(Windows) How to connect to remotedesktop.sou.edu and virtuallab.sou.edu from Windows

SOU offers remote access to two full Windows desktops using Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services.  This service is available on any device that supports an RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) client, including Windows, Macintosh, Linux, iOS, and Android. This article will show you how to use the RDP client that comes packaged with Windows 7 and Windows 10 to connect to either remotedesktop.sou.edu or virtuallab.sou.edu. You can learn about the differences between the two environments by clicking here.

Finding the Remote Desktop Connection Utility on Windows 7

To begin using remotedesktop.sou.edu or virtuallab.sou.edu on Windows 7, locate the Remote Desktop Connection program in your computer's Start Menu. You will find it under All Programs -> Accessories -> Remote Desktop Connection.

RDC Location in Windows 7 Start Menu

Finding the Remote Desktop Connection Utility on Windows 10

To begin using remotedesktop.sou.edu or virtuallab.sou.edu on Windows 10, locate the Remote Desktop Connection program in your computer's Start Menu. You will find it under All Apps -> Windows Accessories -> Remote Desktop Connection.

RDC location in Windows 10 start menu

How To Use the Remote Desktop Connection Utility

 

Once the Remote Desktop Connection utility launches, you should see a windows similar to this one. Click on the down arrow next to the button that says Options or Show Options. This will expand the window to give you additional options.

The RDC window showing the Computer field, the User name file,d and the Show Options button.

After the window has expanded, enter the computer name of the remote server you intend to connect to. In the screenshot below, I have entered virtuallab.sou.edu, but you can enter remotedesktop.sou.edu if you want to connect to that server instead. The steps for connecting are identical otherwise.

You will want to enter your SOU username with a "SOU\" preceding it (without the quotes, as shown in the screenshot) when you type it into the User name field. This is crucial if you are connecting from a personal Windows device or if you are connecting from off-campus because the SOU\ tag tells the server that you are a member of the SOU domain. Failure to remember this step will result in the server refusing your connection!

The screen showing where to enter the Computer name, your SOU username, and the Connect button.

You are now ready to press Connect, which will prompt you for your SOU password as shown below.  Enter your password and press OK.

Enter your password and click OK.

You will now be connected to either remotedesktop.sou.edu or virtuallab.sou.edu, depending on which computer name you entered in the previous step, which is just like using a computer in one of our labs on-campus.  Be sure to save your files to your P, S, or X drives when you're connected!

You can terminate your connection to the server by logging out the way you normally would in Windows, or by closing the remote connection using the blue bar along the top of the screen.

To learn more about the advanced options that you can configure in the Remote Desktop Connection utility, consult this knowledgebase article.