Why You Shouldn’t Install Citrix Receiver on Citrix XenApp


The newest Citrix Receiver for Windows 3.0 ( requires almost 150% more memory per user than Citrix ICA Client 11.2. So when optimizing you Citrix servers for the highest user density you should consider if you even need some of these new features if any.

Normally the Citrix client is installed on XenApp servers only to allow for ICA in ICA to internal back-end or Cloud hosted applications.

Register the Citrix Receiver with web browser :

There’s currently also a bug with Citrix Receiver for Windows 3.0 and the Shadow Taskbar. This applies to both XenApp 5 and 6. The workaround for XenApp 6 is to copy the wshadow.exe from the XenApp 6.5 media, but on XenApp 5 there’s currently no hotfix available.

So keep safe and stick to the working Citrix ICA Client 11.2 and save some memory at the same time.

If your users are constantly getting a MSI repair when they visit a Citrix Web Interface site this is most due to the missing ConnectionCenter entry in Registry. Simply push this registry value through Microsoft Group Policy Preferences.

  • For x32 this is located in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • For x62 this is located in HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

While you’re at it, make sure you delete any references in Run to Acrobat Assistant 8.0, Adobe Acrobat Speed Lanucher, Adobe ARM, BCSSync and so on. These will only steal unnessecarry memory from your system.

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18 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Install Citrix Receiver on Citrix XenApp”

  1. Hi, this is a question prompted probably out of ignorance, but how is the client used an impact on the server? I would think the only impact would be on the client device/workstation for Receiver. Thanks for helping me to understand this.

  2. Hi Steve, This is only when you’ve installed the Citrix Receiver on your XenApp Servers. So depending on features the 11.x consumes e.g. 15mb per user session vs the 13.x 30mb. For 20 users on a server that’s a potencial 300mb of memory vaste.

  3. Hi Nice Article! I have to slightly disagree with you on that one.

    11.2 is really old and has many issues as well. It’s always a good practice to match your client with your SG version. I mean that if you are using a newer SG version and an older client, you will get SSL errors on the SG server because the version of sslsdk_b.dll mismatch.

    What about using a newer one like 12.1.44 or even better 12.1.70 (Private) ?

    Also keep in mind that when the Citrix plugin get installed, the TCP IP service get optimized since some value are added/modified. (TCPWindowsSize, TCPTimedWaitDelay) It makes sense to have the same values on the server and the client side for better network throughput.

    I guess it would be better to simply add these settings in a GPP instead.

    Plus don’t you need the online and offline plugin installed to stream apps to server ?

    Also, the Citrix Online-Plugin/Receiver use the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Runtime but the dlls that get installed in “%ProgramFiles%\Citrix\ICA Client” are pretty old. So I always install the Visual C++ 2005 SP1 runtime separetly to make sure the client will work flawlessly and that I get runtime updates via Windows Update.

    So maybe a newer version of Visual C++ 2005 SP1 reduces the memory foot print.

    Finally, 13.1 should come out really soon and hopefully will take less memory….(I doubt it).

    • Thanks Jonathan for your long comment. Every Citrix environment is different and the purpose of this post was only to highlight that the new Citrix Receiver eats memory.

      I have seen customers running every available version of the Citrix Client without to many big problems with SG. Anyway with the possibility to offer Citrix Client upgrade via Web Interface and the new client deployment script that actually works now most customers are running the same Citrix version across the enterprise except for the home users that haven’t upgraded.

  4. Another alternative to Citrix Receiver is Ericom AccessNow, a pure HTML5 RDP client that enables users with HTML5 compatible browsers to connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server (RDS Session Host), physical desktops or VDI virtual desktops – and run their applications and desktops in a browser. AccessNow is a fraction of the price of Citrix Receiver and installs in a few minutes.

    Ericom‘s AccessNow does not require Java, Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, or any other underlying technology to be installed on end-user devices – an HTML5 browser is all that is required.

    For more info, and to download a demo, visit:

    Note: I work for Ericom

    • Hi Devante,

      I’ve not tried with the new version yet, but would believe that the memory consumption still apply. Maybe Citrix has resolved the problems with the Shadow Taskbar. Please report back if you try it out.

  5. Love your blog bro. Thanks for the tips. Very helpful and insightful stuff. Also looking forward to video # 2.

  6. We had many terrible performance issues running Receiver 3.0 and 3.1 and SAP/BPC (Excel 2010) and had to roll back to client 12.1.44. I haven’t had the time to call Citrix and figure out why Receiver is so slow and crash prone yet. I might just wait for a better version of the Receiver from Citrix. I couldn’t find much info out there about this but hope this helps others as much your comments and warnings.


  7. Absolutely agree with author. Don’t waste memory with receiver unless you defenetly need it. ICA web 11/12 client is light plugin and even more secure.

  8. Just reinstall Citrix reciver on the server and disable it from startup it should work. Just did it.

  9. I am unable to download citrix reciever because my virus scan is detecting it as a virus and deleting it
    I need it for remote access to corporate system
    Any suggestions?

  10. Does anyone here have a bit more info on how absence (or presence) of Citrix Receiver on the first XenApp host affects “second hop” connections? I am wondering if absence of Receiver on hostA can prevent drive mappings when you open RDP connection from hostA to hostB.
    Another issue I am looking at is “Your target session is incompatible with your current session” error – happens when there is a Citrix Desktop session open but we try to open RDP Desktop to same host under same credentials.
    Would these be solved by installing Citrix Receiver onto hostA?

    • Hi, Citrix Receiver is just needed if you want to 2nd hop to another Citrix environment. If you are using RDP then of course you won’t need it. If drive mappings are missing for your RDP connections, make sure that that option has been enabled in the RDP client or in GPO. Need for info regarding your 2nd question, don’t understand what you’re trying to do here.


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