How to: Activate Desktop Experience in Windows Server 2012

How to: Activate Desktop Experience in Windows Server 2012

I ran into an issue where I needed to active that Desktop Experience in on Windows Server 2012 and found that it was not in the same place that I was expecting it to be from previous versions. Figured that this might help some people.

Desktop Experience is required to be running if you are going to utilize OneNote, which when working in a demo server environment can be very useful. There are some DLLs that are not accessible unless you are running the Desktop Experience that are critical to applications like Snagit & Camtasia.

Wizard Driven:

To active the Desktop Experience go Server Manager | Local Server | Manage | Add Roles & Features


Once in the wizard under Features drill into the User Interfaces and Infrastructure and select Desktop Experience. This will active the Ink and Handwriting Services & Media Foundation features as well.


After installation the server requires a reboot to complete and will make the features active for accessing.


From a PowerShell prompt running as Administrator use the following command:


During execution you will see the following:


Once complete you will be notified that you need to reboot the server:



 notepad active Desktop Experince script

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