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Virtual Desktop FAQs

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Virtual Desktop Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the Apporto Virtual Desktop system work and how much does it cost?

This is a free service provided by Learning Technologies and Spaces, Student Affairs. The service is utilizing the cloud service Apporto to serve Windows and macOS virtual desktops accessible through a web browser by navigating to Users can login to the website with their Stanford login (SUNet ID and password). Once logged in, they can use the computer as if they were sitting in front of it to access the supported cluster software listed here

1a. I remember there used to be an option to access remote computers on the Stanford campus.  What happened to that?

That was our previous system that allowed remote desktop access to the Stanford cluster computers on campus.  That system has now been upgraded to the Apporto Virtual Desktop service.  Please go to to utilize a virtual desktop.  The multimedia applications have been added to the Apporto macOS virtual desktop.

2. How do I get started?

Please proceed to the home page to select either a macOS or Windows virtual desktop, then proceed with the on screen instructions. On the last page, there will be a link to redirect you to the Apporto website. You can also access the virtual desktop online directly by going to  Please visit the Apporto getting started guide for students and the getting started guide for faculty for the best experience.

3. What are the system requirements to use Apporto?

Please visit Apporto Required Environment page for the latest specs required to access Apporto.  Apporto can be accessed from most devices with a modern browser including Linux but performs best on Google Chrome on a Windows or macOS computer.

4. The sound is not working. What’s going on?

For Windows:

Once logged into Windows, the sound needs to be unmuted by clicking on the sound icon in the Apporto top menu or the Windows bottom taskbar. 

For macOS:

Unfortunately, the macOS cluster computers and virtual desktop do not support redirecting sound remotely due to technical limitations in the protocol. We understand this does make some macOS applications unusable.  Please use the Windows virtual desktop for apps that require sound like Adobe Creative Cloud and Ableton Live. 

5. The Apporto Virtual Desktop system isn’t working, what is going on?

First, check the status of the Apporto service at to make sure there aren’t any service outages. Second, make sure you are using the latest version of your browser and the latest version of your operating system to connect to the service. Third, make sure you have adequate network bandwidth to support the service. Lastly, if you are still having trouble, please try using another browser and also try another computer if possible.  

If you have further trouble, please contact and clearly describe the experience you are having and from which OS you are logging in from and to which computer. We will do our best to help you get connected.

6. Where are my files? How and for how long are they stored? How do I download and upload files to the virtual desktop session?

2GB of persistent file storage is available per user on the Apporto Cloud service. You can access these files on the Desktop and Documents folder in your chosen operating system. User accounts are deprovisioned after 12 months and user data is removed 60 days after that. 

There are several ways to upload and download files onto the virtual cluster.

a) (Recommended) You can use cloud services such as Google Drive or Dropbox using the Apporto Cloud Mounter application.

b) You can drag and drop the files from your local computer onto the desktop.

c) You can use the upload and download feature from the top menu bar of the Apporto service.

d) Lastly, you can use USB drive streaming on a Windows computer connecting to a Windows Virtual Desktop only by following the instructions here. You can mount the drive in the Apporto Settings menu by selecting from available USB devices.

7. What kind of data can I access on these computers?

Only low risk data should be used on the Apporto Virtual Cloud Desktops. Please follow Stanford Information Security Office’s minimum security guidelines for classifying data at: UIT Data Classifications .

8. How do I log out or end my virtual desktop session?

For Windows, you can sign out of the virtual desktop session by clicking the Start Menu -> Profile icon with your name -> Sign Out. For macOS, please click “Logout” on the Apple menu for macOS. Afterwards, you can close the virtual desktop session once you are logged out. We recommend logging out if all work is done as a courtesy to other users to maximize available instances instead of simply closing the browser window.

9. What happens if I get disconnected?

Sessions are currently configured automatically to disconnect after 60 minutes of inactivity.

10. What happens if a user is disconnected due to network outage but still logged in?

Once disconnected, the virtual desktop session will stop streaming and users will not be able to interact with it until the network connection is restored. Once the network connection returns, you will be able to continue working where you left off. You will not lose your session until 60 minutes have passed with no activity.

11. Can a single user log in from multiple devices/locations at once?

A user can login from multiple devices, but only one device can have access at any given time. You will start where you left off on the previous device.

12. How do I enable secondary right-click in Windows Virtual Desktop?

In order to make use of the right-click inside an open session you have three options:

  • Standard PC two button USB mouse
  • Apple Magic Mouse: To enable right-click, click System Preferences in the dock, click Mouse, and then enable Secondary click.
  • Apple Magic Trackpad or MacBook Trackpad: To enable right-click, click System Preferences in the dock, click Mouse, and then enable Secondary click.

13. I am a faculty member and I heard that I can add the Apporto macOS and Windows Virtual Desktop links directly to my Canvas course.  How do I do that?

To utilize the Apporto Canvas integration.  Please navigate here to see the guide on how to do that.  Also check out the Apporto faculty getting started guide for the best experience.

14. How can I use Adobe Creative Cloud software on the Apporto Virtual Desktop?

If you're looking to use Adobe Creative Cloud applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator without the need for audio functionalities, you can access them on the Apporto macOS Virtual Desktop, which doesn't require a named user license. However, if you wish to use software like Audition and Premiere that require audio, you'll need to use the Apporto Windows Virtual desktop and checkout an Adobe Creative Cloud named user license by filing a ticket for the Tech Desk at (login with SUnetID). Regardless of the platform, ensure you login using your Stanford email account and select the "company or school" login option over the "personal" login.

15. Do you have additional questions or need support?

Please check out the Apporto FAQ at for any questions we have not answered.  File a support ticket with Apporto if you have an issue with the service If there is an issue with the software installed on the service, please feel free to send an email to