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DeSC: How to connect to your office computer using Remote Desktop
From home, how can I share files with my computer on campus?


DeSC machines are pre-configured to allow the use of Windows Remote Desktop Connection. However, Remote Desktop needs to be configured to allow your netID to be able connect remotely. By default, only the local administrator(s) of your DeSC machine(s) can use Remote Desktop. To be able to Remote Desktop to your machine, please contact your departmental technical support representative (SCAD/DCS) or request assistance from OIT Software Support via the OIT Help Desk for initial setup.

Mac OS X users should see: for details on how to download and use a remote desktop connection.

How to grant access a user with connection privileges
On a Windows Vista or 7 computer: Click Start | Control Panel | System & Maintenance | System | Allow Remote Access. On the Remote Tab, select the radio button to allow connections with Network Level Authentication, then click on the Select Users... button to choose who can connect.

How to connect

Step 1 - Initiate a VPN connection

To use Remote Desktop from off campus, wireless (puwireless or puvisitor), or a wired Dormnet connection you must first initiate a VPN session. To configure VPN on your computer, see:

Step 2 - Wake up your office computer
If your computer in the office is part of the DeSC power management program, you will need to "wake it up" remotely.

  • Go to Select “Continue to Web page” when you see the “"There is a problem with this Web site's security certificate." You will be redirected to the web wakeup page.
  • If you are presented with a login window, authenticate using the Princeton\netID syntax and use your University netID and password.
  • You will need to know the name of the DeSC machine that you want to wake up.
  • Follow the instructions to wake up the machine.

Step 3 - Remotely log in to your office computer using Remote Desktop
To launch the Remote Desktop Client (Windows), go to the Start Menu, select Programs, then Accessories, then Remote Desktop Connection. Once Remote Desktop has been launched, in the Computer field type the hostname of your DeSC machine (for example, and click the Options button.

Select the Local Resources tab to configure your local printers (off by default) and clipboard (on by default) to connect with your Remote Desktop Session. If you would like your local disk drive(s) (from the computer you are connecting with) to be shared to your DeSC machine during the session, click on the More button and select which drive letter(s) you want to be shared.

When finished, click on the Experience tab and configure for Broadband connection speed.

To connect, click on the Connect button. 

You will be prompted for your windows netID and password. 

You may need to type your netID as Princeton\netID. If your connection is successful, you will see your DeSC computer's desktop (like you normally would when you are physically in front of and logged into that machine. If you shared your printers they will be available from the printer control panel. If you shared your drive(s), they will be available from Windows Explorer. 

Once finished with your Remote Desktop session, please remember to log off (do not disconnect). To log off, within the Remote Desktop windows go to Start and click Log Off.

If you are unable to connect to your machine it could be for any of the following reasons:

  • You are off campus, using OIT wireless services, or on a wired Dormnet connection and did NOT VPN to Princeton first (VPN session must be established first). VPN connections are NOT required when connecting from the campus administrative network (128.112.x.x IP address)
  • Your machine has not been configured to allow your netID to connect via Remote Desktop (see your SCAD/DCS or contact the Help Desk for SWS)
  • Your machine is powered off, sleeping, or in hibernation. Computers must be powered on for Remote Desktop to connect. See Step 1 above to "wake up" your office computer.

Related Links:

Last Updated:
October 18, 2012

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