Publish Remote Desktop Session in a Remote App Session Collection

Remote Desktop Services 2012 allows you to publish two types of Session collection on a Remote Desktop Session Host. This can be either a Remote Desktop Session Collection or a Remote App Session Collection. By default you cannot have both types on the Same Session Host. In this post I am going to show you how to configure the Session Host to show both types in the same Session Collection by making a change to the registry.

You can also create a shortcut using MSTSC which is shown in the following article (Click Here) Please see the section on Adding Remote Desktop Session to a Remote App Session Collection.

Remote Desktop/App Session Collection on a Single RDSH Server

This Lab has been built using Server 2012 R2, but the following actions can be completed on Server 2012 with the same outcomes.

By default a Remote App Session Collection looks like this :


As you can see from the image shown above, Only Remote Apps are shown.

To show the Remote Desktop Session Collection you will need to make a change to the Registry.

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\CentralPublishedResources\PublishedFarms\<collection>\RemoteDesktops\<collection>


To show the Desktop Session Icon, Change the value (ShowInPortal) to 1 from 0.

You can also rename the Desktop Session Icon name to something more to your liking. To do this, change the value (Name).


There you have it, a Remote Desktop Session Published in a Remote App Session Collection.

16 thoughts on “Publish Remote Desktop Session in a Remote App Session Collection

Add yours

  1. Friend, thanks for this clear post. It’s exactly what I was in need of. Why MS decided to make this feature not default is not clear. But this registry entry solved a major problem for me with my first Windows 2012 RD Gateway deployment.

    I had a RemoteApp collection and was using the trick to publish Remote Desktop Connection. But this does not pass through devices from the actual client because you are running MSTSC from the server.

    This registry entry is exactly what I needed, friend. Thanks for the great post!

  2. However, with some changes that you make in the GUI, this change is reverted. To be sure, I’ve created a Group Policy Preference that makes sure that the setting stays.

  3. Any idea if this is supported by Microsoft? It is annoying to have to have dedicated Remote App RDSH servers, and seperate Remote Desktop RDSH servers, makes more sense to share the resources across all of your servers.

  4. Thanks for this Ryan, good stuff!
    However, this enables the remote desktop for all users as they can see the icon. Is there a way to restrict this to an active directory group only?

    Best Regards

  5. Works Great – But where can I limit the number of monitors for the Published Desktop? It automatically spans across all available monitors covering up any other Remote Apps I might have open.

  6. I have a question, if you needed to add another collection for vendors but didn’t want them browsing the server using rd how would you accomplish that? I guess the icon will show for all collections right?

  7. Ryan thanks so much for this! I was tearing my hair on how to get that Remote Desktop to show up and your post saved me! I had done the RDS Quick Install on Win2K16 and Win2K19 and just couldn’t figure out how to get that Remote Desktop to show. Wasted so much time configuring certificates and all that but it still was not working.

    Your post was the perfect solution. Just wanted to post here to show my gratitude 🙂

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