Usage Notes

Zebra Workstation Connect 3.1

General Usage

  • Some app icons appear multiple times in the task bar, as determined by the app's internals.
  • When trying to set a shortcut for any installed app (by right-clicking on the Home screen and launching the Shortcut panel), the shortcut dialog box appears behind any app windows open on the Desktop.
    REMEDY: Minimize foreground apps until the dialog is visible.
  • Some apps after being maximized or minimized cause the background color on the secondary screen to momentarily change to black.
    The background should return to its former color or pattern on its own.
  • Any camera app running on the device will quit when any other app that uses the camera is launched on the secondary screen.
  • Some apps by default do not display the soft input panel (virtual keyboard) on the secondary screen.
  • Mobile apps that run in full-screen mode on the device by default run in full-screen mode on the secondary screen.
  • Apps designed to open only in the primary screen will open there even if launched from the ALL APPS button in the secondary screen. If app interaction is desired on the secondary screen, open the app in primary and select “Move to Desktop” from its icon in the task bar to move it to the secondary screen.
  • If an app is launched from the desktop and moved to a device running Android 11, launching the app again from the desktop causes the app to be executed on the device.
  • App pop-ups and/or sub-menus are sometimes partially obscured by the Desktop task bar when the app is maximized, requiring manual adjustment to the app’s window size or location to view all functions.
  • Zebra recommends avoiding the use of "Application Pinning" (aka kiosk mode) and Split Screen (running apps "side-by-side") on the device when docked.
  • Apps that implement a floating button (aka “toggle head”) feature can be used only on the primary (device) screen.
  • A flickering effect in the secondary screen is seen with some apps that restrict activities to a fixed orientation.
    REMEDY: Press the back button in the task bar.
  • The "Unknown SSID" message is sometimes displayed when hovering the mouse pointer over the Wi-Fi status icon on the desktop screen.
  • Some documents while in "restore mode" do not render properly when moved from the Desktop to the device.
  • Attempting to launch a Settings panel multiple times without interacting with it can sometimes cause the panel to seemingly fail to close, or for pop-ups to appear on the device when expected on the external monitor.
    REMEDY: Close any Settings panel(s) open on the device.
  • Some apps or app windows function properly on the external monitor only when maximized.
  • Some apps that run through a mobile browser provide a better experience when "desktop site" is selected in browser preferences (if supported).


Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Systems

  • Zebra recommends enabling the "Allow Screen Capture" option if the following situations arise:
    • The secondary monitor doesn't "wake up" when needed.
    • The secondary screen is blank immediately after enrolling an EMM agent as the Device Owner.
      See Disable Screenshots on the Setup page for related information and warnings.
  • For issues involving remote-control operation, consult your remote control service provider (or EMM vendor). Some technologies used for projection are unable to project the secondary display on a remote screen.
  • On EMM systems that limit the text size of input fields, some configurations might fail or be set incorrectly if large text is pasted into the fields.
  • After enrollment in some EMM systems, the external monitor after device docking incorrectly shows the “Display over other apps” message and/or the Taskbar and/or right-click functionality are missing or inoperable.
    REMEDY: Go to Profile > Configuration > Restrictions > Feature Control > Security and select "Allow all System UI" on the device (navigation and settings names vary by EMM system).
  • When manually editing managed configurations from an EMM console by pasting the contents of an exported config file, the configuration will not be applied by some EMMs if shortcut content is present. This happens because of a file-format mismatch.
    REMEDY: Use a JSON-to-string converter tool before pasting exported config files into an EMM for editing.
    NOTE: Zebra recommends AGAINST manually editing managed configurations.
  • For Enterprise Home Screen (EHS) users: A device restart is required after EHS installation for normal operation with the Workstation Connect Desktop launcher.

All Deployment Systems

  • To prevent automatic updates of the ZWC app when originally installed from Google Play, use StageNow and the “DisallowApplicationUpgrade” option of the MX App Manager "Action" parameter.
  • When working with files on the Desktop, some file management apps crash when using mouse-drag to select, move and/or copy files.
    Zebra recommends using right-click copy and paste functions instead.
  • No more than one Workstation Connect .apk file may be present on a device at any time.
  • The device user can overwrite admin-configured app shortcuts created on the Desktop. Admin-configured settings are restored the next time the device is docked.
  • Device users can temporarily override screen resolution and density settings defined by an administrator. See Screen Resolution section for more information.
  • Persistent managed configuration settings can be cleared only by performing a Factory Reset or selecting "Reset to Out-of-Box State" (if enabled by admin) from the Workstation Connect main menu.

Android 13

  • If an app is launched from the desktop and moved to the device, launching the app again from the desktop causes the app to be executed on the desktop.
  • The external monitor goes blank while setting a PIN/Password through the Settings panel on the device; when exiting the Settings app, behavior of the external monitor returns to normal.
  • Device users should be instructed NOT to stop the ZWC foreground service from the notification pull-down, which is now possible on devices running Android 13. Doing so will result in unpredictable or unwanted Workstation Connect behavior.
  • The “Hot-Seat” taskbar feature appears only on the device if the device is docked while in Mirror Mode or switched from Desktop to Mirror Mode while docked.


  • If audio is desired through the speaker on a docked mobile device, it must be selected manually using the Audio settings panel.
  • Increasing audio volume past a certain level sometimes causes a safety warning to be displayed on the primary (device) screen. Tap "OK" to continue.

Device Locking, App Log-in

  • Notifications are NOT displayed on either screen when a docked device is locked; notification LED and sound (if enabled) remain active on device.
  • Zebra recommends disabling Secure Start-up when using Desktop mode (controlled using the DevAdmin CSP).
  • Log-in dialog boxes of apps that require user credentials do not appear on the secondary screen. Such apps can be used in the secondary screen once the credentials are provided on the primary.
  • Prior to ZWC 1.6, the user could unlock a docked device only from device screen. In ZWC 1.6 and later, the secondary screen/monitor CAN be used to interact with the device lock screen.
  • When unlocking the device, clicking on an app in the secondary screen moves focus to that app and enables input from an external keyboard.
  • Some apps, app activities and/or fragments hide the Workstation Connect task bar when opened on the secondary screen. This happens when the permission granted to such apps overrides permission to "display over other apps" granted to the Desktop task bar. There's no way to prevent this, but the remedy is to finish the activities hiding the task bar (e.g. log-in or X-out) or quit the relevant app(s).
  • Some apps with a log-in page in the secondary screen may require more than one click of the title-bar Close button due to cascading activities on the log-in page.
  • Sign-in buttons and other UI elements are sometimes partially obscured by the task bar when the app is moved to or launched in the secondary screen. This requires launching the app in secondary screen in a maximized state or completing the log-in process in the primary screen and relaunching in the secondary.
  • Apps sometimes exhibit an inoperable maximize function from the title bar, and/or minimize and restore from the task bar icon. In such cases, complete the log-in process completely in the primary screen and relaunch in the secondary screen or skip the log-in step, if possible.
  • Log-in and other app activities lacking a display ID appear on the primary (device) screen by default. To view on the secondary (external) screen, right-click the activity's task-bar icon and select "Move to desktop."

Lock-task Mode

  • Supported on most devices running Android 11 and Android 13. See Zebra Support Portal for specifics.
  • Lock-task mode blocks all apps from launching except those specified in the "allowlist".
  • Any allowlist MUST include ZWC and DisplayLink apps.
  • When a device is in Lock-task mode, the following screen elements display only allowlisted apps:
    • The "All Apps" panel
    • Desktop shortcuts
    • "Add shortcut" user interface
    • Notifications panel (shows notifications of allowlisted apps only)
    • Taskbar showing running apps
  • App shortcuts linking to allowlisted apps run normally.
  • Shortcuts for web links, files and intents are displayed, but perform normally ONLY if the app required to launch the shortcut is allowlisted. No feedback is provided to the user for failed launches.
  • Lock-task mode settings deployed through an EMM take effect on the device immediately, and on the desktop after the device has been re-docked.
  • If a device in Lock-task mode is rebooted while docked, it must be re-docked to restore normal Lock-task operation.
  • Apps with defined rules in the Admin config for docking and/or undocking must be allowlisted.

  • The default action when pressing the BACK button on the Desktop screen calls the onBackKeyPressed function of the app currently in the foreground. However, app developers can opt for the following BACK button behaviors:
    • Navigate back through recent activities until reaching the root activity, after which it closes the app
    • Minimize the app to the Taskbar
    • Directly close the app by internally calling the finish() method
  • To quit an app, use the Close button on any of the app's activity windows.


  • Barcode scanners connected to the cradle MUST be in SSI mode to function correctly with ZWC. See the Programmer's Reference guide that accompanied the scanner for information about switching modes.
  • To automatically activate a newly connected scanner, the "Auto-switch to default on event" feature must be enabled in DataWedge. Learn more.

Screen Resolution

  • Changes to screen resolution and density made through the Display Settings UI on the device temporarily override settings configured by an administrator (reverting to admin-defined settings at the next docking). If no such admin-defined settings exist, user-defined settings remain on the device until changed by a user or admin, even if ZWC is removed and reinstalled.
  • For low screen resolution settings, the secondary screen might omit some shortcuts created on the Desktop. Re-docking the device sometimes allows more icons to be viewed.
  • App borders can sometimes draw beyond the edges of the secondary screen when the screen's resolution is changed, or if device resolution exceeds that of the secondary screen.
  • When connecting to high-resolution monitors, Zebra recommends a pixel density no greater than 320 dpi.
  • Apps that have not previously run on the desktop of a secondary (external) monitor (or have not run since the monitor's resolution was changed) initially launch in a window equal to the hard-coded size in portrait mode on the mobile device (or in proportion to the former resolution). In either instance, the window can be manually resized for optimal viewing; the new bounds are retained on subsequent launches. Alternatively, right-click the app's icon in the Taskbar and select 'Relaunch and reset' to return the window to its default position.

Also See

For more information about ZWC setup, features and usage, please refer to the following guides: