I use Apple Remote Desktop and Microsoft Remote Desktop (running on OSX) for connecting to remote computers.

Microsoft Remote Desktop (MRD) has a great feature where as it connects to the remote machine as then you can set the display settings on the remote end. Eg if the host computer had 3x 24" screens and the remote computer had a 15" laptop screen you could configure the connection to use the remote computer as if the only connected display was the 15" laptop screen, the host computer UI is rendered at the correct size, it is not scaled and just made smaller.

Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) as i have it currently configured will give you the option of all the hosts displays. If the display 3x 24" screens and the remote computer had a 15" laptop screen it becomes very dificuly to use the remote machine. There is a scaling mode, but this means you still have to use the remote screens, but can "zoom out" so you are now viewing a scaled version of the remote computer UI which makes everything very small.

Is there a way to get ARD to behave like MRD in regards to the above ?

1 Answer 1


View menu > Fit in Window, or the indicated icon on the appropriate remote screen

enter image description here

Then you can make the window any size you like & the contents will always fit.
This is done client-side so the host's desktop is not re-distributed at random, similar to how Microsoft's Mac version of RDC does it.

Just for fun... this is how small it will go

enter image description here

  • Thanks @Tetsujin , i think Mircosofts RDC dose it slightly differently in that it will actually scale the a version of the hosts desktop for the client. I think it only dose this though if you a making a remote desktop connection and essentially running the host headless, rather than a screen share type connection like you do on ARD
    – sam
    Oct 12, 2018 at 17:35
  • tbh, I'm not exactly certain how it does it, but I know I can simply resize the Mac's 'window' containing the remote PC & I see the same effect [if not quite so precisely anti-aliased]. You do have MS RDC v10 I hope, not the ancient v8? Their latest offering is a country mile ahead of anything they ever did before. See the Apple App Store, search 'remote desktop' - one does not auto-update to the other, they are 'different products'.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 12, 2018 at 17:43
  • im using v10. Ive created a little video (see below) of how the screen resizing works in MRD, notice that when i change the MRD session window the icons all get resized to a "usable size" even when i make the window really small. streamable.com/1epwe
    – sam
    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:54

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