Enable Alt+Tab Application Toggling in a Citrix XenApp Desktop Session

I recently had a request for a user to be able to toggle between different applications inside their Citrix desktop session with alt+tab. The Citrix receiver provides this functionality with a registry change. There are a couple ways to send the hot key combo of Alt+tab to the Citrix session, but below I will show how to pass the physical hot key combo of Alt+tab from the client workstation to the Active Citrix session window (non-fullscreen mode).
This work will be done on the Client workstation and I am assuming the client has Windows 7 with Citrix receiver installed.
My background information was found here:
http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX118974
http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/ica-settings/ica-settings-transparentkeypassthrough.html
1. Open regedit on the client device to edit the registry
2. Navigate to the key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Citrix\ICAClient\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Virtual Channels\Keyboard\
3. Open Key: TransparentKeyPassthrough
4. Set the value to: RemoteRegistry changes for Alt Tab setting

5. Exit the Citrix receiver if it is started and log back into your Citrix desktop.
6. When the Citrix desktop session is the Active window, you will be able to toggle between the applications in that session with Alt+Tab

18 thoughts on “Enable Alt+Tab Application Toggling in a Citrix XenApp Desktop Session

  1. It didn’t work for me, should I restart the host or the client? is it only supposed to work with an specific citrix receiver version?

    • Unfortunately, I only tested this with (now legacy) windows receiver ver 3.3. This was on a windows 7 client. I just restarted the receiver, but you could restart the whole PC, but I am not sure if it works with the newer receivers.

  2. Hi, this technique works fine with my Win7 x86 MSIE8 machine but on my Win7 x64 MSIE 10 it doesn’t work. In the latter case in the registry there is nothing, no keys whatsoever for “ICA Client”. I presume this means there is so other version of Citrix running that requires a different approach. Any advice you could offer? Thanks

    • Oh yeah, x64, so the correct registry key is under Wow6432Node, in other words HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Citrix\ICAClient\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Virtual Channels\Keyboard\. Now it is working!

  3. For those sticklers for details – the location of the key in the picture is not the same as the location in the text. The text says HKEY Local Machine but the picture is HKEY Current User.

    Also, thanks to John C for the update for x64 as I spaced out on the fact that I was in the wrong place for the setting on an x64 machine!

  4. Hi everyone. I am running Win8 x64, I used regedit to set TransparentKeyPassthrough to “Remote” for 2 locations where I could find this key:
    (1) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\Citrix\ICAClient\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Virtual Channels\Keyboard\
    (2) HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Citrix\ICAClient\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Virtual Channels\Keyboard\
    Unfortunately, ALT-TAB still does not toggle between applications in the remote session. Does anyone have any ideas? Maybe this does not work on Win8?

  5. I am telling you, this is the best solution on this issue anywhere. I went through 10s of articles about fixing this problem but none worked. Thanks again!
    There was a slight change in the registry location though: I found it at: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Citrix\ICAClient\Engine\Lockdown Profiles\All Regions\Lockdown\Virtual Channels\Keyboard\
    Also, if I may add, you need to select “On the remote computer” option for keyboard under local resources tab from the RD login window to make sure that this setting works.

  6. I did it on my windows 8 maschine. Unfortunately, it just disabled the Alt Tab short cut. Nothing happens if I use it. Anybody else who experienced that

  7. There is a more simple solution. While you login to citrix desktop go in the ICA client settings & use Appearance as FULL SCREEN. Once done save the setting & Login a fresh session of citrix & U will be able to use ALT + TAB 🙂

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