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Most Windows PCs in the College of Engineering have the ability to receive remote access requests from our users while they are off-campus or on wireless.

Step 1: Install/Activate Pulse Secure VPN on your Mac Computer

The Pulse Secure VPN client provides secure access to College of Engineering (COE) internal computer resources and can be downloaded and installed on personal computers. Instructions on how to download, install and run the VPN app can be found at its dedicated wiki page.

Once the Pulse Secure VPN app has been installed and the COE-Net VPN connection has been established, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Acquiring the Microsoft Remote Desktop app

Next, you will need the Microsoft Remote Desktop app from the Mac App Store installed to be able to establish a direct remote connection to a office or research lab Windows computer on campus (as identified above in Step #1), or to the CoE student lab computers (via the “.rdp” files that can be opened by the Remote Desktop app).

Open the Mac App Store and search for the “Microsoft Remote Desktop” app.

Click on “Get” to download and install the app (the branding in the App Store may vary). Then start the app via its icon in your “Applications” folder.


Step 3: Starting the Microsoft Remote Desktop app

You will be prompted for access to your Mac’s microphone and camera, click on “Continue”. You DO NOT need to grant the app access. Simply click on “Deny” in the prompts (these settings can be changed later, if needed):

Step 4: Find a College of Engineering Lab Computer to connect to

Students have been given the ability to remotely access College of Engineering instructional lab machines, which have necessary software packages for courses. A web page has been created to assist students find a machine that is available.

Verify your VPN connection is active, open a web browser and enter the following URL:

You will see a screen similar to the one shown below:

The first column represents instructional computers in each department and the green bar represents how many computers are available for access. Click on the department your class is in. If you have an MAE class, for example, you will likely want to connect to an MAE computer to ensure it has the correct software.

Clicking on the department takes you to the next page, which shows instructional computers in that department. Click on the check boxes so that only “Available” is checked and then choose the OS you want [Mac | Windows | Unix ]. This will show you instructional lab computers in that department, which are available for login.

When you find a computer, click on the blue address link in the right column. This should download a Remote Connection profile configuration ".rdp" file, so open your Downloads folder and locate it, then double-click on the file. That should start the Microsoft Remote Desktop app.

Step 5: Starting your Remote Desktop connection to student lab PC

If the connection to the lab PC does not immediately start, manually start the connection by double-clicking on the new connection profile's button.

IF you receive this following error message, please verify that

  • your Pulse Secure VPN connection is still active,
  • your PC’s name is correct – you should submit a ETS ticket ( to get help with verifying the hostname, and
  • your user account is added to the ‘Remote Desktop Users’ security group on the campus PC – ETS can also help you confirm this.

Step 6: Authenticating to establish Remote Desktop Connection to campus PC

You should be then prompted to log into your remote Windows computer, please make sure you include the COEIT domain postfix after your username, i.e., and enter your OSU account password in the appropriate fields. Then click on “Continue” to proceed.

You will be prompted to save the security certificate of the Windows computer, click on “Show Certificate” button to expand the dialog, then check to be box to “Always trust” it, and click on the “Continue” button.


You should then see a new window appear with the Windows OS logging you into your remote computer!

Step 7: Difference between "Disconnecting" v.s. "Logging off" a Remote Desktop session

When you are done with your work on the remote campus Windows PC, you can either:

  1. Disconnect your session by simply closing the RDP window – this will NOT log off your account so this can be a problem if your logged-in account still has files open and may lock those files. ETS does NOT recommend doing this on student lab PCs as there is a potential for data loss;

  2. Log off from the computer – which closes all your opened files and applications so please make sure you save your work. When using remote Student Lab computers, you should log off every time.

To properly log off the remote Student Lab computer, click on the “Start Button” and click on “Sign Out” in the account options.