Administrators can configure the ability to use USB devices, such as thumb flash drives, cameras, VoIP (voice-over-IP) devices, and printers, from a virtual desktop. This feature is called USB redirection. A virtual desktop can accommodate up to 255 USB devices.

You can also redirect certain locally connected USB devices for use in published desktops and applications. For information about the specific types of devices that are supported, see Limitations Regarding USB Device Types.

When you use this feature in desktop pools that are deployed on single-user machines, most USB devices that are attached to the local client system become available in the remote desktop. You can even connect to and manage an iPad from a remote desktop. For example, you can sync your iPad with iTunes installed in your remote desktop. On some client devices, such as Windows and Mac computers, the USB devices are listed in a menu in Horizon Client. You use the menu to connect and disconnect the devices.

In most cases, you cannot use a USB device in your client system and in your remote desktop at the same time. Only a few types of USB devices can be shared between a remote desktop and the local computer. These devices include smart card readers and human interface devices, such as keyboards and pointing devices.

Administrators can specify the types of USB devices to which end users are allowed to connect. For composite devices that contain multiple types of devices, such as a video input device and a storage device, on some client systems, administrators can split the device so that one device (for example, the video input device) is allowed but the other device (for example, the storage device) is not.

The USB redirection feature is available only on certain types of clients. To find out whether this feature is supported on a particular client, see the feature support matrix included in the Horizon Client installation and setup document for that client.

Important: When you deploy the USB redirection feature, you can take steps to protect your organization from the security vulnerabilities that can affect USB devices. See Deploying USB Devices in a Secure VMware Horizon Environment.