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nullVirtual Desktop Access

ViDA (Virtual Desktop Access) gives students 24/7 remote access to high-end software normally available only in technology spaces on campus.  For questions or comments about ViDA, email and include "ViDA" in your message.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I access ViDA from off-campus?

UW students can access this high-end software from any location with Internet access—whether on or off campus: Odegaard, a coffee shop on the Ave, or a student’s home. Internet connection speed will affect the performance of ViDA.

If I go away from my computer, how long will I stay connected to ViDA?

Due to limited number of connections available for ViDA, once your session is inactive for more than thirty (30) minutes, your session will be disconnected and all of your work potentially lost. Remember to save early and often.

Why is the ViDA security certificate showing as untrusted?

ViDA uses the standard UW Certificate. By installing the UW Services CA root certificate in your web browser, you will be able to visit and use secure UW Web sites with certificates issued by the UW Services CA without being confronted with warning messages from your browser. Click here to install the UW Services CA Certificate.

Which devices are supported by ViDA?

ViDA uses the Citrix Reciever for desktop and mobile devices, including Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Mobile as well as Linux, OS X, UNIX and Windows. Click here for a complete list.

How do I save files on ViDA? What happens to files on log off?

ViDA currently operates like many of the general-access computer labs on the UW Seattle campus. Students can save work locally during their session, but must save their work somewhere else before logging off. This can be a personal USB drive, STFP, Google Docs, SkyDrive or any other method, including simply emailing the files to one's self.

Once a student logs off of ViDA, their files are erased and the virtual desktop is made ready for the next student, just as happens in Odegaard. This is protect student privacy and allow other users a standard experience.

Do UW faculty or staff have access to ViDA?

ViDA is a Student Tech Fee funded service intended for student use. Limited Faculty and Staff have access to ViDA for testing and support purposes. Faculty and Staff utilizing ViDA are personally responsible for working with their departmental compliance officers to ensure adherence to departmental policies. Requests for access can be made by emailing

When is ViDA down for planned maintenance?

UW-IT has established a weekly maintenance window for ViDA on Wednesday mornings, from 7am to 8am. This maintenance window may include downtime for part or all of the ViDA service. The maintenance window will only be utilized when necessary and we will inform users in advance.

Additionally, UW-IT reserves a quarterly, day-long maintenance window for more time-intensive updates and installations. This day-long maintenance window will occur during the first week of the interim between quarters, and will be announced in advance.

Receive notifications about the ViDA service by joining the Mailman list.

What do I do if I am experiencing trouble connecting to ViDA?

  1. Uninstall the Citrix Online Web Plugin
    • If you are using a Windows-based computer, go to the Control Panel, click Programs, and click the "Citrix online plugin -web" or "Citrix XenApp Web Plugin", then click "Uninstall"
    • If you are using a Mac OSX-based computer, follow the instructions on the Citrix Blog
  2. Install Citrix Receiver
  3. Launch ViDA again

Why are the Adobe products being removed from ViDA?

Starting in September 2013, the Adobe Creative Suite will be removed from
ViDA due to a change in licensing. The ViDA service will be refocusing on hosting high-end math and science packages such as STATA, SPSS, MATLAB, and more.


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