Remote Desktop Services is one of the roles that a Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, 2016, or 2019 can have. You must install this role to set up an RDS host.

To use a Windows Server virtual machine as an RDS host, see Prepare Windows Server Operating Systems for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Host Use.


  • Verify that the RDS host is running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019.
  • Verify that the RDS host is part of the Active Directory domain for the Horizon 7 deployment.


  1. Log in to the RDS host as an administrator.
  2. Start Server Manager.
  3. Select Add roles and features.
  4. On the Select Installation Type page, select Role-based or feature-based installation.
  5. On the Select Destination Server page, select a server.
  6. On the Select Server Roles page, select Remote Desktop Services.
  7. On the Select Features page, accept the defaults.
  8. On the Remote Desktop Services, Role Services page, select the Remote Desktop Session Host role and accept the prompts to add in the additional features required to support the Desktop Session Host role.
  9. Follow the prompts to finish the installation.
  10. Restart the Windows server.

What to do next

If you plan to use HTML Access or scanner redirection, install the Desktop Experience feature. The steps for installing Desktop Experience differ on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019.

Restrict users to a single desktop session. See Restrict Users to a Single Session.