Add Citrix applications to Start Menu and Desktop

Adding Citrix resources to the Start Menu and Desktop has been possible for quite some time now with the use of Citrix Receiver. The most recent version 4.5 of Receiver for Windows allows users to select the Start Menu and Desktop location themselves. You can also configure the location via GPO and command line install which I will show.

The best experience for users using Receiver includes single sign-on and resources residing in a specific folder within the Start Menu and/or Desktop.

To configure single sign-on with Receiver for Windows see

To install Receiver via command line see

Let’s take the following scenario and implement it:

Users should have Citrix Receiver with single sign-on configured and the Citrix store must be automatically provisioned for the user. Applications should reside within the Start Menu and optionally on the Desktop. Some applications must automatically appear in the Start Menu whilst other applications should only appear if subscribed by the user using Self Service. Applications must also be categorised within their own folders.

Let’s begin.

Step 1 – Configure Group Policy for single sign-on and StoreFront provisioning

If you haven’t already imported the Receiver.axmx file into the PolicyDefinitions folder within SYSVOL on your Domain Controller do so now. Receiver policy templates can be downloaded from Citrix. An ADML file will also be downloaded and must go within the language folder in PolicyDefinitions such as en-US.

1-minNow create or edit an existing Group Policy object. Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Citrix Components -> Citrix Receiver -> User Authentication -> Local user name and password. 2-minTick Enable pass-through authentication and Allow pass-through authentication for all ICA connections. Click OK. 3-minNavigate to Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Citrix Receiver -> Storefront -> Storefront Accounts List. 4-min

Check Enabled and click Show…5-minEnter a store name as below. The XenApp value at the beginning matches the same name as my Citrix store so this value should match yours. The On value makes the store active within Citrix Receiver. I am using HTTP for my store and whilst this is not the recommended protocol I want to use it to show you a couple of things you must do in the event your store also uses HTTP. Click OK. 6-minStep 2 – Install Receiver via command line installing the SSON component and configure Start Menu integration

Simply run a command line install such as the one below. ALLOWADDSTORE=A allows HTTP stores to be added to Receiver (by default this is not allowed). STARTMENUDIR is used to specify the folder that applications will fall under within the Start Menu. In this case, My Citrix Apps. More command line strings can be used and more detail on what is available can be found here the Receiver install and at least a log off/on for the SSONSVR.EXE service to kick in you should see your configured store as below. 8-minUnfortunately by default this message appears. This is because the store is HTTP. This takes us to step 3. 9-minStep 3 – Edit the Registry to optimise delivery of applications to Start Menu/Desktop and fix HTTP error

To get around the Your apps are not available at this time message add a REG_SZ entry with the name ConnectionSecurityMode and the value Any.. Remember that this is only needed for HTTP stores. This REG_SZ value should be created in:

HKLM\Software\Citrix\AuthManager – 32bit machines.

HKLM\Software\WOW6432Node\AuthManager – 64bit machines.10-minNext to speed up the Self Service application refresh (the time it takes resources to appear in the Start Menu or Desktop) we can create another two REG_SZ values. The names are as below both with a value of 1. Create these in:

HKLM/Software/Citrix/Dazzle – 32bit machines.

HKLM/Software/WOW6432Node/Citrix/Dazzle – 64bit machines.11-minStep 4 – Testing it all works and categorising applications

Launch Receiver. You should be autenticated by SSO. Subscribe to an application.12-minNow look how the application appears in the Start Menu under the My Citrix Apps folder. 13-minA requirement was to place applications within their own folders for better organisation. Navigate to Citrix Studio, edit the properties of the application, click Delivery and enter a name under Application category (optional). Now click OK.

Note: You can use the Add shortcut to user’s desktop check-box to add this application to the users desktop. 14-minAnother requirement was to make an application automatically appear within the Start Menu and Desktop folders without the user having to manually subscribe. To do this, edit an applications properties. We will first specify RDP under the application category. 15-minNow click on Indentification and enter KEYWORDS: Mandatory beneath Descriptions and keywords. Doing this subscribes the application to users and they cannot remove the subscription. We could have also used the Auto keyword and with this keyword users can unsubscribe. Click OK. 16-minThe next time you launch Receiver the RDP mandatory application appears. 17-minNow look at the Start Menu. Applications are under their own folder as specified within Studio and RDP now also appears. 18-minRemove Microsoft Outlook by right-clicking and removing within Receiver. 19-minThe application also dissapears from the Start Menu. 20-min

Try removing the mandatory application. You can’t.21-minAs I mentioned users now have the ability to configure application shortcuts using Receiver for Windows 4.5. Right-click the Receiver icon and click Advanced Preferences. 22-minClick Settings Option. 23-minNotice the options available. Specify a Start Menu Folder and click OK. 24-minClick Yes. 25-minNow applications appear in the Override Folder. 26-minSpecify a folder name for Desktop. Click OK. 27-minAfter Receiver starts the folder is created on your Desktop and populated with subscribed applications. 28-minHere’s a closer look showing the RDP folder. From my testing user specified locations using Receiver 4.5 overrides anything set via CMD Receiver install or GPO. 29-minTo configure Desktop and Start Menu shortcuts via GPO edit or create a new GPO. Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Citrix Receiver -> SelfService -> Manage App Shortcut. 30-minEnter a value under Startmenu Directory and Destktop Directory. Click OK.31-minAnd here is the Desktop folder. 32-minHere is the Start Menu folder. 33-minIf you want to supress messages that applications have been removed in the event you do remove applications or resources users are subscribed to you can create a registry value. Create a REG_SZ entry with the name DontWarnOfRemovedResources and a value of true. Create this entry in:

HKLM\Software\Citrix\Dazzle – 32bit machines.

HKLM\Software\WOW6432Node\Citrix\Dazzle – 64bit machines.34-min

Some older versions of Receiver do not seem to “recreate” a shortcut if a user deletes it. Newer versions do seem to do this. If you are having trouble getting a deleted shortcut to reappear you could try the following:

  1. Open CMD on the affected machine and change directory to
    1. C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICA Client\SelfServicePlugin (32bit machines)
    2. C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\ICA Client\SelfServicePlugin (64bit machines)
  2. Run command CleanUp.exe -cleanUser

Setting shortcuts to delete on Receiver exit or logoff

If you have machines shared between users under a single generic user account, you might find it useful to delete Self Service generated shortcuts when a user logs off Citrix Receiver or exits the application.

You can configure this behaviour either by creating the below strings under the HKCU hive for all your users or else have Group Policy do it instead. It is possible to create the below strings under HKLM on each machine, but I’ve found it more consistent to do so under HKCU. Either way, make sure to test the behaviour and confirm it works before deploying out.

To set shortcuts to delete on Receiver logoff and/or exit create string RemoveAppsOnExit and/or RemoveAppsOnLogoff under HKCU\Software\Citrix\Dazzle.

To manage the behaviour using Group Policy enable the Manage App Shortcut policy, part of the Receiver ADMX files that can be downloaded from Citrix.

Additional Notes

If you have difficulty getting applications to show on the desktop or start menu be sure to read this

One Comments

  • Tommy

    May 11, 2017

    Great tutorial !


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