How to Install Microsoft Remote Desktop Client on MacOS (Faculty/Staff) to Access a Campus Windows Computer. UMS and personal owned computers

These instructions are for users who need to access a Windows computer that is on campus from a macOS computer that is off campus. Instructions provided for UMS owned and personal owned computers.
Please note that Microsoft Remote Desktop is never pre-installed on a Macintosh by Apple. It must be manually installed by the user. Failing to install Microsoft Remote Desktop manually is the most common reason a Macintosh user contacts the Help Desk for assistance in trying to access a campus windows computer.

It assumes you are already connected to the Remote Access VPN. (See How to Connect Remotely using the Remote Access VPN (Staff/Faculty) for assistance with connecting to the Remote Access VPN.) It also assumes Remote Desktop has been enabled on the computer that you will connect to remotely, which can be done by going to Software Center and installing "UMS Enable Remote Desktop".  


Installation of Remote Desktop on a UMS-owned (lab, faculty, staff) Mac

  1. Ensure the Mac is connected to the University network or Remote Access VPN. 
  2. Open "UMS Application Catalog".
  3. Find the Microsoft Remote Desktop application in the UMS Application Catalog by searching for "remote".
  4. Click the Install button below the "Microsoft Remote Desktop" application Icon.
  5. Allow the program to finish install
    • Once installation finishes, the Install button will change to say Open.
    • Click Open
    1. Installation through Apple App Store (for personally-owned Macs Only) use the next 3 steps before continuing.
    2. For safety and security use this link to find the correct Microsoft Remote Desktop app: Here
    3. Click the cloud download icon to the right of the application name.
    4. Click Open and finish configuring Microsoft Remote Desktop.
  6. Configure Microsoft Remote Desktop
    • The first time the user clicks Open or double-clicks the application to launch it, a pop-up window will appear letting them know Microsoft Remote Desktop will need access to their camera and microphone if they are going to use it with the remote computer.
    • in that pop-up window, click Continue 
  7. When prompted for permissions for to access camera, click either OK or Don't Allow depending if you will need to use them with the computer that the user will connect. If in doubt, click OK.
  8. When prompted for permissions for to access microphone, click either OK or Don't Allow depending if you will need to use them with the computer that the user will connect. If in doubt, click OK.
    • Microsoft Remote Desktop will finish opening.
  9. After opened Add Computer that the user will connect to remotely.
    1. (From Microsoft Remote Desktop's menu bar, you may have to select Windows > Connection Center, and then Connections > Add PC.)
  10. Click the Add PC button.
  11. For the PC name, type in the hostname (on UAD computers this will be the Serial #)
  12. Then type in a Friendly name.
  13. Then click the Add button in the lower right.
  14. Then right-click on the Computer connection that was just configured to open a pop-up menu
    • Right click for Mac single button mouse: Control-click: Press and hold the Control key while you click an item
  15. Click Connect.
  16. When prompted, enter "uad\" plus the username (just the username, not including "") and password for the account on the remote PC.
    • If you have a long username, try without the "uad\" if front instead.
  17. Since real certificates have not been issued, a warning will appear questioning if you want to continue. Click Continue.
  18. The remote computer's desktop will appear on the local computer in full screen mode.
  19. Hover near the top to access Microsoft Remote Desktop menus, including option to exit full screen mode.


Web enabled, VPN connected MacOS desktop or laptop.

Steps-to-take if this does not work

  1. Ensure the Mac is connected to the Remote Access VPN.
  2. Ensure the Desktop Computer that you're trying to connect to has Remote Desktop enabled and is turned on.
  3. Contact IT Support or submit an email to
    • Information that will be needed: whether the computer user is connecting from is University-owned or non-University owned
    • Operating System and version (How to find OS version MAC)
    • Serial #/hostname of computer that is trying to connect to remotely
    • User account ( account) experiencing problem
    • ....any other specifics necessary to the nature of this problem

Remote Desktop Client App Links

Client for Mac OsX

Client for iOS


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Article ID: 136713
Tue 11/9/21 2:25 PM
Tue 10/11/22 10:03 AM
Applies To