Portable vs. Installed

Table of contents


AnyDesk can run in three different modes. Every mode has different characteristics that affect what features are available as well as how it starts and closes.

  1. AnyDesk without installation (portable).
  2. AnyDesk without installation but with Elevation.
  3. AnyDesk with installation.

Those modes determine the characteristics of AnyDesk. Generally, it is to distinguish between a portable and installed setup.

AnyDesk Without Installation (Portable Mode)

  • Does not require administrative credentials.
  • AnyDesk does not automatically run on startup of the device and is therefore not reachable until it has been manually started up.
  • AnyDesk closes completely when all instances of the main AnyDesk window have been closed.
  • AnyDesk cannot exist outside the current user session. Signing or logging out will close AnyDesk and disconnect all active sessions.
  • AnyDesk cannot use the Remote Restart action.
  • Unable to set up an AnyDesk-Alias.
  • Connecting users are unable to see and interact with the UAC prompts.
  • Unattended access available after startup.

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AnyDesk Without Installation but With Elevation

For instructions on how to elevate an AnyDesk client, see Administrative Privileges and Elevation (UAC).

While AnyDesk is uninstalled but elevated, it has the same characteristics as an unelevated portable version of AnyDesk, but the connecting users are able to see and interact with the UAC prompts.

However, administrative credentials are required to elevate the AnyDesk client.

  • AnyDesk doesn't run at the startup of Windows and is therefore not reachable until executed manually.
  • AnyDesk closes completely when Main Window is closed.
  • AnyDesk can exist outside the User session/switch to the Login Screen (runs as SYSTEM).
  • Unattended access is available after the startup of AnyDesk.

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AnyDesk With Installation

  • Installing AnyDesk on the remote device also installs the AnyDesk Global Service upon installation
    • AnyDesk remains running as long as the AnyDesk background process is running (shown in the system tray) even when all AnyDesk windows are closed.
    • AnyDesk can exist outside the current user session. Signing or logging while keeping active sessions and AnyDesk accessible for future (unattended access) connections is possible
    • Reconnecting to the remote AnyDesk client after restarting is also possible. See Remote Restart.
    • Manually quitting via the system tray and starting the AnyDesk client requires administrative credentials.
  • Connecting users will be able to see the UAC prompts by default.
  • Connecting users will be able to use the CTRL+ALT+DEL action.
  • Setting up an AnyDesk-Alias is possible.
  • Unattended Access is always available.

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