How to Obtain an ICA File Through Citrix Web Interface 4.5 and 4.6

You might be thinking why I’m publishing this here or why do I need a Citrix ICA file. For now I’ll just say that this is an important first step towards performance testing Citrix applications. The full article is not ready yet, but I thought it would be useful to reproduce this information here first, in case the source goes down.


This article describes how to obtain an ICA file through Citrix Web Interface 4.5 and Web Interface 4.6.


In Web Interface versions earlier than 4.5, you can obtain the ICA file contents using Internet Explorer by using the Save Target As… option when using a link in the applications page (or a similar operation in other Web browsers). When using Web Interface 4.5 or later, this operation no longer results in the ICA file being downloaded.


For Web Interface 4.5:

Complete the following procedure:

When using an unsecured transport mechanism (HTTP):

Change the file type association property. To do so:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. From the Tools menu, click Folder options…
  3. Select the File Types tab.
  4. Select the ICA / Citrix ICA Client extension.
  5. Click Advanced and select the Confirm open after download check box.
  6. Click OK and then click Close.

Once this is done, each time the application launch is attempted (by clicking the application launch link), a dialogue displays asking if you want to open or save the ICA file. Clicking Open launches the application. Clicking Save allows you to save the ICA file to the desired location.

When using a secure transport mechanism (HTTPS) with Internet Explorer:

When using a secure transport mechanism, the ActiveX control (ICO) is used to launch the application (this does not involve saving the ICA file), hence the file cannot be saved. However, changing some settings in Internet Explorer can modify this behaviour so that the ICA file is downloaded. To do this, configure Internet Explorer so that it does not trust the ActiveX control and therefore reverts to downloading the ICA file. Use the following procedure:

    1. Go to Tools > Internet Options from the Internet Explorer menu.
    2. Select the Security tab.
    3. Click the Custom level… button to display the Security Settings dialog.
    4. Ensure that File download is set to Enabled in the Downloads section.
  1. If the site is currently in the Trusted sites or Local intranet zone list, remove it (the site should be displayed in the Internet zone).
  2. If you are using an operating system that has the Enhanced Internet Explorer Security Configuration enabled, this feature must be disabled (go to the Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > Add/Remove Windows Components section).
  3. Adjust the settings so that Internet Explorer can download files using the following procedure:

Once these changes have been made, follow the same operations as described in the HTTP section above.

For Web Interface 4.6:

  1. Use a Firefox browser to enumerate the application icons. Right-Click and save the file to the desired location.
  2. Edit the saved file in Notepad. Remove the “RemoveICAFile=yes” line so that the ICA file is not deleted from the desired location when the application is accessed.


  1. Use Web Interface 4.2 or an earlier version to create the desired ICA file.
  2. Edit the saved file in Notepad. Remove the “RemoveICAFile=yes” line so that the ICA file is not deleted from the desired location when the application is accessed.


If the server farm only contains Presentation Server 4.5 servers, use the Presentation Server Console from Presentation Server 4.0 (Note: Do not use this console to make other changes) and use the built-in feature to create the ICA file by right-clicking the published application. Else, use the Presentation Server Console as normal.


Use Internet Explorer 6 or 7 (if asked to save as .aspx, save as .ica) and ensure the Web Interface site is accessed via the internet zone (e.g. by IP address or FQDN)


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