Mac OS X – Remote Desktop Client UK Keyboard Bug Fix

I use the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client (Version 2.0.0 Beta 3) to connect to a number of Windows machines from my Mac laptop.

There is one very annoying ‘feature’ when using the Remote Desktop Client with a MacBook with a UK Keyboard – Whenever you use shift + arrow to highlight text, the Remote Desktop Client sends a delete signal and deletes one character to the right of the cursor.

I’ve since found a very useful fix for this – Set your keyboard layout to US.

There is only one key combination change which is that hash and pound (As in the currency) are reversed – Shift + 3 will do a hash and Alt + 3 will do a pound. This does have another benefit… when using the RDP Client on a UK Mac keyboard, you do not have access to the hash character.

You have the ability to add an icon to quickly change the layout from the menu bar.

Here is how you do it.

1. Open System Preferences and Select International

2. Select the Input Menu Tab

3. Scroll down the list and tick U.S. and then at the bottom of the window select Show input menu in menu bar (Screen grab below)


4. Close the international tab.

5. You should now have a picture of a flag in your menu bar. If you click it you can quickly change between the UK and US keyboard layouts. (Screen grab below)


As said earlier, the only layout change for common keys is that hash(#) and pound (£) are swapped.

Let me know if this makes your life easier.

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About the Author: John


  1. nice tip – I use RDP on my mac and needed the hash symbol. Setting keyboard to US fixes the hash.

    I do no thave the pipe symbol now !!

  2. Thanks! I’m always trying to administer our windows servers from within an RDP session on my workstation from my mac and my password has a # in it!!!!!

    Also, it works if you keep it on UK keyboard and press CMD + \


  3. It is also possible to enable the “#” with a VNC server-side change:

    1) Choose a key that you never use on the Mac (for me, this would be the paragraph mark “§” at the top left of the keyboard). This will become the key that you press to get “#”.

    2) Find out the “keysym” associated with that key. You can do this using xev on the VNC server, or by looking up the character at, for example,
    The keysym for “§” is 0xa7

    3) Lookup the keysym for the hash character “#”. OK, I’ll do this for you: it is 0x23

    4) On the VNC server host, run the command
    vncconfig -set “RemapKeys=0xa70x23”

    Now, pressing “§” on the Mac will give you “#” in your VNC session.

  4. Not sure what happened there. Two characters got deleted.
    Step 4 should read:

    vncconfig -set “RemapKeys=0xa7<>0x23”

  5. Two vital characters got eaten…

    Step 4 should read:
    vncconfig -set “RemapKeys=0xa7pq0x23”
    where p is the less-than sign and q is the greater-than sign.

    I’m not sure how to make this website display those characters. Perhaps someone could edit my original post?

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