3 Remote Desktop Apps for OS X Mavericks

Looking for the best remote desktop app for Mac running OS X Mavericks? Look no further because here we are going to explore 3 of my favorite ways to remote into Windows machines from Mac.

When I purchased my first Apple computer (13″ Macbook Air) early in 2013, I found myself searching for the best application to remote into my Windows computers and servers.

With the need for me to be able to quickly remote into a variety of Windows servers, I wanted an RDP client I could use on my Mac that would give me a great experience.

At work we typically suggest Microsoft’s Remote Desktop for Mac to our Doctors and staff when they come to us for assistance with setting up VPN and remote access into the hospital.

But Microsoft’s Remote Desktop for Mac isn’t the only application available.

My RDP Requirements

Since I work heavily on Windows machines, there were a few essential requirements I was looking for to help my overall daily workflow:

  • Performance.
  • Manageability of multiple systems.
  • Price

1. Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac

Download Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac

Microsoft Remote Desktop Client for Mac OS X Mavericks

Coming in at # 1 for my favorite remote desktop client for Mac is Microsoft’s Remote Desktop for Mac.

Microsoft had recently made version 8.0.0 available. This version really has stepped it up a notch from their previous version.

Performance

Performance is not an issue for me during my tests.

Manageability of multiple systems

Yes, you can manage multiple systems.

One of the biggest notable changes I found with this version over the previous is the fact that you can save client servers/sessions. This was important to me since I have a wide-range of servers that I need to connect to at any moment.

Price

Free

Cons

None as of this writing.

2. 2X Client for RDP/Remote Desktop

Download 2X Client for RDP/Remote Desktop

2X Client for RDP/Remote Desktop on Mac OS X Mavericks

Coming in at # 2 on my list is 2X Client for RDP/Remote Desktop.

I have to be honest and say that I haven’t given this one a full blown test as of yet. However, I have used it many times on IOS devices and has worked well. I did install it for my testing here in this article and overall was a nice experience.

I would have to rank this one a close 2nd to Microsoft’s client.

Performance

Overall performance was not an issue for me during my tests.

Manageability of multiple systems

Yes, you can manage multiple systems.

Price

Free

Cons

A small issue I see (and probabaly not an issue for most) is the Windows Snap feature. It seems to be a ‘hit-and-miss’ when I try to snap a window to the top of the screen.

3. CoRD

Download CoRD

CoRD Remote Desktop App for Mac OS X

Coming in at # 3 on my lis is CoRD.

CoRD is a Mac OS X remote desktop client for Microsoft Windows computers.

As of this writing, CoRD’s website has an announcement saying: “Cord don’t seem to work on 10.9 Mavericks. Check back next week.” This was announced on 2013-10-23.

As you can see in the video, I have installed CoRD on my Macbook Air running 10.9 OS X Mavericks and it does work. Maybe there are some bugs that I am not aware of but overall it does seem to run OK for me.

Performance

Overall performance for me was not an issue during my tests.

Manageability of multiple systems

One thing I really do like about CoRD is the option to view all remote sessions in one window. This really saves space on your desktop and makes it a breeze to switch between the different sessions.

Price

Free

Cons

CoRD doesn’t appear to work with NLA (Network Level Authentication). This is a problem for me since a lot of the servers at work are now configured to use NLA, I simply get an error saying: “The requested session access is denied” when I try to connect.

CoRD NLA Error - The requested session access is denied

As with CoRD, another issue is the Windows Snap feature is a hit-and-miss.

Conclusion

In the end, all three of the applications worked well. The major downside for me with CoRD is the fact I am unable to connect to servers with NLA enabled.

For now, I will continue to use Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac.

I will update this post and/or comments below with any updated experiences (good or bad).

Question for You

What do you use on your Mac to remotely manage Windows machines?

About Chris Davis

Computer / Technology enthusiast. Very passionate about Systems Administration. I enjoy helping others try and reach their goals. You can follow Chris on if you'd like.

Comments

  1. Well… what do you use on your Mac to remotely manage Windows machines?

  2. I’m running OS X Mavericks as well. I’m currently using “Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac”. Very similar to the windows version – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=18140

    • Any reason why you haven’t upgraded to the latest version? I think the version you are using isn’t supported in Mavericks.

      • I’m not sure if it’s supported in Mavericks, however it does work in Mavericks. I’m currently running version 2.1.1(110309). I use it daily and have not ran into any issues yet. I was not aware that there was a updated version available. I’ll have to look into that…

  3. I’m not sure if it’s supported in Mavericks, however it does work in Mavericks. I’m currently running version 2.1.1(110309). I use it daily and have not ran into any issues yet. I was not aware that there was a updated version available. I’ll have to look into that ;-)

  4. I am using NoMachine on Mac to connect to my Windows machines where I installed NoMachine. It’s free so I installed it on all of my machines. Powerful tool.

    https://www.nomachine.com

  5. Thanks a lot Chris. Was looking for week a good RDP client for Mavericks.

  6. Chris, I am using Jump Desktop and it is a pretty nice app. I haven’t had any problems with it. I use to use CORD but since I found this one, I have been using it. The iPad version looks pretty good and I am going to try it out.

  7. Hi Chris. I using “Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac”, however, with the new OS upgrade I cant get into my Work PC anymore. Have you had this issue?

    • Hey there Jay,

      When you say “with the new OS upgrade…”, are you talking about the Windows 8.1 upgrade, or OS X upgrade?

    • Michael says:

      I have a similar problem when using Microsoft RDP with Maverick. No problems with using Microsoft RDP with Windows 7. I am not really too sure why I am having this problem since I have talked with a friend who is able to RDP with her Marverick OS using Microsoft RDP. I am thinking that it has something to do with the remote site and the software we use (eclinicalworks) to access the remote site that holds the date for our electronic medical record system. I recently created a support ticket with the 3rd party we use for trouble shooting problems but the only so far I have been advised to do was download the latest version of the RDP app, which was not helpful since I already had the latest version. I sent them back a screen capture of the settings I used to make the connection so I am waiting to see what the have to say, but I think they are going to do have to do a better job than telling me to download the latest app version. I am not that much of an idiot when it comes to simple troubleshooting solutions. lol

  8. Hello all,

    I am using Royal TSX which is free for up to 10 connections. I like that I can create folders for my RDP connections similar to mRemote on a PC. I haven’t had any problems with the free version aside from being limited in the connections I can save. Remote Desktop Connection for Mac has not been as reliable for me unfortunately. It closes unexpectedly often while I am trying to connect and during my connection.

    Luis

  9. My problem with Microsoft Remote Desktop is that it doesn’t let you select which Windows to show when you already have the windows open. This is a real problem when you have A LOT of Windows machines to manage. Similarly the large type is a problem for the main window and it does not allow sorting of any kind. Seems very immature at this time. CoRD does all this, but the black screen problem comes up way too often for me. I don’t see any solution for remote desktop management in the Mac world that is blowing me away.

  10. I have moved to Mavericks and use MS remote desktop. I’m also a new Mac owner having driven PC’s up to now. Love the Mac book pro.
    My issue is now my connection to my NHS work intranet is painfully slow. Using x2 or MS rdc I encounter incredible lag. If I jump back on my old antique PC then all is well again. Any suggestions why this should be? It’s like sucking a golf ball through a hose pipe.
    Need help please.

  11. Hi Chris,
    I watched the video. Frankly, I do not have very good english, but I must say that I understand a lot of things from the video. As a result, what should I decide? Which software offers better RDP connection? Copy, paste in the running smoothly? Offers a faster connection? I’m looking for answers to these questions. Can you help?

  12. I am using Microsoft RDP client on my to connect to Windows servers but I get the following error message “The Requested Session Access is Denied”. Can you please shed some light on this?

  13. I am using Mavericks and I can’t seem to connect to my work PC (Windows 7 Professional)… The connection works when on the same wifi network but not when I’m home. Please help!

    • You said it works when on the same network but not when you are home. Did you mistype that by chance? Same wifi network and home are the same thing in my mind (unless I’m missing something).

      • She can access the work PC when both are on the work WiFi, but when she is home on her own WiFi, she cannot remote in. I have a similar problem.

        • For those having problems connecting when outside of their LAN try Hamachi VPN. it will circumvent router/firewall setting issues that you may not be able to set or manage

  14. Andreas Doms says:

    I use Microsoft Remote Desktop to connect my iMac(Maverick OS) to a Windows 2008 server where I program in Delphi. All is well until I use LibreCalc (as opposed to Excel). Not only will Microsoft Remote Desktop always crash instantly after opening LibreCalc, it will also not allow me to reconnect until LibreCalc is closed so I have to use Cordt to come to my rescue.

  15. We have hundreds of our clients using Mac as well as PC and they log into our 2012 Microsoft server. Mac users use the new Microsoft App and love it. We love the Redirect feature!!! My question is: I have a customer that cannot access our server from her Mac. We have done a GoToMeeting with her to make sure she typed the PC name correctly which she did.

    She receives the error msg “Unable to connect to remote PC. Please provide fully-qualified name or IP address . . . .” We have hundreds of Mac users logging in successfully, in fact all of the staff own Mac computers. Could the problem be a setting on her router or modem? We have not run into this problem before.

    Love some insight.

    • Even I am facing same issues. Did you find out the solution for this one. If yes can you please share.

  16. Debbie – May I suggest Hamachi which provides VPN security and will give a Class A IP address to connect to instead of a computer name. It eliminates all DNS and Router issues on both ends and gives you encrypted security which most business are required to use.

  17. Jump Desktop is excellent on Mac although the latest version of Microsoft Remote Desktop is a big improvement on the last one and I’m thinking of switching back. There are actually lots of great options on Mac, this is a good overview: http://machow2.com/rdp-for-mac/

  18. Just to say that I use cord because Microsoft Remote Desktop, which is nice, turn off each time I want to use LibreOffice on TSE (We don’t have MS office).

    For me, it’s impossible to use it.

  19. I must say that Microsoft’s RDP drives me nuts.
    First of all, it got very bad support for multiple screen desktop in OS X. Every time I hit the preference button, the preference window opens on my laptop’s display instead of my main 24″ display. There’s nothing I can do about it.
    Secondly I simply cannot make it ignore certificate warnings upon connecting to Windows machine. Yes I know, security, but I’m not working in a domain environment!
    Additionally its default setting for each new connection are not configurable. It always opens RDP in full screen mode and if you use multiple displays, it also create multiple desktop over RDP. You cannot change these default settings.
    Lastly, you cannot re-bind keys like in Jump Desktop. So you need to keep mixing Command+C versus Ctrl+C to copy into buffer for example.

    After trying Jump Desktop there’s no way I’m going back..
    The only con of Jump Desktop is its price… But if you are patient enough, from time to time they have 50% off sales.

  20. For CORD. Are you able to transfer files from your mac computer onto the server via the remote desktop? Which remote client software is the best to use when transfer files between the MAC and server.

  21. PhatMiles says:

    Thank you. The MS RDP works fine for me.

  22. I use CoRD because it supports SOCKS proxy connections. Does 2x allow SOCKS proxy connections?

  23. CORD used to loose its cursor. Extremely annoying bug they did not fix for years. Thanks you sowed me alternatives.

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