Staff Remote Desktop

For quick access: click the button below and choose to "open" the connection file. This uses defaults suitable for most users and is optimised for high latency (mobile, home broadband).

If your network does not allow Remote Desktop (RDP) traffic, such as an NHS network, you can connect using the UOB-Gateway which uses a web connection (SSL).

Please note: If you require full graphics and multi monitor support, simply connect manually using the instructions on the Setting up your connection tab.
  • This service allows you to access the University from any computer with an Internet connection.
  • This system provides you with a full desktop, which works in exactly the same way as if you were sat at a computer on Campus. 
  • You can also print to your local printer or to University printers.
  • You can also use this system from your own laptop on campus, using the University wireless network.
  • You can access the service from the University portal My Bristol, under the Technology tab. 

Please note:  When accessing information via the remote desktop please refer to the Information Security policies in regard to the transfer of University information.  If you are accessing the remote desktop from a publically accessible computer please ensure you disconnect from the service once you have finished.

Check that you have the free Remote Desktop Connection software

  • Windows has built in Remote Desktop Connection software
  • macOS - Instructions on how to obtain the required software and how to connect can be found on the Mobile & Mac page.
  • 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 remote desktop 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 desktop icon 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 desktop icon.


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.

staff desktop - MSTSC connection window

It is possible to connect from Android, Linux, 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.

macOS 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 macOS 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 macOS installed on your Mac. Advice on this can be found on IT Services' Upgrading your Mac.

You have 2 options for configuring your connection:

  • Use IT Services' pre-configured .rdp file
  • Setup your connection manually
  • Use IT Services' pre-configured .rdp file

    • Download the macOS Staff Remote Desktop connection file.
    • Import the pre-configured macOS Staff Remote Desktop connection into Microsoft Remote Desktop. You can do this in either of the following ways:
      • Drag and drop the downloaded file into the main Microsoft Remote Desktop window.
      • In Microsoft Remote Desktop, click "Connections" then "Import Desktops...". Browse to the downloaded file and click "Import".
    • To start the connection, simply double click the "UoB Staff Remote Desktop" item you have created.
    • For information on how to login, see "Logging In (Windows and Mac)".

    Setup your connection manually

  • Open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app. You can find this in your /Applications folder
  • Click the "+" icon then "Desktop". Configure the connection as follows:
    • PC name:
    • User account: Ask me every time
  • Under the "General" tab, configure the following:
    • Friendly Name: UoB Staff Remote Desktop
  • The window should look like this:
  • Click "Save" to return to the "Saved Desktops" window.
  • To start the connection, simply double click the "UoB Staff Remote Desktop" item you have created.
  • On starting the connection for the first time, you may see a certificate message:
  • Check the box marked "Don't ask me for connections to this computer"
  • Click "Continue"
  • For information on how to login, see "Logging In (Windows and Mac)".

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

  • Windows: Enter your UOB username in the format UOB\username, e.g. UOB\ab1234 and your UOB password
  • macOS:

  • Enter your credentials in the following format:

    • User Name: UoB\Your UoB username (i.e. UoB\ab12345)
    • Password: Your UoB password

  • The credentials window should look like this:
  • Click "Done" to start the connection.
USB drives

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

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

Please note: You should not copy any sensitive data to your local computer or memory sticks and should only work on such data directly on the Staff Desktop Service.  Please refer to the Information security policies.


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. 

You can also find and print to University based printers; for may see the main printer for your department made available on the system automatically; but it will not be the default – you will need to select it.  If you printer to a University printer, you must ensure that the data is not confidential, as it will output on that device and could potentially be collected or viewed by other members of staff.

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.