Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Upgrade and migrate

About upgrading

Upgrading changes your deployment to the Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1912 Long Term Service (LTSR) without having to set up new machines or sites. This is known as an in-place upgrade.

Upgrading gives you access to the latest features and technologies that you’re eligible for. Upgrades can also contain fixes, clarifications, and enhancements from earlier versions.

Versions you can upgrade

You can upgrade to the LTSR from:

  • XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 LTSR with or without CUs, up to and including CU9 (only for platforms mentioned in System Requirements)
  • XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR with or without CUs, up to and including CU7
  • XenApp and XenDesktop 7.16
  • XenApp and XenDesktop 7.17
  • XenApp and XenDesktop 7.18
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1808
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1811
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1903
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1906
  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 1909

Important notice about upgrading VDAs

If the Personal vDisk (PvD) component was ever installed on a VDA, that VDA cannot be upgraded to version 1912 LTSR or later. To use the new VDA, you must uninstall the current VDA and then install the new VDA.

This instruction applies even if you never used PvD.

Learn if you’re affected

How PvD might have been installed in earlier versions:

  • In the VDA installer’s graphical interface, PvD was an option on the Additional Components page. The 7.15 LTSR and earlier 7.x releases enabled this option by default. So, if you accepted the defaults (or explicitly enabled the option in any release), PvD was installed.
  • On the command line, the /baseimage option installed PvD. If you specified this option, or used a script that contained this option, PvD was installed.

If you don’t know whether your VDA has PvD installed, run the installer for the new VDA (1912 LTSR or later) on the machine or image.

  • If PvD is installed, a message appears, indicating there is an incompatible component.
    • For the graphical interface, click Cancel on the page containing the message, and then confirm that you want to close the installer.
    • From the CLI, the command simply fails with the displayed message.
  • If PvD is not installed, the upgrade proceeds.

What to do

If the VDA does not have PvD installed, follow the usual upgrade procedure.

If the VDA has PvD installed:

  1. Uninstall the current VDA. For details, see Remove components.
  2. Install the new VDA.

If you want to continue using PvD you can do so only on VDA 7.15 LTSR through Win 7 and Win 10 (1607 or earlier) versions.

How to upgrade

Review the documentation before beginning the upgrade.

To upgrade the core components and VDAs:

  1. Run the installer on the machines where the components are installed. The software determines if an upgrade is available and installs the newer version.
  2. Use the newly upgraded Studio to upgrade the database and the site.

Upgrade preparation and guidance: The Upgrade a deployment article is your primary information source for the core components and VDAs. That article describes the upgrade sequence and order, limitations, preparation steps, and other considerations. It also provides the step-by-step upgrade procedure, and instructions for upgrading the databases and the site after you upgrade the core components.

Installation specifics: After you complete any preparation work and you are ready to start the installer, the installation article shows you what you will see (if you’re using the graphical interface) or what to type (if you’re using the command-line interface) to upgrade the components. When the installer completes, return to the guidance in Upgrade a deployment for database and site upgrades.

For information about installing Controller hotfixes, see CTX201988.

Upgrade Licensing

For a comprehensive look at managing Citrix Licensing, see Activate, upgrade, and manage Citrix licenses.

For an on-premises deployment, you can use the full-product installer to upgrade the License Server. Or, you can download and upgrade the license components separately. See Upgrade.

Upgrade other components

In addition to the core components and VDAs, on-premises Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops deployments include the following components that you can upgrade when newer versions are released.

Frequently asked questions

This section answers some commonly asked questions about upgrading Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

  • What is the correct order to upgrade my Virtual Apps and Desktops environment?

    The VDA can be upgraded at any time, in any order. Upgrade half of the Controllers before upgrading your site. Then upgrade the remaining Controllers after the site upgrade. For more information, see Upgrade sequence and Upgrade procedure.

  • My site has several Delivery Controllers (in different zones). What happens if I upgrade only some of them? Am I required to upgrade every Controller in the site during the same maintenance window?

    The best practice is to upgrade all Delivery Controllers during the same maintenance window, as various services on each Controller communicate with each other. Keeping different versions might cause issues. During a maintenance window, we recommend you upgrade half of the Controllers, upgrade the site, and then upgrade the remaining Controllers. (For details, see the Upgrade procedure.)

  • Can I go directly to the latest version, or do I have to do incremental upgrades?

    You can almost always upgrade to the latest version and skip intermediate releases, unless explicitly stated in the What’s new article for the version you’re upgrading to. See the Upgrade Guide.

  • Can a customer upgrade from a Long Term Service Release (LTSR) environment to a Current Release?

    Yes. Customers are not required to remain on a Long Term Service Release for an extended period. Customers can move an LTSR environment to a Current Release, based on business requirements and features.

  • Are mixed versions of components allowed?

    Within each site, Citrix recommends upgrading all components to the same version. Although you can use earlier versions of some components, all of the features in the latest version might not be available. For more information, see Mixed environment considerations.

  • How often must a Current Release be upgraded?

    Current Releases reach End of Maintenance (EOM) 6 months after the release date. Citrix recommends customers adopt the latest Current Release. Current Releases reach End of Life (EOL) 18 months after the release date. For more information, see Current Release Lifecycle.

  • What is recommended: upgrade to LTSR or CR?

    Current Releases (CRs) deliver the latest and most innovative app, desktop, and server virtualization features and functionality. This allows you to stay on cutting edge technology and ahead of your competition.

    Long Term Service Releases (LTSRs) are ideal for large enterprise production environments that prefer to retain the same base version for an extended period.

    For details, see Servicing Options.

  • Do I need to upgrade my licenses?

    You need to ensure that the current license date has not expired, and is valid for the release you are upgrading to. See CTX111618. For information about renewal, see Customer Success Services renewal licenses.

  • How long does an upgrade take?

    The time required to upgrade a deployment varies, depending on the infrastructure and network. So, we can’t provide an exact time.

  • What are the best practices?

    Ensure that you understand and follow the preparation guidance.

  • Which operating systems are supported?

    See System requirements.

    If you have an earlier operating system that is not valid for the version you’re upgrading to, see What you can do.

  • Which versions of VMware vSphere (vCenter + ESXi) are supported?

    Hosts/virtualization resources lists the supported versions for all supported hosts, including VMware.

  • When does my version go EOL?

    Check the Product Matrix.

  • What are the known issues with the latest release?


Migrating moves data from an earlier deployment to a later version. Migrating includes installing newer components and creating a new Site, exporting data from the older farm, and then importing the data to the new Site.

  • For information about architecture, component, and feature changes that were introduced with the 7.x releases, see Changes in 7.x.
  • For information about migrating from XenApp 6.x, see Migrate XenApp 6.x.

More information

Long Term Service Release (LTSR) deployment updates use Cumulative Updates (CUs). A CU updates baseline components of the LTSR, and each CU includes its own metainstaller.

Each CU has dedicated documentation. For example, for the 7.15 LTSR, check the link on that LTSR’s What’s new page for the latest CU. Each CU page includes supported version information, instructions, and a link to the CU download package.

Upgrade and migrate