IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Connecting remotely

There are three remote connection activities covered here:

Access your email and calendar

From most computers that have an Internet connection, use Outlook Web Access or Google Mail from any browser. Use the browser of your choice, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer.

How to Connect to a Managed Workstation (MWS) computer

If you have a good Internet connection and a fast computer, Remote Desktop Connection allows you to connect to a Windows computer, such as your Managed Workstation (MWS) computer, from another computer (Windows or Mac) and have access to the files, applications, devices, and networks of the computer being connected to. You can even transfer files between the two computers.

Because Managed Workstation computers are left on all the time, they are always available for you to Remote Connect to. You do need to have administrative permissions on the computer you’re connecting to.


  1. Pre-requisite: Have local admin privileges on the MWS computer you want to connect to.
  2. Pre-requisite: Know the full computer name you want to connect to.
  3. Pre-requisite: Connect to either the MWS VPN or Husky Onnet VPN.
  4. Use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the full computer name.

Getting the IP Address and computer name

To be able to connect to your Managed Workstation computer with Remote Desktop, you need to know either the IP address or the full qualified name of the computer.

Finding the computer name

  1. To find your computer name for:

    • Windows 7: Click Start -> right-click Computer -> click on Properties
    • Windows 8: Use the Windows Key + X and select System from the pop up menu
  2. Note what is listed for the Full computer name
  3. It will look like (Full qualified computer name)

Finding the IP Address

Note: IP addresses sometimes change, so it’s usually more reliable to use the Full Computer Name.

To obtain your IP address click the “What is my IP Address” link below:

What is my IP Address

Connecting to a VPN

You will need to connect to a VPN on the computer you are remoting FROM:


Remote Desktop software

Most newer Windows computers already have Remote Desktop software installed. To check whether a Windows computer has the Remote Desktop program, click Start -> Programs -> Accessories and look for Remote Desktop Connection. If you do not see it, check the Accessories -> Communications folder. It is sometimes installed there.

Using Remote Desktop for Windows

To start Remote Desktop (using Windows 7) on the computer you want to work from:

  1. Open Remote Desktop Connection by clicking the Start button. In the search box, type Remote Desktop Connection, and then, in the list of results, click Remote Desktop Connection.

  2. In the Computer box, type the name of the computer that you want to connect to, and then click Connect. (You can also type the IP address instead of the computer name.)

  3. Enter your UW Netid credentials.
  • User name: NETID\yourUW NetID
  • Password: Enter your NetID Password

Remote desktop software is available for other operating systems:

Using Microsoft Remote Desktop App for Mac

To establish a Remote Connection session, use the following steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Remote Desktop
  2. Click  + New icon to create a new connection
  3. Connection Name: (Choose a name that’s meaningful to you)
  4. PC Name:
  5. Gateway: No gateway configured
  6. User name: NETID\yourUW NetID
  7. Password: Enter your NetID Password
  8. Recommended settings:
    • Resolution: Native
    • Colors:  High Color 16 bit.
    • Full screen mode: OS X Native
    • Other settings as you prefer.
      Under Session you can connect to your printers and choose how sound is played from your remote computer
  9. Click the red X to close and save.

To Start a Remote Desktop Connection:

  1. Highlight the connection you just made.
  2. Click the -> Start button to connect.
  3. If you get a certificate warning, click Continue.
    • You can permanently remember the certificate by clicking “Show Certificate” and then checking the box for “Always trust…”

Last reviewed September 2, 2017