Access Virtual Desktops from a Mac

Table of Contents

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

Firefox Broswer Instructions

Safari Browser Instructions


NOTE: The following steps require Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or higher. Click here if you have an older version of Mac e.g. Leopard.


VMware Client (PCoIP) Instructions


  • The virtual/remote desktop must have VMware Agent software installed by your Service Provider.
  • Download the VMware Horizon Client for Mac.


1.  Once your download is complete double click the VMware .dmg installation file and "Agree" to the License Agreement - see below.

NOTE: Steps 1 - 4 only have to be done once. Subsequently running the Horizon Client will place you at step 5.



2. Left mouse click the VMware Horizon Client icon and drag it into the Applications folder on the right, to install - see below. 



3. Double click to open the Applications folder. Find and open the VMware Horizon Client program. Click "Open" at the warning below.



4. Enter the Connection Server address/Portal URL provided by your IT Admin. or Service Provider. eg. Click "Connect"



5.  Begin the desktop connection process by double clicking the cloud icon displayed.



 6.  Enter your username and password then click "Login".  (see below)



7.  One or more desktop icons will be displayed. Double click your desktop to connect to it - see below.


8. Once you have finished using your virutal desktop you can either Logoff or Disconnect (hover mouse near the top of the screen, to access the Horizon "Desktop" menu).

Note:  After you LogOff or Disconnect, you must Quit/Close the Horizon Client before you can connect or re-connect to the virtual desktop again. 





Firefox Browser

Note: The Firefox browser allows automation of the RDP connection and is therefore recommended over Safari.

Follow the steps below, to access your virtual desktop from a Mac using Firefox:


  •    Download and install Firefox (if not already installed). Open Firefox Preferences
    •  On the General tab, in the Downloads section - check the box next to "Close it when all downloads are finished"
    •  On the Content tab, ensure that Pop-Ups are not blocked by clearing the box next to "Block pop-up windows".
  •    Download and install the "Microsoft Remote Desktop Client"  from the App store.



1.    Open Firefox and enter the Web Address provided by the system Administrator to access the virtual Desktop Portal.


2.   Login with your user id and password, then click the Desktop link to the right of your Desktop  or Pool name.  

The following dialogue should be presented the first time you make a connection using Firefox. 


3a.   Select “Open with”, click Choose and select the Microsoft Remote Desktop client that you installed previously.  

3b.   Put a check in the box titled “Do this automatically for files like this from now on” and click “OK”. You should be presented with a login prompt box (see below).  

Note: If you are outside of your corporate network, a random port is used to connect each time, for security purposes.  You will have approx. 30 seconds (before the port closes) to complete step 4.


4.     Click on the icon that displays the Domain and your login ID, enter your password again, then click the login arrow or press "Enter”.


5.   Use the  Apple_command.gif (Command key) + the no. 1 key, to view your desktop in full-screen mode or to switch back to window mode and access your Mac apps.


Once you are finished your windows desktop session and Log off, you might see the following screen:


Close the above window to end your session.


Note: Depending on your settings the RichClient*.rdp files will begin to accumulate. At any time you can perform some housekeeping by going into Finder and removing the redundant connection files from your computer.




Safari Browser

Follow the steps below, to access your virtual desktop using Safari.


  • Check Safari -> Preferences -> Security to ensure Pop-Ups are not blocked.


  • Download and install the "Microsoft Remote Desktop Client" for Mac from the App Store.



1a. Open Safari and enter the Web Address provided by the system Administrator, to access the Desktop Portal.


1b. Enter your user id and password then click "Login".

2.  Click the “Desktop” link to the right of the desktop or pool you want to access. This will download a RichClient.rdp connection file which should appear in your "Downloads" list, as follows:

Note: Your Downloads window may be hidden behind your portal window so you may need to mnimize the portal window to see it.


NOTE: for security purposes, a new file will be downloaded each time you access a virtual Desktop via the Portal. Always open the latest file.

3 . Open/Run the RichClient.rdp file by double clicking it.

Follow steps 4 and 5 in the Firefox section above.








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