Windows 365

Make it easier to connect to Cloud PCs

One of the best ways to access your Windows 365 Cloud PC is by using the Remote Desktop application which you can either download from the Microsoft website or deploy from Microsoft Intune if you are using a managed client.

This post was inspired by a blog post from Microsoft that seems to have disappeared.

To simplify the “adding your Cloud PC/Azure Virtual Desktop to Remote Desktop” process for your users, you can actually create a configuration profile in Microsoft Endpoint Manager which automatically adds the signed-in user to the Remote Desktop with the correct subscription URL.

Please be aware that depending on which version of AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop) you are using, the URL might vary so check the documentation beforehand!

Let’s start by adding Remote Desktop to MEM.

Adding Remote Desktop as an application

The first step is to download the Remote Desktop application, which can be found here.

When you have downloaded the MSI, you will need to use the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool to create a .intunewin file of the MSI.

Download the tool from GitHub and run the tool in PowerShell.

When the tool has successfully created the intunewin-file, you will find the .intunewin file in the output folder you specified.

Head over to Microsoft Endpoint Manager and navigate to Apps > Windows and select “+ Add” and then Windows app (Win32) as App type.

On the first page, find your .intunewin file created in the earlier step and upload it. Update any information about the application as needed add press next.

Leave all settings to default on the next tab.

On the Requirements tab, update Operating System Architecture to correlate to the version of Remote Desktop you downloaded and add which the minimum OS version needs to be. In this case, I’m using a 64-bit version of the app and I require Windows 10 21h1 or newer.

On the next tab, Detection rule, add a custom detection rule using MSI as rule type and leaving all values to default.

Leave Dependencies and Supersedence empty and add a group on which you wish to deploy the application. In this example, I’m deploying it to all users but filtering out that it needs to be a Windows 11 computer.

Review your settings and then create your application. It takes a few minutes for the application to upload.

Automatically adding virtual machines to remote desktop

The next step is to create a new configuration profile, based on a setting from Settings Catalog.

Navigate to Devices > Windows > Configuration Profiles and create a new profile by clicking “+ Create profile” and then select “Windows 10 and later” as a platform and “Settings catalog” as Profile type.

On the first page, give your profile a good name and press next.

On the next page, click “+ Add setting“, find and click Remote Desktop in the list, then check the box next to “Auto-subscription (user)“. Then close the flyout using the X in the upper right corner.

Add the subscription URL to the settings. The one used in this example works for Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktops.

Press next and assign your profile to a group, in this example I’m using the same settings as for the Remote Desktop app (All users and a filter for Windows 11).

Click next and skip the Scope section. Review and create your profile.

User experience

When the user opens the Remote Desktop the first time, they will see all Cloud PCs and AVD that they are assigned to.

If they are not assigned to any virtual clients, they will get a message saying that no machines are assigned.

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