Automate Microsoft Remote Desktop with the May 2020 update to UI flows in Power Automate

UI flows in Power Automate enable anyone to use robotic process automation (RPA) to automate time-consuming manual web and desktop processes. Recently, we announced the acquisition of Softomotive to expand low-code robotic process automation capabilities even further.

In this month’s update to the UI flows installer, we are glad to announce that a new preview feature is available that makes it possible to record and play back automations on Remote Desktop sessions, without the need to install additional software on the remote computer.

Since this feature depends on remote desktop login info being passed to the UI flow from an automated flow, this release also includes a new type of input called sensitive text inputs. These inputs are similar to other text inputs, but their values will not be stored in the UI flow or logged as part of the UI flow run history.

To get started with Remote Desktop automation and sensitive text inputs, you will need the latest version of the UI flows installer and a secure key management solution such as Azure Key Vault. The below screenshots show the recommended steps to add sensitive text inputs to a UI flow, populate them from the calling automated flow using Key Vault, and turn on “Secure Inputs” in the Settings menu for the “Run a UI flow for desktop” action so that the inputs are not recorded in the run history.

Screenshot of a UI flow with a sensitive text input for a Remote Desktop password that has been added on the “Set up inputs” page of the UI flow editor.
Step 1: Adding a sensitive text input to a UI flow
Screenshot of the Launch Remote Desktop action in a UI flow with a recording of a remote desktop.
Step 2: Record an RDP session within the UI flow, and add the sensitive text fields to the Launch Remote Desktop action in the flow.
Screenshot of an automated flow retrieving Remote Desktop credentials from a key vault, then sending to a UI flow with sensitive text inputs for the username and password.
Step 3: When calling the UI flow from an automated flow, retrieve the values for the sensitive text fields from a key vault and pass them to the UI flow.
Screenshot of the Secure Inputs setting in the Run a UI flow desktop action in an automated flow, that will ensure that the inputs to the UI flow are not logged as part of the automated flow run history.
Step 4: Enable Secure Inputs in the Settings for the “Run a UI flow for desktop” action in the automated flow, so that that the sensitive inputs are not logged by the automated flow.


We are always working to improve the automation capabilities throughout Power Automate. Please feel free to share your feedback and questions in the Power Automate Community using the “UI flows” label.

If you are new to UI flows or Power Automate, welcome!  Here are some resources to help you get started: