How to troubleshoot Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops client-side issues

Introduction #

When troubleshooting Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops issues, it is important to first be able to understand if the issue at hand is rooted client-side or server-side. You should always check the possibility of an issue being client-side as it can have much quicker resolution as compared to server-side and this will save you considerable effort and resources.

Citrix troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops client-side issues #

The most trivial VAD issues can be dealt with directly by the end user by consulting a self-service support manual or self-service Web-based portal provided by the Citrix administrators. There are many cases in which client-side issues can easily be resolved by the end users themselves by carrying out the following common troubleshooting tasks:

  • Reset the Citrix Workspace App client, by right clicking on the application icon, click on “Advanced Preferences” and then click on “Reset Workspace”.
  • Update the Citrix Workspace App client to the latest version by navigating to to download the latest client version or right click the running Citrix Workspace App icon and click “Check for Updates”.
  • Perform a Citrix session graceful logoff so that any user profile related issues are resolved.
  • Check the latency of the local network and switch to another WAN link for connecting to the Citrix delivery site in case there is high latency. A quick way to check latency is with the free Remote Display Analyzer tool ( The remote display analyzer tool is a portable application which should be run from within a Citrix hosted desktop in order to present the real time values of ICA Round Trip Time (RTT) and the average WAN link latency.

If self-service support does not work, then Citrix level-1 helpdesk agents can carry out basic troubleshooting remotely by shadowing the affected Citrix user(s). The remote shadow function in Citrix Director is very handy when a helpdesk technician needs to view the end user’s Citrix screen, whether that is a hosted app or a hosted desktop. In case shadowing does not work or is not available for any reason, then an alternative remote connection tool should be used to view the issue which the user is facing in real time.

Common level-1 troubleshooting tasks which may resolve Citrix VAD issues are the following:

  • Assist the user in resolving a client-side issue (e.g. related to a faulty/corrupt Citrix Workspace App installation)
  • Kill a rogue OS or application process on the Citrix VDA server where the user is homed via Citrix Director or directly from the VDA server.
  • Guide the user through a graceful Citrix session logoff and logon (logoff / logon cycle) in order to clean up their Citrix, FsLogix or other hybrid profile which may be in place.
  • Check HDX monitor inside Director and pinpoint the root cause of an issue which is attributed to a malfunction of an ICA channel (e.g. usage of HDX 3D Pro peripherals, locally attached removable disks and printers)

Citrix recommends collecting the following information (support script flow) when interacting with the end user at leve-1 support:

  • What is the name and location (internal/external) of the user?
  • Do any other users at the site/location experience the same issue? Can they have a colleague logon from same and/or different workstation?
  • What type of endpoint device and operating system version is the user running Citrix Workspace App on? (Corporate device, BYOD, thin client, pc, laptop, etc.)
  • What is the Citrix Workspace App version and connection information? Is the user connecting directly via the client or via the Citrix Gateway web interface?
  • Can the user see the Citrix Gateway or StoreFront authentication page?
  • What is the name of the application (or virtual desktop) the user is attempting to use? Does the user see the appropriate application or desktop icon on the StoreFront site?
  • Does the application (or desktop) launch when the relevant icon is selected? Does the application logon screen appear (if applicable)?
  • Can the user authenticate into the application (if applicable)? Does the issue occur after the application is launched?
  • What is the specific error seen (if applicable)? The user should be requested to provide a screenshot, if available.

You can find more detailed guidance and step-by-step procedures for analyzing and troubleshooting Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops organized by category in my Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Troubleshooting e-book.

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