Service Summary

The Windows Virtual Desktop service is secure remote access to a Windows desktop environment that provides access to Mason applications from off-campus.  The virtual desktop provides an experience similar to being on-campus, connected to a computer in your office.


For security reasons, as part of the Office 365 Suite, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is required when accessing this service. You will automatically be enrolled in 2FA for Office 365 when you request this service if you have not already done so. For more information, see 2FA for Office 365 Tips.

Key Features

The virtual desktop services provides users with the standard faculty/staff image which includes: 

  • Access to Mason applications (Banner, myMason, PeopleFinder, and Patriot Web)
  • Adobe Reader
  • Chrome
  • Microsoft Office Suite (w/out Outlook) 
  • Mason email
  • Microsoft Edge web browser  
  • Internet Explorer 
  • MESA personal and departmental shared storage access (M: Drive)
  • Printing to PDF

Features not available:

  • local storage
  • Copy/paste to/from VDI
  • USB or Peripheral devices
  • Printing to a local printer

Getting This Service

This service requires that you are enrolled in 2FA for Office 365. You will automatically be enrolled if you have not already done so.

After you have been enrolled to use the VDI, access the VDI from an HTML 5 web browser: 

Note: Chrome is not a supported browser for accessing the environment 


Active employees and students who are 2FA enabled for Office 365 are eligible for this service. Note: Retirees, Affiliates, and Contractors are not eligible for this service.


Note: This service has a nightly restart scheduled at 3 a.m. Users will be logged out of any active/open sessions during this time. Within each day, the WVD will retain preferences, such as bookmarks and desktop backgrounds, however users are NOT encouraged to ‘save’ items to the WVD desktop, as these items will be erased during the 3 a.m. restart.

This service is available 24/7, excluding planned outages, normal maintenance windows, and unavoidable events. Maintenance windows are Sundays from 7 to 11 a.m. but may be extended to 2 p.m., if needed. If maintenance is required outside of these hours, it will be announced on the Alerts & Bulletins page.