How to enable remote apps in Windows 8 and Windows RT

I am using the Microsoft Surface tablet with Windows RT.  I have some apps that I need to run on a more powerful desktop at home.  Such as Visual Studio, since I am working on some Windows 8 apps.

Why not VDI and Remote App on Windows 8.  Here is a primer on what VDI is from Microsoft 

There was some windows settings and registry hacking to get Windows 8 to be a Remote App server.  Let me show you what I did to get this working.

1.  Setup a Windows 8 Enterprise computer.  In my setup, this is running in Parallels on a iMac
2.  Disable the firewall in Windows 8 for all networks.
3.  Enable Remote Desktop connections

4.  Install the applications you need to be presented via Remote App in Windows 8.  In my case this was Visual Studio, and Office 2013
5.  Open up regedit and go to this key, [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\TSAppAllowList]
6.  Change the DWORD fDisabledAllowList to 1.  The default is 0
7.  Add a new key called Applications
8.  Under the Applications key add a key for each application your going to present via Remote App.

9.  Under each application key, create two string values.  One called Name and the other called Path.  Complete those strings with the name of the app and the correct path.
10.  You now need to create the RPD connection file for the client.  There is an app to take care of this.  This app does not run on Windows 8, but I did have luck getting it to run on Windows 7.  So I have another machine with Window 7.  The app is called RemoteApp tool,  Your just going to use this tool to create the RPD file.  The apps your going to present though Remote App will be installed on Window 8.
11.  On the Window 7 machine, run the RemoteApp tool and configure the application name, patt and remote app settings as shown.  The full name field should match the name you have in the name string in the registry.

12.  Save the RPD file.
13.  You should now be able to connect.  Move these RPD files over to your Surface.
14.  See the video for the action.

Update.  You should set your timeout limits for disconnected clients to 1 min.  As when you disconnect from an app, this will continue to run.  Fire up Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 8 and change the time limit for disconnected sessions, under computer configurations/administrative templates/windows components/remote desktop services/remote desktop session host


28 thoughts on “How to enable remote apps in Windows 8 and Windows RT

  1. Tom says:

    Is Windows 8 Enterprise required for this? All I have is Windows 8 Pro…

  2. slickwilly says:

    I’ve followed your steps – but I can’t get it to work in win 8 pro. Is outlook.exe always in program files, mine seems to be in program files (x86) – which I made sure was in the path. any other suggestions?

    • mattalter says:

      When your creating the rpd file make sure you enclose then path in quotes. The file location is not an issue. Take a look at the screen shot for the remoteapp tool to see the path example.

      • slickwilly says:

        still no go, followed your steps exactly…maybe 20 times – i’m starting to think that this is a win 8 pro limitation. here’s what’s weird, I get the rdp auth screen, enter my credentials, it thinks, but then nothing happens … any more suggestions, or have you got this to work in win 8 pro?

  3. mattalter says:

    I’ll build out a win pro machine to test this. I’ll let you know.

    • slickwilly says:

      I built a win 8 ENT in VMware and this worked. so it’s defiantly a limitation in win 8 pro. looking at the registry in win 8 pro vs ENT – it’s completely different. I don’t know enough about o/s’s to hack this….maybe someone will fix this before my ENT licenses expires in 90 days?!?!?!

  4. Ric says:

    THis is awesome. Thanks so much. Running it on a Windows Home Server 2011 box, which I could not get “official” remoteapp support working on, due to cert errors. This worked like a charm, and once my MSFT-issued Surface RT arrives next month, I’ll be using to run Calibre for ebook management.

  5. OH says:

    Matt, I’m afraid you’ve made this process a whole lot more complicated then it actually is. The Remote App Tool you’ve linked actually works under Windows 8 if you run it as administrator, and will create all necessary registry entries, and the RDP file. While useful to know where the keys are, there’s no need for any manual processes here.

  6. gritboyweir says:

    Confirming that for me Win8 Pro is a no go 😦
    It seems to work right up to the point where you run the rdp file on the Surface and it prompts you for login – and then you login but the app never starts. Going to try it on Ent and see if it works there.

  7. I think this doesn’t work on Windows 8 Pro… 😦 I Always used this with Windows 7 Ultimate, because the 7 pro didn’t work too…
    Cann anyone confirm that it is working on a 8 Pro?


  8. Niklas H says:

    Cant get it to work with 8 pro..

  9. Kim Knight says:

    If you want your RemoteApps to automatically appear on the Start Menu of your client device, try the webfeed feature in my latest release of RAWeb. There’s a link on the RemoteApp Tool website.

  10. Rob says:

    Is there a Hac to allow windows8 standard to be the host ?

  11. Martin says:

    It doesn’t works. If i tryed on a another computer to connect to the app, it will show the login dialog but not the app. What is the problem?

  12. Does RaWeb work on Windows2012R2 server?

  13. chess yang says:

    got it to work but when i setup Chrome the page is blank. It is loaded becasue i can move the mouse around see the “Statu” at the buttom show a weblist and click it but it never load the page. it just stays white.

  14. Calvince says:

    Is it possible to run the apps over the internet hosted on windows 8 enterprise? I have set up RAWeb, but when i download the rdp file and try run it i get “Because of a protocol error detected at the client (code 0x 1104), this session will be disconnected.”

  15. This is Very Very Good, but no one will know how to do it, i think that the final users destinated to Windows Client versions will never use this feature because the complexity is hard to know how it works, But for our TI people its a very expansible solution.

  16. Michele says:

    Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  17. vIhAcK says:

    Same Problem on Win 8.1 Pro not working 😦
    And one Question how many users can use this app at same time? Thanks

  18. Matt says:

    Win8 Pro will not work because…

    Win8 Enterprise supports VDI, Win8 Pro does not. Without VDI, this sweet feature will not function.

    For more information, search the Microsoft site, look for a comparison of Windows 8 pro and enterprise.

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