To connect to a remote desktop or application, you must provide the name of a server and supply credentials for your user account.

Before you have end users access their remote desktops and applications, test that you can connect to a remote desktop or application from a client device. You might need to specify a server and supply credentials for your user account.


  • Obtain login credentials, 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 require a VPN connection to access remote desktops and applications, verify that the client device is set up to use a VPN connection and turn on that connection.

  • 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. If the port is not 443, you also need the port number.

  • 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.

  • If an administrator has allowed it, configure the certificate checking mode for the SSL certificate presented by the server. To determine which mode to use, see Setting the Certificate Checking Mode in Horizon Client.


  1. If a VPN connection is required, turn on the VPN.
  2. Double-click the VMware Horizon Client desktop shortcut or click Start > Programs > VMware Horizon Client.
  3. (Optional) To log in as the currently logged-in Windows domain user, click the Options button on the menu bar and select Log in as current user.

    This setting is available only if the Log in as current user feature is installed on the client system.

  4. Double-click the + Add Server button if no servers have yet been added, or click the + New Server button in the menu bar and enter the name of a server, and click Connect.

    Connections between Horizon Client and the server always use SSL. The default port for SSL connections is 443. If the server is not configured to use the default port, use the format shown in this example:

    You might see a message that you must confirm before the login dialog box appears.

  5. If you are prompted for RSA SecurID credentials or RADIUS authentication credentials, enter the user name and passcode and click Continue.
  6. Enter the credentials of a user who is entitled to use at least one desktop or application pool, select the domain, and click Login.

    If you enter the user name using the format username@domain, the name is treated as a user principal name (UPN) because of the @ sign, and the Domain drop-down menu is disabled.

    If the Domain drop-down menu is hidden, you must enter the user name as username@domain or domain\username.

  7. If you are prompted to install applications or desktops to the Start menu, click Yes or No.

    This prompt can appear the first time you connect to a server on which shortcuts have been configured for remote applications or desktops. If you click Yes, Start menu shortcuts are installed on the client system for those remote applications or desktops, if you are entitled to use them. If you click No, Start menu shortcuts are not installed.

    You can configure the Automatically install shortcuts when configured on the Horizon server group policy setting to prompt end users to install shortcuts (the default), install shortcuts automatically, or never install shortcuts.

  8. (Optional) To configure display settings for remote desktops, either right-click a desktop icon or select a desktop icon and click the Settings (gear-shaped) icon next to the server name in the upper portion of the window.



    Display protocol

    If the Horizon administrator has allowed it, you can use the Connect Via list to select the display protocol. To use VMware Blast, Horizon Agent 7.0 or later must be installed.

    Display layout

    Use the Display list to select a window size or to use multiple monitors.

  9. To connect to a remote desktop or application, either double-click its icon or right-click the icon and select Launch from the context menu.

    If you are connecting to a published 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 set or have the system log you off the remote operating system so that a connection can be made with the protocol you selected.


After you are connected, the remote desktop or application window appears. If you are entitled to more than one desktop or application, the desktop and application selector window also remains open, so that you can connect to multiple items at the same time.

If the client drive redirection feature is enabled, the Sharing dialog box appears and you can allow or deny access to files on the local file system. For more information, see Share Access to Local Folders and Drives with Client Drive Redirection.

After a successful connection is made, an icon for this server is saved to the Horizon Client home window. The next time you use Horizon Client to connect to this server, you can double-click the icon, or, if you use only this one server, you can right-click the icon for the server and select Autoconnect to this Server from the context menu.

If authentication to the server fails, or if the client cannot connect to the remote desktop or application, perform the following tasks:

  • Determine whether the server is configured not to use SSL. The client software 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 the server is working properly. If it is not, in Horizon Administrator, you might also see that the agent on desktops is unreachable. These symptoms indicate additional connection problems caused by certificate problems.

  • 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 this 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 remote operating system allows remote desktop connections.

What to do next

Configure startup settings. If you do not want to require end users to provide the host name of the Connection Server instance, or if you want to configure other startup settings, use a command-line option to create a desktop shortcut. See Running Horizon Client From the Command Line.