Connecting to Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop


Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop is a cloud-based system that allows students to have remote access to some software packages typically utilized in ISU academic computer labs.  The students are served a full desktop, a similar experience to operating a physical lab machine.  Faculty must submit a request for students to use Azure.  This article will provide instructions on connecting to the system after request approval.


1. Select appropriate connection file.  There are two connections files: ONCAMPUS and OFFCAMPUS.  Your instructor will make the connection files available to you via Canvas or another method of their choosing.  If you want to connect while on the campus network or off campus USING VPN, launch the ONCAMPUS file.  If you plan to use the system off campus without VPN, launch the OFFCAMPUS file.

MAC USERS: You may have to download the “Microsoft Remote Desktop” app from the AppStore prior to connecting to the system.  The Microsoft Remote Desktop app can be found here:

2. Connect to the virtual desktop.

a. A prompt appears asking you if you want to connect to the machine.  Please click connect.

b. A login box will come up asking for credentials.  If your username is already listed, please enter your ISU password and connect. 

Note: If your username doesn’t look correct (ISUAD\username), click on “More Choices”.  Select to use a different account, enter your ISU credentials and click to connect.  The username must contain “ISUAD\” before your portal ID to connect.  Below are screen shots of the process:

c. You will see two warning messages.  Click Yes to accept in the first, and click “Connect” to accept the second message.  The Azure desktop will then open.

Important notes:

  • To work with files from outside the Azure system – e.g., from your own laptop -- right click on the file and copy it.  Switch to Azure Desktop window, right click and paste the file into Azure.  If you are wanting to backup or save files from within Azure, the process is the same.  From within Azure, right click on the file you need and select copy.  You can then right click and paste the file to your computer or other storage.
  • Please make sure you save often and keep all files saved/backed up to your computer or other offline storage (OneDrive, USB drive, portable hard drive, etc.).  DO NOT SAVE AND STORE ANY FILES ON AZURE.  Files saved to Azure will be purged and there will be no recovery of the data.  Please treat this as you would when using a machine in a physical computer lab.
  • Please sign out from the Azure system by going to Start (Window icon in bottom left corner of the screen) in your Azure Desktop window and selecting Sign Out.
  • There are session time limits for idle or disconnected sessions..  If you are logged in but idle for 30 minutes, the system will sign you out.  You will receive a warning two minutes before sign out occurs.  Please note that once a session is signed out, any unsaved data will be lost.
  • Only faculty can request access for students to use the system.  Any other requests for use will be denied.  Student access is removed after the final grading deadline for each semester.  If students need access beyond that time for an incomplete or other reason, a new request will need to be submitted.
  • If an activation prompt appears when launching SPSS, select "Apply Existing License".  This will use the university academic license to launch the program.

Software Packages Available in Azure

  • Office Suite
  • AutoCAD
  • Creo
  • SPSS
  • Minitab

Additional Information

If you have any questions about connecting to Azure, contact the OIT Technology Support Center at 812-237-2910 or visit the TSC, located on the lower level of Stalker Hall, Room 009.

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Article ID: 140483
Thu 1/6/22 3:29 PM
Thu 5/16/24 2:11 PM

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