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Install Desktop Experience on an RD Session Host Server

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

When a user uses Remote Desktop Connection to connect to a Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server, the desktop that exists on the RD Session Host server is reproduced, by default, in the remote session. To make the remote session look and feel more like the user's local Windows 7 desktop experience, install the Desktop Experience feature on an RD Session Host server that is running Windows Server 2008 R2.

Desktop Experience installs components and features of Windows 7, such as Windows Media Player, Windows Defender, and Windows Calendar. For more information about Desktop Experience, see Desktop Experience Feature.

Install Desktop Experience

Use the following procedure to install Desktop Experience on the server.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, on the RD Session Host server that you plan to configure, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83477.

ImportantImportant
The installation of Desktop Experience requires the computer to be restarted.

To install Desktop Experience
  1. Open Server Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.

  2. In the left pane, click Features, and then in the Features Summary section, click Add Features.

  3. On the Select Features page, select the Desktop Experience check box.

  4. Review the information about the required features that need to be installed with the Desktop Experience feature, and then click Add Required Features.

  5. Click Next.

  6. On the Confirm Installation Selections page, verify that the Desktop Experience feature will be installed, and then click Install.

  7. On the Installation Progress page, installation progress will be noted.

  8. On the Installation Results page, you are prompted to restart the server to finish the installation process. Click Close, and then click Yes to restart the server.

  9. After the server restarts and you log on to the computer with the same user account, the remaining steps of the installation will finish. When the Installation Results page appears, confirm that the installation of Desktop Experience succeeded, and then click Close.

    You can also confirm that Desktop Experience is installed by following these steps:

    1. Start Server Manager.

    2. In the left pane, click Features, and then in the Features Summary section, confirm that Desktop Experience is listed as installed.

After you install Desktop Experience, the Windows 7 components and features, such as Windows Media Player, will appear under All Programs on the Start menu.

Uninstall (Remove) Desktop Experience

Use the following procedure to uninstall (remove) Desktop Experience from the server.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, on the RD Session Host server that you plan to configure, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83477.

ImportantImportant
The removal of Desktop Experience from the server requires the computer to be restarted.

To uninstall (remove) Desktop Experience
  1. Open Server Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.

  2. In the left pane, click Features, and then in the Features Summary section, click Remove Features.

  3. On the Select Features page, clear the Desktop Experience check box, and then click Next.

  4. On the Confirm Removal Selections page, verify that the Desktop Experience feature will be removed, and then click Remove.

  5. On the Removal Progress page, removal progress will be noted.

  6. On the Removal Results page, you are prompted to restart the server to finish the removal process. Click Close, and then click Yes to restart the server.

  7. After the server restarts and you log on to the computer with the same user account, the remaining steps of the removal process will finish. When the Removal Results page appears, confirm that the removal of Desktop Experience succeeded, and then click Close.

    You can also confirm that Desktop Experience is removed by following these steps:

    1. Start Server Manager.

    2. In the left pane, click Features, and then in the Features Summary section, confirm that Desktop Experience is no longer listed as installed.

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