Questions about Remote PC (RPC) access

Getting started

  • Do I need to be connected to the University network to access this?
    No, you can access the service anywhere with an internet connection, although the performance of the service is dependent on the quality of your connection.

  • Why is it taking a long time to connect when I log into the remote session for the first time?
    This is common behaviour. Please allow some time for the back-end applications to be fully configured. This will only happen the first time you log in.

  • Who can use this service?
    Taught students, staff and postgraduate researchers can use RPC. When logging in, all staff and students will use Duo 2-factor authentication.
  • Do I need to use any additional software such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access?
    No - there are additional security measures (2-factor authentication) in place which negate the need for a VPN.

  • Does RPC work on Linux?
    At the moment RPC is for Windows 10 PCs only. Remote access to Linux may be provided by schools using a different technology.

Teaching and booking

  • Can I “book” a cluster for lab teaching via RPC?
    All Centrally Timetabled (CTU) clusters are in Syllabus+ and identified as RPC clusters for booking.

  • How can I “book” students into the RPC cluster?
    We are looking into the ability to allow cluster timetablers access to the RPC console for certain clusters. This allows you to inform RPC users that the cluster is needed for teaching and terminate their session, hopefully after they have had the chance to save their work. It also allows them to place PCs into Maintenance Mode so non-class users don't simply log back in again.

  • Might a physical login override a remote login? Say, if students are logging on remotely during a slot when the room is not in use, what happens when a class arrives for a lab session and they want to log on, but others are still logged on remotely?
    Physical PCs are for physical use and remote PCs are for remote use. PCs aren't used for both. This is to ensure social distancing is adhered to. This does mean the physical capacity of those rooms is reduced, so the physical class size capacity is much smaller.

Cluster information

  • Which clusters are available to access via RPC?
    All clusters we have identified as used for teaching are enabled unless told specifically by the cluster owner they do not wish to enable remote access, eg if it is to be physical access only.

  • Are all PCs in a cluster available for RPC?
    Other than a limited number of clusters which Schools have requested to be RPC only, most clusters are 'Blended'; some of the PCs are allocated to physical (in-person) use and clearly labelled. The space is laid out in such a way to ensure it adheres to the social distancing guidelines. All other PCs in the cluster are allocated as RPC and clearly marked.

  • What is the capacity of the cluster?
    Each cluster layout is different. To adhere to the social distancing rules the capacities are dictated by that. We will look at ways to indicate the physical and remote capacities for each cluster. Information about physical capacities for some clusters are available on the PCs on-campus information page.

  • How do know which cluster has the software I need? Do I need to keep trying different ones until I find what I need?
    Clusters have all the software installed on them that they have always had installed. We can't deploy all software to all clusters for licensing reasons. We are looking into ways we can make clusters searchable for software installed, or at the very list provide a list of clusters and software in a viewable format.

Using a Remote PC

  • During an RPC session, where do work files get saved?
    Files are saved as they would if you were physically sat at the PC, so files will be saved to your P: Drive.

  • Can I print from RPC?
    Yes. If you print from the RPC session it will be handled by the normal 'pull printing' system. Print from your application as normal, then locate an on-campus Xerox multi-function printer and print in the usual way.

  • Can I use OneDrive from a University PC?
    When using cluster PCs, we advise that you use OneDrive via the web; you can access your OneDrive files and the web-based Office apps from


  • How do I get help with 2-factor authentication?
    Visit our 2-factor authentication page or get in touch with our IT Support Centre.

  • Why am I unable to log in? I'm not using a UK keyboard.
    If you’re not using a UK keyboard, this may result in problems logging in. You can use the On-Screen Keyboard from the Ease of use icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the remote PC's login screen.
  • Can I use applications such as Microsoft Teams on a PC to which I’m remotely connected?
    Using the text chat or collaboration functions is feasible, however, the performance of video and audio chat via a remote PC is not recommended as the delay will be very noticeable. Where you require video or audio chat such as Teams or Zoom, you should install and use these on your local computer or mobile device.

  • Why am I not able to take a screenshot or to copy and paste from my personal computer to the cluster computer to which I am remotely connected?
    As per University of Manchester security standards, users are prohibited from accessing the clipboard (i.e. copy and pasting), mapping network drives and printing between your personal computer (the PC you are using) and the cluster computer that you are connecting to remotely.
  • The applications I need are not installed on the cluster computer I am remotely connecting to – why is this?
    Only core applications will be automatically installed on your Remote PC. Should you require business-specific applications, please contact your department/School lead.
  • What do I do if my remote session has crashed and stopped working?
    Call the IT Support Centre on 0161 306 5544 to raise a request. Remember it is always recommended to regularly save your data to a secure location like your P: Drive or OneDrive account to avoid data loss.

  • I have successfully logged into the URL ( but I am not able to see any Remote PC assigned to my ID. Why is this?
    Please contact the IT Support Centre for further assistance.

Help and support

  • How do I get help using RPC?
    Support is provided by the IT Support Centre and they should be your first point of contact for all IT queries.