I'm using the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection tool with my MBP retina to connect to a Win7 system, but I can't get the resolution over 1440 x 900, even in full screen mode. Is this a limitation, or am I doing something wrong?

Changing the Retina display scaling didn't seem to make a difference.

I tried Cord instead, and while that seems to support other resolutions, the quality seems terrible.

  • Is the app Retina ready? – duci9y Aug 31 '12 at 9:07

Sorry, you're fresh outta luck here, unless Microsoft re-writes RDC to support Retina.

Basically, what's happening is that OS X is detecting that the app isn't retina-aware, reporting a 1440x900 screen size to the app, then pixel-doubles the app's output.

This is the same as what happens when you run a (non-retina) iPhone app on an iPad in "2x" mode, it just pixel doubles, and the app doesn't know any different.

Great for compatibility, not so great for graphic quality...

I would suggest (to everyone!) to submit as a bug/feature request to Microsoft. If enough people complain, they might just do something about it.

Hope this helps.

EDIT: You might want to give Jump Desktop a try. It's been updated for Retina as at 18th August. At $30 or so, it's a tad expensive for my limited use, but it sounds like your best bet. Cheers!

  • 1
    The answer is wrong, app supports retina, because text is clear. Text on apps which don't support retina are pixelated. – kreker Jul 10 '13 at 7:39
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    No, Jump Desktop does not handle Retina well. support.jumpdesktop.com/entries/… – Drewes Sep 30 '14 at 19:43
  • Jump Desktop seem to have removed that support ticket now... BUT I have run the trial and it doesn't have any Retina support (bar it's own icons and menus...) :/ Doesn't even seem to have any ability to change the resolution! – GazB Nov 12 '16 at 22:43

Go to RDP settings, add the full screen resolution of your Mac (eg. 2880x1800 or a scaled version thereof, eg. 1920x1200, 2160x1350, ...).

Go to connection and choose that resolution and enable scaling. Looks exactly like Jump

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    Thanks! It was helpful to know that Full Screen Mode: Custom, and √ Scale content would force the resolution to full (I had 2880 x 1800). – Colin Aug 31 '14 at 22:01
  • I could only choose a resolution of 1920x1200 but that was plenty on a 13" screen. This is now definitely the right answer (I'm using Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.13 from the App Store, presumably MS have updated it since the earlier answers). – Dave Gregory Feb 27 '15 at 5:57

Buy 'Jump Desktop (Remote Desktop)' from the App Store. It solves the lag caused by the retina display...I had the same problem and it was doing my head in. It also makes the resolution look a lot better than the Windows RDC software.


I was able to force RDC to accept other resolutions. I already knew in advance that forcing the desktop to Macbook Pro's Retina 2800 x 1800 would cause problems if you weren't able to adjust the text and item size (some Terminal Server setups won't allow display changes - my client's doesn't)

The goal is to get a good-sized piece of real estate with legible text and icons.

  1. RDC Preferences/Display, change resolution to any value OTHER than “Full Screen”
  2. Close preferences dialog
  3. Save the RDP file
  4. Open Finder, find the RDP file you just created; Open with TextEdit.app
  5. Find the DesktopHeight and DesktopWidth tags, change the values in the integer tags immediately below to values you want. In my case, I picked DeskTopHeight 1280, DesktopWidth 2048 (nice round hex values, 1 x 1.6 ratio like MacBook Pro’s Retina display of 1800 X 2880)
  6. Save RDP file
  7. Open the RDP file you just edited with RDC
  8. RDC View menu, select Full screen (until you go full screen, it will not be retina resolution).
  9. In the Windows RDP session you just started, run Control Panel\Display\Adjust ClearType text

I have a pretty nice work surface now; looking forward to trying it out tomorrow. I wish I knew if RDC kept the display resolutions for Preferences in a file somewhere, I’d add 2048 x 1280 in there.

  • I did that, setting the size to the 5120x2880 of the Retina iMac. As you say, in windowed mode everything is still scaled (one Windows pixel to four Mac pixels) but going full screen improves things. However, even the full screen display is not showing one Mac pixel for one Windows pixel; it is strangely letterboxed and scaled by some non-integer value. – Ed Avis Aug 25 '15 at 8:23

Are you sure you've installed the correct drivers?

According to the support pages of the Retina Mac:

Is Windows 7 using Boot Camp supported on the Retina display?
Yes. You will need to download and install the Windows Support Software using the Boot Camp Assistant to use the Retina display with Windows 7. For more information see this document.

You can open Boot Camp Assistant and download the software there.

  • My question is about remote desktops (i.e. an external PC) , rather than VM or bootcamp. I have Win 7 bootcamp up and running, and that works amazingly well. – Roddy Sep 3 '12 at 13:21

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