Remote Desktop Services (RDS) provides Syracuse University students, faculty, staff, as well as those with an active SU guest or ESF student affiliation, the ability to access a university desktop from anywhere using a personal computer with a reliable internet connection.

On This Page

Configuring and Connecting to RDS

To connect to RDS you can use either a direct connection through a browser or through the Remote Desktop app found in the Microsoft Store or in the Apple App Store:

RDS Connection Guidelines

Data Storage on OneDrive:
Save all work to Syracuse University's OneDrive or the network G: drive. Files in the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders automatically sync with OneDrive. Files in the Downloads, Music, and Videos folders, as well as any files on the local C: drive, will be deleted upon sign-out.

Importance of Regular Saves:
Despite RDS's inherent stability, factors like network disruptions or device issues can arise. Ensure you save your work frequently to prevent potential data loss.

Microsoft Two-Factor Authentication:
Using RDS mandates the activation of Microsoft Two-Factor Authentication. It's advisable to have this set up before connecting to RDS for the first time.

Idle Session Protocol:
To maintain security and system performance, idle RDS sessions will be signed out automatically after 120 minutes (two hours).

Available Software on RDS

Pre-Installed programs and applications on Syracuse University Windows 10 images:

Syracuse University Academic
Adobe Creative Cloud Suite
Alteryx Designer
ArcGIS Pro
Caseware IDEA
Gmetrix SMSe
Google Chrome
Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise
Microsoft PowerBI Desktop 
Microsoft Project Pro
Microsoft SQL Management Studio
Microsoft Visio Pro
Microsoft Visual Studio CE
Mozilla Firefox
Pallisade Decision Tools
Microsoft PowerBI Desktop 
R Statistics
Read Write
SPSS Statistics
Stata IC
SU Sherman Fonts
Tableau Desktop
Texthelp EquatIO
XLStat Premium
Syracuse University Personnel
Adobe Creative Cloud Suite
Google Chrome
Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise
Microsoft Project Pro
Microsoft Visio Pro
Mozilla Firefox
Oracle for OnBase
Oracle SmartView
SU Sherman Fonts
Tableau Desktop
Tableau Prep Builder 

Requesting Software


If you need specific software for academic purposes, please contact your professor or instructor to learn how to access it.

Faculty or Staff

If you require specific software for academic or administrative tasks, please reach out to your academic or administrative support personnel to find out how to obtain it.


From time to time, users may experience connection problems with RDS. Here are solutions for the most common issues:


Cache and Cookies Problems

If you notice issues such as missing icons, connection errors, or certificate/SSL warnings, a quick solution is to clear the browser cache specific to rds.syr.edu. This means you won't be erasing all your saved website data, just the data associated with the RDS site.


To remove only the cookies/cache from rds.syr.edu on Chrome or Edge, follow these steps:

    • Click the lock icon () in your address bar at the top of the screen.

    • Click on "Cookies and site data" to open a new pop-up window:

    • Click on the trash icons for websites in the "From the site you're viewing" section to remove cookies associated to RDS:


Server Authentication Certificate Error

Encountering an unexpected server authentication certificate warning? This typically means there's a discrepancy between the server's certificate and the one your system expects. Clearing the SSL cache can help.


Clear the SSL cache for your Operating System/Browsers


Windows computers using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge:

    • Open the Start menu.
    • Search for and open Internet Options.
    • In the dialogue box that appears, select the Content tab.
    • Click Clear SSL State.

macOS computers using Google Chrome:

    • Open Google Chrome
    • Click on the kebab menu  ) found at the upper right corner of the browser window.
    • Open the History menu, then click the History option from this menu.
    • Click Clear Browser Data.
    • Set the Time Range to All Time.
    • Click Clear Data.


Getting Help with RDS Issues

We're here to ensure you have a smooth experience with RDS. If you need assistance:

  • Students: Feel free to reach out to the ITS Help Desk directly. Call us at 315-443-2677, email at help@syr.edu, or drop by at 1-227 CST.

  • Faculty and Staff: For the most efficient support, it's recommended to start with your respective academic or administrative support teams. They're equipped with tools and knowledge tailored to your needs.