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Remote Desktop Gateway Advanced Configuration (Article #745)

Created on March 19, 2010
Last Modified on April 28, 2021
Technical Level:  Expert
Audience:  Faculty/Staff


The Remote Desktop Gateway allows faculty and staff at Towson University to connect remotely to their Towson Windows-based computer from any other computer (home, hotel or different location on campus).  Vendors and server administrators may also access Windows servers.

Documentation and introductory information are available off of the Remote Desktop Gateway home page:  First-time users should visit that page before reviewing this article.

Basic instructions for using the Remote Desktop Gateway are available in the "Remote Desktop Gateway" document on the OTS Training Self-Help Documents page: article serves as a supplement to those instructions and the web site above.

Server Administrators

Server administrators use separate administrative-only accounts when connecting to servers.  In order to use the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) software to connect to servers using the Remote Desktop Gateway, the RDC software must be configured to use this administrative account to connect to the Gateway, rather than the regular faculty/staff account.

When using the downloaded .RDP file (Remote Desktop connection file), do the following to update the account used to connect to the Gateway:

  1. Double-click the .RDP file
  2. Click the Options button
  3. Click the Advanced tab
  4. Click the Settings button (within the Remote Desktop Gateway or Terminal Services Gateway section)
  5. In the "Logon settings" section, make sure the "Use my RD Gateway credentials for the remote computer" is checked.  If the option is not available, click the "Delete" link under the saved User name.
  6. Click OK to close the Gateway settings
  7. Click the General tab
  8. Click the Save button to save the new settings to the .RDP file

When connecting using the RDP file the first time, you may be prompted for username and password for the Gateway server specifically. Be sure to use the "towsonu\username-admin" format. Server admin NetID passwords should not be saved. There is a policy in place that will prevent connecting to a server with a server admin account when the password has been saved in the RDC profile. When attempting to connect with a saved password, a window will appear asking for credentials and the message “The server's authentication policy does not allow connection requests using saved credentials. Please enter new credentials.“

When specifying the username to use when connecting to the office computer or server itself, be sure to use the correct account -- for servers, use your administrative account; for your office computer(s), use your regular faculty/staff account.  This means that while your administrative account is being used to allow you to use the Remote Desktop Gateway service, either your regular account or your administrative account will be used to actually log into the office computer or server.


Vendors can use the Remote Desktop Gateway to connect to servers for which their vendor account has been granted access; the account must either have been added to the local Administrators group or local Remote Desktop Users group on the server.  Be sure to use the "towsonu\username" format.

Printing from an Office Computer to a Home Printer

The Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) software can be configured to allow print jobs from an office computer to be sent to a home printer.  The default setting in the .RDP file (Remote Desktop connection file) prevents this; to enable it, you will need to update the .RDP file settings:

  1. Double-click the .RDP file
  2. Click the Options button
  3. Click the Local Resources tab
  4. Click to enable the checkbox next to "Printers" in the "Local devices and resources" section 
  5. Click the General tab
  6. Click the Save button to save the new settings to the .RDP file

It is not advisable for server administrators (-admin account holders) to enable their home printers when connecting to servers.  In this situation, it may be advisable to save two separate .RDP files; to do so, click the "Save As" button in step 6 above instead of the "Save" button.

Mac Users

Those with Mac office computers will not be able to use the Remote Desktop Gateway.

Those with Windows-based office computers, but Mac home computers, can use the Microsoft Remote Desktop app which is available in the Mac App Store. Instructions for configuring the Mac client can be found on this OTS Training page:

Advanced Options for Remote Desktop Connection Software

Individuals can modify the default .RDP file provide on the web site, create a new .RDP file, or modify their default Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) settings.  Below are instructions for modifying RDC settings:

  1. Double-click an existing .RDP file, or open the Remote Desktop Connection software (available in the Start Menu, under All Programs, Accessories folder)
  2. Change any of the options available on each tab:
    • General tab:
      • The Computer field is the name of the office computer or server to which you are connecting.  You can save a computer name in this field so that when the .RDP file is opened, the Computer field is pre-populated.  This is useful if you connect to the same computer regularly.  The Computer field also becomes a drop-down menu once more than one computer name has been used.
      • The User name field is the name of the account used to connect to the remote computer, in the "towsonu\username" format.  Once you have connected and if you had enabled the "Remember my credentials" option, you will have the option on this tab to edit or delete that username/password combination.
    • Display tab:
      • You can specify the size of the window for the Remote Desktop connection -- either a specific resolution, or Full Screen.  Windows 7 users may also enable a "Use all my monitors for the remote session" option to span multiple monitors.
      • Color depth can be set for the Remote Desktop connection.  The default of "Highest Quality" is recommended except for individuals connecting via lower-bandwidth connections; in that case, lowering the color depth may improve performance.
      • It is recommended to enable the "Display the connection bar when I use the full screen" option.  This option keeps a small connection bar available at the top of the window when connected to a full-screen Remote Desktop session.  If this is disabled, you must hover with your mouse cursor at the very top of the window for a moment to bring down the connection bar.  The connection bar allows a user to easily disconnect (rather than log off) from a Remote Desktop session.
    • Local Resources tab:
      • For those with a Remote audio section, click the Settings button to display audio options.  Audio can be brought back from the remote computer (such as sound effects or music); the "Do no play" option is recommended.  Windows 7 users will also have a "Remote audio recording" option; if no audio recording will be done, then the "Do not record" option is recommended.
      • The Keyboard option specifies when particular key combinations (such as Alt+Tab) have an effect on the remote computer in the Remote Desktop session; the default and recommended option is "Only when using the full screen."
      • The Local Devices and Resources section allows devices and resources on the local (home) computer to be available on the remote computer.  The recommended selection is only the "Clipboard" (to allow copy-and-paste of text between computers); Windows Vista/7 users connecting to Windows Vista/7/2008 computers can also copy-and-paste files with this option.  Individuals connecting to office computers who need to print documents may also wish to enable the "Printers" option; this is not recommended for vendors and server administrators when connecting to servers.
    • Programs tab:  This includes an advanced setting that is recommended to remain blank/disabled.
    • Experience tab:
      • The connection speed option helps to streamline the performance of the Remote Desktop session based on the speed of the connection.  For most home users (those using a cable modem or DSL), "Low-speed broadband" is recommended.  However, this setting can be changed (as can the other options, such as "menu animation" or "desktop background") to improve the "look and feel" of the Remote Desktop session or to improve performance.
      • The "Reconnect if the connection is dropped" option is recommended -- if the connection is momentarily interrupted, this option allows the Remote Desktop Connection software to attempt to reconnect automatically a moment later.
    • Advanced tab:
      • The Server Authentication section specifies whether or not a warning appears if the remote computer's identity is not fully confirmed.  The "Connect and don't warn me" option is recommended.
      • The Gateway section, Settings button, provides for the ability to configure how the Remote Desktop Connection software uses the Remote Desktop Gateway (also called Terminal Services Gateway).  The settings should be:
        • "Use these RD Gateway server settings" option enabled
        • Server name should read ""
        • Logon method should be "Allow me to select later"
        • The "Bypass RD Gateway server for local addresses" should be disabled
  3. To save settings, return to the General tab:
    • To save to a new .RDP file, click the Save As button
    • If you are editing an existing .RDP file, click the Save button to update the settings in that file
    • If you opened the Remote Desktop Connection software to edit the default RDC settings, simply click Save
  4. You can close the Remote Desktop Connection software, and return to it later after saving your settings


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