Setting Specific Visual Effect in W2019 RDS for All RDS Users

OCIM Admin 1 Reputation point

We have setup a new 2019 RDS farm to replace a 2008 one at one of our customers.

We have issues making a visual effect change for a shared business application apply to all users. Application menus would not show up until the setting is set.

We need to set "Show shadows under windows" ON but it will not stick after the users (non-admin) disconnect from their session.

At each connection, prior running the business application, the user needs to launch "Advanced system settings" which requires admin credentials in order to set the "Show shadows under windows" on. This is not practical as we do not want to supply admin credentials each time they connect.

We searched for this in the different communities (TechNet, old MSDN, google) with no solution that works...

We know that we need to set the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop] "UserPreferencesMask" to 90,32,07,80,10,00,00,00
But the changes with domain admin credentials will not stick for RDS users...

We tried creating the following reg file with :
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Apply the following registry values to disable the settings

;This is a must - set appearance options to "custom"

;This enables the "Show shadows under windows" setting
;in the default for RDS users
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

but it is not working either.

Any one has a way to set this once and for all?


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  1. Jenny Yan-MSFT 9,216 Reputation points

    Per your description, you are experience the problem that the registry change of enabling Show shadows under windows with domain admin credentials will revet back if remote users loged off or disconnected from remote connections.

    If the change won't revert back unless the session is logged off and users remoted again, then we could investigate the workaround from "not actually logoff/disconnect the RDP user sessions" like to expand the disconnected session time in order to allow users to reconnect to previous active session.

    Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Session Time Limits
    Set time limit for disconnected session


    Hope this helps and please help to accept as Answer if the response is useful.


  2. OCIM Admin 1 Reputation point

    Thank you Jenny,

    We did notice this behavior when testing with one user that did not logoff and reconnected to her session in less than 5 minutes. The setting we did at the first logon was indeed kept.

    Actually for security reasons, the user prefers to logoff to avoid the risk of someone getting a hold of her laptop and being able to connect to an open RDS Session...

    That's why we are really looking for a way to change that setting at RDS session logon time, possibly with a script or similar.