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How to Connect

Download the VCL Client

The desktop client supports Windows and Mac OS X and provides a faster and more reliable virtual desktop experience. Download the client.

Using the virtual desktop

Our AU virtual lab consists of 175 virtual desktops loaded with the following software: 

  • Microsoft Office 2013 (Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, Project)
  • IBM SPSS 23
  • STATA 14
  • NVivo 10
  • Mathematica 10
  • SAS 9.4
  • EViews 9
  • MATLAB 2015A
  • Modeler 16
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Media Players (Windows Media and VLC Player)

All applications are accessible from the Start --> Programs menu.

Please note that you should not save anything to the desktop or anywhere else on the virtual computer that you are connected to. The files you save or changes you make will be discarded upon logout. If you need to save any files, please save to your Google drive or your local computer drive, accessible under “My Computer” on the virtual desktop. 

(Note: You can save, read and edit your own files on your private network drive. You can only read saved files by your professor from the shared J:\CLASSES drive.)

More information on accessing network drives.

Please contact the IT Help Desk at (202) 885-2550, email, or IM AskAmericanUHelp if you have any questions on network drive access.

Alternatively, you can download and copy files to your local machine by using the three icons buttons in the top right corner of the virtual desktop.

Clicking on the first icon from the left will enable copying text, pictures, documents, etc. to your local machine. Clicking on the second icon (with an arrow pointing down) will allow you to download from the virtual desktop to your local computer.  

IMPORTANT: Please remember to log out of the virtual desktop when you are done using it (Start --> Shutdown --> Log off). Do not simply close the browser window, or you will stay logged in to the desktop thereby making it unavailable to other users.

Accessibility Standards

To ensure this electronic software product meets accessibility standards, we are currently undergoing 508 compliance testing. If you have any feedback, question or concerns regarding accessibility of this product, please contact Kamran Rasul, Assistive Technology Specialist, at 202-885-3407 or by email at


Suggestions and feedback are encouraged!

General feedback, requests for changes, and application recommendations for inclusion in future releases of the VCL are welcomed. Please send an email to All submissions will be reviewed. Approved application requests and environment changes must be thoroughly tested before they can be released.

Need Help?

AU VCL Support is available in person at Hurst Hall, Room 203

  • Mon - Thurs 9:30 am - 8 pm
  • Friday 9:30 am - 7 pm
  • Saturday 12 pm - 7 pm


Telephone: 202-885-3862

Chat room, or Skype: ctrl_research