Remote Desktop Software User Guide

Getting started with the Softdrive remote desktop software along with usage tips
Our vision


Softdrive's remote desktop software connects your device to a Softdrive Cloud PC or to a remote PC managed by you.

In essence, it works by streaming your input (keyboard, mouse, etc.) to the remote PC, and receiving a stream of audio and video, all fully encrypted. Imagine a regular computer, except where the screens and peripherals are connected to the processing hardware over the internet instead of via wires.

For more details, see our page that describes our remote desktop software.

Getting Started

Download the Softdrive Client

Download and install Softdrive's remote desktop software from our downloads page.


Use your Softdrive credentials to login.

Softdrive Launcher


After logging in, you'll be on the Home page of the Launcher. On this page, use the Connect button to connect to the desired remote PC or Cloud PC.


Once you're connected, Softdrive should function identically to a regular PC.

Overlay Settings Menu

Softdrive has an overlay settings menu to control your Softdrive experience or to disconnect.

Softdrive overlay settings menu
  • Minimize Softdrive: Hide all Softdrive windows, showing your local device instead of the remote PC.
  • Toggle Multi-monitor: Use multiple monitors for Softdrive, creating virtual monitors on the remote PC. Note: multi-monitor mode must run in fullscreen on all selected monitors.
  • Quality Settings: Open an additional menu to see performance metrics and to tweak quality settings or bandwidth usage.
  • Devices: Select which local devices (speakers, microphones, etc.) are used, or whether to default to Windows default device settings.
  • Window Mode: Whether the Softdrive window runs in fullscreen and takes up the entire local monitor (recommended), or runs in windowed-mode.
  • Minimize Menu: Hides the Softdrive overlay menu. It can be restored via the menu hotkey or via the server-side menu.
  • Report Issue: Opens our page to open a support ticket and reports an issue to us.
  • Send Ctrl+Alt+Delete: Presses ctrl+alt+delete on the remote PC. Otherwise, this key combination always applies on the local PC.
  • Exit Softdrive: Disconnects, ending the Softdrive session. Note: the remote PC will remain on unless otherwise configured.

Server-side Menu

Softdrive also has a second menu on the remote PC, e.g. to use if the client overlay is hidden.

To access this menu, go to the Windows System Tray (in the bottom right by default), and right-click the Softdrive icon.

Usage Tips

Transferring Files

To transfer files from your local device to the remote PC, you can use the following features of Softdrive's remote desktop software:

  1. Copy-paste: Text, files, and folders can be copied on the local device (e.g. via ctrl+c), and pasted into the remote PC. Copy-pasting from the remote PC to the local device also works and is enabled by default, though organizations may opt to disable it through our management dashboard.
  2. Drag and drop: Files can by dragged from the local device into the remote PC. Large files can only be dropped onto the Desktop or onto File Explorer.


Softdrive supports various hotkeys. Generally, most key combinations such as alt+tab or alt+f4 will be applied to the remote PC, rather than the local device.

  • ctrl+alt+. - Toggle the visibility of the overlay settings menu
  • ctrl+alt+, - Minimize Softdrive
  • ctrl+alt+/ - Disconnect
  • ctrl+alt+enter - Toggle between windowed mode and fullscreen
  • ctrl+alt+tab - Performs this key combination (similar to alt+tab) on the local device, i.e. to switch between Softdrive and another application on the local device

Fixing Responsiveness Issues

Generally, Softdrive should feel super smooth and difficult to distinguish from a regular computer. If you are experiencing lag, choppiness, or an otherwise lack of responsiveness, see our guide on diagnosing network issues. The quality of your experience may depend on the distance between you and the remote PC.

If you would like to tweak Softdrive's visual quality or responsiveness, please see the aforementioned guide.

Stuck Keys (Unexpected Clicking / Typing Behavior)

If clicking or typing is causing unexpected behavior, such as highlighting a tab instead of switching to it, one possibility is that a key is stuck on the remote PC. This could happen in certain rare scenarios, such as switching focus between the Softdrive window and another application on your local device. If this happens, try pressing stateful keys such as ctrl, shift, alt, etc. to see if the behavior goes away.

Things to Avoid

Avoid - Turning Off the Remote PC

When you are finished using the remote PC, generally you only need to disconnect using the Softdrive overlay settings menu, or the disconnection hotkey. You may wish to lock the remote PC prior to disconnecting, or your organization can configure a policy to automatically lock idle PCs.

If you turn off the remote PC, Softdrive's remote desktop software may not be able to turn it back on.

Softdrive Cloud PCs can be turned back on by going to the Softdrive management dashboard.

Avoid - Maximizing the Softdrive Window

When Softdrive is running in windowed mode, the title bar is visible and the minimize, maximize, and close buttons are visible.

Windows title bar min / max / close buttons

The maximize button is highlighted above. We recommend not using this button, and we also do not recommend maximizing the window by dragging it via the title bar to the top of your screen.

Instead, please use the button in the overlay settings menu or the windowed-mode toggle hotkey to enter full screen.

Maximized windowed mode has neither the benefit of windowed mode: multitasking or of full screen: matching the resolution of your monitor and the Softdrive virtual monitor.

Avoid - Changing Windows Display Settings on the Remote PC

The Windows Display Settings, available by right-clicking on the desktop, can be used to change the resolution of your monitors, enabling/disabling connected monitors, or rearranging the virtual position of your monitors. We refer to the collection of all of these settings as the monitor topology.

We do not recommend changing the Windows Display Settings on the Remote PC, although changing resolutions is generally safe.

Instead, to change which monitors are used, please use the Softdrive overlay settings menu. To change other settings, disconnect from Softdrive, apply the settings on the local device, and then connect to the remote PC. Softdrive will configure the remote PC's monitor topology to match the local device.

Avoid - Disabling Devices on the Remote PC

Softdrive installs virtual devices on the remote PC such as virtual monitors, webcams, and microphones. These are necessary for the related functionality to work through Softdrive. Please do not disable these devices via Device Manager, or uninstall them, or replace their drivers while using the remote desktop software.

Similarly, Softdrive uses GPUs on the local device and remote PC to compress/decompress (encode/decode) video. Disabling the GPU on either side may lead to a degraded experience or prevent Softdrive from working altogether.