Remote Desktop Administrative Session

When you connect to Microsoft Windows RDS (Remote Desktop Services), it can be done either as a USER ( you consume an RDS CAL (Client Access License), either as an administrator (You are freely granted 2 concurrent Admin access).

I have been today very surprised when telling a colleague (a network guy in fact, he is forgiven) to connect an RDS Farm with MSTSC /ADMIN. He gave me a phone call saying « What is a MSTSC /ADMIN », what does it mean, how do I change my shortcuts?

in fact, it is very easy

One time RDS connexion

If you have to connect only, just Windows Run: type MSTSC /ADMIN and after usually fill in Computer, User name, … 

That’s it, you will NOT use an RDS CAL that way.

RDS Admin Shortcut

Like many IT admins as me, you probably create shortcuts to connect to your favorite servers.

On the above picture, by example, just click « Save as » and put a name such as RDS01.RDP

If you only do that, you will connect as a standard user and will consume an RDS CAL (WTF???)

Regarding that article:, you’ll see you have to modify your shortcut.

Right click your shortcut RDS01.RDP, « Open with » and select notepad, and just add the line « administrative session:i:1 »

That’s it, you will NOT use an RDS CAL that way.

RDS Admin by default

If you want this to be done by default, just do the same operation as above, but on the hidden file Documents\Default.rdp


If like me, you are using mRemoteNG to connect to your RDS Servers, just select « Use Console Session » for your connexion.

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