Free DEFSET GUI manages default printer settings in Citrix and Terminal Server environments

The DEFSET printer utility for Terminal Server/ Citrix environment has been updated with a small feature that has been requested by many users in the thin community.

The DEFSET printer utility for Terminal Server/ Citrix environment has been updated with a small feature that has been requested by many users in the thin community. Please Download the latest version from

Recently added feature in DEFSET

For additional administration purposes, a registry key is created on first-run of the defset utility. This
registry key contains the path of the defset.ini file and allows an administrator to change the location of the defset.ini file through the registry editor. The registry key is contained in HK Local Machine and applies to
all users who execute the defset utility. This is ideal for a terminal server/ Citrix environment.

The registry key is located in: HKLM\Software\Ctrl-Alt-Del\Defset\inifilelocation
The value of the key is the location of the defset.ini file. Leaving the value blank will ensure
the default location of %windir%\windows, or %userprofile%\windows is used.

Other example values could be:

Note that Environment variables such as %username% cannot be used. If the path does not exist, no defset.ini file will be created.

What is DEFSET?

DEFSET is a standalone Windows GUI tool designed to manage default printer selections on a per user basis. This tool is suited to users accessing a Terminal Server/ Citrix session and is designed to retain a user's default printer choice. DEFSET allows the user to change their default printer during program execution, and writes this information to an ini file located in the users individual windows directory. This information is then used to remember the selected the default printer for later sessions.

The program should be run at startup, allowing a user to set their default printer. The program can then be minimised to the system tray, and opened at any time to change the default printer. If a new printer has been added during the last access of DEFSET, the program will refresh the set of available printers, allowing a user to select it from the list.

This utility was written for environments where the printer list may change due to system policies or location settings, and the retention of printer choice is regularly lost. Ideally the program should be placed in the startup folder of a user's profile to ensure it is run at the beginning of a session. Defset uses a file, defset.ini which gets stored in %windir%\windows, or %userprofile%\windows if the user hasn't got a home directory defined. If defset is run on login or start up, it will read defset.ini to make sure you get the
same default printer each time.

Although written for Terminal Server and Citrix environments, this application will function on non-TS/Citrix workstations and servers. This application has been tested on the following platforms:

  • Windows 2003 Server SP1
  • Windows 2003 Server SP1 w/ Citrix PS 4.0
  • Windows 2003  Server SP1 (Terminal Server Application Mode)
  • Windows 2000  Server SP4
  • Windows 2000  Server SP4 w/ Citrix MF XP
  • Windows 2000  Server SP4 (Terminal Server Application Mode)
  • Windows 2000  Server SP4 w/ Citrix MF 1.8
  • Windows XP Professional (domain member)

This utility is FREEWARE and was written by Warren Simondson of Ctrl-Alt-Del IT Consultancy, Australia.

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Looks like a great app, but many of my users are only using Citrix for published apps.  Can it stil help?  I assume I would need to load it via script somehow, but then how would they access it without a published desktop?  I tried it as a second published app, but it would not affect already loaded sessions.