Problems with Smartcard-Reader inside VDI-Session

We have problems with redirection of a SmartCard-Reader to an application inside the Desktop VM with Horizon 7.12/2006?

Not to use as authentication service, but we have an application (DATEV) which needs this for signaturecards to sign secret data transfers. We tried “Allow smartcards”, then nothing happens, no device shows up in the VM (Windows10), we tried “USB-redirection” in addition to allowing smartcards as above. Then strange things happen: when you put in a smartcard before starting the Horizon client connection, you must use the smartcard to sign in (which we don’t use/need). But still, the device does not show up inside the VM in device manager. No success.

Only if we us “USB-redirection” alone, we have an usable device “smartcard reader” in device manager and when we put in a signature card, we can use this inside our application.

BUT: we dont have a mouse or touchpad inside the VM anymore, then.

VMware Support was not of any help, they are thinking about this case for over a week without any progress.

Any hint is highly appreciated.

Regards from Germany,


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2 Replies

There are two ways for the user to use Smart Card feature on VDI desktop.

. Option 1: Smart Card redirection (Recommended way)

This is the by default behavior for Smart Card feature support. In this option, we just redirect all Smart Card PC/SC API from VDI agent to client. You cannot find the Smart Card reader device on Device Manager.

If the Smart Card is attached and the Smart Card authentication policy is enabled on Admin UI, then it ways use the Smart Card for authentication.

So if you want to disable Smart Card authentication, you can disable it in the Admin UI console.

Guide: Configure Smart Card Settings in Horizon Console

. Option 2: USB Redirection for Smart Card

This option may redirect Smart Card as a native USB device on Windows. In this way, you can find the Smart Card reader in Device Manager. But this is not a recommended way for user to use Smart Card feature.

From your description, it seems your problem is you don't have a mouse or touchpad and you cannot perform a signature action with a Smart Card certificate. For Smart Card signature, it may pop up a dialog for the user to input the Smart Card's PIN. You need to have a mouse to move the mouse cursor.

Please help provide more detailed information about your problem or attach a screenshot.


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Hi Philipp,

we also had some Issues with DATEV. In the end we had to activate USB passthrough on our Teradici Clients and Smartcard Redirection in the Horizon agent on the master VM.

Which systems are you using? Are you also using Zero Clients or are you using Horizon Client to connect to your virtaul desktops?

Best regards,


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