Microsoft has wunderfull products, but half the world is still using Citrix Presentation Servers for their terminal servers. Sure, Microsoft is filling up the gap rather fast with wunderfull new products, but Citrix as a solution for user connections is still very common. Windows servers with citrix/xenapp as an overlayer, are often used as a baseline for multiple connection and remote sessions solutions, which supply you great some great possibilities for your users, with the smallest amount of data transfers possible. But Citrix has it's own problems sometimes, and one of them, I will decribe underneath. Due to the fact that a big percentage of visitors of this page are international based, this article is in the english language.

This warning message can show up on Windows Terminal server, Windows Virtual Machines, as well as within Citrix servers. The actual text is: Internet Explorer cannot find the Active Desktop HTML file. This file is needed for your Active Desktop. To turn off Active Desktop, click OK. You can see a picture of the warning just below this line.
Internet Explorer cannot find the Active Directory HTML file -

The user will experience a lack in functions and sometimes, depending on GPO's and other dependencies, see or cannot do anything on the desktop what he/she normally can do. There a several causes that can create this warning/error but the solution for it seems more important if your reading this article, looking for it. Try and check the redirections that has been made in the profile manager, but it can be a simple user error or mistake as well.

Now for the solution:

Logon to the (file)server where youre user profiles are located. That is if they are redirected and the user has logged off. Find the user which experiences this warning. If the user is still logged in, go to the server where the user is logged on, and browse to the following map:

Documents and Settings\{%User%profile}\Application Data\Microsoft

Now look for a sub folder with the name "Internet Explorer" you will not find it.
Manually create a new folder with this exact name and let the user log off.

When the user is logging on again, the warning message will be gone.


Ben OostdamBen Oostdam has been working with Windows systems since 1993. Worked for several companies as a system administrator, and is currently a Senior Support Engineer for a large company in the Netherlands specialized in System Center and Messaging Solutions.

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