Enabling Windows 7 Desktop Experience on XenApp 6.5

Good Morning!, If you were not already aware, you can enable your desktop sessions published on XenApp 6.5 to resemble a Windows 7 Desktop.  By doing this the end user experience will be much better if the users are used to using native Windows 7 Desktop’s. You can follow along with the process to try this out and see for your self. Getting this in place involves importing some group policy settings via PowerShell and enabling the Desktop Experience feature. Note to get this to work I had to remove the existing profiles off the server after it had been implemented. Apparently, it will only work if a user loads a clean profile.


I found this information on the following Citrix Article: http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp65-admin/ps-csp-win7-desktop-experience.html

To enable Windows 7 look and feel and control desktop customization

w7 desktop experience

By applying the relevant Group Policy objects you will apply the following settings:

1) CtxStartMenuTaskbarUser
Changes the pinned shortcuts on the Taskbar and configures the Start menu to match a Windows 7 environment. This GPO includes a script that executes when a user logs on to the server for the first time. To ensure the script executes correctly, the PowerShell execution policy on the server must be set to AllSigned.

2) CtxPersonalizableUser
Enables users to change the desktop wallpaper. Prevents users from installing programs, viewing properties, scheduling tasks, or shutting down the server. Used with the CtxRestrictedComputer GPO.

3) CtxRestrictedUser
Includes the restrictions in the CtxPersonalizableUser GPO and prevents users from modifying desktop wallpaper and Start menu and Taskbar settings. Used with the CtxRestrictedComputer GPO.

4) CtxRestrictedComputer
Prevents users from accessing the Task Manager, Administrative Tools, Windows Update, Help and Support, and removable drives. Used with either the CtxPersonalizableUser or CtxRestrictedUser GPOs


So lets get started, use these steps to try this out:


1) Enable the Desktop Experience feature on the XenApp Server using the Add Features Wizard

add role

2) Launch PowerShell and navigate to the “C:\Program Files (x86)\citrix\app delivery setup tools” directory and launch the PowerShell script .\New-CtxManagedDesktopGPO

3) Verify the output and make sure that it has completed successfully

verify results

4) If you launch the group policy management console you should now see the imported group policy objects

5) Next up we need to link the GPO’s to the correct OU’s.  The following GPO’s need to be linked to the user’s OU

  • CtxStartMenuTaskbarUser
  • CtxPersonalizableUser or CtxRestrictedUser

And the following GPO to the OU where the XenApp server resides

  • CtxRestrictedComputer

6) After the GPO’s have been linked to the relevant OU’s then we need to force a GPUpdate and reboot the server.

After this has completed, delete any local profiles stored on the XenApp server. Now logon with a test account and you should see something similar to the screen shot at the top of this article.


Let me know if you have any questions or feedback,


Take care

Read more here at Citrix.com’s support site: