Control-Alt-Delete is the combination of the Control key, the Alt key, and the Delete key that a user may press at the same time on a personal computer to end an application task or to reboot the operating system.

What Does Ctrl Alt Delete Do?

The Ctrl-Alt-Delete keyboard shortcut, which is available in Windows 95 and subsequent systems, brings up the Task Manager window or a drop-down menu that enables a user to see the status of all currently running processes and to terminate any of them.

As TechTarget explains, the Ctrl-Alt-Delete combination is a security-related feature that enables the user to stop a frozen program, as well as to shut down or restart the computer, if necessary. Specific settings differ depending on which version of Windows is being used.

In addition, when the operating system seems to be stopped while waiting for the completion of an application program, a user is left with no option to retake control of the machine. In order to end a “hang” program and, if that does not work, to reboot the machine, the user must use the Ctrl-Alt-Del key sequence simultaneously.

The selection of keys and the requirement that they are pressed at the same time were made with the intent of making it more difficult to reboot the system accidentally.

As well as the “reboot” keyboard command, it is frequently referred to as a “three-finger salute” (in allusion to Microsoft’s Bill Gates) or the “Vulcan nerve pinch” (a Star Trek reference).

CTRL + ALT + DEL in Windows Remote Computer

Pressing the Ctrl-Alt-Delete sequence of keys when connected to a distant computer enables the command to be performed locally on your computer rather than remotely.

  1. Launch the Remote Desktop software by clicking on “Start,” then “Run,” entering “mstsc,” and then clicking “OK.”
  2. Launch the Remote Desktop program by clicking on “Start,” then “Run,” and then clicking “OK.”
  3. In the “Remote Desktop” box, type in the IP address or computer name of the remote computer and press the “Enter” key.
  4. To connect to the remote computer, enter your user name and password into the appropriate fields and press “Enter.”
  5. While you are seeing the Remote Desktop window, simultaneously press the “CTRL,” “ALT,” and “END” keys on your keyboard. Instead of executing the standard CTRL-ALT-DEL command on your local computer, this command runs the command on the remote machine.

CTRL-ALT-DEL on Chrome Remote Desktop

With Chrome Remote Desktop, you may also connect to another computer from anywhere in the world (CRD). Please keep in mind that you will need Google Chrome installed on your computer. In addition, you can send Ctrl-Alt-Delete commands from any location in the world using CRD.

Follow these steps in order to send CTRL-ALT-DEL on the chrome remote desktop:

  1. Download and install Chrome Remote Desktop on both your controlling PC and the target computer.
  2. Start CRD on the computer that will be controlling the game.
  3. To approve permissions, choose “Continue” from the pop-up window.
  4. From the “Get started” menu, select “Enable remote connections” under “My Computers” from the drop-down list.
  5. Following that, you’ll be prompted to enter a PIN for the target desktop.
  6. Download and install the Chrome Remote Host Service.
  7. By launching CRD and choosing the target desktop, you may now visit the target desktop using Google Chrome.
  8. After you have entered the PIN, you will be able to begin controlling the remote desktop.
  9. Open the “Send keys” option from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen.
  10. Press “Ctrl-Alt-Del” from the little drop-down menu that appears.

This approach is compatible with Android devices as well, allowing you to connect to the remote desktop using the phone that you use on a daily basis. While the actual setup procedure differs, all that is required is the entry of a PIN, after which you will be able to access the desktop from any location in the world. The “Send keys” menu works in the same manner as well.

However, although using CRD affects the resolution and processing performance, its primary advantage is the way Chrome and Google operate together. A Google account makes it simple to establish a remote connection with any computer of your choosing.


Sending the Ctrl-Alt-Delete command to a remote Mac will open the Force Quit Applications window on that computer.

To issue the command, go to Actions -> Ctrl-Alt-Delete from the application’s main menu.

The Force Quit choices will be presented on the screen.

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