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How to increase the colour depth of Windows Remote Desktop (RDP) up to 24-bit

I use RDP to access my work PC on a daily basis and one of the limiting factors when doing web design has been the lack of colour depth - rather than the standard 24-bit (or higher) you get 15-bit due to using Remote Desktop (RDP). Although this is the default RDP server setting, you can increase it to 24-bit with a little Windows Registry hack.

NOTE: If you mess up your machine from hack your registry - please don't blame me, I'm only giving you the tool to do that damage...

Open regedit and browse to:

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

Over on the right-hand side you will see an attribute called "ColorDepth" which by default is set to 3 (or rather 0x00000003, it's a DWORD). Double-click that attribute and change the Value data field from 3 to 4, then click "OK", close regedit and reboot your PC.

Now if you increase the requested colour depth when connecting to this machine you should get a few more colours to play with!

Oh BTW Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Anonymous said…
Thank you, this solves my pink itunes problem over a RDP. Magic :)
john said…
its so much helpful post to all.i liked it.well,would you explain how to apply it to on windows 8.