Users Prompted to Download, Run, Open “.ica” File Instead of Launching Connection

In recent releases of IE, Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, and latest Citrix Workspace App clients many of the issues mentioned below have been resolved.

By default, the OS (Windows, Mac, Linux) should automatically set how to open “.ica” files when trying to launch any resource via Citrix Workspace or Citrix Storefront via the Web Store if the Citrix Workspace App is installed properly.

Confirm Citrix Workspace App is installed or use Citrix Workspace App for HTML5 (“Web Browser” option) instead.

If you continue to encounter this behavior please review the steps outlined below.

There can be a number of resolutions to the issue including but not limited to the following:

Install the Latest Version of Citrix Workspace App

Install the latest Citrix Workspace App version which can be downloaded here: Download Citrix Workspace App

Automatically Open ICA Files

When clicking on an application or desktop to launch via Citrix Workspace or Citrix Storefront on an Internet Browser (not within Citrix Workspace App) and an “.ica” file shows in the download bar on the bottom left please follow these steps to automatically open said file:

ICA file is downloaded during the process. After the ICA file is downloaded, enable the browser to open similar files automatically.

Note: Instructions below are similar for other OS’s when using Google Chrome, Firefox, or Edge Browsers.

Internet Explorer:

  1. Navigate to the Citrix Workspace Store or Citrix Storefront Store
  2. Select the resource you are trying to access – Application or Desktop
  3. You will receive a notification on the bottom of the browser to “Open, Save, Cancel”
  4. Select the Save.
  5. The download bar will now show to “Open, Open Folder, View Downloads”,
  6. Select the drop-down list next to “Open” and select “Open With”
  7. Find and select “Connection Manager”

Google Chrome:

  1. Navigate to the Citrix Workspace Store or Citrix Storefront Store
  2. Select the resource you are trying to access – Application or Desktop
  3. Chrome will prompt a dialog box to save the ‘”.ica” file
  4. Hit save to save it in the “Downloads folder”
  5. On the bottom left you will see the file, click the “^” which is the drop-down list for the file in the download bar and select “Always Open Files of This Type”

Firefox:

  1. Navigate to the Citrix Workspace Store or Citrix Storefront Store
  2. Select the resource you are trying to access – Application or Desktop
  3. Firefox will prompt you with a dialog box to save the ‘”.ica” file
  4. Select “Do this automatically for files like this from now on”
  5. Select “Open With” and click “Browse”
  6. Select “Connection Manager”

Edge Browser:

  1. Navigate to the Citrix Workspace Store or Citrix Storefront Store
  2. Select the resource you are trying to access – Application or Desktop
  3. Edge automatically saves the file to the downloads folder by default
  4. On the bottom left you will see the file, click the “…” which is the drop-down list for the file in the download bar and select “Always Open Files of This Type”

Associate .ica File Type With Citrix Connection Manager

  1. On Windows computers, go to Control Panel > Settings > Apps > Default apps > Choose default apps by file type

  2. Under Name, find .ica file type.

  3. Ensure that the current default is set to Citrix Connection Manager. If not, click Change program and choose Citrix Connection Manager.

Note: Connection Manager is the wfcrun32 file located as C:Program Files (x86)CitrixICA Clientwfcrun32.exe

Remove or Disable Third Party Browser Adware

Remove or disable any third party browser based Adware software that could be interfering with the successful launch of the ICA file. Restart the browser after removing these software and try again.

Clear the “Do not save encrypted data to disk” Option

If you are using Internet Explorer, click Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab and clear the option “Do not save encrypted data to disk.”. This option should be cleared because the dynamic files are stored in the Temporary Internet Files folder. When applications are clicked, a file is downloaded to the folder, then launched using MIME type. If access to the folder is disabled or not available, the process cannot occur successfully.

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Below are for older Browser/Citrix Receiver Deployments:

No longer recommended to perform these steps in newer releases of Internet Browsers. Steps remain for any users not fully updated to the latest and greatest.

Add Website to Trusted Sites

Add the site to the Trusted sites list if using Internet Explorer browser using the following steps:

  1. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Security tab > Sites

  2. In the Add this website to the zone field, enter your organization’s website and click Add.

  3. Repeat this for the .com, .net, .org, or .gov Web site addresses of your organization to allow the use of the ActiveX ICA client object for the launched connection to be automatically accepted.

    Note: It might be required to also add any additional subdomain.domain.com URLs to the Trusted sites list in the Security tab setting if still experiencing unwanted prompts.

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Disable ActiveX Filtering (Enable ActiveX)

Caution! Refer to the Disclaimer at the end of this article before using Registry Editor.

Configure Internet Explorer as follows to allow successful application launching:

  1. Disable ActiveX filtering feature for the Web Interface site, either by:
  • Disabling ActiveX filtering globally:

    Click Gear icon, select Safety, de-select ActiveX Filtering. Alternatively, press Alt key and click Tools menu (ActiveX filtering is enabled if a “tick” appears next to it and is disabled if the “tick” disappears).

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    Or

  • Disabling ActiveX filtering for an individual site when ActiveX filtering is enabled globally:
    1. Log on to the Web Interface site and attempt to launch an application. At the end of the address bar a blue warning sign appears, indicating filtered content.

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    2. Click the blue warning sign and select Turn off ActiveX Filtering.

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  1. Enable ICA launch using one of the following options:
  • Add the site to the Trusted sites list: In the Security tab of Internet Options, add the Web Interface site to Trusted Sites list to allow the use of the ActiveX ICA client object for the launch.

    Or

  • Disable the MIME filter: Rename the following registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTPROTOCOLSFilterapplication/x-ica

  1. Log off and close window then restart the browser after making this change.

Enable Citrix ICA Client plugin

Configure Internet Explorer as follows to allow successful application launching:

  1. Enable Citrix ICA Client IE plugin by following the steps below:
    • Launch Internet Explorer
    • Go to Tools > Manage add-ons
    • Select Citrix ICA Client plugin and click Enable
  2. IE plugin

Related:

Citrix Profile Management: VHDX-based Outlook cache and Outlook search index on a user basis.


Behaviour prior to Profile Management 7.18

There have been two Outlook-related performance challenges with Citrix Profile Management.

To best explain, we’ll take a user that has an existing Profile Management 7.17 profile and launches published Outlook (or opens Outlook in a desktop session). Outlook has been configured to use the Outlook .OST cache. The location of the file is typically:

C:Users<user>AppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook<email address>.OST

In Outlook cached mode, the OST file can be very large, so there is a significant overhead if the OST file is part of Profile Management logon/logoff synchronization.

Actions in Outlook, such as sending/receiving mail result in changes to the Outlook search index database. This data is stored in the Windows search index database: Windows.edb.

This is a machine-based file, which means it holds search index data for all users logging onto the machine. If a user launches an Outlook session (or opens Outlook in a desktop session) on a VDA machine that they haven’t access previously or haven’t accessed for a while, the Outlook search index has to be rebuilt in Windows.edb. Outlook searches have to wait until re-indexing finishes. The location of the Windows search index database is typically: C:ProgramDataMicrosoftSearchDataApplicationsWindowsWindows.edb

We can see this design in the image below:

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Behavior using VHDX-based Outlook cache and Outlook search index on a user basis

The Profile Management 7.18 release introduced a feature to address these Outlook-related performance challenges.

To explain we’ll use the same user as above, but logging on to a 7.18 version VDA for the first time.

During the Profile Management logon, the user’s Outlook-related search index is split out of the Windows search index database (Windows.edb) and written to a VHDX file created at:

PathToUserStore<User_information>VHD<Platform>OutlookSearchIndex.vhdx

The remote VHDX file is then mounted locally in the user’s local profile at:

C:Users<user>AppDataRoamingCitrixSearch.vhdx

From this point, the user has their own profile-based version of the Outlook search index database. Within the Search.vhdx mount-point folder, the Outlook search index database is named < userSID>.edb

The Outlook .OST file is converted into a VHDX file and stored at:

PathToUserStore<User_information>VHD<Platform> OutlookOST.vhdx

The remote VHDX file is then mounted locally in the user’s local profile at (default):

C:Users<user>AppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook.vhdx

During the Outlook session, changes to the Outlook search index and Outlook .OST are made directly to their respective VHDX files over SMB.

The feature also requires additional registry settings to be created. Read the Registry Changes section for further information.

When the user logs off the session, both VHDX files are unmounted from the local profile. Because the VHDX files had been mounted over SMB, no synchronization is required at Profile Management logoff. The additional registry settings are synchronized to the user’s profile store (or before if the Active Writeback Registry feature has been enabled).

Feature Enhancements introduced in Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 1808

The Profile Management 1808 release Outlook search index feature supports groups explicitly excluded through the Profile Management Excluded Groups policy as well and groups implicitly excluded through the Profile Management Processed Groups policy (see Feature Limitations for further information).

This release also introduced support for Windows 10 1803.

Feature Limitations

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