Student Remote Desktop

This service offers full access to a University student desktop from home or from a University wireless connection.

To get started, click on a button below and save the connection file to your desktop or other convenient location.

Both options connect to the same service but are optimised to be more responsive depending on your connection.

What you can access on the Remote Desktop

The remote desktop gives you access to a range of software. You can check if specific software is available on the Remote Desktop by searching the Software Catalogue (

You can save directly back to your University o: storage drive, ready for the next time you are on site. You will also be able to print either to your local printer or to University printers.

Where can you access the Remote Desktop

  • You can also use this system from your own laptop on campus, using Eduroam, the University Wireless network.
  • You can also access the service from the University portal My Bristol, under the Technology tab.

Check that you have the free Remote Desktop Connection software

  • Windows XP and Vista have built-in software located in “Start > Programs > Accessories > Communications > Remote Desktop Connection”.
  • To get the best experience you should try and install the latest version (7.0)
  • Windows 7 has built-in software, but you might want to get the latest version (8.0)
  • Windows 8 has built in software
  • Apple Mac OS X – You can download the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the OSX App Store free of charge. See the instructions to connect on the Mobile & Mac tab.
  • Old OSX Mac clients can try to use the MS Remote Desktop Client 2.1.2
  • iOS (iPads, iphones) -  Download  the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the iOS App Store store free of charge. You can also use iRdesktop or any other RDP client that supports version 6.1 or better of the RDP protocol.
  • Android (Phones and Tablets) - Download  the latest Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Google Play Store  free of charge.
  • Linux (all distros) - You will need an RDP Client that can support elements of RDP V6.  Standard packages like RDesktop won't work with our load balancing setup (there's lots of server) and can behave oddly, sometimes disconnecting you or not allowing logon :  we'd suggest looking at the Free RDP Project - download the program from
  • Google ChromeBooks (chrome OS) - Unfortunately, Google don't build in any kind of support for RDP connections to Chromebooks. There are a couple of possible options:   Try searching for "Spark View"  in the Chrome store.  That is a HTML5 based RDP client and may or may not then allow connection.    There is a  commercial solution, which could be expensive - but a trial is available for free:
  • Saving your connection

    If you want to save a connection to your personal PC as a bookmark then choose either the "fast" or "slow" connection, (depending on the speed of your internet connection) and save the file when prompted. Next time you want to connect to the service, just double click on the saved connection file.


    If you are using Internet Explorer then you can either "Open" the connection file to connect, or save the file to your computer for an easy way to connect in the future.

    This window may appear differently in other browsers; in Firefox, you should choose to open the file and just click on "OK" - there is no need to browse to choose a program to open the file with.

    On Apple systems, where Remote Desktop is loaded, Safari will automatically download the connection file and you can open it from your downloads list or through Finder.

    Manually setting your connection

    If you prefer, you can also manually load the Remote Desktop Connection software on your PC and enter our address to connect. Type the address below into the long white box labelled “Computer”, including the full stops. Click the “Connect” button to begin.

    If you connect to the service this way then you may not see your local drives or printers, depending on the options that are set on your computer. If you need access to your local drives, memory sticks or printers then click on "Options", "Local Resources" and ensure that "Printers, Clipboard, Drives and PnP devices" are all ticked before you connect.

    Student desktop - MSTSC

It is possible to connect from Android, iPad and iPhone systems.

iOS (iPhone and iPad):

You will need to download an application to make Remote Desktop connections from either device. We have tested and recommend the free Microsoft Remote Desktop for iPhone or iPad, which is able to connect to the service and works acceptably. Install this application in the usual way and then enter "" as the connection address. This is then saved and available as a one click link for future use. You will not see local iPhone or iPad storage on the Student Desktop systems when connecting in this way.

Mac OS X connections

Users of UoB Macs can install the latest version of the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from Managed Software Center. For further information on this service, please see the Managed Software Center help pages.

Users of personal Macs should obtain the latest version of the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Mac App Store.

If your Mac is running a version of OS X older than 10.9 (OS X Mavericks), you will need to install the 2.1.1 version of the Remote Desktop client, available directly from Microsoft. Please note that this version of the Remote Desktop client is no longer in development. We therefore cannot guarantee full compatibility or functionality. You should also consider upgrading the version of OS X installed on your Mac. Advice on this can be found on IT Services' Upgrading OS X pages.

You have 2 options for configuring your connection:

How this will appear depends on which Operating System you use on your personal computer.

  • Windows: Enter your UOB username and password in the format UOB\username, e.g. UOB\ab1234
  • In Windows 7, Vista and OS X you will see a small box appear asking for your username and password.

    In Windows XP you will normally see a login screen, as you do on Campus office computers.

  • OS X: Enter your UOB username and password in the format UOB\username if you are using the current Microsoft Remote Desktop client. Older versions may want your username in the format  username@UOB, e.g. ab1234@UOB. On some older Apple systems you will see a "Domain" box. This needs to be blank; it should not contain any text.

Your password is the UOB password that you use for systems and email on campus and is case sensitive. Click OK when you have provided the information and you will be connected to the system.

Once you have connected, you will see a standard University desktop – you can use your software, files and applications as normal.

USB drives

If you want to load and save from a USB drive then just plug this in to your PC. You can find the device in “Computer” on the University desktop and copy / paste files between devices, just as you would on a machine on Campus.

Using printers

If you have a printer connected to the computer you are using to remotely connect, then this will automatically be made available as the default printer in your Remote Session. Most printer types are supported and printing will appear just as if you were working on your own PC. There are no charges for printing to personal printers in this way.

You can also find and print to University based printers; for example you are connecting from a laptop over the University Wireless network and want to get work from a branch library.

Known issues
  • Please make sure you allow your Firewall to permit Remote Desktop Connection (if prompted) – this is port 3389 if your firewall software has to be manually configured.  More troubleshooting information is contained in the Remote Desktop Connection Guide and in the Portal Help system.
  • If you are seeing errors like ":error message "unable to open connection file - (file name)" then you can run our Fix RDP program to reset your computers default RDP file.  You can download this here.   Otherwise, please try connecting manually, as per the instructions above.