How to RDP with 256 colors on Win7

Sometimes I work on limited bandwidth (with mobile phone) and are doing remote management on servers using RDP (remote desktop). With Win7 it isn’t possible to choose 256 color depth in the RDP client any longer (15 bit is lowest possible value).

A simple workaround is to do the following;

  1. Open remote desktop client (mstsc.exe)
  2. Do your normal adjustments for low bandwidth
  3. Save the RDP-file
  4. Open the RDP-file in Notepad
  5. Change the line “session bpp:i:15” to “session bpp:i:8”
  6. Empty the server name in “full address:s:”
  7. Double click the file to use the RDP session

My recommendation for low bandwidth scenarios (RDP-file);

  • Display: 640*480
  • Color Depth: 256 colors (see above how to set this)
  • Audio settings: Do not play / do not record
  • Local devices and resources: None used in remote session (use smartcard if these are needed for authentication)
  • Experiance: Modem (56 Kbps)
  • Reconnect: Yes
  • Server Authentication: As needed in your environment
  • Connect from Anywhere: Based on your environment

Values for session bpp:i:depth (bpp=bits-per-pixel)

  • 4 (16 colors)
  • 8 (256 colors)
  • 15 (32’768 colors)
  • 16 (65’536 colors)
  • 24 (16’777’216 colors)
  • 32 (4.2 billion colors)

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