How to make RemoteApp show the application icon when starting

How to make RemoteApp show the application icon when starting

  • Comments 16

When you start a remote application using an RDP file, you typically see the following UI while the application is being started:

image

The problem with this UI is that it shows the generic Remote Desktop icon for every application you start. However, by customizing the RDP file, you can change this behavior and have UI which looks like this:

image

This UI associates an icon with the remote application being started, resulting in the user having more visual feedback as to what is being launched on the remote computer.

To ensure that the icon of a remote application is shown in the RemoteApp UI, you first need to obtain the ICO file of the application. Once you have that, there are two ways to get the icon to appear when using the RDP file to start the remote application.

Method 1: Using the RemoteApplicationIcon RDP file setting

Assume the ICO file is located in “c:\icons” on the client machine, and the filename is “wmplayer.ico”. Add the following line to the RDP file associated with the remote application:

RemoteApplicationIcon:s:c:\icons\wmplayer.ico

Unfortunately environment variables are not supported.

This method is very simple to implement – it is just a one line change to any RDP files associated with the remote application. However, if the application icon ever changes, then all of the associated RDP files will have to be updated with the new icon location (editing all these files may not be a simple process).

Method 2: Using the RemoteApplicationGuid RDP file setting

This method is a little more complicated. First, create a GUID for the remote application, such as:

4ff33cce-fb83-4dff-97b3-aa1e97f11fa5

Then, create a registry key in the HKCU or HKLM hive on the client machine (under the RemoteApplications key) using the GUID as the key name (if the key is defined in both HKCU and HKLM, the key in HKCU takes precedence):

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\RemoteApplications\4ff33cce-fb83-4dff-97b3-aa1e97f11fa5

or

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\RemoteApplications\4ff33cce-fb83-4dff-97b3-aa1e97f11fa5

Then, inside this key create a REG_SZ value named “RemoteApplicationIcon”. The contents of this REG_SZ value should contain the path to the remote application icon on the client machine, such as “c:\icons\wmplayer.ico”. Environment variables are not supported with this method either.

Finally, add the following line to the RDP file associated with the remote application:

RemoteApplicationGuid:s:4ff33cce-fb83-4dff-97b3-aa1e97f11fa5

This method requires updating the registry in addition to the RDP files associated with a remote application. However, if the application icon ever changes only the registry value containing the icon path needs to be updated with the new icon location – this is especially simple if the HKLM hive was used, as there will only be one location where the icon is stored.

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  • SO that means, we will have to make these changes on the client machines first...

    is it possible to put the .ico file on a shared location and then put the UNC path instead?

  • I have verified that UNC paths do work.  

    1.  I used GPO preferences(part of Windows 2008) to push out the registry keys to the users.  If your clients are Windows XP they will need the Windows XP Client Side Preferences update from Microsoft before you can push out registry keys changes.  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e60b5c8f-d7dc-4b27-a261-247ce3f6c4f8&displaylang=en

    2.  Then I manually edited the RDP file to include

    RemoteApplicationGuid:s:4ff33cce-fb83-4dff-97b3-aa1e97f11fa5

    Is there a way to edit the RDP files on more of a global scale.  I have been pushing out remoteapps through MSI packages via group policy.  I havent found a way to edit the RDP files using this method.  Please help!

  • The way that I have been editing RDP files is by opening the RDP files with Notepad after they have already been deployed through the MSI package.  There has to be a better way to add RDP customizations before the remoteapp is packaged into an MSI.  

  • How would you change the icon if accessing remoteapp's via TSWeb.  

  • @pslager: In RemoteApp Manager, you can change the RemoteApp's icon on the Properties page.

    Rob [MSFT]

  • Rob, sorry I know you can change the icons on the page but I wanted to change the icons when you actually click on the application so it removes the default icon and replaces it with the application icon.  Just like the article describes. I was able to replace the icons for RDP deployed RemoteApps but was curious if there was a way to do the same thing in RemoteApp

  • Sorry I meant to say I was curious if there was a way to do the same thing the article describes in TSWeb

  • @pslager

    Sorry, no way other than as described in the article.

    Rob

  • What about digitally signed rdp files with an certificate? How can you add the icon then?

  • If your .RDP file is digitally signed, edit it as above, then remove the existing digital signature in the .RDP file (line starts with signature:s:), then resign using rdpsign.exe

  • I noticed the last post on this was some time ago.  Is there a way yet for displaying the correct icon on this dialogue window when using the RD Web Access rather than the RDP files?

  • That would interest me too.

    I have apps deployed via msi and Web Access, and either way when the program opens the taskbar shows the default RDP icon.

  • Dear Sir,

    How can I get rdpsign.exe utility?

    My .RDP files are digitally signed with an SSL certificate, I removed the existing digital signature in the .RDP file (line starts with signature:s:), But How can I resign them with rdpsign.exe???

    Any help please!!!

    Thank You!

  • A simple way to do this is to create a shortcut to .rdp file and change icon for it.

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