Using Remote Lab

To help students who are completing their coursework from off-campus, the IT department has set up a remote lab system through which users can connect to designated lab computers.

An active VPN connection is required when connecting to a remote lab machine from off campus. Instructions for connecting to the VPN can be found here.

1. To access the remote lab launch page, visit You will see a list of computers organized by room number that are available for you to use. 

If you are a Mac user, you will need to download the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection app from the App Store. This link is also available from the remote lab launch page under the section Download - Remote Desktop Client.  Please download this application first, before attempting to download the necessary .rdp files.

2. To initiate a connection to a lab computer remotely, click on the connect button for a machine you want to use.

3. The window that pops up will include a Download button. Click on that button to download the RDP connection file.

If the file does not appear in your list of downloads, or if you do not see the download dialog box pop up, check in the address bar to ensure that your browser has not automatically blocked the download.

Depending on which browser you are using, you may see a dialog box like the one below appear, asking whether you want to open or save the .rdp file. Choose "Save File" and click OK.  The left dialog box is an example of a Windows download, while the right is how the download appears on a macOS system.


In Google Chrome, the download will appear in the bottom-left corner of the browser, where you can then click it to run the .rdp file.

4. Launch the RDP file and a remote session into the lab computer will be established. Click the "Connect" button if presented with the "unknown publisher" warning below.


5. Next, you will be prompted to enter your credentials to start the connection. By default, this will be a set of local credentials, which will not work for a lab login. For Mac users, once the .rdp file has been run, it should automatically open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app and prompt for your Valpo username and password.  If not, then open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app and drag the .rdp file from your Downloads folder and drop it into an open space on the app window.


6. Click on the text "More choices" and then on the "Use a different account" option to bring up a new screen where you can enter both your Valpo username and password. Prepend your username with valpo\ (valpo + backslash) to ensure that the connection uses your Valpo account, e.g. valpo\jsmith1. Click "OK"  to launch the remote desktop connection.

Be sure to save your work often to an H: or S: drive folder! Anything you save to the Desktop or the Documents folder will not still be there when you initiate a new remote session.

When you have finished working on the lab PC, choose either "Sign out" or "Restart" from the Start Menu as you would if you were using it locally. DO NOT shut down the computer, or it will no longer be available to other remote lab users.