I'm using Windows 2008 R2 server and am trying to get it to launch a program automatically when a user logs in via Remote Desktop. RDP will bring up the desktop, and the program runs perfectly when launched from the desktop.

However, I want it to run automatically when the user logs in. I have configured everything to run a specific program, from the user login credentials, the RD session manager, Group Policy, everything... but the program will not launch and the desktop always comes up instead.

I found a HOT FIX on Microsoft’s site that supposedly fixed this issue, however, it did nothing after installing. Has anyone successfully gotten this to work?

  • Do you actually have the RDS role installed? – joeqwerty Jan 22 '13 at 1:41
  • Thanks for the response. Yes, that was the problem :) We didn't even think that it might not be setup since we could remote in and had everything else setup. – dallin Jan 22 '13 at 20:21

I was able to find the solution to this problem.

Even though remote desktop allowed us to remote in and launch programs manually, it would not automatically launch programs until we installed the Remote Desktop Services role in the server manager. Seems like a no-brainer, but after configuring everything and being able to log in over RDP, we assumed the RDP role was functional.

| improve this answer | |
  • The RDS role and Remote Desktop for Administration use the same protocol for connectivity (RDP) but don't confer the same functionality. In order to have RDS functionality the RDS role must be installed. Take note that in addition to the RDS role you'll need an RDS License server and you'll need the correct number of RDS CAL's. – joeqwerty Jan 22 '13 at 21:10

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