Access Virtual Desktops from Windows

DaaS provides a number of protocols and methods for connecting to a virtual desktop via Windows.  Choose your preferred method from the table of contents.


Table of Contents

VMware Horizon Client (PCoIP) (recommended for best end-user experience)

Internet Explorer



VMware Horizon Client (PCoIP)



  • The virtual/remote desktop must have VMware Agent software installed by your Service Provider.
  • Download and install the VMware Horizon Client. Click here for detailed instructions.
  • If you are behind a firewall, allow access to the following ports 443:TCP, 4172:TCP, 4172:UDP, 32111:TCP


1.  Complete all prerequisites then, double-click the Horizon Client desktop shortcut, or click Start > Programs > VMware > VMware Horizon Client.

2.  Double click the cloud icon to start the connection process. see below



3.  Enter your business, school or PoC, user name and password and click Login.



4.  One or more desktop icons will be displayed - see below.



5.  Double click a desktop icon to connect to the underlying virtual desktop - see below



NOTE: It is important that you choose Start -> LogOff, when you are finished using the desktop





Internet Explorer

NOTE: The RDP protocol will NOT work via the Desktop Portal in the newer versions of DaaS.


When you use Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) to access the desktop portal, the browser may return an ActiveX control that you should allow IE to run.

There are several reasons that you may not be able to connect directly to your virtual desktop even after installing the ActiveX control. These reasons and their solutions are described below.

 Note: Please disable the pop-up blocker for the Desktop Portal web address, before doing any of the following. 

Adding the Portal to the List of Trusted Sites (for Internet Explorer)

If the portal is not in the list of Trusted Sites, you might not be able to connect to your virtual desktop.


  1. Open IE and go to Tools > Internet Options > Security > Trusted sites.
  2. Click on the Sites button.
  3. In the box labeled "Add this website to the zone", enter the desktop portal web address/URL (for example,, then click Add. Or, in this example, you can add *
  4. Uncheck the box titled "Require server verification (https:)...'.
  5. Click Close to close the Trusted sites dialog.
  6. Click OK to close the Internet Options dialog.

You should now be able to login to your virtual desktop.

NOTE: If you are still having problems accessing your desktop via IE, one or more of the steps below may also be required. Try them in the order listed below and test after each change.


Enabling ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting for Remote Desktop Connection

If you receive the following dialogue box after clicking the "Desktop" link from the Desktop Portal - Click Cancel and follow the instructions below.



Click the IE Tools > Internet Options > Security > Trusted sites - then click the Custom level... button to examine your current settings.


Enable the following ActiveX controls and plug-ins:

  • Allow previously unused ActiveX controls to run without prompt
  • Binary and script behaviours
  • Download signed ActiveX controls
  • Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins
  • Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting*
  • Initialize and Script ActiveX controls not marked as safe for scripting
Save your changes and restart IE.
Test to see if you are now able to connect, before continuing to the next suggestion.


Enabling Microsoft Terminal Services Client Control

Enable the Microsoft terminal services client control by going to Tools > Manage Add-Ons > Enable or Disable Add-Ons. Select the Microsoft Terminal Services Client Control and then click the Enable radio button. This should allow you to connect directly to a virtual desktop from IE. If the control is not present, you may need to install it.






NOTE: The RDP protocol will NOT work via the Desktop Portal in the newer versions of DaaS

The first time you use Firefox to connect to your virtual desktop, you will see a dialog that asks what to do with the file "RichClient.rdp." You will need to click the Open with radio button and browse to select a client program as follows:

  • Browse to C:\WINDOWS\system32 and select mstsc.exe (the Microsoft Terminal Services Client used to make an RDP connection to a virtual desktop). After you've selected mstsc.exe, the Open with field should show Remote Desktop Connection.
  • Check the box next to "Do this automatically for files like this from now on", to stop the dialog box from displaying again.
  • Click OK to open the RDP file and make the connection. 

You may get the following security dialog or something similar:


Note: Although you have made an authenticated, encrypted connection to the portal, the remote connection file generated by the portal is not signed. 

Click Connect to accept the file and access your virtual desktop.






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