The Remote Desktop Console Option

by Chris Sanders [Published on 13 March 2007 / Last Updated on 13 March 2007]

The Remote Desktop Client gives us the option to log into a terminal services enabled computer via the console. What does that mean to us?

When using the Windows remote desktop client as a means of connecting to a Windows Server 2000/2003 computer running Terminal Services, you have the option of connecting the console of that server. Using this option, you can log into the server as if you were sitting directly in front of it rather than creating a brand new session. When installing some software remotely, it will not let you do so from a terminal session, therefore it will require you log in via the console.
To use the console option form the command line, simply add the “/console” switch to the mstsc command. You can also check the console box when creating a new connection in the terminal services administrative tool in the Windows Server 2003 adminpak.

Be warned however, if you log into the console of a server remotely it will kick the person sitting in front of the server off.


Chris Sanders is the network administrator for one of the largest public school systems in the state of Kentucky. Chris's specialties include general network administration, windows server 2003, wireless networking, and security. You can view Chris' personal website at

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The Author — Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is a network security analyst for EWA Government Systems Inc. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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