RemoteFX USB Redirection in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8

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Hi, I’m Harry Martyrossian from the Remote Desktop Virtualization team. This post highlights some of the features added and enhancements to RemoteFX USB Redirection implemented in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. Special thanks to Benjamin Meister for his major contributions to this post.

RemoteFX USB Redirection in Windows 8 adds the following new features to RemoteFX USB Redirection in Windows 7 SP1 (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).

USB Redirection with or without RemoteFX vGPU

RemoteFX USB Redirection for Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RDVH) in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 was available only to those deployments that enabled the RemoteFX vGPU. With Windows Server 2012, USB Redirection is now available to any RDVH deployments, with or without the RemoteFX vGPU.

 Dynamic In-Session USB Redirection

USB devices can now be selected for redirection even in the middle of a remote session, and can be swapped between remote sessions or to the local PC. When RemoteFX USB Redirection is enabled, simply tap the new Devices icon on the Connection Bar to choose which devices are redirected.

This image shows the location of the new Devices icon.


The Remote Desktop Connection dialog box allows you to choose USB devices that you want to use in your remote desktop session.


Expanded USB Device Support

Recently we released the KB article Some USB devices are not available via RemoteFX USB redirection that explains how to enable additional devices with RemoteFX USB Redirection. Now you can use CD writers, specialty printers, phones, and much more in your remote session, including high-performance USB devices.

For more information, see System-Defined Device Interface Classes.

USB Redirection for RD Session Host (Session Isolation)

While RemoteFX USB Redirection for Windows 7 SP1 was implemented for client SKUs with a single session, RemoteFX USB Redirection for Windows 8 supports redirection from multiple clients and provides session isolation for redirected devices. This means that users will only see USB devices that belong to them.

Windows PowerShell Interface for USB Redirection Configuration

To enable administrators to configure RemoteFX USB Redirection, in Windows 7 SP1 we introduced a new custom RDP property: usbdevicestoredirect. In Windows Server 2012 this property can be added to any session collection or virtual desktop collection to allow users to access USB devices when connecting to the published resources.

To set that custom property for a session collection, use the Set-RDSessionCollectionConfiguration command. To set the property for a virtual desktop collection, use the Set-RDVirtualDesktopCollectionConfiguration command.

For example, to redirect webcams to a virtual desktop collection, you can use the following custom RDP property:

Set-RDVirtualDesktopCollectionConfiguration –CollectionName YourCollectionName –CustomRdpProperty "usbdevicestoredirect:s:{6bdd1fc6-810f-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f }"

where {6bdd1fc6-810f-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f} is the System-Defined Device Setup Class GUID. To find GUIDs for other device classes, see System-Defined Device Setup Classes Available to Vendors (MSDN).

For more information about collections, see Omair Gillani’s blog post.

NOTE: Questions and comments are welcome.  However, please DO NOT post a request for troubleshooting by using the comment tool at the end of this post.  Instead, post a new thread in the RDS & TS forum.

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  • So when will we be able to use a full RDS session to have full Lync Voice functionality with USB devices?

  • @Tobie Fysh: More info on Lync 2013 and Session-based Desktop deployments and Virtual Machine-based Desktop Deployments:

    Kind regards,

    Freek Berson

  • This type of USB redirection no longer requires RemoteFX to be enabled and used in a hyper-V vm!

    I just tested that I can share my webcam from my physical windows 8 laptop to my physical windows 8 desktop.

    Also from my physical "host" os to a vm running inside the laptop using client hyper-v!

    Great news for people wishing to virtualize applications that need "license dongle" usb devices.


  • <a href="">Remote access</a> services are the perfect solution for anyone who uses more than one computer because you can save a trip out to a field location by accessing the whole data.

  • I am interested in USB redirection. But I cannot see an icon on the top bar for the new devices. The server is a server 2012 std with the GPO enabled. When I run mstsc I can see the USB devices listed under local resources but they cannot be found on the VM?

  • Anyone else experience very slow read/writes with RemoteFX USB redirection? I've tried this with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 and also Windows Server 2012 with Windows 8. I get about 1mb/sec. read and about half that on the write.

  • Hi,

    If I need to integrate with a local device via ActiveX, is there a way to do it through RemoteFX, with hardware support, or other way?


  • Hi,

    I'm testing USB Redirection for RD Session Host and found that it works with a webcam and seems to be okay with scanners and all-in-one printers but at the end of the day I cannot scan or print with the latter.

    I set up a Windows Server 2012 with RDSH role, and a Windows 8 Professional desktop with the necessary group policy setting enabled. When I start the mstsc.exe on client side I see and select both the webcam and the scanner/AiO listed under 'other supported RemoteFX USB devices'.

    When I connect to the server session the server recognizes the redirected device and installs the driver for it or requests the necessary driver. After I install the driver the redirected device gets visible among 'devices and printers'. If I test the redirected webcam in a browser session (running on server, e.g. in Firefox) it works properly. If I try to scan with the scanner to mspaint.exe the scanner does not respond at all.

    There are no yellow banged devices in device manager anywhere.

    I tested the same functionality by connecting to an other desktop running Windows 8 Enterprise and both the webcam and scanner/AiO printer redirection (including printing) worked. This means to me that the peripherals function properly and the RDP8 USB redirection works fine.

    Of course, the webcam and scanner/AiO works when connected to the client and using them from Windows 8 Professional.

    How can I do some further troubleshooting to see why the scanner/AiO does not work when connected to Windows Server 2012 RDSH?



  • Typical Microsoft arrogance ... they don't tell you how to do anything ... and you wonder why things are not happening as they explain ... and you're left trying to figure out if it's their problem or what.  Comments here show people having problems seeing the "New Devices Icon" when trying to redirect ... but no explanation or followup from Harry here about that issue.  I have the new Windows Surface Pro 2 feeding RDP through to new Windows 2012 server but no "New Devices Icon" shows up ... so what gives ?  Send the piece of crap back if it's not supported.

  • RE: Stuart McColl

    The documentation on technet is quite thorough, this blog just exposes a few enhancements. However, the "Device" icon does not show up unless a supported USB device is actually plugged in at the time of connection. I tried this for awhile assuming it was not working, but i simply did not have any usb devices that were able to be shared.

    FYI hard drives and many devices are already supported via "Other supported Plug and Play (PnP) devices" so having those plugged in still does not show "Other supported RemoteFX USB Devices" which is what causes the "Devices" icon to appear. One device I use to test that can only be shared via RemoteFX is a "Usb-Serial" adaptor. Which works quite well through the RDP session.

    In your case for a windows 8 -> windows 2012 server connection, the only thing required is 1. the group policy setting: "Allow RDP redirection of other supported remotefx usb devices from this computer" to be set on the surface pro. And for an actual USB device to be plugged into the surface pro.

    Here's some data for people using windows 7 trying to get this to work as well:

    Install kb2592687 from microsoft to update the RDP protocol support on windows 7 to rdp 8.0 (8.1 will be available soon). This update causes windows 7 to have all the new remote fx features as windows 8.

    Configure Windows 7 to use the RDP 8 protocol version via registry entry:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services]


    0 = Use rdp 7.0

    1 = Use rdp 8.0 (without this, USB redirection will not work)

    Configure windows 7 to use UDP and TCP as the transport to match the RDP 8 settings of windows 8.

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services]


    0 = use both TCP and UDP (default in windows 8.1, win 7 will by default only use TCP)

    Configure windows 7 to allow Usb Redirection to occur from the computer the MSTSC.exe is running on:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services\Client]


    2 = administrators and users

    1 = administrators only

    Now even windows 7 can use this new feature of RDP 8.0.

  • Can you included multiple guids for a site collection?

  • Hi , I have a question, Is this RemoteFX USB Redirection function available on USB 3.0 port? (Win81 or Win7 with RDP8.1 client?) Could you tell me that? thank you.

  • How can I make use of the IMsRdpDeviceCollection2 and IMsRdpDriveV2 as they are not exposed from Mstscax.dll which conflicts to what the documentation states


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RemoteFX USB Redirection in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8