Enabling Remote Desktop Connections

This topic provides information about using Remote Desktop applications to run your automated processes.

Running Automated Tasks under a Minimized Session

When you minimize a remote desktop window (the window that displays the desktop of the remote computer), the operating system switches the remote session to the non-GUI mode and does not display windows and controls.

As a result, Automation Anywhere is unable to interact with the application GUI. At this point, the automated GUI task fails.

To run GUI tasks on a remote computer while minimizing the remote desktop window, change the registry keys on the computer from which you connect to the remote Automation Anywhere workstation. Complete the following steps:

  1. Log into the computer from which you connect to remote computers.
  2. Close all open remote desktop sessions.
  3. Click Start -> Run (or Windows + R).
  4. In the Run dialog window, type "regedit" and press Enter.

    The Registry Editor starts.

  5. Navigate to one of the following registry keys, depending on whether you want to modify the remote desktop settings only for the current user or for all users on the computer:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client
  6. Create a DWORD value named RemoteDesktop_SuppressWhenMinimized and set it to 2.

    When you minimize the Remote Desktop Connection window on your computer, the remote computer GUI should not be affected, making the GUI available to your automated tasks.

  7. Close the Registry Editor.
Note: Changes made to the registry can affect the overall performance and function of the system. Automation Anywhere is not responsible for adverse system behavior that results from making registry changes. Working with your system administrator is advised.

Using VNC - An alternative to Remote Desktop

In general, Remote Desktop applications do not allow automation software to run or perform tasks when you minimize or close the window. Remote Desktop creates a session for every connection made to the remote machine. Under this session, it provides the connecting machine with complete rights to control the remote machine.

However, when disconnecting from or minimizing the remote window, Remote Desktop retrieves the rights and any access to the GUI of the remote machine is lost. This causes automated tasks to lose control of the remote system, and they do not run as expected.

Tip: Use Virtual Network Computing (VNC) to connect to the server. VNC allows you to run automated tasks even when the session is minimized or disconnected.
  • VNC establishes connections with the remote system in a different manner from Remote Desktop. VNC physically connects to the remote system, rather than creating sessions for each connection. The connection retains controls on the remote GUI, even when the VNC window is minimized or disconnected.
  • Your automated tasks can continue to run in the same manner as they do on a local machine.