Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)

Access Azure Virtual Desktop

The Azure Virtual Desktop Service (AVD) gives secure access to University software, your files and protected websites. It's the best way to access software during teaching sessions and private study.

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

Connect via your web browser

Sign in with your University email address (eg. and password

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

To save and access your files you should use OneDrive to get the best experience (

Connect with the Remote Desktop App

You can also download the Remote Desktop app for your device. (Windows users: the app called "Remote Desktop" in the Microsoft Store is not compatible with AVD, 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. and password
  • Select the relevant icon to access the school desktop you require.

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. and password
  • Select the relevant icon to access the school desktop you require.

To use the mobile (iOS/Android) app:

  • Start the app and press the '+' icon, then select "Add Workspace".
  • Enter your University email address (eg., then select "Next".
  • Sign in with your University login ID (eg. and password
  • Select the relevant icon to access the school desktop you require.

Once connected you'll see the Azure Virtual Desktop:

Best Practice

For best performance: Please utilise the OneDrive Files-On-Demand service when using applications. Avoid using the H Drive as this will cause slow performance. For more information: Click Here

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



AVD Software

Core Software Applications:

The core applications you will find on the majority of standard University Clusters will be available via the “Central Clusters Desktop” and versions of software will run concurrently with on campus clusters.

Specialised Teaching Applications:

Please use the School Desktop that best describes the course you are studying with us. For example: If you are doing a Chemical Engineering course and looking for the application Aspen Plus: This will be available on the “Chemical Engineering & Advanced Materials Desktop” or if you are studying Architecture and need to use Sketchup then you’ll need to log into the “Architecture, Planning & Landscape Desktop”

*Please note Marine Engineering applications are installed on the “Natural Sciences & Maths, Stats & Physics Desktop”

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: 

Software List

The AVD software page details the services and software available:

Common Questions

What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

The Azure Virtual Desktop Service hosted by Microsoft 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 AVD service?

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

How do I access AVD?

You can download the client software:

Or you can also access directly from a modern browser.  The supported browsers are:

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

Can I access AVD from a phone/tablet?

Yes, with the following minimum requirements:

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

How do I access the AVD service?

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

What software can I access on the AVD service?

The service has been created in consultation with Academic Staff who provide the requests for software to use in a teaching environment.

Any packages relevant to you will be installed in your local cluster and *virtually replicated on Azure Virtual Desktop.

*Installation may not be guaranteed as virtual environments may not be suitable for all software packages.

How do I Print from AVD to a Cluster Printer?

You cannot print directly to a cluster from within an AVD session, so to print you must either save the file to OneDrive and then open the document on a cluster printer to print directly or upload to document to NUPrint and print from there. Guidance on using the web site of NUPrint is available at

Where should I save my files?

For saving your files, you should use OneDrive which is then accessible to you anywhere

How should I use OneDrive when using AVD?

OneDrive for Azure Virtual Desktop runs as a Files-On-Demand service. This means you have to download your files before you use them. 

Click here for more information and a guide on how to download your files. 

Can I access my USB storage stick in AVD?

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

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

Can I access my H Drive and files saved on it?

Your H drive is available from within AVD, but for performance reasons, you should use OneDrive for accessing and saving your work.

Is my data safe when using AVD?

Yes, the AVD 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 AVD when using the Windows or Mac desktop clients.

How can I request additional software to be added?

The software installed on each School Tier is what has been requested by Academic Staff for teaching purposes.

NUIT will look on a case by case basis at software deployment into the cloud but the software must be installed in a teaching setting with a teaching purpose for it to qualify for installation on Azure Virtual Desktop.  

For more information: Click Here