Virtual Computer Lab

About the Virtual Computer Lab

The Virtual Computer Lab is a service that allows students to run Windows and most of the software applications found in our MacLean 210 and Cummings 115 computer labs on any computer, using a web browser. It is based on a technology called Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). Professors can use the Virtual Computer Lab for hands-on exercises in any classroom, and students can use it to work from anywhere.

It is recommended that when working in the Virtual Computer Lab, you save any documents to Google Drive or a Thayer File Share (Jumbo or ThayerFS). For more information on how to connect to a share from your personal computer, see Thayer Shares Connecting

Documents saved to the Desktop or Documents folders  may be saved to Microsoft OneDrive if you are properly logged into it. To ensure your files do not get wiped when you log out, save explicitly to Google Drive or a Thayer File Share (Jumbo or ThayerFS).


If you want to connect via an App downloaded to your computer, go here

To connect to the Virtual Computer Lab, you can use any modern web browser. You do not need to be on VPN to use the Virtual Computer Lab from off-campus. On campus, we recommend eduroam because it is a faster network, but the Virtual Computer Lab does not require it.

Visit the following address to connect to the Virtual Computer Lab:

If you have not logged in recently, you will be presented with a Microsoft Sign-in screen. Either select or type

If you are prompted for Dartmouth authentication, complete this with your NetID and Password. Check the "Remember Me" box to skip this on subsequent visits for 30 days. Finally, complete the Duo authentication when prompted.

After completing authentication, you will see a screen with a Thayer School section and an icon labeled "Virtual Lab." Click this and then then either allow or disallow access to local resources. You may also check the box to not be asked again.

After this step, you'll be prompted for your credentials again - enter your Dartmouth NetID and password. The reason for the two authentications is that the first is logging into the Microsoft WVD system and the second is the actual computer itself - there is unfortunately no way to pass from one to the other. By checking the "Remember Me" box at the first Dartmouth authentication, you will at least be able to skip this authentication most of the time.

Once you are logged in, the Virtual Computer Lab functions like a M210 or C115 lab computer - all Windows software you expect should be installed. If you have not already done so, you should connect to Google Drive as shown below.

File Storage

Unlike the M210 and C115 computers, documents saved to the Windows Desktop and Documents folder are not automatically saved to ThayerFS. To avoid data loss, you should be careful to explicitly save files to either Google Drive or a Thayer File Share (Jumbo or ThayerFS).

Thayer Shares

All Thayer Shares should automatically connect when you log in and be shown in "This PC" within File Explorer:

Google Drive

If you have not set up Google Drive in the Virtual Computer Lab previously, click Start and begin typing "Google Drive". Run this application and you will be prompted to Sign In. When prompted for your e-mail address, be sure to use your full address, not your NetID.

After clicking next, you will be prompted for Dartmouth authentication, complete this with your NetID and Password. Check the "Remember Me" box to skip this on subsequent visits for 30 days.

Your Google Drive will now appear in File Explorer and be accessible from all applications. It will also start automatically each time you log into the Virtual Computer Lab.

Copy and Paste

The web client currently supports copying and pasting text only. Files can't be copied or pasted to and from the web client. Additionally, you can only use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste text.


Any disconnected sessions are preserved for 10 minutes. If you close your browser window, lose network connection, sleep your computer or any other action that disconnects you from the Virtual Lab, your existing session will be preserved for 10 minutes so that if you reconnect within this timeout period, you will connect to the same session. If you are disconnected for more than 10 minutes, your session will be terminated and you will lose any unsaved work.

There is also an idle timeout of 1 hour. If you do not move the mouse or press a key within a session for 1 hour, your session will be terminated and you will lose any unsaved work. In this case, you will be prompted 2 minutes before the session is terminated and can reset the timer.