Interactive Session is one of the metrics of Logon Duration monitored by Citrix Director. There have been questions regarding what constitutes this metric and why this is the lengthiest process in total logon duration. This blog is to provide insight on how the Interactive Session is calculated. More details about other Logon Duration metrics can be found here.


As mentioned, Interactive Session is just one of the Logon Duration steps that contributes to the overall logon time. It is the time taken to handoff keyboard and mouse control to the user after the profile of the user is loaded for a session. Interactive session time is calculated using the following formula:

Interactive Session Duration = Desktop Ready Event Timestamp (EventId 1000 on VDA) – User Profile Loaded Event Timestamp (EventId 2 on VDA) 

Now let’s look at each of the components of this formula.

The Desktop Ready Event logged by Citrix Profile Management indicates the session is ready to be used by the user.


User Profile Load Complete Event by User Profile Service which indicates User Profile has been loaded to the VDA.


The Desktop Ready Event is the event logged when BrokerAgent (VDA) finishes below tasks after the user profile load is complete.

  1. ICAService receives WTS_SESSION_LOGON event from Windows, where Windows confirms that session logon is ready.
  2. Evaluate Resultant Set of Policies for user
  3. Notify USB and Printer subsystems
  4. Wait until VDA (specifically the Explorer process) reaches the input-idle state, which implies that it is ready to interact with the user.

Once these steps are complete, Citrix Profile Management logs the Desktop Ready Event.

Once this event is logged, it is used to calculate Interactive Session by calculating the difference between time stamp of Desktop Ready Event (shown in image 1) and the Profile Load Complete Event (shown in image 2).

Note: Start-up apps run after a delay in Windows 8 and later versions and due to this interactive session time duration will be more . This time can be decreased with a registry tweak. More details on registry changes  on Startup delay can be found here.

Please see Citrix Documentation for more information on diagnosing user login issues.

Could we add in typical ranges in seconds for this phase of the logon process? Any additional tips worth sharing?

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