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Azure Virtual Desktop

VA staff that make use of a virtual desktop can now connect directly, without the need to first access CAG or VPN. This is initially only available for Windows-based, VA-issued GFE and personally owned Windows 10 devices.

Download the Client

  1. Download the 64-bit Windows Desktop client (MSRDC) application installer (this is intended Windows 10).

  2. When prompted for installation action choose “Open”, which will open and run the installer.

    screenshot of the interface for launching the installer

Install the Client Application

  1. When the Remote Desktop Setup welcome screen opens, click Next to continue.

    screenshot of the Remote Desktop Setup
  2. On the End-User License Agreement screen, mark the checkbox I accept the terms of the License Agreement, then click Next.

    screenshot of the End User License Agreement
  3. On the Installation Scope screen, accept the default selection of Install just for you, then click Install.

    screenshot of the scope page indicating if it is for a single user or all users
  4. On the Completed the Remote Desktop Setup Wizard screen, click Finish to complete the installation and begin configuring the client.

    screenshot of the Completed the Remote Desktop Setup Wizard

Configure the Remote Desktop App

  1. On the Let’s get started screen, click Subscribe with URL.

    screenshot of the url entry field
  2. On the Subscription to a Workspace screen, enter the URL "" and click Next.

    screenshot of the Workspace selection
  3. The “Remote Desktop” application will open, and you will be greeted with the “Sign in” window.

    screenshot of the user sign-in
  4. Insert your PIV card into the PIV reader attached to your PC.
  5. Within the “Sign in” window, enter your VA email address and click “Next”.
  6. When the “” window appears, click on “Sign in using an X.509 certificate”.

    screenshot of the authentication interface with select x.509 highlighted
  7. Choose your PIV Authentication certificate. Click OK.

  8. For BYOD (personal, non-VA PCs) only: When asked if you would like to “Use this account everywhere on your device” uncheck the box, and click “This app only”.

    screenshot of thedevice management options
  9. You should be greeted with the 1VA Main desktop to connect to. This icon is for both GFE and BYOD (personal) devices. Double click the icon to launch your VA Azure Virtual Desktop Session.

    screenshot of the 1VA dektop option
  10. When prompted to log in:
    1. Select “Sign in using an X.509 Certificate”
    2. Select your VA PIV Authentication Certificate

      screenshot of the certificate selection interface
    3. Click OK (Note: The ADFS pin verification may take a few seconds)

      screenshot of the personal identification number entry field
    4. Enter your pin and click OK
  11. You are now connected to the VA Windows Virtual Desktop Environment!
  12. When your work is complete, please log off like a normal Windows PC.
    1. Click the Start Button
    2. Click the person icon (Your name should be next to it)
    3. Click Sign out

      screenshot of the signuout options

Subsequent Connections

To reconnect:

  1. Open the “Remote Desktop” application and select the VA Host pool icon you want to reconnect to. (The MAIN VA AVD icon should appear for all users)

    screenshot of the 1VA dektop option
  2. Click on your remote application icon and follow step 10 above.

Screen Lock Reconnection

To reconnect:

  1. At the Login Screen click on the PIN Icon shown below (Note: The Smartcard is not default auth method on screen unlock)

    screenshot of the Windows sign-in form with the smartcard option highlighted
  2. Once the system changes to prompting for PIN, Enter your VA PIV Pin into the sign on screen

    screenshot of the Windows sign-in form showing the personal identification number entry field
  3. Your prior AVD Session will continue from where you left off
  4. If for some reason the PIN ICON does not appear – click on the “Sign In” options hyperlink

Page last updated on November 2, 2021


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