Materials Remote Working

In order to protect departmental computers from unauthorised access the department firewall blocks most incoming connections from outside Oxford, therefore if you want to use connect in from outside Oxford you must first join the Oxford network by opening a virtual private network (VPN) connection into Oxford.

Any member of the university can login to the university VPN service with their Remote Access credentials using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software.  Please see instructions at

After you are on the Oxford network then the department firewall will allow access to departmental computers which have been configured to allow remote access. Windows computers can be controlled remotely using Remote Desktop which is part of the Windows operating system. Many other free remote access software utilities also exist and may be appropriate in some situations e.g. TeamviewerNomachineUltraVNC. In particular please note that some softwares requiring OpenGL graphics rendering do not work via Remote Desktop, in which case I recommend using Nomachine which seems to work with OpenGL.

Please talk to local IT staff if you want to know more about the security implications of enabling remote access to your computer.

How to Remote Desktop to a Windows computer

When sitting at the computer located within the department check that it configured to allow access, then on computer outside the department (e.g. your home pc or laptop) connect to the Oxford VPN service and then open the remote desktop connection to your department computer.

On the computer you want to access (e.g. your department desktop)

remote desktop

Enable RDP

Make sure remote connections using Remote Desktop are allowed

  • Open System (Start: right-click Computer: select Properties)
  • Click RemoteSettings then under Remote, make sure RemoteDesktop is Allowed

Make sure the power settings are set to never hibernate and never sleep

  • Open Power Options (Start: Control Panel : System and Security: Power options)
  • Click currently selected power plan  change power settings  to Never Sleep

Make sure you know the name of the computer 

  • Open System (Start: right-click Computer: select Properties)
  • Make a note of the Computer name   e.g. oums-desktop
  • You will need the full network name   e.g.





On the computer you are using remotely (e.g. your laptop)

Make sure you are connected into the Oxford network using VPN software

remote desktop


Make a remote desktop connection to the computer using the fully qualified domain name

  • Start: Programs: Accessories: Remote Desktop Connection to connect to e.g.

If the computer you are connecting to is a standalone system then just enter your usual computer username and password.

However, if the computer you are wanting to access is connected to our domain, then the authentication uses your Oxford SSO username against the OX.AC.UK domain which requires the remote desktop client to have a special configuration such that the client knows to try to make the connection before asking for the username/password.  Specifically the remote desktop client settings need to contain the line "enablecredsspsupport:i:0" usually at the bottom of the file Default.rdp which is usually a hidden file in your Documents folder.  You are recommended to download this copy of our standard configuration file  Default.rdp and use that file to open a connection to your domain-connected computer.

Also, if the remote compute is Mac then we are aware that version10 of Microsoft Remote Desktop has problems so you are recommended to download and use version 8 which is known to work successfully.

List of site pages