RDS is a complex service, and things will inevitably go wrong. Please look over the information below if you run into problems. We will update this page with information as it becomes known to us.

Connection to SU campus

The RDS service is hosted on servers at SU's main campus. Geographic distance from Syracuse, as well as other ISP and home network issues can impact RDS performance. For optimal performance, we recommend the following:

      • If possible, connect your computer directly to your router with an ethernet cable
      • Use RDS in a browser. The RDP connection method relies on UDP traffic which is more susceptible to network latency, causing slowness or frequent disconnections
      • If you must use a wireless connection, make sure you have good signal strength and that your wireless device drivers are up to date
      • Disable your VPN. VPN's, including corporate VPN's on business-owned devices, may be routing your RDS traffic inefficiently and cause performance issues.
      • If you're sharing a network connection, make sure no one else is hogging bandwidth with  activities like gaming or streaming video

If you still experience problems, run a connection speed test available here:  http://speedtest.syr.edu and include a screen capture of the results with any report of performance-related issues.

RDS in your browser

As a first step, clear your web browser's cache, or try using a different browser you haven't used previously to access RDS. Instructions to clear the cache for various OS/browsers are below:

  • Note: You can also bypass your browser's cache by using a "private" (Firefox), "Incognito" (Chrome) or "InPrivate" (Edge) browser window.

Known issue: RDS desktop screen turns black and/or becomes unresponsive

  • Reload (refresh) the browser page. You will be brought back to your active session, where you left off, after you log back in.

Known issue: Keyboard and mouse input issues

  • Some users have reported their keyboard input is "laggy" or types extra characters. And/or the mouse cursor does not track properly.
  • Some devices or device drivers are not compatible with RDS in a browser. Use the RDP connection method or another computer if that's an option.

RDS via Remote Desktop

Download a new RDP file (instructions can be found under "Retrieving an RDP file" on this page: https://answers.syr.edu/x/GopDBg).

  • Server-side updates to RDS may invalidate the RDP file you have saved on your computer.  If you experience a connection problem with your RDP file, follow the instructions above to get a new one.

Make sure you are using a supported RDP client and that it is fully up-to-date.

  • The Windows Store version of Remote Desktop and other third party (non-Microsoft) remote desktop applications are not supported by RDS. Use the builtin client (mstsc.exe) on Windows or the Microsoft app on MacOS.
  • On Windows, run all available Windows Updates for your system
  • On MacOS, ppen your "App Store" application and verify that there's no available updates for the "Microsoft Remote Desktop" app


Get a new Session

Occasionally there can be an issue with an individual RDS session, and re-connecting to a new session can resolve the error.

1) On the RDS computer, search for "taskmgr" and run the "Task Manager" app.


2) In the Task Manager app that comes up, click 'File' and then 'Run new task'.

3) In the "new task" box, type "logoff" and then click 'OK' or press 'Enter'. This will sign you out of your current RDS session.

4) Wait about 30 seconds (this is important so that you do not re-connect to the same session you've just ended)

5) Restart your RDS session from the homepage or RDP file.