Auto-Start AVD Session Using URI Schemes

AVD Azure

<Update – my WordPress keeps getting wonky… lost some images… so best just to check out the video!>

I’ve written two other posts on how to use URI schemes with the Windows Remote Desktop client for AVD: Uniform Resource Identifier schemes with the Remote Desktop client for Azure Virtual Desktop (preview) | Microsoft Learn

After the first post, I got a great question about these URIs,
Do you think this could be used to automatically launch a desktop when the user signs into their local PC?

I thought, why not, and went digging around my basement for an old laptop I could turn into a dedicated “thin client.” OncI located a solid, 14 year old device in a Lenovo W500 that I had upgraded with an SSD a while back.

I loaded Windows 10, patched, and then optimized away much of the “little stuff” (weather app, Media Player,…) using VDOT.

Once Windows was loaded and running well, I installed the Remote Desktop Client and logged into my workspace – which looks like this:

I ran the code from my recent post: AVD Web Launcher Using Only “Local Stuff” – Azure Advanced Migration Topics for Government (, which created the URI link I wanted for the “Shared Desktop” above… I just needed to cut it out of the HTML page… it looked something like this:

I took that URI and created a shortcut on the desktop:

Then I copied the shortcut to my startup folder:

After a quick reboot, you can see the results – my 14 year old laptop looks like it’s running Windows 11!

Sure, it takes a few seconds for the Azure Virtual Desktop session to start (it’s a Core 2 Duo after all, I think?), and I once I close the session it doesn’t auto-restart without a reboot (that could be automated), but it does breath new life into older gear!

You can watch a brief video of the boot process here:

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