This step-by-step article shows you how to connect to
Windows XP Terminal Services using a video resolution greater than
When you connect to a Microsoft Windows XP computer by
using the Windows XP Remote Desktop Connection client, you can select the color
resolution at which you would like the client session to run. This
functionality allows you to increase the resolution beyond the former
limitation of 256 colors. However, by selecting this value, you are not
guaranteed to connect at as high a resolution as you select because the client
setting is only one of the facets required to generate a particular color
resolution in the session.
Increase Video Resolution for Windows XP Terminal Services
When you connect to a Windows XP-based computer by using the
Remote Desktop Connection client, you can specify for the client to run with
more than 256 colors. Before you specify a color-resolution setting, you must
first set up Remote Desktop Connections. To do so, follow these steps:
- Right-click My Computer, click Properties, and then click the Remote tab.
- Click to select the Allow users to connect remotely
to this machine check box, and then click OK.
- On another computer, start Remote Desktop Connections. To
do so, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection.
- Type the name of the computer that you are connecting
- Click the Options button to expand the connection window.
- On the Display tab, select a color resolution other than 256.
- Click Connect to begin the session.
Set Group Policy for Maximum Color Depth of Terminal Services
In many cases, after you perform these steps, the client still
connects with 256 colors rather than whatever value you specified in the Remote Desktop Connection
box. This behavior can occur because of a group policy on the
Windows XP-based computer that determines the maximum color depth that can be
negotiated by the client. In Windows XP, the default policy setting is 256
colors, but this setting can be changed by using the Group Policy
To use the Group Policy Editor to change the setting, follow
- Click Start, click Run, and then type MMC.
- Click the Console menu, click Add/Remove Snap-in, and then click Add. Select Group Policy.
- Click Add, make certain that Local Computer is selected in the Group Policy Object box, click Finish, and then click Close.
- Select Computer Configuration, click Administrative Templates, and then click Terminal Services.
- Select Limit Maximum Color Depth and set
it to the color depth that you want.
After you change the setting, you should be able to specify any
setting of more than the default 256 colors setting and have the client connect
with that resolution, as long as it is not higher than the setting that you
: You cannot specify and connect at a higher resolution than your
video hardware can support. Therefore, if you have a video card in your
computer that supports only up to 256 colors, you cannot connect to a session
with a higher resolution than that.