Citrix Workspace Remote Desktop

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Solving keyboard layout issues in an ICA or RDP session can be quite tricky. In this article I deal with some of the common causes and their solutions.

  1. Citrix Remote Desktop Download
  2. Citrix Workspace Remote Desktop Multiple Monitors
  3. My Citrix Workspace
The issues and solutions in this article apply to XenDesktop / Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) version 7.12 and higher and Citrix Receiver 4.6 and higher.

A list of the most common issues

Sometimes it may be necessary to reset Citrix Receiver or Citrix Workspace. This can normally resolve unexpected behavior and/or problems. You can reset Citrix Receiver or Citrix Workspace using the desktop graphical user interface or using the command line. (Please ensure TVT is not in use before continuing) Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1 & 10. Citrix Workspace is rated 8.4, while Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Citrix Workspace writes 'Fast set up, easy to install, with responsive support'. On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services writes 'It's predictable but they need to develop better support for remote. The only solution I have found that is actually manageable and usable is to start the Citrix Workspace app and connect to the remote desktop session, then once the desktop loads, press the SHIFT-F2 key combination, which places the desktop into windowed mode, which is unusable due to the resolution issue noted in my original post.

Let's start with a list of the most common keyboard layout issues. Each issue is linked to a section in this article that describes the causes and solutions:

  • You logon to an RDP or ICA session.
  • Issue 1 - the keyboard layout changes unexpectedly at logon:
    1. The keyboard layout of the local client should be synchronized in the session, but it is not. Instead, the server-side keyboard layout on the worker (VDA) is used.
    2. The keyboard layout of the local client is used instead of the server-side keyboard layout (worker/VDA). This is the opposite situation compared to scenario A.
  • Issue 2- the keyboard layout changes unexpectedly when opening another application in the same session.
    When opening another application in the same session the keyboard layout changes unexpectedly. In most cases logging off and on again solves the problem (until the layout changes unexpectedly again).
  • Issue 3: the keyboard layout changes randomly during the session (without opening a new application).
    Sometimes when working in a session the keyboard layout changes unexpectedly without any specific interaction by the user (e.g. starting a new application or launching a console). In most cases logging off and on again solves the problem (until the layout changes unexpectedly again).
  • Issue 4: the keyboard layout changes unexpectedly on the Windows lock screen (this issue is described in a separate article on this website).

As you can see in the previous list, keyboard layout issues can present themselves in different ways. The following paragraphs describe the causes and solutions for each of the scenarios above.

Common causes and solutions for issue 1 'the keyboard layout changes unexpectedly at logon'

There are at least three possible reasons why either the local keyboard layout or server-side keyboard layout is used at session launch:

The registry value IgnoreRemoteKeyboardLayout is either configured or missing

The registry value IgnoreRemoteKeyboardLayout is a 'golden oldie' in the world or Remote Desktop Services and Citrix. This value is configured on the Remote Desktop Session Host or Citrix worker (VDA).

First of all, IgnoreRemoteKeyboardLayout is a registry value that you set on the Citrix worker (the VDA):

  • Key:HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layout
  • Name:IgnoreRemoteKeyboardLayout
  • Value:1
  • Type:DWORD

A reboot is not necessary. For this value to take effect you only need to close your current RDP or ICA session (in case you have one open) and launch a new session. This setting is a local machine setting, so it applies to all users (and administrators!).

As said, this registry setting has been around forever and still applies to all server operating systems including the latest one, Windows Server 2019.

So what exactly does this setting do? Well, when an RDP or ICA session is launched, instead of using the keyboard layout set on the local client device, the keyboard layout set in the user's (roaming) profile within the RDP or ICA session is used. To be more precise; the keyboard layout that is listed first in the current user registry hive HKCUKeyboard LayoutPreload in the user's (roaming) profile is used.

By default, the registry value IgnoreRemoteKeyboardLayout is not present on the local system. In case the value is present, but you want to use the local keyboard layout of the user's client device instead, you can either delete the registry value or change it from 1 to 0.

Not

Citrix Workspace app is configured to use either the local or remote keyboard layout (APPSRV.INI)

Citrix Workspace app includes several advanced preferences, one of which is the Keyboard and Language bar.

By default, the configuration of this setting is set to Use the server keyboard layout. As explained in the previous section, the server keyboard layout is actually the user's keyboard layout as configured in the (roaming) profile used in the ICA session.

Switching to Yes enables the keyboard layout synchronization feature which was introduced in XenDesktop 7.12 and Receiver 4.6. This feature not only synchronizes the keyboard layout of the local client to the ICA session at session launch, but it also dynamically changes the layout in the active ICA session when the keyboard layout on the local client is changed.

This setting is actually stored in the APPSRV.INI or at least it will be when you change it. The APPSRV.INI has been around for a very long time, since the early releases of Citrix Receiver. The file APPSRV.INI is a user-specific configuration file and is located in the following directory:

%AppData%ICAClient APPSRV.INI
(= C:Users%UserName%AppDataRoamingICAClient APPSRV.INI)

Selecting Yes in the above screenshot adds a new entry in the APPSRV.INI file: LocalIME=1

2
4
6
8
10
12
;**********************************************************************
;** APPSRV.INI - Application Server Configuration File.
;** This file contains user settings which define application
;**
;**********************************************************************
[WFClient]
[...]

By default, the value KeyboardLayout is missing from the APPSRV.INI file. When adding the value, choose either KeyboardLayout=(Server Default) or KeyboardLayout=(User Profile). The last one uses the keyboard layout of the user's local client.

The settings described in this section only apply to ICA sessions and not to RDP. In comparison, the registry value IgnoreRemoteKeyboardLayout applies to both RDP and ICA sessions.

For more information see the following Citrix articles:

Local IME (and the keyboard synchronization feature) has been enabled or disabled on the Citrix worker (VDA)

In the previous section I described the keyboard synchronization feature (local IME). It is important to realize that this feature can also be managed from the Citrix worker (VDA). It is possible to enable or disable the feature by setting the following registry value:

  • Key:HKLMSOFTWARECitrixIcaIcaIme
  • Name:DisableKeyboardSync
  • Value:
    • 0 (keyboard sync is enabled)
    • 1 (keyboard sync is disabled)
  • Type:DWORD

You can use a Group Policy Preference item to set the registry value.

In case you are sure that you have configured the settings in Citrix Workspace app correctly (and you have taken operating system specific issues into account) and the keyboard layout is still incorrect, you may have to enable or disable this setting.

The settings described in this section only apply to ICA sessions and not to RDP.

Common causes and solutions for issue 2 and 3 'the keyboard layout changes unexpectedly when opening another application in the same session or randomly during the session'

The cause for issues 2 and 3 lies in the Citrix keyboard layout synchronization feature in the Citrix Workspace app. As explained in one of the previous sections, this feature dynamically changes the keyboard layout in the active Citrix session when the local keyboard layout is changed.

For some reason though, the keyboard layout in the active session is changed on occasion although the local keyboard layout was not altered. The exact reason why this happens is unknown (the Citrix support engineer, although providing the solution, was not able to explain the exact cause either).

The solution to this problem is to disable the keyboard synchronization feature on the worker (VDA). This is done by modifying a registry value as described in the section Local IME.

Citrix

Configuring this registry value (1 = disable) actually solved this issue for me!

What is strange about the whole situation is that:

  1. Technically speaking, keyboard layout synchronization should already be disabled based on the default setting 'No, use the server keyboard layout' in Citrix Workspace app.
  2. Secondly, according to the Citrix documentation, on Windows Server 2016, this feature should already be deactivated: 'This feature is disabled in Windows Server 2016 due to a third-party issue which might introduce performance risk. [...]'

Citrix Remote Desktop Download

This issue is also described in the Citrix article Receiver keyboard language set on VDA is over ridden by the one set on the endpoint.

Citrix CTA Julian Mooren also describes this problem on his blog in the article XenApp – Keyboard Layout is switching occasionally in MUI environment.

The settings described in this section only apply to ICA sessions and not to RDP.

I hope the information presented in this article was of some help to you.

Dennis Span
Dennis Span works as a Lead Sales Engineer at Citrix in Vienna, Austria. He holds multiple certifications such as CCE-V, CCIA and CCEA. In 2017, Dennis became a Citrix Technology Advocate (CTA). In 2019, he became a Citrix Technology Professional (CTP). Besides his interest in virtualization technologies and blogging, he loves spending time with his family as well as snowboarding, playing basketball and rowing. He is fluent in Dutch, English, German and Slovak and speaks some Spanish.
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Applies to: Windows 10, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, and Windows 7

You can use the Remote Desktop client for Windows Desktop to access Windows apps and desktops remotely from a different Windows device.

Note

  • This documentation is not for the Remote Desktop Connection (MSTSC) client that ships with Windows. It's for the new Remote Desktop (MSRDC) client.
  • This client currently only supports accessing remote apps and desktops from Windows Virtual Desktop.
  • Curious about the new releases for the Windows Desktop client? Check out What's new in the Windows Desktop client

Install the client

Choose the client that matches the version of Windows. The new Remote Desktop client (MSRDC) supports Windows 10, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, and Windows 7 client devices.

You can install the client for the current user, which doesn't require admin rights, or your admin can install and configure the client so that all users on the device can access it.

Once you've installed the client, you can launch it from the Start menu by searching for Remote Desktop.

Update the client

You'll be notified whenever a new version of the client is available as long as your admin hasn't disabled notifications. The notification will appear in either the Connection Center or the Windows Action Center. To update your client, just select the notification.

You can also manually search for new updates for the client:

  1. From the Connection Center, tap the overflow menu (...) on the command bar at the top of the client.
  2. Select About from the drop-down menu.
  3. The client automatically searches for updates.
  4. If there's an update available, tap Install update to update the client.

Workspaces

Get the list of managed resources you can access, such as apps and desktops, by subscribing to the Workspace your admin provided you. When you subscribe, the resources become available on your local PC. The Windows Desktop client currently supports resources published from Windows Virtual Desktop.

Subscribe to a Workspace

There are two ways you can subscribe to a Workspace. The client can try to discover the resources available to you from your work or school account or you can directly specify the URL where your resources are for cases where the client is unable to find them. Once you've subscribed to a Workspace, you can launch resources with one of the following methods:

  • Go to the Connection Center and double-click a resource to launch it.
  • You can also go to the Start menu and look for a folder with the Workspace name or enter the resource name in the search bar.

Subscribe with a user account

  1. From the main page of the client, tap Subscribe.
  2. Sign in with your user account when prompted.
  3. The resources will appear in the Connection Center grouped by Workspace.

Subscribe with URL

  1. From the main page of the client, tap Subscribe with URL.
  2. Enter the Workspace URL or your email address:
    • If you use the Workspace URL, use the one your admin gave you. If accessing resources from Windows Virtual Desktop, you can use one of the following URLs:
      • Windows Virtual Desktop (classic): https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/api/feeddiscovery/webfeeddiscovery.aspx
      • Windows Virtual Desktop: https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/api/arm/feeddiscovery
    • To use email, enter your email address. This tells the client to search for a URL associated with your email address if your admin has setup email discovery.
  3. Tap Next.
  4. Sign in with your user account when prompted.
  5. The resources will appear in the Connection Center grouped by Workspace.

Workspace details

After subscribing, you can view additional information about a Workspace on the Details panel:

  • The name of the Workspace
  • The URL and username used to subscribe
  • The number of apps and desktops
  • The date/time of the last refresh
  • The status of the last refresh
Desktop

Accessing the Details panel:

  1. From the Connection Center, tap the overflow menu (...) next to the Workspace.
  2. Select Details from the drop-down menu.
  3. The Details panel appears on the right side of the client.

After you've subscribed, the Workspace will refresh automatically on a regular basis. Resources may be added, changed, or removed based on changes made by your admin.

You can also manually look for updates to the resources when needed by selecting Refresh from the Details panel.

Refreshing a Workspace

You can manually refresh a Workspace by selecting Refresh from the overflow menu (...) next to the Workspace.

Unsubscribe from a Workspace

Citrix Workspace Remote Desktop Multiple Monitors

This section will teach you how to unsubscribe from a Workspace. You can unsubscribe to either subscribe again with a different account or remove your resources from the system.

  1. From the Connection Center, tap the overflow menu (...) next to the Workspace.
  2. Select Unsubscribe from the drop-down menu.
  3. Review the dialog box and select Continue.

Managed desktops

Workspaces can contain multiple managed resources, including desktops. When accessing a managed desktop, you have access to all the apps installed by your admin.

Desktop settings

You can configure some of the settings for desktop resources to ensure the experience meets your needs. To access the list of available settings right-click on the desktop resource and select Settings.

Citrix Workspace Remote Desktop

The client will use the settings configured by your admin unless you turn off the Use default settings option. Doing so allows you to configure the following options:

  • Display configuration selects which displays to use for the desktop session and impacts which additional settings are available.
    • All displays ensures the session always uses all your local displays even when some of them are added or removed later.
    • Single display ensures the session always uses a single display and allows you to configure its properties.
    • Select displays allows you to choose which displays to use for the session and provides an option to dynamically change the list of displays during the session.
  • Select the displays to use for the session specifies which local displays to use for the session. All selected displays must be adjacent to each other. This setting is only available in Select display mode.
  • Maximize to current displays determines which displays the sessions will use when going full screen. When enabled, the session goes full screen on the displays touched by the session window. This allows you to change displays during the session. When disabled, the session goes full screen on the same displays it was on the last time it was full screen. This setting is only available in Select display mode and is disabled otherwise.
  • Single display when windowed determines which displays are available in the session when exiting full screen. When enabled, the session switches to a single display in windowed mode. When disabled, the session retains the same displays in windowed mode as in full screen. This setting is only available in All displays and Select display modes and is disabled otherwise.
  • Start in full screen determines whether the session will launch in full-screen or windowed mode. This setting is only available in Single display mode and is enabled otherwise.
  • Fit session to window determines how the session is displayed when the resolution of the remote desktop differs from the size of the local window. When enabled, the session content will be resized to fit inside the window while preserving the aspect ratio of the session. When disabled, scrollbars or black areas will be shown when the resolution and window size don't match. This setting is available in all modes.
  • Update the resolution on resize makes the remote desktop resolution automatically update when you resize the session in windowed mode. When disabled, the session always remains at whichever resolution you specify in Resolution. This setting is only available in Single display mode and is enabled otherwise.
  • Resolution lets you specify the resolution of the remote desktop. The session will retain this resolution for its entire duration. This setting is only available in Single display mode and when Update the resolution on resize is disabled.
  • Change the size of the text and apps specifies the size of the content of the session. This setting only applies when connecting to Windows 8.1 and later or Windows Server 2012 R2 and later. This setting is only available in Single display mode and when Update the resolution on resize is disabled.

Give us feedback

My Citrix Workspace

Have a feature suggestion or want to report a problem? Tell us with the Feedback Hub.

You can also give us feedback by selecting the button that looks like a smiley face emoticon in the client app, as shown in the following image:

Note

To best help you, we need you to give us as detailed information about the issue as possible. For example, you can include screenshots or a recording of the actions you took leading up to the issue. For more tips about how to provide helpful feedback, see Feedback.

Access client logs

Citrix remote desktop download

You might need the client logs when investigating a problem.

To retrieve the client logs:

  1. Ensure no sessions are active and the client process isn't running in the background by right-clicking on the Remote Desktop icon in the system tray and selecting Disconnect all sessions.
  2. Open File Explorer.
  3. Navigate to the %temp%DiagOutputDirRdClientAutoTrace folder.