After you connect to a server, you can open the remote desktops and applications that you are authorized to use.

Before you have end users access remote desktops and applications, test that you can connect to a remote desktop or application from the client system.

To use remote applications, you must connect to Connection Server 6.0 or later.


  • Obtain credentials to log in, such as a user name and password, RSA SecurID user name and passcode, RADIUS authentication user name and passcode, or smart card personal identification number (PIN).
  • Obtain the NETBIOS domain name for logging in. For example, you might use mycompany rather than
  • Perform the administrative tasks described in Preparing Connection Server for Horizon Client.
  • If you are outside the corporate network and are not using a security server to access the remote desktop, verify that your client device is set up to use a VPN connection and turn on that connection.
    Important: VMware recommends using a security server rather than a VPN.
  • Verify that you have the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the server that provides access to the remote desktop or application. Underscores (_) are not supported in server names. You also need the port number if the port is not 443.
  • If you plan to use the RDP display protocol to connect to a remote desktop, verify that the AllowDirectRDP agent group policy setting is enabled.
  • Configure the certificate checking mode for the SSL certificate that the server presents. See Setting the Certificate Checking Mode for Horizon Client.
  • If you are using smart card authentication, configure Horizon Client to automatically use a local certificate or the certificate on your smart card. See Configure Horizon Client to Select a Smart Card Certificate.
  • If end users are allowed to use the Microsoft RDP display protocol, verify that the client system has Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac from Microsoft, version 2.0 or later. You can download this client from the Microsoft Web site.
  • If you plan to use Touch ID to authenticate, add at least one fingerprint in the Touch setting on your Mac. Touch ID authentication is available only if biometric authentication is enabled on the server. For complete Touch ID authentication requirements, see Touch ID Authentication Requirements.


  1. If a VPN connection is required, turn on the VPN.
  2. In the Applications folder, double-click VMware Horizon Client.
  3. Click Continue to start remote desktop USB and printing services, or click Cancel to use Horizon Client without remote desktop USB and printing services.
    If you click Continue, you must provide system credentials. If you click Cancel, you can enable remote desktop USB and printing services later.
    Note: The prompt to start remote desktop USB and printing services appears the first time you start Horizon Client. It does not appear again, regardless of whether you click Cancel or Continue.
  4. Connect to a server.
    Option Description
    Connect to a new server Click the New Server icon on the Horizon Client Home screen, enter the server name and port number (if required), and click Connect. An example using a non-default port is
    Connect to an existing server Double-click the server shortcut on the Horizon Client Home screen.
  5. If you are prompted for RSA SecurID credentials or RADIUS authentication credentials, type the user name and passcode and click Login.
  6. If you are prompted for a user name and password, supply Active Directory credentials.
    1. Type the user name and password of a user who is entitled to use at least one desktop or application pool.
    2. Select a domain.
      If the Domain drop-down menu is hidden, you must type the user name as username@domain or domain\username.
    3. (Optional) Select the Remember this password check box if your administrator has enabled this feature and if the server certificate can be fully verified.
    4. (Optional) Select the Enable Touch ID check box to enable Touch ID authentication.
      If Touch ID is enabled and you are logging in for the first time, your Active Directory credentials are stored securely on your Mac for future use.
    5. Click Login.
      You might see a message that you must confirm before the login dialog box appears.
  7. If the desktop security indicator turns red and a warning message appears, respond to the prompt.
    Usually, this warning means that Connection Server did not send a certificate thumbprint to the client. The thumbprint is a hash of the certificate public key and is used as an abbreviation of the public key.
  8. If you are prompted for Touch ID authentication, place your finger on the Touch ID sensor.
  9. (Optional) If multiple display protocols are configured for a remote desktop or application, select the protocol to use.
    VMware Blast provides better battery life and is the best protocol for high-end 3D and mobile device users. The default display protocol is PCoIP.
    Option Description
    Select a display protocol for a remote desktop Select the remote desktop name, press Control-click, and select the display protocol from the context menu.

    Alternatively, you can select Settings from the context menu and select the display protocol from the Connect Via drop-down menu in the Settings dialog box.

    Select a display protocol for a remote application Select the remote application name, press Control-click, select Settings from the context menu, and select the display protocol from the Preferred protocol drop-down menu in the Settings dialog box.
  10. Double-click a remote desktop or application to connect.
    If you are connecting to a session-based remote desktop, which is hosted on a Microsoft RDS host, and if the desktop is already set to use a different display protocol, you cannot connect immediately. You are prompted to either use the protocol that is set or have the system log you off the remote operating system so that a connection can be made with the protocol you selected.
    Note: If you are entitled to only one remote desktop on the server, Horizon Client automatically connects you to that desktop.


After you are connected, the client window appears.

If an administrator has enabled the client drive redirection feature, the Sharing dialog box might appear. From the Sharing dialog box, you can allow or deny access to files on your local system. For more information, see Share Access to Local Folders and Drives.

If an administrator has configured the URL Content Redirection feature on the server, you might need to respond to certain prompts. For more information, see Clicking URL Links That Open Outside of Horizon Client.

If Horizon Client cannot connect to the remote desktop or application, perform the following tasks:

  • Determine whether Connection Server is configured not to use SSL. Horizon Client requires SSL connections. Check whether the global setting in Horizon Administrator for the Use SSL for client connections check box is deselected. If so, you must either select the check box, so that SSL is used, or set up your environment so that clients can connect to an HTTPS enabled load balancer or other intermediate device that is configured to make an HTTP connection to Connection Server.
  • Verify that the security certificate for Connection Server is working properly. If it is not, in Horizon Administrator, you might also see that View Agent or Horizon Agent on desktops is unreachable.
  • Verify that the tags set on the Connection Server instance allow connections from this user. See the View Administration document.
  • Verify that the user is entitled to access the desktop or application. See the Setting Up Virtual Desktops in Horizon 7 or Setting Up Published Desktops and Applications in Horizon 7 document.
  • If you are using the RDP display protocol to connect to a remote desktop, verify that the client computer allows remote desktop connections.