Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

Access WVD

The Windows Virtual Desktop Service (WVD) gives secure access to popular University software, your files and protected websites, whilst you're away from campus. It has the same look and feel as a managed University PC.

You can connect from anywhere, using most devices, including your PC, laptop, tablet or Chromebook. You’ll need a browser and an internet connection.

If you are working remotely and you need access, you can request this via the IT Service Desk - https://www.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/support/itservicedesk/

Connect with the Remote Desktop App (for best experience)

For the best experience in terms of speed and functionality and to see all resources available to you in one place, we recommend you download the Remote Desktop app for your device. (Windows users: the app called "Remote Desktop" in the Microsoft Store is not compatible with WVD, use the link below to download the correct version.)

 To use the Windows app:

  • Start the Remote Desktop App and click on the "Subscribe" button.
  • Sign in with your University login ID (eg. b1234567@newcastle.ac.uk) and password
  • Select the relevant icon to
    • access the general cluster with standard University cluster room software 
    • access your faculty/school cluster with specific software for your course (HaSS and SAgE only) 
    • Directly open a specific piece of software for your course or work.

To use the Mac app:

  • Start the Remote Desktop App and click on the '+' icon, then select "Workspace".
  • Sign in with your University login ID (eg. b1234567@newcastle.ac.uk) and password
  • Select the relevant icon to connect to the general cluster, your faculty cluster or a specific piece of software.

To use the mobile (iOS/Android) app:

  • Start the app and press the '+' icon, then select "Add Workspace".
  • Enter your University email address (eg. A.N.Other2@newcastle.ac.uk), then select "Next".
  • Sign in with your University login ID (eg. b1234567@newcastle.ac.uk) and password
  • Select the relevant icon to connect to the general cluster, your faculty cluster or a specific piece of software.

Connect via your web browser

Sign in with your University email address (eg. A.N.Other2@newcastle.ac.uk) and password

To learn more about how to use the web client, check out get started with the web client.

Best Practice

Use WVD to access applications you can't get on your computer whilst you're away from campus and without access to a PC cluster.

There's no need to log in to WVD for the following:

WVD Software

Software List

The WVD software page details the services and software available:

Download software for your own device

Discounted and no-cost software titles are also available to download and install on own PC and personal devices: 

Common Questions

What is Windows Virtual Desktop?

The Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service gives you access to the same Windows 10 desktop and applications that you use on campus from anywhere with an internet connection.

What do I need to access the WVD service?

You need an internet connection, a University login ID and a device capable of running the client software (or any HTML5-compatible browser, e.g. Chrome/Edge).

How do I access WVD?

For the best performance, you can download the client software:

You can also access directly from an HTML5-compliant browser.  The supported browsers are:

  • Windows: Edge, Chrome, Firefox
  • MacOS: Safari
  • Linux: Chrome
  • ChromeOS: Chrome

Can I access WVD from a phone/tablet?

Yes, with the following minimum requirements:

  • iPhone/iPad: iOS 13
  • Android: Android 4.1

How do I access the WVD service?

Visit the Access WVD page on the NUIT website for full details.

What software can I access on the WVD service?

The WVD desktop includes the common software packages that are installed on campus cluster room PCs as well as specific pieces of software used for teaching.

Can I access my usual files and folders on the WVD service?

Yes, the H: drive contains your files and folders, just as it would on campus.

The “My Documents” folder is empty, where are my files?

Unlike PCs on campus, the WVD service uses your OneDrive to store files by default, including the “My Documents” folder.  Your previous “My Documents” folder can be found on the H: drive in the file explorer.

What’s the difference between OneDrive and my H: drive?

OneDrive is a storage service hosted in the Microsoft cloud and has built-in support in Windows 10.  Your H: drive is storage based on campus.

Should I use OneDrive or my H: drive?

You can use either; you may find OneDrive to be a more convenient place to store files you use between multiple computers.

Can I access my USB storage stick in WVD?

USB storage devices are not supported directly; however, you can copy the USB stick files onto OneDrive and then access them in WVD.

When using the Windows/Mac client you can also use “copy/paste” to transfer files to and from the service.

Is my data safe when using WVD?

Yes, the WVD service uses an encrypted link between the Microsoft cloud and campus to protect your data.

How can I print to my local printer?

Your local printers should automatically be available within WVD when using the Windows or Mac desktop clients.

How can I request additional software to be added?

Please fill in the form available at https://services.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/core-services/software/softwareformassdeployment/ and state which cluster you want the software installed on

Can I use WVD for teaching?

Yes, the service can be considered for use as part of a remote teaching plan. Before doing so, please raise a ticket with the NUIT Service Desk outlining the software requirements and potential numbers so that we can ensure enough resource is available.