VIU Aerial View

How Do I Access Software Online?

What is Student Online Software Access?

Student Online Software Access enables off campus access for students to access software available on university computer lab workstations. This allows students to access software from home while maintaining social distancing requirements.

Who is Student Online Software Access available to?

Student Online Software Access is available to currently enrolled students at Vancouver Island University.

When is Student Online Software Access available?

Student Online Software Access is available from 6:30am - 12:30am (Pacific) 7 days a week.

Lab computers will be unavailable from 12:30am - 6:30am (Pacific) 7 days a week for maintenance. Please save your work and sign out of from lab computers prior to the maintenance window. Any attempt to use this service during the maintenance hours may result in loss of unsaved work.

What is required?

  1. A student computer account
  2. A high-speed internet connection
    • Recommended at least 30 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload

  3. A computer running one of the following operating systems:
    • Windows 7  or newer
    • macOS 10.13  or newer (Important note: Mac users will need to install the Microsoft Remote Desktop software from the Mac App Store)

How do I access software remotely?

Open the Software at VIU website linked below.Software at VIU

If the software is available for remote access it will have a pink cloud next to the software title. Click on one of the labs listed to open the Remote Computer Access Dashboard.

Alternatively, the Remote Computer Access Dashboard can be accessed via the link below.

Remote Computer Access Dashboard

  1. Select the lab location in the left pane. If you selected a lab location on the "Software at VIU" page, this location should already be selected.

  2. Click the Connect button on an available computer. If no computers are listed, this means they are all currently in use. Try the next location listed on the "Software at VIU" page.

    Remote Labs Connect

  1. Click the Download link. Download the Remote Desktop shortcut file and open it.

    Remote Labs Download

  2. You may get a certificate warning. Click Connect.

    Remote Labs Certificate Warning

  3. Log in using viu\ followed by your student number (e.g. viu\123456789). If this is not working, please view: I Can't Log In or I forgot My Password. What Do I Do?

    Remote Labs Login

  4. It may take a few minutes to connect. Once you have connected, you should now see the desktop of the workstation you've connected to.

    Student Labs Remote Desktop

 Important note: Any session that is idle (no activity) for more than 30 minutes will show a popup alerting you that you have been idle over the timeout period. If you do not click a button or press OK within 2 minutes you will be logged off. Any unsaved work will be lost. This is to ensure that the workstation is available for the next student who needs it.

  • You can work on the remote workstation just as you would if you are sitting at it on campus
  • You can open applications installed on the remote workstation
  • You can access your U drive: How Do I Use My U Drive?
  • You can print to any printer installed on your home computer
  • Remote Desktop is not intended to be used for streaming video and you may experience poor performance

 Important note: Any disconnected Remote Desktop session (where the Remote Desktop window is closed rather than signed out) that has been disconnected for more than 10 minutes will log off and close all programs. Any unsaved work will be lost. This is to ensure that the workstation is available for the next student who needs it.

It is important to save your work, close all open programs and sign out when you are finished your remote desktop session. This will ensure that the remote workstation is available to use for the next student who needs it.

Windows 10

  1. Click "Start"
  2. Click on the "Person Icon"
  3. Click "Sign out"

Sign out

Windows 7

  1. Click "Start"
  2. Click the arrow to the right of "Shut down"
  3. Click "Log off"

Frequently Asked Questions

Remote Desktop is not intended to be used for streaming video and you may experience poor performance.

Yes, any printers attached to your home computer will show up as a printer device on the remote workstation.

  • Check the Software at VIU page for software availability.
  • If the software is available for remote access it will have a pink cloud  next to the software title. See "Step 2" for details.
  • If the software is available for free download it will have a green arrow  next to the software title. This means the software is available to install on your home computer.
  • If you are unable to locate the software on the list, please email StudentTechHelp@viu.ca for availability information.

If there are no computers listed for a specific room that means there are no computers currently available. Try the next available room listed on the Software at VIU page for the software title you are looking for.

Who can use this service?

Student