Gracefully and properly exit a Remote Desktop Session (RDP)

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Many times we’ll disconnect from a Remote Desktop Session by simply clicking the X, to close the window, of the remote session.  This leaves the session open along with all apps that were running.  This is a great way of doing it if you are in the middle of work and need to get back to your work in progress after a lunch break or a meeting.  This is not a great way of exiting the session if you’re done for the day because doing this introduces the risk of potential data loss and/or corruption.  Leaving the session established/connected at all times, even after closing out of it by hitting the X,  with open apps will increase the likelihood of losing data for items that have not been saved.  To eliminate that risk you want to (1) save your work, (2) close out of all apps (if an app like QuickBooks or Word/Excel is locking up, just continue to 3) and (3) exit the Remote Desktop Session gracefully so your session is ended and not left running on the server or remote system.  There are two ways to accomplish this after you save your work and exit all apps:

Method 1 (recommended):  Go to the start menu and select “Log off”.  In the latest versions of Windows you may have to click the Windows icon at the bottom left of the screen, then click the icon above it that resembles a person, then select “Sign out” to gracefully exist your session.

Method 2:  Use a key combination to gracefully exit the environment, after closing out of all programs.  CTRL+ALT+END.  The proper way of using this key sequence is….press and hold down the CTRL key then while still holding down the CTRL key you press and hold down the ALT key and while still holding down both the CLRL and ALT keys you press and hold down the END key.  This should gracefully close out your remote session.

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