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Citrix Workspace modifies local machine's Windows Appearance options

Shawn Keene


I posted about this back in 2019 but I thought it'd be unhelpful to resurrect a discussion from that long ago.


Issue: Citrix Workspace modifies Windows Appearance properties and disables all animations, and does so in an non-standard way, which is causing a discrepancy between the actual system state and the properties shown in the SystemPropertiesPerformance.exe list. In other words, the options list shows the visual effects to be enabled when they are not truly enabled.


Workaround: User can restore the settings to their desired configuration by opening SystemPropertiesPerformance.exe, disabling the options and applying the change, then re-enabling the options and applying the change again. These extra steps are necessary because Citrix does not apply the settings properly and the above-mentioned mismatch between machine state and the displayed options.


  • Postulate 1:   Disabling these can often lead to worse performance than having them on (source: Microsoft).
  • Postulate 2:  Disabling these on the local system would seem to serve no purpose.  I understand that you wouldn't want effects on the remote system because you're streaming remote desktop video and it improves bandwidth to not send those 'useless' frames of video, but why on earth does my local system's effects need to get disabled?
  • Postulate 3:  If this behavior was required for some reason, Citrix should use the proper system API's to do so instead of whatever janky hack it's doing that causes the discrepancy between system state and system options.
  • Postulate 4: If this was required for some reason, Citrix app should at least be a good citizen and "put the system back the way you found it" when you exit the program.


I realize this isn't a massive grave concern, but that doesn't mean it should be this way.

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