Product Documentation

Improve the user experience

Jun 19, 2017

You can improve your user experience with the following features:

Configuring generic client Input Method Editors (IME)

Configuring generic client IME using the command line interface

To enable generic client IME, run the wfica32.exe /localime:on command from the Citrix Receiver for Windows installation folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\ICA Client).

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You can use the command line switch wfica32.exe /localime:on to enable both generic client IME and keyboard layout synchronization.

To disable generic client IME, run the wfica32.exe /localgenericime:off command from the Citrix Receiver for Windows installation folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\ICA Client). This command does not affect keyboard layout synchronization settings.

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If you have disabled generic client IME using the command line interface, you can enable the feature again by running the wfica32.exe /localgenericime:on command.

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Citrix Receiver for Windows supports toggle functionality for this feature. You can run the wfica32.exe /localgenericime:on command to enable or disable the feature. However, the keyboard layout synchronization settings take precedence over the toggle switch. If keyboard layout synchronization is set to Off, toggling does not enable generic client IME.

Configuring generic client IME using the graphical user interface

Generic client IME requires VDA Version 7.13 or later.

Generic client IME feature can be enabled by enabling keyboard layout synchronization. For more information, see Keyboard layout synchronization.

Citrix Receiver for Windows allows you to configure different options to use generic client IME. You can select from one these options based on your requirements and usage.

  1. In an active application session, right-click the Citrix Receiver icon in the notification area and select Connection Center.
  2. Select Preferences and click Local IME.


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The options below are available to support different IME modes:

  1. Enable Server IME – select this option to disable local IME. This option means that only the languages set on the server can be used.
  2. Set Local IME to High Performance mode –select this option to use local IME with limited bandwidth. This option restricts the candidate window functionality. 
  3. Set Local IME to Best Experience mode – select this option to use local IME with best user experience. This option consumes high bandwidth. By default, this option is selected when generic client IME is enabled.
The change in settings is applied only in the current session.

Enabling hotkey configuration using a registry editor

When generic client IME is enabled, you can use the Shift+F4 hotkeys to select different IME modes. The different options for IME modes appear in the top-right corner of the session.

By default, the hotkey for generic client IME is disabled.

In the registry editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\ICA Client\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Client Engine\Hot Keys.

Select AllowHotKey and change the default value to 1.

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Hotkey functionality is supported in both desktop and application sessions.


  1. Generic client IME does not support UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps such as Search UI, and the Edge browser of the Windows 10 operating system. As a workaround, use the server IME instead.
  2. Generic client IME is not supported on Internet Explorer Version 11 in Protected Mode. As a workaround, you can disable Protected Mode by using Internet Options. To do this, click Security and clear Enable Protected Mode.

Keyboard layout

Keyboard layout synchronization enables users to switch among preferred keyboard layouts on the client device. This feature is disabled by default.

To enable keyboard layout synchronization:

  1. From the Citrix Receiver for Windows notification area icon, select Advanced Preferences > Local keyboard layout setting > Yes.
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2. Click Save.

You can disable the feature by selecting No.

You can also enable and disable keyboard layout synchronization through the command line by running wfica32:exe /localime:on or wfica32:exe /localime:off from the Citrix Receiver for Windows installation folder (C:\program files (x86)\Citrix\ICA Client).

Note: Using the local keyboard layout option activates the Client IME (Input Method Editor). If users working in Japanese, Chinese or Korean prefer to use the Server IME, they must disable the local keyboard layout option by selecting No, or running wfica32:exe /localime:off. The session will revert to the keyboard layout provided by the remote server when they connect to the next session.

Sometimes, switching the client keyboard layout does not take effect in an active session. To resolve this issue, log off from Citrix Receiver for Windows and login again.


  • Remote applications which run with elevated privilege (for example, right click an application icon > Run as administrator) can’t be synchronized with the client keyboard layout. To work around this issue, manually change the keyboard layout on the server side (VDA) or disable UAC.
  • If the user changes the keyboard layout on the client to a layout which is not supported on the server, then the keyboard layout synchronization feature will be disabled for security reasons - an unrecognized keyboard layout is treated as a potential security threat. To restore the keyboard layout synchronization feature, the user should log off and back on to the session.
  • When RDP is deployed as an application and the user is working within an RDP session, it is not possible to change the keyboard layout using Alt + Shift shortcuts. To work around this, the user can use the language bar in the RDP session to switch the keyboard layout.
  • This feature is disabled in Windows Server 2016 due to a third-party issue which may introduce performance risk. The feature can be enabled with a registry setting on the VDA: in HKLM\Software\Citrix\ICA\IcaIme, add a new key called DisableKeyboardSync and set the value to 0.


Editing the registry incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Citrix cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. Be sure to back up the registry before you edit it.

Relative Mouse

Relative Mouse support provides an option to interpret the mouse position in a relative rather than an absolute manner. This capability is required for applications that demand relative mouse input rather than absolute.

Note: This feature can be applied in a published desktop session only.

To enable Relative Mouse support

  1. Logon to Citrix Receiver for Windows
  2. Launch a published desktop session
  3. From the Desktop Viewer toolbar, select Preferences.
    The Citrix Receiver - Preferences window appears.
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4. Select Connections.
5. Under Relative Mouse settings, enable Use relative mouse.

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6. Click Apply and OK.

NOTE: This is a per session feature. It does not persist after reconnecting to a disconnected session. Users must re-enable the feature every time they connect or reconnect to the published desktop.

Hardware decoding

When using Citrix Receiver for Windows (with HDX engine 14.4), the GPU can be used for H.264 decoding wherever it is available at the client. The API layer used for GPU decoding is DXVA (DirectX Video Acceleration).

For more information, see Improved User Experience: Hardware Decoding for Citrix Windows Receiver.


This feature is not enabled by default for embedded GPUs.

To enable hardware decoding:

  1. Copy “receiver.adml” from “root\Citrix\ICA Client\Configuration\en” to “C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US”.
  2. Copy “receiver.admx” from “root\Citrix\ICA Client\Configuration” to “C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\”.
  3. Navigate to Local Group policy editor.
  4. Under Computer Configuration-> Administrative Templates -> Citrix Receiver -> User Experience, open Hardware Acceleration for graphics.
  5. Select Enabled and click OK.
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To validate if the policy was applied and hardware acceleration is being used for an active ICA session, look for the following registry entries:

Registry Path: HKCU\Software\Citrix\ICA Client\CEIP\Data\GfxRender\<session ID>


The value for Graphics_GfxRender_Decoder and Graphics_GfxRender_Renderer should be 2. If the value is 1, that means CPU based decoding is being used.

When using the hardware decoding feature, consider the following limitations:

  • If the client has two GPU’s and if one of the monitors is active on the 2nd GPU, CPU decoding will be used.
  • When connecting to a XenApp 7.x server running on Windows Server 2008 R2, Citrix recommends that you do not to use hardware decoding on the user’s Windows device. If enabled, issues like slow performance while highlighting text and flickering issues will be seen.

Client-side microphone input

Citrix Receiver for Windows supports multiple client-side microphone input. Locally installed microphones can be used for:
  • Real-time activities, such as softphone calls and Web conferences.
  • Hosted recording applications, such as dictation programs.
  • Video and audio recordings.

Citrix Receiver for Windows users can select whether to use microphones attached to their device by changing a Connection Center setting. XenDesktop users can also use the XenDesktop Viewer Preferences to disable their microphones and webcams.

Multi-monitor support

You can use up to eight monitors with Citrix Receiver for Windows.

Each monitor in a multiple monitor configuration has its own resolution designed by its manufacturer. Monitors can have different resolutions and orientations during sessions.

Sessions can span multiple monitors in two ways:
  • Full screen mode, with multiple monitors shown inside the session; applications snap to monitors as they would locally.

    XenDesktop: To display the Desktop Viewer window across any rectangular subset of monitors, resize the window across any part of those monitors and click Maximize.

  • Windowed mode, with one single monitor image for the session; applications do not snap to individual monitors.

XenDesktop: When any desktop in the same assignment (formerly "desktop group") is launched subsequently, the window setting is preserved and the desktop is displayed across the same monitors. Multiple virtual desktops can be displayed on one device provided the monitor arrangement is rectangular. If the primary monitor on the device is used by the XenDesktop session, it becomes the primary monitor in the session. Otherwise, the numerically lowest monitor in the session becomes the primary monitor.

To enable multi-monitor support, ensure the following:

  • The user device is configured to support multiple monitors.
  • The user device operating system must be able to detect each of the monitors. On Windows platforms, to verify that this detection occurs, on the user device, view the Settings tab in the Display Settings dialog box and confirm that each monitor appears separately.
  • After your monitors are detected:
    • XenDesktop: Configure the graphics memory limit using the Citrix Machine Policy setting Display memory limit.
    • XenApp: Depending on the version of the XenApp server you have installed:
      • Configure the graphics memory limit using the Citrix Computer Policy setting Display memory limit.
      • From the Citrix management console for the XenApp server, select the farm and in the task pane, select Modify Server Properties > Modify all properties > Server Default > HDX Broadcast > Display (or Modify Server Properties > Modify all properties > Server Default > ICA > Display) and set the Maximum memory to use for each session’s graphics.

Ensure the setting is large enough (in kilobytes) to provide sufficient graphic memory. If this setting is not high enough, the published resource is restricted to the subset of the monitors that fits within the size specified.

For information about calculating the session's graphic memory requirements for XenApp and XenDesktop, see Knowledge Center article CTX115637.

Printer setting overrides on devices

If the Universal printing optimization defaults policy setting Allow non-administrators to modify these settings is enabled, users can override the Image Compression and Image and Font Caching options specified in that policy setting.

To override the printer settings on the user device

  1. From the Print menu available from an application on the user device, choose Properties.
  2. On the Client Settings tab, click Advanced Optimizations and make changes to the Image Compression and Image and Font Caching options.

On-screen keyboard control

To enable touch-enabled access to virtual applications and desktops from Windows tablets, Citrix Receiver for Windows automatically displays the on-screen keyboard when you activate a text entry field, and when the device is in tent or tablet mode.

On some devices and in some circumstances, Citrix Receiver for Windows cannot accurately detect the mode of the device, and the on-screen keyboard may appear when you do not want it to.

To suppress the on-screen keyboard from appearing when using a convertible device ,create a REG_DWORD value DisableKeyboardPopup in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Citrix\ICA Client\Engine\Configuration\Advanced\Modules\MobileReceiver and set the value to 1.

Note: On a x64 machine, create the value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\ICA Client\Engine\Configuration\Advanced\Modules\MobileReceiver.

The keys can be set to 3 different modes as given below:

  • Automatic: AlwaysKeyboardPopup = 0; DisableKeyboardPopup = 0
  • Always popup (on-screen keyboard): AlwaysKeyboardPopup = 1; DisableKeyboardPopup = 0
  • Never popup (on-screen keyboard): AlwaysKeyboardPopup = 0; DisableKeyboardPopup = 1

Keyboard shortcuts

You can configure combinations of keys that Receiver interprets as having special functionality. When the keyboard shortcuts policy is enabled, you can specify Citrix Hotkey mappings, behavior of Windows hotkeys, and keyboard layout for sessions.

  1. As an administrator, open the Group Policy Editor by either running gpedit.msc locally from the Start menu when applying policies to a single computer or by using the Group Policy Management Console when applying domain policies.

    Note: If you already imported the Citrix Receiver for Windows template into the Group Policy Editor, you can omit Steps 2 to 5.
  2. In the left pane of the Group Policy Editor, select the Administrative Templates folder.
  3. From the Action menu, choose Add/Remove Templates.
  4. Choose Add and browse to the Receiver Configuration folder (usually C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICA Client\Configuration) and select the Citrix Receiver for Windows template file.
    Note: Depending on the version of the Windows Operating System, select the Citrix Receiver for Windows template file (receiver.adm or receiver.admx/receiver.adml).
  5. Select Open to add the template and then Close to return to the Group Policy Editor.
  6. In the Group Policy Editor, go to Administrative Templates > Classic Administrative Templates (ADM) > Citrix Components > Citrix Receiver > User Experience > Keyboard shortcuts.
  7. From the Action menu, choose Properties, select Enabled, and choose the desired options.

Citrix Receiver for Windows support for 32-bit color icons

Citrix Receiver for Windows supports 32-bit high color icons and automatically selects the color depth for applications visible in the Citrix Connection Center dialog box, the Start menu, and task bar to provide for seamless applications.

Caution: Editing the registry incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Citrix cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. Be sure to back up the registry before you edit it.

To set a preferred depth, you can add a string registry key named TWIDesiredIconColor to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\ICA Client\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Preferences and set it to the desired value. The possible color depths for icons are 4, 8, 16, 24, and 32 bits-per-pixel. The user can select a lower color depth for icons if the network connection is slow.

Enabling Desktop Viewer

Different enterprises have different corporate needs. Your requirements for the way users access virtual desktops may vary from user to user and may vary as your corporate needs evolve. The user experience of connecting to virtual desktops and the extent of user involvement in configuring the connections depend on how you set up Citrix Receiver for Windows.

Use the Desktop Viewer when users need to interact with their virtual desktop. The user's virtual desktop can be a published virtual desktop, or a shared or dedicated desktop. In this access scenario, the Desktop Viewer toolbar functionality allows the user to open a virtual desktop in a window and pan and scale that desktop inside their local desktop. Users can set preferences and work with more than one desktop using multiple XenDesktop connections on the same user device.

Note: Your users must use Citrix Receiver for Windows to change the screen resolution on their virtual desktops. They cannot change Screen Resolution using Windows Control Panel.

Keyboard input in Desktop Viewer sessions

In Desktop Viewer sessions, Windows logo key+L is directed to the local computer.

Ctrl+Alt+Delete is directed to the local computer.

Key presses that activate StickyKeys, FilterKeys, and ToggleKeys (Microsoft accessibility features) are normally directed to the local computer.

As an accessibility feature of the Desktop Viewer, pressing Ctrl+Alt+Break displays the Desktop Viewer toolbar buttons in a pop-up window.

Ctrl+Esc is sent to the remote, virtual desktop.

Note: By default, if the Desktop Viewer is maximized, Alt+Tab switches focus between windows inside the session. If the Desktop Viewer is displayed in a window, Alt+Tab switches focus between windows outside the session.

Hotkey sequences are key combinations designed by Citrix. For example, the Ctrl+F1 sequence reproduces Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and Shift+F2 switches applications between full-screen and windowed mode. You cannot use hotkey sequences with virtual desktops displayed in the Desktop Viewer (that is, with XenDesktop sessions), but you can use them with published applications (that is, with XenApp sessions).

Connect to virtual desktops

From within a desktop session, users cannot connect to the same virtual desktop. Attempting to do so will disconnect the existing desktop session. Therefore, Citrix recommends:

  • Administrators should not configure the clients on a desktop to point to a site that publishes the same desktop
  • Users should not browse to a site that hosts the same desktop if the site is configured to automatically reconnect users to existing sessions
  • Users should not browse to a site that hosts the same desktop and try to launch it

Be aware that a user who logs on locally to a computer that is acting as a virtual desktop blocks connections to that desktop.

If your users connect to virtual applications (published with XenApp) from within a virtual desktop and your organization has a separate XenApp administrator, Citrix recommends working with them to define device mapping such that desktop devices are mapped consistently within desktop and application sessions. Because local drives are displayed as network drives in desktop sessions, the XenApp administrator needs to change the drive mapping policy to include network drives.

Changing the status indicator time-out

You can change the amount of time the status indicator displays when a user is launching a session. To alter the time out period, create a REG_DWORD value SI INACTIVE MS in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Citrix\ICA CLIENT\Engine\. The REG_DWORD value can be set to 4 if you want the status indicator to disappear sooner.

Caution: Editing the registry incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Citrix cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. Be sure to back up the registry before you edit it.