Create Remote Desktop Shortcut for PC in Windows 10

Remote Desktop Rdp Mstsc Icon

In this article, we will see how to create a shortcut to establish a connection to a PC with Remote Desktop protocol in Windows 10. This will allow you to make connections to the target computer over the Remote Desktop protocol faster.

Before we continue, here are some details about how RDP works. While any edition of Windows 10 can act as Remote Desktop Client, to host a remote session, you need to be running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. You can connect to a Windows 10 Remote Desktop host from another PC running Windows 10, or from an earlier Windows version like Windows 7 or Windows 8, or Linux. Windows 10 comes with both client and server software out-of-the-box, so you don't need any extra software installed.

First of all, enable Remote Desktop on the target PC as described here:

How To Enable Remote Desktop (RDP) in Windows 10

mstsc.exe is the built-in client software which allows connecting to a computer via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). It is a special network protocol which allows a user to establish a connection between two computers and access the Desktop of a remote host. The local computer is often referred to as the "client". If you are running Windows, in most cases you use mstsc.exe to connect to another computer with RDP.

In the previous article, I covered command line options of mstsc.exe you can apply in the Run dialog. See

Remote Desktop (mstsc.exe) Command Line Arguments

There is a special /v option which allows specifying the remote PC address or its name.

/v:<server[:port]> - Specifies the remote PC to which you want to connect.

You can use this option to make connections faster. For example, you can create a shortcut and set the /v argument in its target box.

To create a Remote Desktop shortcut for a PC in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Right click the empty space on your Desktop. Select New - Shortcut in the context menu (see the screenshot).
  2. In the shortcut target box, type the following:
    mstsc.exe /v:computer-name

    Alternatively, it is possible to pass the IP address of the target PC (Remote Desktop host).

    mstsc.exe /v:

  3. Use any name you want for the shortcut. Click on the Finish button when done.

Now, you can move this shortcut to any convenient location, pin it to taskbar or to Start, add to All apps or add to Quick Launch (see how to enable Quick Launch). You can also assign a global hotkey to your shortcut.

Repeat these steps for all the computers you want connect to.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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