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Using the CONNECT Remote Desktop Service

The desktop environment

Accessing files and network drives

Accessing applications

Microsoft Outlook

Web browsers

Oxford Shortcuts


User profiles

Logging off



The desktop environment

After logging on you will be presented with a Windows desktop environment. This will contain shortcuts to popular applications as well as any additional files and icons that you have saved on your regular desktop.

If you have created your own shortcuts on your desktop PC these shortcuts will appear within the Remote Desktop Service however any of these shortcuts that point to local applications will not work.

Restrictions are in place to limit access to the system and interface as the remote desktop service is shared between CONNECT users. For example you have no access to store files locally on the system.

Accessing files and network drives

All standard network drives that you have access to from your CONNECT account will be accessible via the CONNECT Remote Desktop Service.

To access drives, click on the 'My Computer' icon on the Desktop or 'This PC' from the Start Menu and within applications. You will have the same permissions on these drives as you normally do. All files should be saved to one of the shared network drives or your home drive. All standard CONNECT network drives are available via the service including files stored on your desktop and My Documents folders.

Accessing Applications

All applications are available via the Start screen. The Start screen is similar to that found on Windows 8 computers.

To access these click on the “Start” Icon in the bottom left hand corner and you will be presented with the Start Screen

From the Start screen you can return to the main desktop by clicking on the ‘Desktop’ Icon

The following applications have been provided on the Remote Desktop Service:

Internet Explorer 11 Microsoft OneNote 2013 JRE 1.8 [1]
Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Outlook 2013 Adobe Acrobat Reader [1]
Microsoft Access 2013 Calculator KeePass 2 [2]
Microsoft Excel 2013 Paint  
Microsoft Word 2013 WordPad  
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 PDF Converter Enterprise  






[1] These applications do not have icons but will run when files needing them are opened

[2] Please refer to the CONNECT Applications page for more information


Microsoft Outlook


The first time Outlook is used on the Remote Desktop service, you will need to configure your NEXUS profile. When prompted ensure that your username is in the form of then type in your Single Sign-on password.

Running this program will configure Outlook for use with Nexus. You will only need to run this configuration the first time you use the Remote Desktop Service. After this your settings will be remembered and you can open Outlook directly.

Shared Mailboxes

By default Microsoft Outlook always stores sent items in the primary mailbox. Additional configuration is in place on desktops to move any mail sent from secondary/delegated access mailboxes into the sent items of the relevant mailbox. This is not available within the Remote Desktop Service meaning any mail sent from delegated mailboxes will remain in your personal sent items after it has been sent. These messages can be manually moved to the correct folder if required.

Web Browsers

Any bookmarks you have saved on your standard CONNECT account for Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox will be available to you within the Remote Desktop session. If you normally sign into browsers you will need to do this again the first time you use the service.

Oxford Shortcuts

If you use items within the ‘Oxford Shortcuts’ menu these will continue to be available on the CONNECT Remote Desktop Service. To access these shortcuts, open “My Computer” and click on the Oxford Shortcuts icon which will then list all available items.


If you are accessing the service from a Microsoft Windows PC your default printer from your local PC will be available to print to from the Remote Desktop Service. Open ‘My Computer’ from the Desktop or the Start Menu and select ‘Printers’

You can add any exiting CONNECT printers by clicking on ‘Add a printer’ and following through the same process as you would on a standard CONNECT PC.

User Profiles       

CONNECT Remote Desktop Service will store your profile in a similar way to your CONNECT desktop PC. Any settings such as Outlook configuration will be remembered the next time you logon.

Logging Off

When you have finished using CONNECT Remote Desktop, please “Sign-out” of the session. Click on the Start Screen and then on your name at the top right. Select “Sign Out”.

If you still have a browser window open after closing the session please click ‘Sign Out’ on it.

If you no activity is detected, or for any reason you get disconnected from your session, you will be able to reconnect and restore your existing session for up to 6 hours. After this the session will terminated and any unsaved work will be lost.

Written by IT Services. Latest revision 2 January 2019