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TS RemoteApp

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Terminal Services RemoteApp (TS RemoteApp) enables organizations to provide access to standard Windows-based programs from virtually any location to users with computers running Windows Vista®, Windows Server® 2008, or Windows® XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). TS RemoteApp is also available to users with computers running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), or Windows Server 2003 with SP2 that have the new Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client installed.


See the "Are there any special considerations?" section for information about client requirements for accessing RemoteApp programs through Terminal Services Web Access (TS Web Access).

TS RemoteApp is installed as part of the Terminal Server role service in Windows Server 2008.

What does TS RemoteApp do?

RemoteApp programs are programs that are accessed remotely through Terminal Services and appear as if they are running on the end user's local computer. Users can run RemoteApp programs side by side with their local programs. A user can minimize, maximize, and resize the program window, and can easily start multiple programs at the same time. If a user is running more than one RemoteApp program on the same terminal server, the RemoteApp programs will share the same Terminal Services session.

Users can run RemoteApp programs in a number of ways. They can:

  • Double-click a Remote Desktop Protocol (.rdp) file that has been created and distributed by their administrator.

  • Double-click a program icon on their desktop or Start menu that has been created and distributed by their administrator with a Microsoft® Windows Installer (.msi) package.

  • Double-click a file whose extension is associated with a RemoteApp program. (This can be configured by their administrator with a Windows Installer package.)

  • Access a link to the RemoteApp program on a Web site by using Terminal Services Web Access (TS Web Access).

The .rdp files and Windows Installer packages contain the settings needed to run RemoteApp programs. After opening the RemoteApp program on a local computer, the user can interact with the program that is running on the terminal server as if it were running locally.

Who will be interested in this feature?

TS RemoteApp can reduce complexity and reduce administrative overhead in many situations, including the following:

  • Branch offices, where there may be limited local IT support and limited network bandwidth.

  • Situations where users need to access applications remotely.

  • Deployment of line-of-business (LOB) applications, especially custom LOB applications.

  • Environments, such as "hot desk" or "hoteling" workspaces, where users do not have assigned computers.

  • Deployment of multiple versions of an application, particularly if installing multiple versions locally would cause conflicts.

You should review this topic, and the additional supporting documentation on TS RemoteApp, if you are in any of the following groups:

  • IT planners and analysts who are technically evaluating the product.

  • Enterprise architects.

  • IT professionals who deploy or administer terminal servers, LOB programs, or programs that can be more efficiently deployed with TS RemoteApp.

Are there any special considerations?

To access RemoteApp programs that are deployed as .rdp files or as Windows Installer packages, the client computer must be running Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) 6.0 or RDC 6.1. (RDC 6.1 [6.0.6001] supports Remote Desktop Protocol 6.1.) A supported version of the RDC client is included with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.


The RDC 6.0 software is available for use on Windows XP with SP2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, and Windows Server 2003 with SP2. You can download the installer package from article 925876 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (

To access RemoteApp programs through TS Web Access, the client computer must be running RDC 6.1. RDC 6.1 is included with the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2008

  • Windows Vista with Service Pack 1

  • Windows XP with Service Pack 3

What new functionality does this feature provide?

Ability to run programs remotely

Users can run programs from a terminal server and have the same experience as if the programs were running on the end user's local computer, including resizable windows, drag-and-drop support between multiple monitors, and notification icons in the notification area.

Why is this functionality important?

TS RemoteApp improves the user's experience, opens new avenues for program deployment, and reduces the amount of administrative effort required to support these programs.

What works differently?

Instead of being presented to the user in the desktop of the remote terminal server, the RemoteApp program is integrated with the client's desktop, running in its own resizable window with its own entry in the taskbar. If the program uses a notification area icon, this icon appears in the client's notification area. Popup windows are redirected to the local desktop. Local drives and printers can be redirected to appear in the RemoteApp program. Many users might not be aware that the RemoteApp program is any different than a local program.

How do I fix these issues?

Because TS RemoteApp is an enhancement to existing Terminal Services technologies and uses the same technology and protocols, it does not introduce any new issues.

How should I prepare for this change?

You should evaluate your programs to see which ones might be suited to being run as a RemoteApp program, and then test the programs. To test your programs, follow the procedures described in the TS RemoteApp Step-by-Step Guide to configure your terminal server to support RemoteApp programs, and to distribute the programs to users.

Do I need to change any existing code?

For a program to run as a RemoteApp program, the terminal server that hosts the program must be running Windows Server 2008. Any program that can run in a Terminal Services session or in a Remote Desktop session should be able to run as a RemoteApp program.

Some of the fundamental changes in the Windows Server 2008 operating system might impact earlier versions of programs that run correctly under earlier versions of the Windows operating system. If you experience difficulty running a program as a RemoteApp program, verify that it runs correctly on the local console of a server that is running Windows Server 2008.

Review other sections of this guide for additional information about compatibility issues.

Additional references

For more information about TS RemoteApp, see the TS RemoteApp Step-by-Step Guide (

For information about other new features in Terminal Services, see the Terminal Services Role topic.