Cornell University

Technology Services

146 Ives Hall, 607-255-5484

Remote Computer Access

Introduction and Step-by-Step Guide to Remotely Connect to Your Computer

What does it do?

Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) enables you to connect to any computers running Windows XP.  You can remotely connect to any computer you have login rights to and use your local keyboard, mouse and monitor as if you were sitting in front of the remote computer.

Why do I need it?

If you need to work from home or on the road and need access to more than just your files.  For example, you may need to kick off a Statistical calculation so that it can run overnight.  Or, you may need access to an email that's only available on your computer.

How do I set it up?

Submit a Desktop Support request to ILRTS stating your need. Due to several technical constraints we must perform a few tasks before you will be able to remotely connect to your computer.  In addition, only those with a legitimate business need, and in some cases HR approval, will be given access to use RDC. Once we perform these tasks, you will be able to use RDC to connect to your ILR machine remotely.

How do I connect?

Your office computer must be powered on in order to remotely connect to it.  Therefore, if you know you will be using RDC over the weekend or while you are on the road, be sure to leave your office computer ON.

If the computer you are connecting from is running Windows XP, you may skip step 1.  Visit Microsoft's website for any other Microsoft Windows operating system.

  1. Follow the instructions to install the RDC client.
  2. Start RDC by clicking on Start--> All Programs --> Accessories --> Remote Desktop Connection OR Start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> Communications --> Remote Desktop Connection.
  3. Enter your office computer's name followed by "" Then, click Connect. (If you're not sure what your office computer's name is, you can try using your NetID followed by "".  If that doesn't allow you to connect, the next time you're at your office computer, right click on My Computer, select Properties, and click on the Computer Name tab.  Your computer name will be listed beside Full computer name.)
  4. Remote Desktop Connection
  5. Once the connection has been established, you will be prompted to log into your computer (if your computer is logged off) or to unlock your computer (if you are already logged in).
  6. You may now use your computer as though you were physically at it.
Things to keep in mind:
  1. Your work computer must be powered on in order to remotely connect to it.  Therefore, if you know you will be using RDC over the weekend or while you are on the road, be sure to leave your work computer ON.
  2. Any printer connected to the computer from which your are connecting will be available to you once are connected to your work computer.  Your work computer's default printer will be automatically changed to your local computer's default printer, so anything you print through the RDC will be printed to your local computer's default printer.
  3. The RDC protocol is not fully secure; therefore, to be safe, sensitive data should not be typed within a Remote Desktop Connection.
  4. When minimized, the RDC will appear as a program item along with other programs in your Windows task bar.
  5. To minimize the RDC in order to return to an application on your local computer, click the minimize icon in the tan Title Bar at the top-center of your screen.  If the tan Title Bar isn't visible, move your mouse cursor to the top-center of the screen to make it appear.  Then, to maximize the RDC, click the program icon in your Windows task bar.
  6. You may not see your work computer's desktop background when connected via RDC.

How do I disconnect?

There are two different ways to disconnect.  If you have kicked off a process that you want to continue to run after you disconnect, click Start --> Disconnect.  Disconnecting with this method will allow you to reconnect to the same session again in the future.  However, if you are finished using your work computer for the time being and do not have any processes you want to continue to run, click Start --> Log Off.