What is "Activating Citrix Receiver" and Why Would I Want to do it?

If you have already installed the Citrix Receiver and are logged into Virtual Desktop, you can "activate" it on Windows or Mac OS X. This is an optional procedure that has the following benefits:

  • You don't need to open the Virtual Desktop web portal in a web browser to launch Virtual Desktop applications.  
  • When Citrix Receiver is activated, icons for your Favorite Apps are placed into your Start Menu in Windows, along with your locally installed applications or in your User folder in Mac OS X.
  • You may add/remove/launch applications from a local Citrix Receiver window that looks and functions just like the Virtual Desktop web portal.
  • When activated, Citrix Receiver supports saving your login credentials so you don't need to re-enter them when you launch a Virtual Desktop application.

 How to Activate Citrix Receiver

  1. Once you have installed Citrix Receiver and logged into Virtual Desktop, click your name in the upper right corner of the Favorites page (where your application icons are) by the search bar and click "Activate".


  2. You will be prompted to download a file called receiverconfig.cr.  This tells Citrix Receiver the location of the Virtual Desktop service. Download the file and open it.

    Activate icon

    NOTE:  If you see a message asking what program to use to open the receiverconfig.cr file, choose Citrix Receiver.
  3. After you open the file, the following window will appear.  Click Add.

    Add Virtual Desktop config

  4. A login window appears.  Log in using your HawkID and click the "Remember my password" box if you want Citrix Receiver to retain your credentials.


    Citrix Receiver puts an icon in your Windows System Tray in the lower right-hand corner.  After closing Citrix Receiver, you can open it again by clicking this icon.


  5. After login, the Citrix Receiver window will populate with your Favorite Applications.  You may launch/remove/add Virtual Desktop applications using the Citrix Receiver window outside your web browser.

    receiver window

  6. In Windows, your Favorite Applications will appear in your Windows Start Menu, along with your other locally-installed applications.  

    Recently Added

    In Mac OS X, icons for your favorite apps show up in your Applications folder.

    Icons for your Favorite Apps in the Application folder in Mac OS X
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Last updated: 
May 19, 2016