How do I use Remote Desktop?

What is Remote Desktop?

Remote desktop connection is a way to access your VIU Desktop from your home computer. Usually, this is so you can access software that is installed on your VIU computer.

Who is Remote Desktop available to?

Remote Desktop access is available to active VIU faculty and staff


  1. Workstation located at a VIU campus to connect to
  2. Home computer running Windows 7/10 or macOS 10.12 with Microsoft Remote Desktop installed
  3. High-speed internet connection
  4. VPN connection from your home computer to the VIU network

Requesting Remote Desktop Access

In order to use this service you must first request access from IT. Submit a request to the IT Service Desk ( asking for Remote Access to be setup on your VIU computer. Include your VIU workstation computer name. You will be notified by the IT Service Desk once the access has been granted. After you receive notice that your office computer is ready to go, you can proceed to the next step.

Before you begin

  1. Remote Desktop only allows one login session at a time. If you share a computer, we recommend that you do not use Remote Desktop.
  2. If you leave your computer logged on and then connect from home, this logs you on to the same session. It also locks the office computer.
  3. If someone tries to use your office computer they will find it locked. If they choose the option to log you off, data loss may occur in unsaved programs and files.
  4. If you try to connect to your office computer from home, it will warn you if someone else is logged in to the workstation. If you choose to continue, it will log off the current user, possibly causing them to lose unsaved work in programs they have open.
  5. A power outage will also cause data loss in unsaved files.
  6. You must be connected to the VPN to use Remote Desktop. For more information, view Accessing VPN.

Connecting using Windows

  1. Click on Start. In the search box, type in "Remote Desktop Connection" to search. Choose Remote Desktop Connection.
    Open Remote Desktop

  2. This starts the Remote Desktop Connection client, enter your office computer name in the box with at the end (e.g.
    Connect to PC

  3. Click Connect

  4. When prompted, enter your VIU computer account username starting with viu\ (e.g. viu\doej) and password.
    • If you receive an error, your computer may be off or asleep.
    • You will receive a warning message, click Yes to connect.
    • It may take a minute or two before your desktop appears.

Connecting Using macOS

  1. Download and Open the RDC App on your Mac:
  2. Add your office computer to the list by clicking on the new button.
  3. Set up the dialog box as shown below:

    Connection name: VIU
    PC name: Enter your office computer name in the box with at the end (e.g.
    Gateway: No gateway configured
    User name:  Your VIU computer account username using viu\username
    Password: Your VIU computer account username.
    Resolution: Native
    Colors: Highest Quality (32 bit)
    Full screen mode: OS X native

    Select "Start session in full-screen" box
    Select "Use all monitors" box

    Please note:
    Enter a connection name that will identify what the link will lead to e.g. "VIU Computer"
    You will need to know your office computer name to add it into the box as shown – don't forget the after the PC name.
    All other settings on this page can be left at the defaults.
    When finished, click the red circle, (top left) to close this setup page, it will save automatically.

  4. You have completed the setup and should see the link under the My Desktops heading. Click on the link to highlight it in blue as seen here, and click "Start".
  5. You should be prompted with this "Verify Certificate" popup, click on "Show Certificate". Click on the Check Box for "Always trust", and click the "Continue" button.
  6. You will then be prompted to type in your Mac's password to accept the certificate, this is the administrator's password that you have setup on your Mac, not a VIU password.
  7. After you click Update Settings you should be logged onto your VIU office computer.

Working with Remote Desktop

  • You can work on the Remote desktop just as you would if you are sitting at it.
  •  You can save to your "U" drive or department shares.
  •  You can print to any printer on the VIU network, or any printer directly attached to the Remote computer.

Logging Off

It is important to save your work, close all open programs and log off when you are finished your remote Desktop session.

  • Disconnect will keep your current session open. The screen will remain locked.
  • Signing out will log you out from the remote PC.

Do not shut down or you will not be able to reconnect

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Article ID: 1576
Tue 7/27/21 2:00 PM
Tue 8/23/22 11:21 AM

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