Accessibility statement

VDS: Virtual Desktop Service 

Related pages

Get access to commonly used Windows applications and your filestore using the Virtual Desktop Service (VDS). 



Available to all staff & students.

Duo two-factor authentication is required to log in.

The Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) gives you secure access to Windows applications.

You can connect to the VDS from most devices, including:

  • Managed University computers
  • Windows, Mac and Linux desktop or laptop computers
  • Chromebooks
  • Android and iOS tablets or phones

For the best experience in terms of speed and functionality, we recommend downloading and installing the Remote Desktop Client. See the Setup guides tab for further information.

Available software

When you connect, you will have access to UniDesktop and Business Applications (staff only).

UniDesktop includes software available on classroom PCs and office PCs. 

For a list of available software, see the Software Available tab. 

Setup guides

Setting up the VDS

To log in to the VDS, you will first need to make sure that you have registered for Duo two-factor authentication. This provides an extra layer of security.

Software available

Software available through the VDS.

UniDesktop (available to staff and students)

  • ABBYY Finereader
  • ACD/ Labs
  • Anaconda (Python)
  • ArcGIS Pro
  • BioEdit
  • BlueJ
  • Chromas
  • CCP4
  • CLAN
  • ClustalX2
  • Corel PaintShop Pro
  • CorelDraw
  • Discovery Studio Client 
  • enCIFer
  • EndNote
  • Equatio 
  • Eviews
  • Gauss
  • Gaussian 16w
  • GaussView
  • GNUPlot
  • Google Drive 
  • GPower 
  • IGV
  • ImageJ
  • Inkscape
  • LyX
  • Maple 
  • Mathematica 
  • MathType 
  • Matlab
  • Mega11
  • Mercury 
  • MestReNova
  • Microsoft Office
  • Notepad++
  • Nvivo
  • Origin 
  • Panoply 
  • PS Power 
  • PuTTy
  • PyMol
  • QGIS Desktop 
  • R
  • Read & Write 
  • Reaper 
  • Refinitive Workspace 
  • RStudio
  • Rtools
  • Sibelius 
  • SigmaPlot 
  • Snapgene viewer 
  • SPSS Amos Graphics
  • SPSS Statistics
  • Staden Package
  • Zotero 

Business applications (only available to staff) 

  • Active Directory Users & Computers 
  • Agresso
  • Agresso Report Engine
  • Excel 
  • HYMS Student Support* 
  • Kinetics 
  • Sage 
  • SITS

*Specific users only

Help and troubleshooting

Library and IT Help Desk

For help using the Virtual Desktop Service please read our support articles. If you need further help please contact IT Support. 

Our commitments

Service status Live and supported service.
Hours of service 24/7
Service support For help and support with this service, contact the Library and IT Help Desk.
Hours of support Help from the Library & IT Help Desk is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Target availability

General IT Services targets:

  • Information Services Service Standards
Review cycle Every three years
Policies York local acceptable use policy
Our performance

Our service standards have been produced in consultation with our customers, and monitor the quality, timeliness and access to facilities and services:

  • Information Services Service Standards

Complaints procedure

If you wish to give us general feedback on this service, please see our Feedback page for ways to get in touch.

If you wish to make a complaint, please see our complaints procedure.