24 bit RDP under Windows XP

While RDP connections to Windows 2003 Server default to 16 bit color depth and can be changed to 24 bit via the Terminal Services Configuration\\Connections mmc snap in, what about Windows XP?

Did you ever notice that when you connect to Windows XP via RDP, some colors and icons are just a bit off? This is because the single user XP RDP Server defaults to 16 bit color depth even though it is capable of running 24 bit. While there is no mmc snap in for increasing it, it can be done via the registry.

Open up the Registry Editor (Start -> Run -> regedit) and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Terminal Server\\WinStations\\RDP-Tcp

Change color depth to 4.

Reboot Windows XP to have the change take effect.
Comments:

this didn't work any other suggestions???

Posted by dan on January 05, 2009 at 09:24 AM PST #

Can you explain how it didn't work? What RDP client are you using?

Posted by Thin Guy on January 07, 2009 at 08:01 AM PST #

I'm using rdesktop in opensuse and it didn't work for me too.

Tk's.

Posted by pedro on June 17, 2009 at 04:18 AM PDT #

Thanks! I searched a long time for this solution, now it works!

hint: use
rdesktop -a 24

Posted by Ernst on June 25, 2009 at 11:08 PM PDT #

That did the trick.

Now I can finally use the only remaining installation of Internet Explorer 6 in our network to test our websites without having to run from room to room.

Posted by Ch'Ih-Yu on January 04, 2010 at 08:58 PM PST #

For this struggling to make this work - check the colour depth that your client is requesting. You will know it is working when you look at the the properties of the desktop, and under settings the color quality is set to High (24-bit)

Posted by Ian Gibbs on January 08, 2010 at 11:25 PM PST #

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