Click to launch an app and another local program opens instead

Your computer may not be using the correct program to launch your Citrix applications.

Typically, you just need to install the Citrix Receiver and then your computer will automatically start using the Citrix Receiver to launch your Citrix apps. But if you click to launch an application and some other program on your local computer opens up instead (Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word, IE, Notepad, etc.), then your computer didn't quite set the Citrix Receiver as the appropriate program to use here.

This is often accompanied with an error message stating that the other program is unable to open an .ica file.


The Citrix ICA Client files, or .ica files, are Citrix files used by your web browser to virtualize your Citrix applications. These files are usually downloaded silently from your web browser and opened automatically by the Citrix application installed on your local computer. However, if the default program that your computer uses to open .ica files is not a Citrix application, you will see some other program attempt to open the .ica file with little success.


This tends to happen to Google Chrome users, as in the past Chrome updates have affected the default-program file-type association for users before. However, it may affect any machine where your operating system failed to set the appropriate default program for .ica file when the Citrix Receiver was installed.


You simply need to adjust the default program that opens .ica files on your local computer to resolve.

For Windows Users:

  1. Locate the .ica file downloaded from Chrome (typically in your local Downloads folder)
    • The .ica file names are a bit ugly -- they usually begin with Q29 and are followed by a string of numbers and upper- and lower-case letters
    • For example, the .ica file name be something like Q29udHJvbGvlci5RTVIjRKVza3RxcA.ica
  2. Right-click on the .ica and select Open with...
  3. Make sure the Always open with this app box is checked, then click on More apps and scroll down to Look for another app on this PC
  4. Browse to C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\ICA Client
    • If you cannot find that directory, look for C:\Program Files\Citrix\ICA Client instead
  5. Select wfcrun32 from the above directory and click Open to set the Citrix Connection Manager as the default program to launch .ica files
  6. Restart your web browser
  7. Log back in and launch your application again

For Mac Users:

  1. Locate the .ica file downloaded from Chrome (typically in your local Downloads folder)
  2. Right-click (control + click) on the .ica file and select Open With > Other
  3. Browse to your Applications
  4. Select the Citrix Receiver, check the Always Open With checkbox, and click Open
  5. Restart your web browser
  6. Log back in and launch your application again

If you need any assistance walking through these steps, please submit a request and we'll be sure to help you out. Thank you.

Have more questions? Submit a request


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