On some client systems, administrators, end users, or both can configure automatic connections of USB devices to a remote desktop. Automatic connections can be made either when the user plugs a USB device in to the client system or when the client connects to the remote desktop.

On Windows clients, beginning with Horizon Client 4.7, the USB autoconnect features, including URI queries, command-line options, and group policy settings, apply to published applications in addition to remote desktops.

Some devices, such as smart phones and tablets, require automatic connections because these devices are restarted, and therefore disconnected, during an upgrade. If these devices are not set to automatically reconnect, during an upgrade, after the devices restart, they connect to the local client system instead.

Configuration properties for automatic USB connections that administrators set on the client, or that end users set by using a Horizon Client menu item, apply to all USB devices unless the devices are configured to be excluded from USB redirection. For example, in some client versions, webcams and microphones are excluded from USB redirection by default because these devices work better through the Real-Time Audio-Video feature. Sometimes a USB device might not be excluded from redirection by default but might require administrators to explicitly exclude the device from redirection. For example, the following types of USB devices are not good candidates for USB redirection and must not be automatically connected to a remote desktop or application:

  • USB Ethernet devices. If you redirect a USB Ethernet device, your client system might lose network connectivity if that device is the only Ethernet device.

  • Touch screen devices. If you redirect a touch screen device, the remote desktop or application receives touch input, but not keyboard input.

If you have set the remote desktop or application to autoconnect USB devices, you can configure a policy to exclude specific devices such as touch screens and network devices. For more information, see Configuring Filter Policy Settings for USB Devices.

On Windows clients, as an alternative to using settings that automatically connect all but excluded devices, you can edit a configuration file on the client that sets Horizon Client to reconnect only a specific device or devices, such as smart phones and tablets. For instructions, see the VMware Horizon Client for Windows Installation and Setup Guide document.