Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog


My name is David Bélanger, and I’m a program manager on the Remote Desktop team. This blog highlights the different gestures available on the Microsoft Remote Desktop apps. Unless specifically noted, these gestures apply to apps running on the following platforms: Windows Phone 8.1, iOS, and Android.

Gestures available in Touch mode

Touch mode is equivalent to using a touch screen on a Windows PC. In this mode, all screen inputs are sent directly to the remote PC without being processed locally. This allows you to interact with the remote PC with up to 10 simultaneous touch points and gives you access to the full range of Windows 8 gestures.

Note: When connecting to hosts running Windows 7 or previous versions of Windows, the gestures in Touch mode are the same, however a single touch point is supported.


Pointer: Your finger is the pointer


Left-click: Tap the item with one finger


Right-click: Tap and hold the item, then release


Left-click drag: Tap the item with one finger, then drag


Right-click drag: Tap and hold, then drag


Zoom: Use the Zoom button on the left side of the connection bar to zoom in and out

Note: You can’t pinch to zoom in Touch mode.


Pan: While zoomed in, use the pan knob displayed on the screen to move around

Gestures available in Mouse Pointer mode

Mouse Pointer mode is equivalent to using the phone screen as a laptop trackpad to manipulate a mouse pointer that can be used to interact with the session. In this mode, touch inputs are processed locally. This allows additional gestures like pinch-to-zoom, but prevents the use of multi-touch gestures in the session.


Move pointer: Tap with one finger and drag anywhere on the screen


Left-click: Tap with one finger (this registers a click where the mouse pointer is, not where you tapped onscreen)


Right-click: Tap with two fingers (this registers a right-click where the mouse pointer is, not where you tapped onscreen)


Left-click drag: Double tap and hold with one finger, then drag


Right-click and drag: Double tap and hold with two fingers, then drag


Vertical scroll (Mouse wheel): Tap and hold with two fingers, then drag up and down


Horizontal scroll: Tap and hold with two fingers, then drag left and right

Note: Currently only available on Windows Phone 8.1 while connecting to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 hosts.


Zoom out: Pinch to zoom out


Zoom in: Move two fingers away from each other to zoom in

Note: To pan the screen while zoomed in, tap with one finger and drag, moving the mouse pointer towards the edge of the screen





Tap and hold


Tap twice


Tap twice and hold