Start a program on connection

Configures Remote Desktop Services to run a specified program automatically upon connection. You can use this setting to specify a program to run automatically when a user logs on to a remote computer. By default Remote Desktop Services sessions provide access to the full Windows desktop unless otherwise specified with this setting by the server administrator or by the user in configuring the client connection. Enabling this setting overrides the “Start Program” settings set by the server administrator or user. The Start menu and Windows Desktop are not displayed and when the user exits the program the session is automatically logged off. To use this setting in Program path and file name type the fully qualified path and file name of the executable file to be run when the user logs on. If necessary in Working Directory type the fully qualified path to the starting directory for the program. If you leave Working Directory blank the program runs with its default working directory. If the specified program path file name or working directory is not the name of a valid directory the RD Session Host server connection fails with an error message. If the status is set to Enabled Remote Desktop Services sessions automatically run the specified program and use the specified Working Directory (or the program default directory if Working Directory is not specified) as the working directory for the program. If the status is set to Disabled or Not Configured Remote Desktop Services sessions start with the full desktop unless the server administrator or user specify otherwise. (See “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Logon -> Run these programs at user logon” setting. )Note: This setting appears in both Computer Configuration and User Configuration. If both settings are configured the Computer Configuration setting overrides.

Additional Information

  1. Registry path is:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Policies -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> Terminal Services # InitialProgram HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Policies -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> Terminal Services # WorkDirectory

  2. The Administrative Template path is:

    Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Remote Session Environment


* Making mistakes while changing registry values can affect your system adversely. We recommend you to create a System Restore point before making registry manipulation. If you're new to Registry Editor, read this beginner's guide.
** To locate the registry and administrative template path, checkout beginner's guide.
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