Remotely Accessing the SQL Server Desktop

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How can I get direct access to my SQL Server's desktop, not a terminal services session?  Do I need to purchase a third party product or is a tool available with Windows or SQL Server?  I know I should not need access to my SQL Server like this on a regular basis because I can manage my enterprise of SQL Servers via Management Studio or Enterprise Manager.  However, I want to find out if an option is available to keep in my back pocket in case a pop-up is on the desktop or I need to check to see if something unexpected has occurred on the SQL Server.

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Luckily, the Remote Desktop application has a '/console' switch that can be enabled when it is started when executed from DOS.  This switch can give you direct access to the console as opposed to a terminal session.


Third Party Tools

Additional, remote access tools include:

Some of these tools have some bells and whistles when it comes to encryption support, 32 bit and 64 bit compatibilities, improved video drivers, enhanced file transfer, etc.  Check them out to see if they will meet your needs.

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec Jeremy Kadlec is a Co-Founder, Editor and Author at with more than 300 contributions. He is also the CTO @ Edgewood Solutions and a six-time SQL Server MVP. Jeremy brings 20+ years of SQL Server DBA and Developer experience to the community after earning a bachelor's degree from SSU and master's from UMBC.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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