ways to change the password in RDP. We’ll walk you through it.


Use CTRL-ALT-END instead

You can use this pathway when you’re working in a remote session. In most cases, this is your easiest and most effective option. It is considered the “replacement path” for CTRL-ALT-DELETE when working in most Microsoft Windows versions and should work similarly. Wondering where the “End” key is? The following is where you’re most likely to find it, depending on your keyboard.

While we generally recommend you try this first, there are versions of Microsoft’s operating systems that won’t accept this workaround, either. So you might want to try this next option to change password RDP, should this not work for you.


Use virtual keyboard

When you’re working on a remote device, sometimes the keyboard you’re given does not have the keys or functions you are used to working with. When this happens, Microsoft offers you the option to use an on-screen virtual keyboard. Here’s how it works:

  1. Start your computer
  2. Type osk and hit the enter key. This should open the virtual keyboard, which should look like this:

3. If you fail to get the virtual keyboard after typing osk and enter, then press Windows +R to open your run command window. Type osk, then use your cursor to press OK

4. You should now have your virtual keyboard up. The virtual keyboard acts like your regular keyboard, except that you “type” using your cursor. Because you can’t press and hold the keys like you do normally, you can’t do the whole CNTRL-ALT-DELETE function on the virtual keyboard, either. But you can use a combination of your physical keyboard and your virtual one. Here’s how that works. Press and hold the CNTRL-ALT keys on your physical keyboard, then use your cursor to click on the DEL key on the virtual keyboard on your screen.

5. And you’re done! Minimize your keyboard, and you should have your “change password” screen ready to go.


More advice about passwords

Now that you know how to change passwords in remote desktop, you might want to give some thought to changing it to a safe, secure password that’s less likely to get hacked. We have some reading on the topic, including our recent blog how-tos:

How to construct a password

9 Steps to a Stronger Password

And, if you’re looking for advice on how to put together cybersecurity training programs for your employees, check out our latest advice in this blog.

For a more comprehensive, downloadable guide about passwords, download our report, Five Steps to a Perfect Password, available now!

Susan Gosselin is a Solutions Writer for Integris. A career communicator and business journalist, she's written extensively on IT topics and trends for IT service providers like Iconic IT and ProCoders Ukraine, as well as business publications such as Technologyadvice.com, Datamation.com, The Lane Report and many others. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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