Windows Remote Desktop access


This article discusses how to access a University of Michigan Windows-based computer through Remote Desktop for running a program, or accessing files.


  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Remote Desktop
  • Off-site Off Campus Home
  • Remote Desktop Connection (RDC)


  1. Ensure that approval for access has been given by a lab manager, or PI.
  2. Once confirmed, make sure the person trying to access the computer has a Remote Desktop client installed.
    • In Windows, click on Start, then go to All Programs, Accessories, then click on Remote Desktop Connection.
    • On a Mac, look under Applications, and look for Microsoft Remote Desktop. If it is not present, and it is a University machine, find the computer in Izzy and select install, then click Save. Run Managed Software Center on the Mac to install it. It will appear under Applications.
    • If it is a personal, or non-University of Michigan Mac, they can download it from the Apple App Store.
  3. Using either the hostname or IP address of the computer, open the Remote Desktop Connection app, then enter the IP address in and click Connect.
  4. If it can successfully communicate with the computer, it will prompt for credentials. Accounts should be entered as umroot\uniqname, then the kerberos password is entered.
    • It may prompt with "The identity of the remote computer cannot be verified. Do you want to connect anyway?" If it does, verify the name in the certificate from the remote computer matches the computer name they are trying to connect to, then click Yes.
  5. Another way to connect is with the computer name. If the remote user is not on the University network, they will need to connect to the VPN before proceeding. See articles Connecting to a VPN (Mac) or Connecting to a VPN (Windows) for assistance with that.
  6. Once connected to the VPN, enter the computer name in one of the following formats:
    • (i.e.
    • (i.e.
  7. It should prompt you to enter your credentials as listed a few steps back (see Step 4 above).
  8. If you are able to successfully connect, make sure you log off when you are finished.
    • Click on Start
    • Click Log Off or Disconnect.

Please note:If someone else is using the computer, both you and the user will get a prompt that the computer is in use by someone else. if that is the case, you will either need to wait for them to finish, or reach out to someone who can check to make sure that someone didn't just leave their account logged on to the computer. 


Article ID: 2475
Fri 5/29/20 2:04 PM
Fri 3/31/23 2:02 PM