Limit maximum color depth

This policy setting allows you to specify the maximum color resolution (color depth) for Remote Desktop Services connections.

You can use this policy setting to set a limit on the color depth of any connection using RDP. Limiting the color depth can improve connection performance, particularly over slow links, and reduce server load.

If you enable this policy setting, the color depth that you specify is the maximum color depth allowed for a user's connection over RDP. The actual color depth for the connection is determined by the color support available on the client computer. If you select "Client Compatible," the highest color depth supported by the client will be used.

Note: A color depth of 24 bit is only supported on Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003.

If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, the color depth for connections is determined by the "Limit Maximum Color Depth" setting on the Client Settings tab in the Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration tool, unless a lower level is specified by the user at the time of connection.


Supported on: At least Windows Server 2003 operating systems or Windows XP Professional
Color Depth


  1. Client Compatible
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services
    Value NameColorDepth
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value999
  2. 15 bit
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services
    Value NameColorDepth
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value2
  3. 16 bit
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services
    Value NameColorDepth
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value3
  4. 24 bit
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services
    Value NameColorDepth
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value4
  5. 32 bit
    Registry HiveHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Registry PathSOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services
    Value NameColorDepth
    Value TypeREG_DWORD
    Value5


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