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Windows 7: RDP Makes 7 Pro Think Windows Key is Pressed

04 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Pro & Enterprise
RDP Makes 7 Pro Think Windows Key is Pressed

I am currently traveling for work and I am using my personal, HP laptop to connect back to my office, via Cisco VPN. When connected to the tunnel, I am able to launch MSTSC to access my machine back at the office without issue on that end.

The problem I have noticed is that, when switching back and forth between my remote desktop session and my local desktop, the operating system seems to think that the Windows key is pressed on my local keyboard. So, when typing any hotkeys that would be active, such as "u," "e," or either of the "up" or "down" keys, Windows responds by launching Explorer, Ease of Access, minimizing/maximizing the active window and so on.

I have done several searches on the web and found that I am not alone in this issue, but I have yet to find any type of resolution. I am unaware as to whether or not Microsoft knows that this issue exists.

The operating system on my laptop is Windows 7 Pro and the OS on the machine I am connected to through remote desktop is Windows 7 Enterprise. According to some of the links I've found on the web, this has also occurred when the local OS is XP and the remote OS is 7.

My system specs are in my profile. Any information or helpful tips are greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2011   #2

ubuntu 11.04 64-bit

No reply to this old thread, but following is offered for others who land here looking for a workaround (aka MS solution)...

This happens to me when the RDP session is focused and I lock the local workstation with "win + l" (lower-case L)...

Upon logging back onto the local workstation, keys would behave as if the windows key was pressed as well.

Microsoft solution is to use one of the following:
1. Use "ctrl+alt+del" and select "lock this computer".
2. Use the start menu and select "lock"
3. Ensure focus is other than the RDP session, then use "win+l".

I feel the above are workarounds, but I have been using number 3.

Hope this helps, especially for anyone else that has landed on this thread.

Windows 7 Enterprise
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I know this is an old topic and I imagine the problem's been long since resolved, but I found it while googling around for just this problem and figured I'd leave my findings in case somebody else follows the same trail. I believe I'm experiencing the same issue and it was not directly related to using the Windows key + L shortcut to lock the machine (although I do use that shortcut, I always make sure the remote desktop window is out of focus before locking the screen).

I believe what's triggering this behavior is the fact that I'll often minimize windows with Win+Down. If the remote desktop window is the second window in the stack and becomes focused after the top window is minimized, it will intercept the windows key up message. Then, when I switch back to the local system, it thinks the windows key is still pressed (since it received a down but no up message), causing all sorts of issues if I start typing normally.

You can also reproduce this bug like this:
1.) Highlight any non-remote-desktop window
2.) Press down the Windows key
3.) Without releasing the Windows key, focus the remote desktop window
5.) Move to a window other than the remote desktop window and hit "e", windows should launch explorer.

Unfortunately, I don't have a great solution for preventing this, but at least knowing the cause will help me avoid this set of actions in the future, hopefully it can do the same for anybody else looking for the cause of this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 RDP Makes 7 Pro Think Windows Key is Pressed

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