Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

Mobile and touch screen devices

Tablet mode for touch screen devices using Windows Continuum

Continuum is a Windows 10 feature that adapts to the way the client device is used. This version of Continuum support, including dynamic change of modes, is available starting at VDA version 7.16 and Citrix Receiver for Windows version 4.10.

Windows 10 VDA detects the presence of a keyboard or mouse on a touch enabled client and puts the client in to desktop mode. If a keyboard or mouse is not present, Windows 10 VDA puts the client in to tablet/mobile mode. This detection occurs on connection and reconnection. It also occurs at dynamic attachment or detachment of the keyboard or mouse.

The feature is enabled by default. To disable this version of the feature, edit the Tablet mode toggle policy settings in the ICA policy settings article.

For the feature version included in XenApp 7.14 and 7.15 LTSR and XenDesktop 7.14 and 7.15 LTSR, use the registry settings to disable the feature. For more information, see Tablet mode for touch screen devices.

The tablet mode offers a user interface that is better suited to touch screens:

  • Slightly larger buttons.
  • The Start screen and any apps you start open in a full screen.
  • Taskbar contains a back button.
  • Icons deleted from the task bar.

You have access to the File Explorer.

The desktop mode offers the traditional user interface where you interact in the same manner as using PC and a keyboard and mouse.

Tablet mode requires a minimum of version XenServer 7.2. XenServer 7.2 integrates with the Citrix Virtual Desktops VDA, changing the hypervisor to enable the virtual firmware settings for 2-in-1 devices. Windows 10 loads the GPIO driver on the target virtual machine based on this updated BIOS. It is used for toggling between tablet and desktop modes within the virtual machine. For more information, see the XenServer 7.2 release notes.

Citrix Workspace app for HTML5 (the light version) does not support Windows Continuum features.

Tablet mode image

Run the XenServer CLI command to allow laptop/tablet switching: xe vm-param-set uuid=<VM_UUID> platform:acpi_laptop_slate=1


Updating the base image for an existing machine catalog after changing the metadata setting doesn’t affect any previously provisioned VMs. After changing the XenServer VM base image, create a catalog, choose the base image, and provision a new Machine Creation Services (MCS) machine.

Before starting a session:

We recommend that you navigate to Settings > System > Tablet Mode on the VDA before starting a session and set the following options from the drop-down menus:

  • Use the appropriate mode for my hardware
  • Don’t ask me and always switch

If you don’t set these options before starting the session, set the options after you start the session and restart the VDA.

Tablet mode settings image

Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Book pens

We support standard pen functionality with Windows Ink-based applications. This functionality requires a Virtual Delivery Agent running on a minimum of Microsoft Windows 10 version 1809 and client devices using a minimum of Citrix Workspace app for Windows version 1902. Support includes pointing, erasing, pen pressure, Bluetooth signals, and other features depending on the operating system firmware and pen model. For example, pen pressure can be up to 4096 levels. This feature is enabled by default.

For a demonstration of Windows Ink and the pen functionality, click this graphic:

Windows Ink and pen functionality demo

System requirements

  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops minimum version 1903
  • Citrix Workspace app for Windows minimum version 1902
  • Microsoft Windows 10 minimum version 1809

To disable or enable this feature, see Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Book pens in the list of features managed through the registry.

Mobile and touch screen devices