How to connect from home using Remote Desktop

This guide will explain the step by step process of connecting from home with remote desktop.

Steven Barkey

Steven Barkey

03 December 2019

Some resources are only available under certain circumstances, like working from a computer connected to the campus network or software licensing limitations prevents the software from being installed on your local computer. While these requirements are not as common as they have been in the past, they do still exist.

As such, the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Dean's Office provides access to a Remote Desktop connection for all units, centers, and departments supported by the Computing Resources Unit. The Remote Desktop service can be accessed from any internet connected computer, including computers at home.

With the introduction of many cloud based resources, the only use cases for Remote Desktop are:

  1. Accessing software that is only accessible while connected to a campus network
  2. Accessing specialized software that is not available on your computer
  3. Accessing files shared from a Computing Resources Unit managed fileserver

For Apple devices, you must first obtain the correct Remote Desktop app for your device:

To connect to the Remote Desktop service:

  1. From any internet connected computer, go to
  2. Login with your UC Davis email address and password
  3. Click on the resource that you want to connect to (example: "CAESDO Remote Desktop"), which will download the connection shortcut to your computer (via a .rdp file)
  4. Run the downloaded file to start the connection
    • If you are prompted to trust the publisher for "", click Connect
  5. Login again with your UC Davis email address and password.
  6. Complete the steps to authenticate with Duo.
  7. The Remote Desktop session will open and you will see the desktop settings, files, and programs that are on the Remote Desktop server.

To end your Remote Desktop session:

Click Start, click your name/picture on the left side of the start menu, and click Sign out.

Things to know:

  • While multiple people can access the Remote Desktop servers simultaneously, your session is only accessible to you and nobody can access it without a password. Furthermore, no one will be able to see the work you are doing remotely.
  • The Remote Desktop session will lock after 15 minutes of inactivity and disconnect after 2 hours. After 24 hours of inactivity, the Remote Desktop session will fully close.
  • Box Drive is not supported on the Remote Desktop Servers. If you need to access documents in Box, follow the instructions outlined in how to safely access Box remotely.
  • For Mac computers, first download and install the Microsoft Remote Deskop app from the App Store.
  • For iPhones, first download and install the Microsoft Remote Desktop app for iOS from the App Store.
  • For iPads, first download and install the Microsoft Remote Desktop app for iPadOS from the App Store.

For non-Windows and MacOS devices, please create a Helpdesk ticket for assistance with getting connected to the Remote Desktop service.