Remote Desktop for Windows

Remote Desktop is a feature included with Windows XP Professional or later versions of Windows that allows users to configure their computer so that they can access it from other computers on the network or the Internet.

Note: For UI departmentally managed computers, contact your departmental IT support provider to discuss remote desktop options.

What are the Requirements for Remote Desktop?

To use Remote Desktop you will need the following:

  1. A host computer running Windows XP Professional or later.
  2. Administrator rights to the host computer (contact your departmental IT support provider for UI managed computers).
  3. Remote Desktop Client software needs to be installed on the client machine (comes standard on Windows XP Professional and later, a Mac OS X client is available for download).
  4. A high-speed network connection for both host and client is highly recommended.
  5. In order to use Remote Desktop to connect to a departmentally managed computer on the UI campus from a computer off campus, the UI Anywhere Virtual Private Network (VPN) client is also required.

How Does Remote Desktop Work?

First you need to configure your Windows computer for Remote Desktop access. When you configure Remote Desktop on your system, your computer acts as a "host" computer. You can then go to a "client" computer and access your desktop. For our purposes here, we'll assume you are at home (on the "host" computer) and wish to use your computer at work (the "client" computer), on the University of Iowa network.

Note: The host computer must be turned on and connected to the network or Internet in order to connect to it using Remote Desktop. If your computer is on the UI network, you can use the PowerUp service through DIY to save energy and turn off your computer, then turn your computer on remotely.

Once you have configured your computer (the host) for Remote Desktop, you can connect to it from another computer on the Internet by using the Remote Desktop Client, which is pre installed on any Windows XP Professional or later version of a Windows machine. The Remote Desktop Client can be downloaded and installed on Mac OS X computers. You will also need the hostname or IP address for your host computer to connect from a client computer.

See the articles below for instructions on configuring and accessing your computer via Remote Desktop.