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  • Group Policy Settings Reference for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop

    Five weeks ago, on the same day, I received three emails asking if I had a spreadsheet listing all the Citrix policy settings like Microsoft supplies. I replied I did not and had been asking Citrix for such an Excel file since March 2012. Someone pointed me to this Citrix article on Citrix Policy Reference but it has not been updated in three years. It also contains no data for any version of XenApp or XenDesktop 7.x. I reached out to several people at Citrix to see if such a file existed and all promised to get back to me. No one ever responded. So I started my own Excel file based on what little I had from the documentation scripts. There was so much missing information that I reached back out to my Citrix contacts because surely this information is sitting on some developer’s computer somewhere at Citrix. After pestering my Citrix contacts, I, again, never received a single response. I decided to take matters into my own hands and start a community project.

    After fives weeks of hard work, we a pleased to present you with this Excel file of all the Citrix policy settings we could find and figure out. I would like to thanks the following community members for their help on this project:

    • Esther Barthel (fellow CTP)
    • Markus Zehnle (fellow Dallas Cowboys fan)
    • Carl Behrent
    • Jon Falgout

    Unfortunately for us, this turned out to be a lot of manual data gathering and a lot of copy & paste.

    I started out with XenApp/XenDesktop 7.13 and created the base Excel worksheet and asked the contributors for help finding all the registry information for all 409 policy settings. I then started gathering all the “Applies to” and “Description” (aka Help Text) from Studio and copying and pasting all that information. Along the way, I found numerous issues with the Descriptions. There was spelling, grammar, and punctuation issues and also factual errors. Inconsistencies in policy settings drove my OCD up the wall.

    • Some settings are Enabled/Disabled and some are Allowed/Prohibited.
    • Some settings that have drop-down lists start with the first item in the list as item 0 but some start with 1.
    • Some settings have the drop-down lists in alphabetical order but some don’t.
    • Some settings explain what Enabled/Allowed and Disabled/Prohibited do. Some just say “This setting will be Enabled/Allowed/Disabled/Prohibited”.
    • Some settings that are in obvious groupings have the same Description text even though the text has nothing to do with the policy setting.
    • The “Applies to” data in a Studio policy setting is very different than the same setting in the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). GPMC is more accurate.

    All the spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors I reported to Citrix are fixed in the Excel file. My OCD would not allow me to keep those errors in something I am helping create.

    Once Esther, Markus and Carl found the majority of registry settings, I created an Active Directory-based policy that had all 409 settings configured. I then had to manually document every possible registry value and what that value represented in Studio. Needless to say, that took a long time because of the inconsistencies noted above. By the way, booting a Windows 10 VM with 409 Citrix policy settings takes a long time and then the logon takes minutes. I do not recommend trying that in production.

    There is only one policy setting we could not find:

    • Server Settings\Offline Applications\Offline app client trust.

    There are ten worksheets in the Excel file:

    1. Contributors
    2. Instructions
    3. Computer Policy Settings
    4. User Policy Settings
    5. All Policy Settings
    6. Receiver (receiver.admx)
    7. FAS (CitrixFederatedAuthenticationServices.admx)
    8. UPM (ctxprofile5.7.0.admx)
    9. ShareFile (ShareFileSync.admx)
    10. CQI (CitrixCQI.admx)

    If you find any errors or omissions, please send an email to

    We hope you find the Excel file with all the policy settings and Citrix related ADMX files useful.

    You can always find the most current Excel file by going to


    Webster, Esther, Markus, Carl and Jon

    About Carl Webster

    Webster is a Sr. Solutions Architect for Choice Solutions, LLC and specializes in Citrix, Active Directory and Technical Documentation. Webster has been working with Citrix products for many years starting with Multi-User OS/2 in 1990.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

    12 Responses to “Group Policy Settings Reference for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop”

    1. Marcel Says:

      Hi Carl.
      Thanks for this awesome work!
      Just finding all the ADMX/ADML files wasn’t easy.
      I also didn’t use workspace management environment, but workspace app admx/adml available on the workspace app download page.


    2. SJLEE Says:

      Hello, Carl Webster
      I am just looking for something solution how to fix my system problem
      I have read this post and am very insteresting of your excel
      I think it maybe help to fix, so I want to read your excel file
      but I don’t know how to download your excel file becuase I don’t see any link for downloading
      Could you please let me know how to download your excel file?
      thank you


    3. Zailani Says:

      A million thanks to Carl and team!! This is very very useful for me and probably other Citrix techs all around the world.

      I was just thinking to manually enable all Citrix policy settings> backup the GPO and import the GPO backup to MS Security Compliance manager, then export it to Excel.
      That will probably take hours and will not even be as comprehensive as yours.


    4. Ray Says:

      Amazing jobs Carl and the rest who has done. This you guys help me out so very much. Guys like you really help make Citrix what it is today. Thank u so much.


    5. Florian Frank Says:

      Thank you very much. Great, great work! This brilliant! 🙂 This will help so much.

      Any plans on adding WEM? (I could take a look at this)

      Best Regards,
      Florian Frank


    6. Raynald Chaffaux Says:


      What Amazing job you done with this fantastic excel file. I’m looking for this list since lot of time, so I’m just happy to find it on your website.
      Many thanks for this job, very useful to me !
      Raynald Chaffaux


      • Carl Webster Says:

        Thanks for the nice words. Even though it was a lot of work, all five of us were glad to work on this project.



    7. Markus Zehnle Says:

      All kudos to Carl for putting together all the policy settings.
      As Esther already mentioned it was fun to play hide & seek with the registry settings.
      Thx that I had the opportunity to contribute to this file (at least for a small part).


    8. Esther Barthel Says:

      I’m sure setting the User – Printer Assignments policy in Studio resulted in changes for the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Citrix\\User\PrintingPolicies\DefaultClientPrinter Value in the registry of my Windows Server 2012 R2 machine.

      So we might need to plan another weekend to test drive different OS versions and this policy setting, Carl 😉

      I just want to thank you for including me in this project as I sure had fun tracking down the different registry keys for all the policy settings you threw my way. Very proud of how you transformed all those keys in this very cool Excel reference document. Lots of kudos for you Carl!


    9. Martyn Says:

      Carl. This is gold dust! Many thanks to you and your mini team for collating this. I hope that Citrix action the discrepancies you highlight.

      I know what you mean with regards to GPO descriptions and this is a general gripe not just for the Citrix flavour ones. It’s the double negative ones that confuse the heck out of me. Description is something like “Disable this widget” with options of Enable/Disable. So to disable it you have to select enable!!

      Anyhow. Great work. Thanks again.


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