There are two ways to access the AVD Remote desktop and remote app you published. In this post, we will discuss both options in detail.
Also, you would be able to see a video experience of the Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) remote desktop.
The same Remote Desktop Client (RD Client) is used for end-user connectivity or launching Windows 365 Cloud PCs. More details Windows 365 Cloud PC Web Client End User Experience Walkthrough.
Microsoft AVD is the new VDI story from Microsoft. I have a post in which I explained about Microsoft AVD Vs. Citrix, AVD Myths, AVD Known Issues, and AVD setup. More details are in the Microsoft VDI Story post.
Microsoft shared details about Microsoft AVD release dates (GA), and the future roadmap of AVD is explained in the Windows Virtual Desktop Ask Me Anything (AMA).
I have a post highlighting the points the AVD engineering team shared in the AVD AMA. More details are in the AVD AMA post.
In this post, you will see two methods to access AVD remote apps and remote desktops from a Thin client or physical desktop. The following are the two options available to access AVD Remote Desktops and Apps.
NOTE! PWA (Progressive Web Apps)options are not yet enabled for the AVD web browsers. Maybe this is coming in the future?
NOTE! – Do you have Questions about AVD Remote/Web SSO? The following link will help you to understand better. https://www.anoopcnair.com/microsoft-wvd-ama-faq-ga-dates/#WVD_SSO_Related_Questions
- Web Browser (HTML5 supported browser)
- Remote Desktop Client (Windows Devices)
- Thin Clients?
AVD Web Client Browser (HTML5 based browser)
The Web browser is the easiest way to connect to AVD remote desktops and apps. AVD remote desktop resources can be accessed from any web browser which supports HTLM5.
Azure Virtual Desktop Web Client URLs are changed now. It would help if you transitioned to using the new URLs before 18 April 2022.
- New AVD Web Client URL: https://client.wvd.microsoft.com/arm/webclient/index.html
Update: The new web client URL works fine with all the browsers and gives the same experience as the previous web client URLs. I can’t reproduce the below explained different experiences anymore.
I think the issue was already highlighted there in the screenshot below. I used the wrong URL, or it got redirected to the incorrect web client URL.
Consent is required for new client URLs only if you access them from the Microsoft Edge browser where you logged in to your profile. If you don’t have appropriate permissions on Azure AD, this will create some delays in the migration process to new AVD URLs.
I have tested with Firefox and other browsers, and the new URLs work just fine if the user account is assigned with the correct licenses. The user login details should be cached in the browser to get this working.
The following was the previous experience with web client URL when I tried to log in from Microsoft Edge Personal profile login and for the work profiles where you don’t have the appropriate license to access AVD.
- Only for AVD V2 ARM (current URL – going out of support soon)
The change in the end-user experience with the new URL will create some confusion within the AVD community.
NOTE! – The end-user experience of AVD Remote Desktop Client (explained) is better than a Web browser. I have seen inconsistency in Single Sign-On(SSO), a couple of pop-ups, etc…
NOTE! – You can use the following URL to connect to AVD remote desktop resources. https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html (This won’t work for WVD V2 or new WVD with ARM support or AVD Spring release).
Non ARM AVD Web Client URLs
I hope you are not using the non-arm version AVD until now. If so, the following are the Web Client URLs for the non-ARM version of AVD (WVD v1.0).
- Old: https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html
- Old: https://www.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html
- New: https://client.wvd.microsoft.com/webclient/index.html
Windows 10 Device
I use the web browser to connect to AVD resources during the test scenarios as it’s straightforward to test with different web browsers on my Windows 10 Surface book.
Mobile Devices – Non-Windows Devices
The only option to access AVD resources from mobile and non Windows devices is via a Web Browser.
Microsoft mentioned in their documentation that you could access AVD remote desktop resources from all non-windows devices with HTML5 support.
I tried to access AVD resources from iOS 12/13/14/15 devices on different browsers, and the following are the results.
- Chrome – Works perfectly fine.
- Safari – Works fine
- Microsoft Edge – Not able to list down the AVD resources
AVD Remote Desktop Client (Windows Devices)
The second option to connect to AVD remote desktop resources is downloading and installing the AVD Remote Desktop client. This client is available only for Windows devices.
Features of Update Microsoft Remote Client for AVD
Following are the features included in the latest version of the Microsoft Remote desktop client as per Freek Berson @fberson.
- Fallback language for localized version is improved
- Upon removing a subscription, cached credentials in the credential manager are adequately cleaned up.
- Unattended client update process and client relaunch once completed (noticeable once the next update is available)
- The Microsoft Remote Desktop Client can be used on Windows 10S
Once the client is installed, it will get the Automatic update from the cloud. You can see the notification within the AVD remote desktop client/Windows Action Center.
The latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client supports the Windows 10S version, and it’s more stable.
NOTE! – In Microsoft documentation, only Windows 7 and Windows 10 support statement is available. I hope Windows 8.1 is also supported.
Download AVD Remote Desktop Client
You can download the latest Azure Remote Desktop (AVD) client from the Microsoft website. Latest version ✔
Video Experience AVD Remote Desktop Client
The following video will give you the experience of Microsoft remote desktop client app installation, subscription, display settings, and automatic client update.
✔Microsoft AVD Remote Desktop Client Download
✔Microsoft Remote Desktop Client app installation
✔AVD Remote Desktop Client subscription
✔AVD Remote Desktop Client display settings
✔AVD Remote Desktop Client automatic client update
AVD Remote Desktop Client – Display Settings
Following are the AVD remote desktop client display settings available with the latest version of the client. If you don’t change the setting, it will automatically take the display settings of your physical device.
This behavior is a bit troublesome user experience (when you connect to dual-screen etc..)
NOTE! – Right client on your AVD Remote Resources listed down in the client and select Settings. You can adjust the display setting in the settings menu as you need.
The following are my favorite display settings for Microsoft Remote Desktop Client when I test AVD Remote Desktops/Remote Apps.
- Use Default Settings – OFF
- Display Settings
- Use All Monitors – OFF
- Start in full screen – OFF
- Update the resolution on resize – OFF
- Resolution – Choose for me – 1280 x 1024
- Change the size of the text and apps: 175% (this will show the windows inside the remote desktop much clear)
- Fit Session to Window-ON
AVD Microsoft Remote Desktop Client – WIP – Conflict?
There is a conflict between Windows Information Protection (WIP) policies (deployed through Microsoft Intune) and Microsoft Remote Desktop Client.
You might be able to reproduce the issue once the subscription is timed out, and you need to unsubscribe and subscribe again. The same problem is there with the newest version, 126.96.36.199.
I could see Microsoft Remote Desktop is WIP enlighten app. But, not sure whether the RD client (msrdcw.exe) we use for AVD is enlightened or not.
Thin Client Access
Microsoft is closely working with all the thin client vendors and specifically with DELL, as they mentioned in the AVD AMA. The following are the Thin client OSes that Microsoft will currently support/in the future.
- Windows 10 IoT Enterprise (supported)
- Linux based thin clients (Future roadmap)
- Dell Thin Clients (Future roadmap)
- AVD Video PlayList ➡➡https://aka.ms/WVDPlaylist
- AVD AMA 28 August 2019 Windows Virtual Desktop Microsoft AVD FAQs from AMA
- Microsoft VDI Story AVD Concept Setup Guide Myths Known Issues
- SCCM Intune Support for Persistent Non-Persistent VDI VMs
Anoop C Nair is Microsoft MVP! He is a Device Management Admin with more than 20 years of experience (calculation done in 2021) in IT. He is Blogger, Speaker, and Local User Group HTMD Community leader. His main focus is on Device Management technologies like SCCM 2012, Current Branch, and Intune. He writes about ConfigMgr, Windows 11, Windows 10, Azure AD, Microsoft Intune, Windows 365, AVD, etc.