Once the host computer (your work computer) is configured for Remote Desktop and you know the name of the host computer you can connect to it from a remote machine. (To find the Full computer name on the host computer, click Start | Control Panel | System. The Full computer name is listed on the information page. For example, abc-123.iowa.uiowa.edu.)  

Note: The host computer must be turned on and connected to a university network in order to connect to it using Remote Desktop.

Note: If your computer is on the Iowa Active Directory domain, to save energy you can turn off your remote computer, and then you can use the PowerUp service to turn the remote computer back on again when you need to access it.

ITS requires using the UI Anywhere VPN when connecting to a University of Iowa computer from off-campus. For instructions on downloading, installing, and connecting to the VPN client, see the UI Anywhere VPN support center.

Follow these instructions to complete your VPN login using a push notification:

  1. Launch the Cisco AnyConnect client. If necessary, enter or select vpn.uiowa.edu and click on the Connect button.

  2. Default will appear in the Group: field — leave this unchanged. Enter your HawkID in the Username: field

  3. Enter your HawkID password in the Password: field

  4. In the Second Password field enter either the word push, phone, or sms (your preference, see the chart below for more information) for your Two-Step Login with Duo
    Note: the characters you enter will not be shown.

  5. Click the OK button.
  6. Respond to push using the Duo Mobile app on your preferred mobile device, answer phone, to get through Two-Step Login with Duo.
    • Important Note: If choosing to enter a SMS passcode instead, your login will show as failed, please enter your login information again, including a passcode, to proceed.

Duo Two-Step options for VPN:


Enter “push” (without quotation marks) to receive a push notification if you are using the Duo Mobile Push app.


Enter “phone” to receive a phone call at the number you’ve enrolled for two-step logins. Respond to the call to complete your login.


Enter “sms” to receive a list of passcodes via text. Your initial authentication attempt will be denied. Repeat the process and enter one of the new passcodes you’ve received.

(passcode number)

Enter a valid passcode number received via text, generated by the Duo Mobile app or a token device, or generated from the Two-Step enrollment page.  

Note: To use a different, non-push method or to authenticate using a secondary device, refer to the table above.



  1. Make sure your host (work) computer is powered on. If it is off, you can turn on your on-campus workstation by using PowerUp.
    • Note: This can also be a good way to find the host/device name if you are unable to locate it.
  2. Connect to the UI Anywhere VPN using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client program.
  3. Once connected to the VPN launch the Remote Desktop Connection app through the Windows start menu or search box.
    Where go to search for Remote Desktop on your Windows PC

  4. Enter your full computer name in the format of device-name.iowa.uiowa.edu, ie. ITS-1234.iowa.uiowa.edu
  5. You will get a Windows Security login prompt where you will need to enter your HawkID password. Click OK to complete sign-on and begin your remote session.
    • If your login defaults to a different Microsoft account, click on More choices > Use a different account to login with your IOWA\HawkID and HawkID password.
      Windows Security box asking for credentials to connect to Remote Desktop with More choices link in bottom left


Note: If you have issues connecting make sure that the host (work) computer has been configured to allow remote desktop and to allow your user to remote into the machine.

Article number: 
Last updated: 
September 22, 2021