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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 off campus via Valpo's VPN. Click here to view the instructions for setting up a VPN connection.


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 on your PC.


Table of Contents

Check to see if Remote Desktop is enabled on your computer

Prevent the Windows computer from going to sleep

Connect to your PC Using Remote Desktop Connection (RDP)


Check to see if Remote Desktop is enabled on your computer


1. Open the Run window (Image result for windows logo+R) and type control, then press Enter.


2. In the Control Panel window, type remote in the search box. Under the System heading, click the text that reads "Allow remote access to your computer". Enter your .admin account credentials in the User Account Control box that appears, and press Enter.



3. In the System Properties box that opens, click the Remote tab at the top, if it isn't already selected.


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. Do not add your .admin account to the list of users–just your standard Valpo account.

Your PC is now set to accept remote desktop connections. Note the Computer Name from the tab with that title in the screenshot above. You will need to enter this when connecting to your PC remotely.


If the Remote Desktop section of the above screenshot is greyed out, there is a group policy setting in place that is disabling the Remote Desktop service for your computer. This is the case in labs and some research areas, but should not be true for office PCs.

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Prevent the Windows computer from going to sleep


1. To access the Settings menu, press Image result for windows logo+I ("I" as in indigo) and then select the System menu.  From here, select the Power & Sleep tab.


2. 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.


3. 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".


4. 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" Click 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.



Connect to your PC Using Remote Desktop Connection (RDC)

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 browse to 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 host's 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. It should use the format shown in the screenshot below.




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. Enter your Valpo username and password. In the window below, click on the blue More choices text, then choose "Use a different account". In the User name box, type valpo\ followed by your username (e.g. valpo\jsmith10. The password is your normal Valpo password. Click OK.




5. 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.



When terminating a remote connection, ensure that you do not shut down your machine, as this will prevent you from initiating future remote connections! To terminate the Remote Desktop Connection without shutting down the computer, simply close the window or select Sign Out from the Start Menu. A restart will also terminate the RDC session.


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.


All Valpo computers follow the 15-character 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.