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This article guides users through the process of setting up and using Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) utility to access their university-owned PC(s) from elsewhere on campus or through the VPN.

NOTE: You must have administrator privileges on your computer to make the necessary changes to enable Remote Access. If you do not, you must get approval from a decision maker in your unit and have her/him enable Remote Access.

Check to see if Remote Desktop is enabled on your computer

Before you can use Remote Desktop Connection, it must be enabled on your PC. Use the following procedure to enable Remote Access.

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window (Image result for windows logo+E) and right-click on This PC and choose Properties from the context menu.
  2. Under the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings heading, click Change settings
  3. In the System Properties box that opens, click the Remote tab at the top.
  4. Under the Remote Desktop heading, change the setting to Allow remote connections to this computer. Leave the "Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (recommended)" box checked.

  5. Click on the box labeled Select Users... and add your username to the list of remote desktop users. Be sure to add VALPO\ (backslash) before your username so the computer knows yours is a domain account.

  6. Next, you will need to access your Power and Sleep settings to ensure that your computer is not set to enter sleep/hibernate mode after a period of time.  A computer in either sleep or hibernate states cannot be remotely accessed. 
  7. To access the Settings menu, press Image result for windows logo+I and then select the System menu.  From here, select the Power & Sleep tab.

  8. From here, ensure that the dropdown menu under Sleep is set to "Never," then select Additional power settings on the left-hand side of this window.
  9. In this new window, identify the power plan that is currently set to default and select Change plan settings to the right of the power plan.  In the subsequent window, click Change advanced power settings.
  10. In the Power Options window, expand the dropdown menu for "Sleep" and proceed to check that Sleep after is set to "Never," Allow hybrid sleep is set to "Off," and Hibernate after is set to "Never"
  11. Select Apply in order to save the changes, and exit the window.  You have now ensured that your computer will not fall asleep while you are attempting to remote into it from off-campus.

*Steps 6 through 11 are intended for machines running the Windows 10 OS.

Establish a Remote Desktop Connection to your PC

*If you are accessing your computer from off-campus, you will first need to establish a VPN connection to "tunnel" into Valpo's network. See the knowledge base document Use Valpo's VPN for download and connection instructions.  Once the VPN client displays a "Connected" status, you will be able to use Remote Desktop Connection to access your on-campus computer.

  1. Open the Start Menu and start typing Remote Desktop Connection until a program with that name appears. (Alternatively, you can find the utility in the Start Menu under the folder called Windows Accessories.)
  2. In the Computer field, type the name of the computer you have set up to access remotely. The computer name* can be found by opening a Windows Explorer window (Image result for windows logo+E) and right-clicking on Properties from the context menu.

    1. NOTE: If you know your computer's IP address, you can use it instead of the computer name, but because IP addresses are assigned dynamically to all computers across campus, your address may not always remain the same.
  3. Click Connect to log onto the PC you want to remote in to. If you see a security warning, acknowledge it and continue. You can also check the box telling RDC to remember your choice for future sessions.
  4. When you are finished, log out as you normally do by opening the Start Menu, clicking on your user icon, and choosing "Log off". If you are working on an office computer, you can click the "x" in the upper-right corner of the blue RDC bar to disconnect without logging out. Do not do this on lab computers, because disconnecting without logging out will prevent the next person from using that computer until the machine reboots automatically after a period of inactivity.
    1. When terminating a remote connection, ensure that you do not "Shutdown" your machine, as this will prevent you from future remote connections due to your PC being turned off.  Shutting down your PC via the Remote Desktop Connection will necessitate a manual power-on of your machine in order to continue using it remotely.  To terminate the Remote Desktop Connection, simply close out of the window.

All Valpo computers follow the naming convention building code-room number-tag number. An example for Gellersen Center is GEM-0123-012345. Note the leading zeroes before the room number and the inventory tag number. These are used in cases where the room number has fewer than four digits or the tag number has fewer than six digits.

Still need help?

For additional assistance, contact the IT Help Desk.