Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)

Access AVD

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 (To be used in Teaching Rooms)

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.

To save and access your files you should use OneDrive to get the best experience (https://services.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/teaching-services/o365/onedrive/).

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. c1234567@newcastle.ac.uk) and password
  • Select the relevant icon to access the software or Tier you want to access.

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 access the software or Tier you want to access

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 access the software or Tier you want to access

Once connected you'll see the Azure Virtual Desktop:

AVD screen with software packages

Best Practice

Use AVD to access applications you can't get on your computer whilst you're away from campus

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

AVD Software

Software List

The AVD 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 Azure Virtual Desktop?

The Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) 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 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 AVD desktop includes the software that has been identified as needed for teaching.

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 https://services.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/teaching-services/clusters/printing/nuprint/

Why is software only being made available on AVD?

Uncertainties remain due to the ongoing pandemic. It is still possible many students may be unable to travel to take part in intended PiP teaching sessions. For this reason, all software will be made available online on AVD as the default option, to ensure access from anywhere.

Why the 3 different tiers for the applications?

The University uses a wide range of software for teaching. Some packages require little computing power; others have special requirements to run well. Applications have been grouped by their requirements; the 3 tiers provide the best user experience for each application.

Why isn't my software available?

Software is made available based on when it is needed by and the number of students using it. For example, software taught in Semester 2 or 3 will be available later.

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?

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. Please note that only staff can request new software to be installed as it needs to be required for teaching.