How to Setup Folder redirection in Citrix

This article shows the steps on How to Setup Folder redirection in Citrix.

If you want to configure Citrix user profiles using FSLogix you can use the step by step guide:
How to Setup Citrix User Profiles using FSLogix.

If you want to configure Citrix user profiles using Citrix UPM then you can use the step by step guide:
How to Setup Citrix User Profiles using Citrix UPM.

If you want to utilize OneDrive for folder redirection of Windows known folders then you can check blog post:
Move windows known folders to Onedrive using Intune.

Folder redirection can be combined with Citrix Profile Management solution to provide the best experience to end users. This also speeds up the Profile loading time and users will have much better experience during sign in or sign out. You can start with redirection of Windows known folders to either a shared folder on a remote file server or you can redirect and move Windows Known folders to Onedrive.

The decision to either use a shared folder or Onedrive for redirection of known folders is dependent upon your current infrastructure. If all users are currently already on-boarded on One-drive then moving known folders to One drive is easier to configure and manage and also the data stays with the users in their personal One drive.

Below step by step process shows how you can configure folder redirection in Citrix using a shared folder on a file server. For configuration of folder redirection, I am using single domain controller which is also a file server.

Folder redirection configuration is a two part process:

  • Create a Network Share and configure Share Permissions and NTFS Permissions.
  • Create an Active Directory Group Policy Object and apply the group policy to the end users.

Create a Network Share and configure share and NTFS Permissions

  • Login on your File Server and find a drive with enough free space to store the redirected folders data. Create a New Folder called ctx_redirectedfolders (or any folder name suitable).
Citrix Folder redirection network share
  • Right-Click on the folder and click on Properties.
  • Go to Sharing tab and then click on Advanced Sharing.
share and NTFS Permissions
  • Check the checkbox for Share this folder and click on Permissions button. Set Everyone Full Control Share Permissions. Click OK to Save.
How to Setup Folder redirection in Citrix

Click on Caching button. Select the option to disable shared Folder availability Offline. Click on OK to Save.

How to Setup Folder redirection in Citrix Network share

Once the share permissions are set and caching option is configured. You can see that the Folder is now shared and it will show the UNC Path of the Shared Folder.

How to Setup Folder redirection in Citrix Share permissions

Next We need to configure the NTFS Permissions of Shared Folder. Click on Security Tab and then Click on Advanced Button.

NTFS permissions Citrix folder redirection

Disable Folder Permissions Inheritance and Select the option highlighted to convert Inherited permissions to explicit permissions.

NTFS permissions Citrix folder redirection

Now Click on Add button to add the permissions.

NTFS permissions Citrix folder redirection

Click Select a principal and Select Everyone and Click OK. I have used Everyone group in my demo but you can also use yourdomainname\users (e.g. corp.techpress.net\users)

NTFS permissions Citrix folder redirection

Make Sure Applies to is “This Folder Only” so that Users are not getting permission on Other users redirected folders.

NTFS permissions Citrix folder redirection

Configure the NTFS permissions as shown in the screenshot

NTFS permissions Citrix folder redirection

Make Sure you are able to access the folder using UNC Path. Note down this location as we will use it while configuring a group policy for folder redirection.

UNC Path citrix folder redirection

Create Group Policy for Folder redirection

After you have created a shared folder and configured Share and NTFS permissions, you now need to create a Group Policy object in Active Directory. Follow below steps to create a Group Policy Object (GPO).

  • Login on one of your Active Directory Domain Controller.
  • Click on Start -> Run -> type gpmc.msc to open Group Policy Mangement Console.
Create Group Policy for Folder redirection
  • Right Click on Group Policy Objects and Click New to Create a New Group Policy Object.
Create Group Policy for Folder redirection
  • Provide a name of the GPO e.g. Citrix – Folder Redirection and click OK to Create.
Citrix Folder redirection GPO

Right Click on Citrix – Folder Redirection GPO and Click on Edit to configure the Group Policy Settings.

Citrix folder redirection group policy

Once you are in the Group Policy Editor, Expand the User Configuration section -> Policies -> Windows Settings ->Folder Redirection. Right click on Desktop and click on Properties to configure redirection of desktop folder. We will Configure Folder Redirection for Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Start menu, Music, Videos, Pictures Folders.

If you want to redirect Appdata folder as well, then test all the applications once its setup as appdata redirection tend to cause issues with Applications like slowness or other application related issues. I have not included appdata folder redirection in this setup and kept this folder at its original location.

The following folders can be redirected:

  • AppData(Roaming)
  • Desktop
  • Start menu
  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Favorites
  • Contacts
  • Downloads
  • Links
  • Searches
  • Saved Games
Configure citrix folder redirection GPO
  • Configuration of Desktop Folder redirection.

Target Tab

  • Setting: Basic – Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location.
  • Target folder location: Create a folder for each user under the root path.
  • Root Path: This is the UNC path of the shared folder we created which is \\tp-dc1\ctx_redirectedfolders.

Settings Tab

  • Remove the check next to “Grant the user exclusive rights to Desktop” as we want administrators to be able to manage this folder and we also do not want only the user to have exclusive rights to this folder.
Citrix folder redirection GPO Desktop Folder
  • Configuration of Start Menu Folder redirection, Music Folder redirection, Video folder redirection and Pictures folder redirection.

We are going to keep the same folder redirection configuration settings for Music Folder redirection, Video folder redirection and Pictures folder as configured for Start Menu folder redirection. You can refer to below screenshot for start menu folder redirection and configure the redirection for these folders with exactly the same settings as Start Menu folder redirection settings.

Target Tab

  • Setting: Basic – Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location.
  • Target folder location: Redirect to the local userprofile location.

Settings Tab

  • Remove the check next to “Grant the user exclusive rights to Desktop” as we want administrators to be able to manage this folder and we also do not want only the user to have exclusive rights to this folder.
Citrix folder redirection GPO Start menu Folder
  • Configuration of Documents Folder Redirection.

Target Tab

  • Setting: Basic – Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location.
  • Target folder location: Create a folder for each user under the root path.
  • Root Path: This is the UNC path of the shared folder we created which is \\tp-dc1\ctx_redirectedfolders.

Settings Tab

  • Remove the check next to “Grant the user exclusive rights to Desktop” as we want administrators to be able to manage this folder and we also do not want only the user to have exclusive rights to this folder.
Citrix folder redirection GPO Documents Folder
  • Configuration of Downloads Folder Redirection.

Target Tab

  • Setting: Basic – Redirect everyone’s folder to the same location.
  • Target folder location: Create a folder for each user under the root path.
  • Root Path: This is the UNC path of the shared folder we created which is \\tp-dc1\ctx_redirectedfolders.

Settings Tab

  • Remove the check next to “Grant the user exclusive rights to Desktop” as we want administrators to be able to manage this folder and we also do not want only the user to have exclusive rights to this folder.
Citrix folder redirection GPO Downloads Folder

In the Same Group Policy (Citrix – Folder Redirection), Configure Loopback Processing Mode using below steps:

  • Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Group Policy
  • Find a setting called “Configure user Group Policy loopback processing mode
  • Set it to Enabled and change the Mode to Merge.
Citrix Loopback Processing Mode

How to verify if folder redirection is working

Once the policy Citrix – Folder Redirection is created, you can assign it to few users first and login on Citrix using a user account on which this policy has been applied. There are two ways to verify if Citrix folder redirection is working fine.

  1. After you establish a session on citrix server, navigate to the redirected folder, right click on the folder and click on properties. In the properties window, go to the Shortcut tab and then check the Target field. If the field displays a redirected path, folder redirection is working fine.
  2. Go to your folder redirection file share \\tp-dc1\ctx_redirectedfolders and monitor this location. You will see a user folder along with redirected folders being created. You may need to login and logout once or twice if you do not see the folders appearing at the location where you have configured folder redirection.
For your changes to take effect, you may have to run the gpupdate /force command from the command prompt on the Citrix Server. This will make sure the Group policy for folder redirection is applied. To confirm if the group policy is applied you can run gpresult command on command prompt.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have setup Citrix folder redirection using Active Directory Group Policy. You can combine folder redirection with Citrix Profile management solutions and provide best user logon experience. Redirecting folder redirection to a folder shared reduces the time it takes for user profile to load on a citrix server and also reduces the issues related to user profiles.