Microsoft offers Remote Desktop clients for all common platforms, and for some, even more than one. However, these differ considerably in their functions. If you have to choose between a native and the HTML5 client or a (mobile) app, these differences are important.

Wolfgang Sommergut

Wolfgang Sommergut has over 20 years of experience in IT journalism. He has also worked as a system administrator and as a tech consultant. Today he runs the German publication WindowsPro.de.

Three RDP clients ^

For Windows alone, there are currently three Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) clients to choose from. In addition to the one shipped with the operating system, there is also the Universal App and the Web Client. If you would like to use the browser-based version due to its simple deployment, you should be aware of its numerous limitations.

Only the clipboard and printer are available as local resources in the remote session with the Web Client

Only the clipboard and printer are available as local resources in the remote session with the Web Client

This includes, for example, that the Web Client does not currently support mobile devices. So you don't have many options on smartphones or tablets, but the app available there may not even be suitable for the planned application anyway.

Microsoft RDP client comparison ^

Microsoft has published a new overview on its documentation website that shows the differences between the various clients. The first comparison tables show which input devices, ports, and other devices you can redirect from the remote desktop to the client.

The large table at the bottom of the page shows the settings supported by the native Windows client, the Azure service Windows Virtual Desktop, and the HTML client. Due to the broken formatting, the three right columns are cut off, hence essential information is missing.

I have uploaded the complete table with all RDP settings here for download. The "x" in a column means the respective platform supports the option.

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  1. Paolo Maffezzoli 2 months ago

    I use the Universal App, it is a good improvement of the classic RDP connection but there is no tab management like for example in Remote Desktop Manager program.

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