Getting started with VMware Horizon (VDI)

Table of Contents

Performing common tasks on VDI

Accessing VDI

To access VDI, follow the directions on the Virtual Desktops (VDI): VMware Horizon page. Note that in most cases, it is not necessary or beneficial to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect to VDI.  

Exiting the VMware Horizon (VDI) desktop

It is recommended that you log off to exit the remote desktop. If you disconnect from a remote desktop without logging off, applications in the remote desktop might remain open which consumes additional resources that may not be used. After 15 minutes you will be automatically logged off. Any open applications will be closed and your work may not be saved.

Note: Disconnecting from VDI without logging off may create connect issues that prevent log-in the next time you attempt to access VDI.

You can log off and disconnect in two ways:

  1. Use the Windows Start menu to log off

  2. From the menu bar select Options > Disconnect and Log Off


The VDI VMWare Horizon Client desktop application will typically recognize any printer connected to your device and allow printing to your local printer. Printing permissions vary based on pools/user groups. Users who access secure data via VDI will likely be unable to print this information as a security precaution.  MacOS users will need to set printing preferences to connect to network printers that are already installed on the Mac computer.

If you have difficulty printing non-secure documents, contact the IT Service Desk for assistance.

Accessing your OHIO email on VDI

Yes. If you need to check your email while using a virtual desktop, we recommend using Outlook Web Access rather than Outlook.

By default, Microsoft Outlook downloads a copy of all emails to the computer it's installed on (in this case, to your virtual desktop). Depending on the size of your inbox, this can be a problem if Outlook needs to transfer a large amount of data to your virtual desktop every time you log on. If you must use Outlook, please change the settings to run in non-cached mode.

Saving and accessing files on your local machine

To save or access files on your local computer you will need to configure the sharing settings in the VMware Horizon client desktop app.

To update the sharing settings on Windows:

  1. Right-click a remote desktop or published application icon
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Sharing in the left panel of the window that appears.
  4. Click Add and browse for the folder on your local computer that you want to use.

To update the sharing settings on macOS:

  1. Pull down the “VMware Horizon Client” menu
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Select the Drive Sharing tab in the window that appears
  4. Check each box in the window.
  5. Click the “+” button and browse for the folder on your local computer that you want to use.
  6. Click the Add button to select the desired folder

When using remote desktops or applications the selected folder will now display as a location available for saving and opening files. 

Software available on VDI

Complete list

OHIO has a large number of VDI software applications available to faculty, staff, and students. This list is subject to change. If you would like to determine your eligibility to access software not included on this list, please contact the IT Service Desk.


To access files on your device while using VDI to access ArcGIS:  

  1. Select Open Another Project from the initial screen.
  2. Select This PC in the navigation window that appears.
  3. Search for and select the desired file.
  4. Click OK to open the file

Microsoft Windows (using VDI on your Mac)

VMware Fusion allows a Mac user to install Windows on their Mac and switch between Mac OS and Windows without having to reboot.

NOTE: The Windows operating system is NOT included with Fusion. You must obtain a licensed copy of Windows separately.


Visual Studio

Visual Studio is a Microsoft Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for coding, testing, and deploying software. OHIO faculty, staff, and students can obtain access to Visual Studio

  • OHIO faculty and staff should contact the IT Service Desk to obtain access to Visual Studio. 
  • OHIO students can access Visual Studio in the Russ College computer labs or in VDI by contacting the technical support resource within the college. 

Adjusting settings for VMware Horizon client

Display settings

Application windows launched through the VMware Horizon Client can be resized just like application windows on your local computer. If you encounter issues with resolution or scaling check the display settings on your local computer.

Remote desktops display settings can be changed before or after you connect to a remote desktop. 

Changing before launching the remote desktop through the Settings menu:

  1. Open the Settings dialog box and select the name of the remote desktop in the left panel of the window that appears
  2. Customizing the display resolution and scaling for a remote desktop is not supported in multiple-monitor mode 
  3. If you select a custom resolution that is higher or lower than the client resolution the remote desktop window will be automatically resized to fit the client window
  4. Display resolution changes take effect immediately
  5. Display scaling changes require you to log out and log back in to make your changes take effect

Changing after launching the remote desktop:

  1. The screen can be resized by dragging a corner of the remote desktop window to the desired size
  2. A tool tip will show the screen resolution in the lower-right corner of the window

Firewall settings

No adjustments are needed unless you have very strict rules applied.

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Article ID: 87
Mon 3/21/22 2:32 PM
Wed 5/25/22 2:22 PM