I've been using Amazon WorkSpaces as my primary work device for the last 14 months. It provides a Desktop experience on top of EC2 for the user with a simplified set of options and administration compared to the full range of configuration options. and overall I've been satisfied with the experience. It allows me to make use of my existing hardware I've invested in such as running 3 monitors at 1920x1200, although I wish I could run it on just two without having to force the overlay of my personal desktop application on a given screen.
Recently I've upgraded in place from running version 3.1.9 to version 4.0.3, and in the process my display settings both within the WorkSpace, and in the WorkSpace client itself were misconfigured. Beyond degrading my visual experience, it also resulted in a fun bug where my cursor was offset. My mouse would be displayed in one position, but where the desktop actually identified the position was different. I've sent feedback to Amazon to hopefully prevent this happening to others, but I've documented how I was able to resolve my mouse not clicking where my cursor was.
Fix Cursor Offset in Amazon WorkSpace
- Check the High DPI (Dots Per Inch) setting in the Amazon WorkSpace client once you are logged by hovering at the top of the screen, and enabling
Settings > Display Settings... > High DPI Mode
- Enable Full Screen mode by going into the same top level bar, under
View > Enter Full Screen On All Displays.
- How to Use Amazon WorkSpace Full Screen on Two of Three Monitors may be a helpful reference.
- Go to the Windows Display Settings page and to the Scale and layout section
- I was able to get there by pressing the Windows key on my keyboard, and typing "Change the size of text, apps, and other items"
- Adjust the Scale and layout percentage for each monitor until they are the same across all monitors recognized by the WorkSpace.
- This may be difficult to do with the cursor offset. By default, there is a subtle highlight effect on where the cursor is actually going to click, despite what it may look like it's positioned on. You can use this to guide your clicking experience.
- Alternatively, you can use the keyboard navigation experience like tab to switch to the next option, shift+tab to go back, and enter to make a selection.
- Once all monitors are at the percentage scaling, I found that my mouse position accurately reflected where my clicks would take place.
Use Amazon WorkSpace Full Screen on Two of Three Monitors
One pain of Amazon Workspaces compared to Citrix is that it does not readily support using only two of your three monitors. It's either a single windowed experience, or everything. It is possible to work around this using the steps below.
- Set your WorkSpace to full screen, which will stretch across all your monitors.
- Hover at the top of a monitor until a white bar appears at the top with Settings and other configuration options
- In the far right corner, an icon like a black hexagon with a greencheck mark will appear allowing you to display your connectivity settings.
- Clicking this will pop up a secondary window independent of the Client Workspace, overlaying the Workspace. You can then use CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to pop open Task Manager, which will appear in your taskbar on your desktop device, rather than your WorkSpace.
- Now you can open another application from your desktop, while still having two of your three monitors displayed from your Amazon WorkSpace.