Configure kiosks and digital signs on Windows desktop editions

Organization may want to set up special purpose devices, such as a device in the lobby that customers can use to view product catalogs, or a device displaying visual content as a digital sign. Windows client offers two different locked-down experiences for public or specialized use:

  • Single-app kiosk: runs a single Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application in full screen above the lock screen. People using the kiosk can see only that app. When the kiosk account (a local standard user account) signs in, the kiosk app launches automatically. If the kiosk app is closed, it will automatically restart
  • Multi-app kiosk: runs one or more applications from the desktop. People using the kiosk see a customized Start menu that shows only the apps that are allowed to execute. With this approach, you can configure a locked-down experience for different account types

A single-app kiosk is ideal for public use. Using Shell Launcher, you can configure a kiosk device that runs a Windows desktop application as the user interface. The application that you specify replaces the default shell (explorer.exe) that usually runs when a user signs in. This type of single-app kiosk doesn't run above the lock screen.

A multi-app kiosk is appropriate for devices that are shared by multiple people. When you configure a multi-app kiosk, specific policies are enforced that affects all non-administrator users on the device.

Kiosk configurations are based on Assigned Access, a feature in Windows client that allows an administrator to manage the user's experience by limiting the application entry points exposed to the user.

There are several kiosk configuration methods that you can choose from, depending on your answers to the following questions.

  • Which type of app will your kiosk run? Your kiosk can run a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app or a Windows desktop application. For digital signage, select a digital sign player as your kiosk app. Check out the guidelines for kiosk apps.
  • Which type of kiosk do you need? If you want your kiosk to run a single app for anyone to see or use, consider a single-app kiosk that runs either a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app or a Windows desktop application. For a kiosk that people can sign in to with their accounts or that runs more than one app, choose a multi-app kiosk
  • Which edition of Windows client will the kiosk run? All of the configuration methods work for Windows client Enterprise and Education; some of the methods work for Windows Pro. Kiosk mode isn't available on Windows Home
  • Which type of user account will be the kiosk account? The kiosk account can be a local standard user account, a local administrator account, a domain account, or a Microsoft Entra account, depending on the method that you use to configure the kiosk. If you want people to sign in and authenticate on the device, you should use a multi-app kiosk configuration. The single-app kiosk configuration doesn't require people to sign in to the device, although they can sign in to the kiosk app if you select an app that has a sign-in method

Important

Single-app kiosk mode isn't supported over a remote desktop connection. Your kiosk users must sign in on the physical device that is set up as a kiosk.

Windows edition and licensing requirements

The following table lists the Windows editions that support Assigned Access (kiosk mode):

Windows Pro Windows Enterprise Windows Pro Education/SE Windows Education
Yes Yes Yes Yes

Assigned Access (kiosk mode) license entitlements are granted by the following licenses:

Windows Pro/Pro Education/SE Windows Enterprise E3 Windows Enterprise E5 Windows Education A3 Windows Education A5
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

For more information about Windows licensing, see Windows licensing overview.

Methods for a single-app kiosk running a UWP app

You can use this method For this edition For this kiosk account type
Assigned access in Settings Pro, Ent, Edu Local standard user
Assigned access cmdlets Pro, Ent, Edu Local standard user
The kiosk wizard in Windows Configuration Designer Pro (version 1709), Ent, Edu Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID
Microsoft Intune or other mobile device management (MDM) Pro (version 1709), Ent, Edu Local standard user, Microsoft Entra ID
Shell Launcher v2 Ent, Edu Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID

Methods for a single-app kiosk running a Windows desktop application

You can use this method For this edition For this kiosk account type
The kiosk wizard in Windows Configuration Designer Ent, Edu Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID
Microsoft Intune or other mobile device management (MDM) Pro (version 1709), Ent, Edu Local standard user, Microsoft Entra ID
Shell Launcher v1 and v2 Ent, Edu Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID

Methods for a multi-app kiosk

You can use this method For this edition For this kiosk account type
XML in a provisioning package Pro, Ent, Edu Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID
Microsoft Intune or other MDM Pro, Ent, Edu Local standard user, Microsoft Entra ID
MDM WMI Bridge Provider Pro, Ent, Edu Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID

Summary of kiosk configuration methods

Method App type Account type Single-app kiosk Multi-app kiosk
Assigned access in Settings UWP Local account
Assigned access cmdlets UWP Local account
The kiosk wizard in Windows Configuration Designer UWP, Windows desktop app Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID
XML in a provisioning package UWP, Windows desktop app Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID
Microsoft Intune or other MDM for full-screen single-app kiosk or for multi-app kiosk with desktop UWP, Windows desktop app Local standard user, Microsoft Entra ID
Shell Launcher Windows desktop app Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID
MDM Bridge WMI Provider UWP, Windows desktop app Local standard user, Active Directory, Microsoft Entra ID

Note

For devices running Windows client Enterprise and Education, you can also use Windows Defender Application Control or AppLocker to lock down a device to specific apps.