You probably know the feeling, when you’re trying to do something uber standard, but you’re struggling with it. It’s extra annoying because you know, it should be simple (which it eventually is 🙃).

I had just that feeling this week when I needed to change my AD password using a my MacBook. After getting a notification that one of my corporate passwords is about to expire, I logged-in to one of the stepping stone hosts using the Microsoft Remote Desktop client for macOS.

But wait, what’s the proper key combination within the RDP client on macOS to change a password? For Windows, it’s easy. Just press CTRL – ALT – END within an RDP session and you get the change password option like the one below.

Windows change password screen

Let’s first check the keyboard mappings for often used Windows keys on a Mac before going further.

Update 9-8-2021

  • Updated with keystrokes for standard US-International keyboards

Keyboard mapping differences

The macOS keyboard has a couple of different keys compared to a Windows device. The most obvious are:

Windows KeymacOS Key
WindowsCommand
Control (CTRL)Control
ALTOption
Delete (DEL)fn + Backspace
Insert (INS)fn + Enter
Home / Endfn + Right / Left
Page Up / Downfn + Up / Down
macOS versus Windows major keyboard differences

Back to changing the password

Back to the issue at hand. To change the Windows (AD) password in an RDP session on a Windows box, it’s:

CTRL – ALT – END.

Within an RDP session on a Mac using the Mac keyboard, it’s:

fn + Control + Option + Backspace

Within an RDP session on a Mac using a standard US International keyboard, it’s:

CTRL – ALT – DEL or CTRL – ALT – Backspace

There you have it!

Alternative options

When your Windows box is not part of a domain, you can change the password in the Windows settings menu below.

Windows 10 password change location

Hopefully this eases your password hassle a bit.

Cheers, Daniël

Useful links

Keyboard shortcuts for working in a remote desktop Windows Machine from your MacBook


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