How To Set Up Remote Desktop

A remote-controlled computer can be used by only one person at a time. As such, it is recommended for use only by those who do not share the same office computer with other people. Before a remote desktop connection can be accomplished, your work computer must be configured to receive the connection. If you have Windows 7 on your work computer, then it should already be set up for remote connection and you may proceed. If you do not have Windows 7 or you are having other issues connecting remotely, please contact the DOM-IS department to have your work computer configured for remote access. Otherwise, choose your operating system by clicking one of the two pictures below.

Creating a Remote Desktop shortcut

1. Open the Remote Desktop application on your home computer

Windows 7

On your laptop or home computer, click on the Start menu, navigate to All Programs, then to Accessories, and then launch "Remote Desktop Connection."



Windows 8

 Perform a search (The Windows Symbol + S) for "Remote" then click on the "Remote Desktop Connection" search result.


Or in either Windows 7 or 8 ...

In a Run dialogue, type "mstsc"

2. Computer address.


2A. In the "Computer" field, enter the IP number of the desktop computer in your office. It will look similar to the following: where both xxx and yyy are a specific number between 1 and 255. You can go to to find out what your IP address is.

You may either skip to step #6 (to connect to the remote computer immediately) or proceed with step #2B (to set program options and create a shortcut for future use). Most users skip this step.

2B. Next, click on the "Options" button. The window will expand to show several tabs, each with various program settings.


3. The "Experience" tab.

This step is optional. These settings might help improve your remote connection's performance.


3A. Click on the "Experience" tab.

3B. Click the menu beneath "Choose your connection speed to optimize performance" and select one of the following:

    • For most public WiFi services or home DSL connections, try "Low-speed broadband (256 Kbps - 2 Mbps)".
    • For home cable modem connections, try "High-speed broadband (2 Mbps - 10 Mbps)".

3C. It is recommended that users select Drives and Printers checkboxes under the Local Resources tab.



4. The "General" tab.

4A. In the "User name" field, type your Onyen.

Leave the "Allow me to save credentials" box unchecked.

4B. Click on the "Save As" button to proceed to the next step. The "Save As" dialog will appear.


5. Saving your shortcut file.

In this step, you'll create a shortcut file which you will later begin using routinely to launch a remote control session to your office PC. You may save this shortcut wherever you prefer; we suggest saving a copy to your desktop.

5A. In the "Save As" dialog, click on the "Desktop" icon in the left-hand column. This will set the "Save in" location to the desktop.

5B. In the "File name" field, type a name that you'll recognize. We suggest something like the following:

Remote Desktop to my office PC

If you'll be creating shortcuts to multiple remote computers (say, one for each person who uses a shared home computer, each pointing to his or her unique office PC), you could enter a more specific name, e.g.:

Remote Desktop to John's office PC

Remote Desktop to arms3403pc1

5C. Click the "Save" button.

The new shortcut file will be created on the desktop.



Connecting to the desktop computer on-campus

These instructions assume that your computer is connected to the Internet, either wirelessly or via a broadband connection (e.g. cable modem or DSL).


6. Connect to UNC Virtual Private Network.

This step is required only when using a computer off-campus and will not work on-campus.

Most computers imaged by DOMIS will have Cisco VPN Pre-installed (go to All Programs and click on the Cisco folder, then the CiscoVPN icon). For other Windows computers the Cisco client is required and can be found here. Instructions for installing and configuring the VPN can be found here. You must be an administrator on your local machine to do this.


7. Starting the remote connection.

If you saved the icon to the desktop in step #5, locate it there and double-click the icon now.

Click the "Connect" button in the Remote Desktop dialog box.

Your laptop or home computer will connect via the Internet to the computer you are trying use.



8. Remote computer verification.

You might see a dialog (like the one shown above) noting that the remote computer's identity cannot be verified. This is not a problem.

8A. You may optionally enable (place a check mark in) the "Don't ask me again for connections to this computer" box. Click the "Yes" button.


9. Password prompt.

A password prompt will appear. Because you are connecting to a PC which is a member of an Active Directory domain, you might need to do a couple extra steps.

If the remote computer is running Windows 7, the login prompt will look like the one on the left in the illustration, below:


9A. If the dialog appears as above, click the "Use another account" button.

9B. Enter your username as follows, substituting your own Onyen account username:


9C. Enter your Onyen Account password.

9D. Then click the "OK" button.

Your on-campus computer's desktop will appear. If you had left programs running and/or files open on your office computer, they'll appear now, just as they were. While your remote connection is open, when you type or use your mouse, it'll be emulating the keyboard and mouse at your office computer.



Minimizing and/or disconnecting


10. Using the top-central tool bar.

While connected to the remote computer, a toolbar appears at the top of your screen like the one shown here:


10A. If you need to access a file or program on your local computer (the laptop or home computer you're using), click the minimize button on the top-central tool bar. Remote Desktop Connection will stay running (as will all programs you have open on your office PC); restore it by clicking its button on the task bar (at the bottom of your screen, usually). Your remote computer may Lock after a period of inactivity, just as it would if you were there.

10B. When you're ready to disconnect from your office PC, you may end the session one of these ways:

    • Click on the "X" button at the right edge of the top-central toolbar. This will end the remote session but leave files and programs open and running on your office PC.

    • Or, as shown in the illustration below, click on the (remote computer's) Start menu and select "Log off." This will close all open files and programs on your office PC and also end the remote session.




When installed, you will find the Remote Desktop Connection software in your Applications directory or on your desktop docking menu.

Run RDC by double-clicking the Remote Desktop Connection icon.

Enter the IP Address or name of the computer in "Computer" field.

Go to the RDC menu and select Preferences.

Enter your AD domain (Onyen) username and password in the fields provided. Enter the domain e.g. ad\ myusername.

** Leave the "Domain" field at the bottom blank **



Set other options as desired using the icons across the top. See the Setting Options section below for more details.

To save your preferences go to the File menu and select Save As.

Give your preferences file a name and specify a location to save it, and click Save.

Close the Preferences window and quit Remote Desktop Connection.

Now double-click on the preferences file you saved and you will be connected to your remote computer.

To modify a preferences file, run the Remote Desktop Connection application.

Click File on the toolbar and choose Edit a connection

Locate your preferences file and click Open.

Modify your preferences as desired.

Go to the File menu and select Save.

You can now close the preferences window and Connect to your server.

Setting Options

In order to access files on your Mac from the Windows computer, the settings for Drives must be specified…




In this case the Home folder is specified, which is your user account home folder.

All disk drives is everything your Mac has access to, including other drives across your network. BE VERY CAREFUL when selecting this option! Depending on your network speed and the number of drives you can access, you may cause a significant amount of traffic across your network. It is recommended that you access only one folder on your hard drive by specifying either Home folder, Document folder, or Other folders from the menu.