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Answered By: Library Help
Last Updated: Dec 14, 2020     Views: 149

Students and staff can log into a remote computer, called a virtual desktop. A virtual desktop allows you to access services through a web browser that you would not be able to access off campus. This uses a service called Citrix.

To start, go to to the webpage Chrome is the recommended browser to use for this.

Log on screen

Once you are at the log on screen, enter your University of Northampton email address as your username. For example, ''.

Your password is your University password. There is help available if you have any difficulties with your password.

The welcome screen

Once you have logged in you will see the welcome screen. Click 'Use light version', which will allow you to continue in the web browser.


You will then arrive at the main Citrix screen.

The Student desktop

Click on the Student Text Desktop icon to launch it.


This will open a new tab in the web browser, which will have a Windows 10 desktop, and will begin logging in for you. Think of this as another version of Windows running for you inside your web browser, that will allow you to access applications.

Once it has logged you in, click on the Windows start icon in the bottom left corner. This will show you the available applications. You can click on them to open one, or type in the name of an application to search for it.

Once you have opened an application it will load within the browser window:


Saving your work

You do have some storage through the Citrix desktop to save your files temporarily. To view your files, click on the file explorer icon on the desktop task bar.

On the left-hand side of this window you will see an area called 'Data 1GB (R:)'. You can save work onto here temporarily.


The files here are not automatically backed up, so we would recommend you use your University OneDrive frequently, and that you ensure you have transferred any files you would like to keep to your OneDrive before logging out of the Citrix virtual desktop.

To access your OneDrive, open a web browser within Citrix and remember to always back up your files.

Using Microsoft applications

When using Microsoft applications within Citrix you have the option save to your OneDrive, which provides 1 terabyte of storage (over 1,000 gigabytes).

The Citrix Menu

At the top middle of the screen you will see options for the Citrix virtual desktop. Click on the three lines to open the pull-down menu to see more options. You can hover your mouse over the options to see a description of them.


For example, you can upload documents using the upload icon.

Browse to the file you want to upload from your PC and double click the file.

You will be asked where to save the file, you can put it onto the Citrix R drive, and then press 'OK'. Remember to backup your work onto your OneDrive when you are finished.

The file will now be available in the 'Data 1GB (R:)' drive, which you can access inside the file browser in the Citrix desktop.

Accessing University web applications

You can access many of the commonly used University of Northampton web applications from within the Citrix virtual desktop. Start by opening the Google Chrome browser.

On the bookmarks bar you will see a folder called 'Managed bookmarks', click on it and you will find links to the University's web applications.


The link called 'Service Availability' will open the service dashboard, which shows you the University's services and their status. A green tick means that everything is working correctly. If a service has a red cross instead, then it is currently not working correctly and IT will be working to get it running again as quickly as possible.

If you are having difficulty with any services, check Service Availability link to see if there is a known issue.

Signing out

Remember to back up your work onto your OneDrive before you log out.

To log off of the Citrix virtual desktop click on the Windows start icon, in the bottom left corner of the screen, and then click 'Sign out'.

Once this has logged out, on the Citrix Storefront page click on the cog in the top right, and then click 'Log off'.

Contacting IT Services

If you have any issues or queries, please contact IT Services using one of these methods: