Tag Archives: Watermarking

Watermarking & Session Capture Protection in Azure Virtual Desktop using Microsoft Intune and Azure AD Joined devices

31 Aug

In the July 2023 release for Azure Virtual Desktop, the Watermarking and Session capture protection features became generally available. Numerous blog posts already showcase how to enable the feature using Group Policy. In today’s post, I will showcase how to enable Watermarking and Session Capture protection using Microsoft Intune for Session Host Virtual machines that are Azure AD joined.


You’ll need the following things ready before you can rollout watermarking/session capture protection:

  • Azure Virtual Desktop: You must have Azure Virtual Desktop deployed (Pooled or Personal Desktops) and set up in your Azure environment.
  • Microsoft Intune: You should have an active subscription to Microsoft Intune, which is a cloud-based service that enables device management and security. The role within Intune Portal for creating and assigning the configuration profiles is – Policy and Profile manager built-in role-based access control (RBAC) role.
  • Azure Active Directory: Your Azure Virtual Desktop environment should be integrated with Azure Active Directory (AD) (The Host pools RDP properties – targetisaadjoined:i:1). The AAD Security groups must be in place, which has the members as the session’s host in AVD.
  • Azure AD Joined Devices: The session host virtual machines (VMs) you want to enable Watermarking and Session Capture protection for should be Azure AD joined. This means they must be connected to Azure AD and registered as members of your organization’s directory.
  • Admin Access: You need administrative access to the Azure portal (https://portal.azure.com) and Microsoft Intune (https://intune.microsoft.com).
  • Windows 11 operating system for the client along with the Azure Virtual Desktop Client or Remote Desktop Client versions 1.2.x and higher

Configuration Profiles – Intune

To enable the Watermarking and Session Capture protection features in Azure Virtual Desktop using Microsoft Intune Configuration profiles and Azure AD joined devices, you can follow these steps:

  • In the settings picker, browse to Administrative templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Azure Virtual Desktop. You should see settings in the Azure Virtual Desktop subcategory available for you to configure, such as “Enable watermarking” and “Enable screen capture protection”
  • Select the “Enable screen capture protection” settings, too and leave the values as defaults. (Feel free to tweak it based on your requirements)
  • Assigning the configuration to the AAD group, which has all the session host devices
  • Reboot the session host after applying or wait until the next maintenance cycle

Client Validation

Connect to a remote session with a supported client (Azure Virtual Desktop Client or Remote Desktop Client versions 1.2.x), where you should see QR codes appear.

The QR code only works for Windows 11 Multi-session\Windows 11 Enterprise (pooled or personal desktops). The RemoteApps will not show the QR code as its not supported.

Screenshot protection – In the session, it will be completely blank if you try to take a screenshot. Below is an example. I was trying to take a screenshot of the text file, and the screenshot was completely blank.

Mobile Phone Photo

When you try to take a screenshot from the mobile phone, this is how it will look, and it will pop the Connection ID. You have this connection ID you can match in Azure Insights.

Azure Virtual Desktop Insights

To find out the session information from the QR code by using Azure Virtual Desktop Insights:

  1. Open a web browser and go to https://aka.ms/avdi to open Azure Virtual Desktop Insights. Sign-in using your Azure credentials when prompted.
  2. Select the relevant subscription, resource group, host pool and time range, then select the Connection Diagnostics tab.
  3. In the section Success rate of (re)establishing a connection (% of connections), there’s a list of all connections showing First attemptConnection IdUser, and Attempts. You can look for the connection ID from the QR code in this list, or export to Excel.

I hope you will find this helpful information for getting started with Watermarking and Screenshot protection for the Azure Virtual Desktop – Session Host. Please let me know if I have missed any steps or details, and I will be happy to update the post.

Aresh Sarkari