Use features of the Remote Desktop client for iOS and iPadOS when connecting to Azure Virtual Desktop

Once you've connected to Azure Virtual Desktop using the Remote Desktop client, it's important to know how to use the features. This article shows you how to use the features available in the Remote Desktop client for iOS and iPadOS. If you want to learn how to connect to Azure Virtual Desktop, see Connect to Azure Virtual Desktop with the Remote Desktop client for iOS and iPadOS.

You can find a list of all the Remote Desktop clients at Remote Desktop clients overview. For more information about the differences between the clients, see Compare the Remote Desktop clients.

Note

Your admin can choose to override some of these settings in Azure Virtual Desktop, such as being able to copy and paste between your local device and your remote session. If some of these settings are disabled, please contact your admin.

Edit, refresh, or delete a workspace

To edit, refresh or delete a workspace:

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device, then tap Workspaces.

  2. Tap and hold the name of a workspace and you'll see a menu with options for Edit, Refresh, and Delete. You can also pull down to refresh all workspaces.

    • Edit allows you to specify a user account to use each time you connect to the workspace without having to enter the account each time. To learn more, see Manage user accounts.
    • Refresh makes sure you have the latest desktops and apps and their settings provided by your admin.
    • Delete removes the workspace from the Remote Desktop client.

User accounts

Learn how to add user credentials to a workspace and manage them.

Add user credentials to a workspace

You can save a user account and associate it with workspaces to simplify the connection sequence, as the sign-in credentials will be used automatically.

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device, then tap Workspaces.

  2. Tap and hold the name of a workspace, then select Edit.

  3. Tap User account, then select Add User Account to add a new account, or select an account you've previously added.

  4. If you selected Add User Account, enter a username, password, and optionally a friendly name, then tap the back arrow (<).

  5. Tap the X mark to return to Workspaces.

Manage user accounts

You can save a user account and associate it with workspaces to simplify the connection sequence, as the sign-in credentials will be used automatically. You can also remove accounts you no longer want to use.

To save a user account:

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device.

  2. In the top left-hand corner, tap the menu icon (the circle with three dots inside), then tap Settings.

  3. Tap User Accounts, then tap Add User Account.

  4. Enter a username, password, and optionally a friendly name, then tap the back arrow (<). You can then add this account to a workspace by following the steps in Add user credentials to a workspace.

  5. Tap the back arrow (<), then tap the X mark.

To remove an account you no longer want to use:

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device.

  2. In the top left-hand corner, tap the menu icon (the circle with three dots inside), then tap Settings.

  3. Tap User Accounts, then select the account you want to remove.

  4. Tap Delete. The account will be removed immediately.

  5. Tap the back arrow (<), then tap the X mark.

Display preferences

Learn how to set display preferences, such as orientation and resolution.

Set orientation

You can set the orientation of the Remote Desktop client to landscape, portrait, or auto-adjust, where it will match the orientation of your device. Auto-adjust is supported when your remote session is running Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 R2 or later. The window will maintain the same scaling and update the resolution to match the new orientation. This setting applies to all workspaces.

To set the orientation:

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device.

  2. In the top left-hand corner, tap the menu icon (the circle with three dots inside), then tap Settings.

  3. Tap Display, then tap Orientation.

  4. Tap your preference from Auto-adjust, Lock to Landscape or Lock to Portrait.

  5. You can also set Use Home Indicator Area. Toggling this on will show graphics from the remote session in the area at the bottom of the screen occupied by the Home indicator. This setting only applies in landscape orientation.

  6. Tap the back arrow (<), then tap the X mark.

Set display resolution

You can choose the resolution for your remote session from a predefined list. This setting applies to all workspaces.

Note

Changes to the display resolution only take effect for new connections. For current connections, you'll need to disconnect and reconnect from a remote session

To set the resolution:

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device.

  2. In the top left-hand corner, tap the menu icon (the circle with three dots inside), then tap Settings.

  3. Tap Display.

  4. Tap a resolution from the list.

  5. Tap the back arrow (<), then tap the X mark.

Use full display or home indicator area

On iPadOS, you can set Use Full Display. Toggling this on will use the full display of your device, but will result in some content from the remote session being obscured, such as graphics n the rounded corners of the screen.

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device.

  2. In the top left-hand corner, tap the menu icon (the circle with three dots inside), then tap Settings.

  3. Tap Display.

  4. Toggle Use Full Display.

  5. Tap the back arrow (<), then tap the X mark.

On iOS, you can set Use Home Indicator Area. Toggling this on will show graphics from the remote session in the area at the bottom of the screen occupied by the Home indicator. This setting only applies in landscape orientation. For more information about display orientation, see Set orientation. To set Use Home Indicator Area:

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device.

  2. In the top left-hand corner, tap the menu icon (the circle with three dots inside), then tap Settings.

  3. Tap Display.

  4. Toggle Use Home Indicator Area.

  5. Tap the back arrow (<), then tap the X mark.

Connection bar and session overview menu

When you've connected to Azure Virtual Desktop, you'll see a bar at the top, which is called the connection bar. This gives you quick access to a zoom control, represented by a magnifying glass icon, and the ability to toggle between showing and hiding the on-screen keyboard. You can move the connection bar around the top and side edges of the display by tapping and dragging it to where you want it. If you tap and hold the zoom control, you can choose the percentage by which to zoom by using the slider. If you use a keyboard, you can also show and hide the connection bar by pressing Shift+CMD+Space bar.

The middle icon in the connection bar is of the Remote Desktop logo. If you tap this, it shows the session overview screen. The session overview screen enables you to:

  • Go to the Connection Center using the Home icon.
  • Switch inputs between touch and the mouse pointer (when not using a separate mouse).
  • Switch between active desktops and apps.
  • Disconnect all active sessions.

Pressing Tab on a keyboard will switch between the PCs and Apps tab in the session overview menu. You can also use arrow keys to navigate and select an active session to open.

You can return back to an active session from the Connection Center using the Return Arrow button found in the bottom right corner of the Connection Center.

Input methods

The Remote Desktop client supports native touch gestures, keyboard, mouse, and trackpad.

Use touch gestures and mouse modes in a remote session

You can use touch gestures to replicate mouse actions in your remote session. Two mouse modes are available:

  • Direct touch: where you tap on the screen is the equivalent to clicking a mouse in that position. The mouse pointer isn't shown on screen.
  • Mouse pointer: The mouse pointer is shown on screen. When you tap the screen and move your finger, the mouse pointer will move.

If you use Windows 10 or later with Azure Virtual Desktop, native Windows touch gestures are supported in direct touch mode.

The following table shows which mouse operations map to which gestures in specific mouse modes:

Mouse mode Mouse operation Gesture
Direct touch Left-click Tap with one finger
Direct touch Right-click Tap and hold with one finger
Mouse pointer Left-click Tap with one finger
Mouse pointer Left-click and drag Double-tap and hold with one finger, then drag
Mouse pointer Right-click Tap with two fingers, or tap and hold with one finger
Mouse pointer Right-click drag Double-tap and hold with two fingers, then drag
Mouse pointer Mouse wheel Tap and hold with two fingers, then drag up or down
Mouse pointer Zoom With two fingers, pinch to zoom out and spread fingers apart to zoom in

Keyboard

You can use familiar keyboard shortcuts when using a keyboard with your iPad or iPhone and Azure Virtual Desktop. Mac and Windows keyboard layouts differ slightly - for example, the Command key on a Mac keyboard equals the Windows key on a Windows keyboard. To help with the differences this makes when using keyboard shortcuts, the Remote Desktop client automatically maps common shortcuts found in iOS and iPadOS so they'll work in Windows. These are:

Key combination Function
CMD+C Copy
CMD+X Cut
CMD+V Paste
CMD+A Select all
CMD+Z Undo
CMD+F Find
CMD++ Zoom in
CMD+- Zoom out

In addition, the Alt key to the right of the space bar on a Mac keyboard equals the Alt Gr in Windows.

Mouse and trackpad

You can use a mouse or trackpad with the Remote Desktop client. However, support for these devices depends on whether you're using iOS or iPadOS. iPadOS natively supports a mouse and trackpad as an input method, whereas support can only be enabled in iOS with AssistiveTouch. For more information, see Connect a Bluetooth mouse or trackpad to your iPad or How to use a pointer device with AssistiveTouch on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Redirections

The Remote Desktop client enables you to make your local clipboard available in your remote session. By default, text you copy on your iOS or iPadOS device is available to paste in your remote session, and text you copy in your remote session is available to paste on your iOS or iPadOS device.

General app settings

To set other general settings of the Remote Desktop app to use with Azure Virtual Desktop:

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device.

  2. In the top left-hand corner, tap the menu icon (the circle with three dots inside), then tap Settings.

  3. You can change the following settings:

    Setting Value Description
    Show PC Thumbnails Toggle On or Off Show thumbnails of remote sessions.
    Allow Display Auto-Lock Toggle On or Off Allow your device to turn off its screen.
    Use HTTP Proxy Toggle On or Off Use the HTTP proxy specified in iOS/iPadOS network settings.
    Appearance Select from Light, Dark, or System Set the appearance of the Remote Desktop client.
    Send Data to Microsoft Toggle On or Off Help improve the Remote Desktop client by sending anonymous data to Microsoft.

Test the beta client

If you want to help us test new builds before they're released, you should download our beta client. Organizations can use the beta client to validate new versions for their users before they're generally available.

Note

The beta client shouldn't be used in production.

You can download the beta client for iOS and iPadOS from TestFlight. To get started, see Microsoft Remote Desktop for iOS.

Provide feedback

If you want to provide feedback to us on the Remote Desktop client for iOS and iPadOS, you can do so in the app:

  1. Open the RD Client application on your device.

  2. In the top left-hand corner, tap the menu icon (the circle with three dots inside), then tap Settings.

  3. Tap Submit feedback, which will open the feedback page in your browser.

Next steps

If you're having trouble with the Remote Desktop client, see Troubleshoot the Remote Desktop client.