There are a few ways you can access your Cloud PC. You probably have your favorite way to access your Cloud PC, but I though I would go through them all and the benefits with each.
Microsoft has also announced an upcoming Windows 11 feature called Windows 365 Switch which will be a native Windows 365 app in Windows 11. I will not cover that in this post since it’s yet to be released at the time of this blogpost.
Connecting to your Cloud PC through the browser is in my humble opinion the coolest way, and really convenient since you can then access your computer from what ever device you are using without any issues (as long as the browser is a modern browser like Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox). Okay, not any device, but Windows-, macOS-, ChromeOS-, or Linux-based device.
You access the Windows 365 service through https://windows365.microsoft.com and sign in with your account.
In this portal, you will see all Cloud PCs assigned to you.
To connect to the Cloud PC, you simply press “Open in browser” and the Cloud PC will open in a new tab.
You can also perform some remote tasks on the Cloud PC such as restart, restore, rename or troubleshoot. Or see System information.
The restart is exactly what it sounds like, you will remotely restart your Cloud PC. Restore can be used to go back to a previous point in time (I cover that in this blogpost).
Rename option will allow you to give your Cloud PC a new friendly name instead of the generated name.
If you as an end-user are experiencing issues with connecting to your Cloud PC, you can use Troubleshoot to see what’s causing the issues. It will check that the service is healthy and that there aren’t any connectivity issues.
If you click the “System information”, you will see some details about your Cloud PC such as device name and license.
Remote Desktop app
Working with your Cloud PC everyday, I would say that this is the best option to connect.
Simply download the Remote Desktop app from Microsoft for your desired operating system. For Windows I would suggest to use the desktop version and not the Microsoft Store version, the desktop version works a little bit smoother in my experience.
One thing that is good to keep in mind is that if you are using macOS, you cannot currently have multiple accounts in the Remote Desktop app.
When you have downloaded and installed the application and start it for the first time, you will be asked to sign in. Sign in with you account and the resources you have assigned to you will be added. These could be Windows 365 resources, but also Azure Virtual Desktop resources and published apps.
As you can see by the picture, running the app in Windows I can have multiple accounts and resources in the same place, giving me easy access to several environment.
To launch the Cloud PC, I simply dubble click on the computer icon, provide my credentials and I’m signed in.
I can choose to run this in a full screen experience or a windowed experience depending on my personal preferences.
Using the Remote Desktop app, you don’t get all the remote features as you do in the web-portal, but you have easier access to your Cloud PC on a daily basis.
Lastly, mobile app. There is a Remote Desktop app available for iPhone/iPad and Android devices which can be used to connect to your Cloud PC. I will show some screen shots from and iPhone which is maybe not the smoothest way to work with the Cloud PC due to the screen size. For this, and iPad would be a much better option.
To connect, click the + sign at the top right corner and select “Add workspace“. You will need to enter the subscription URL found here and then sign in with your account. One thing to keep in mind with the mobile app is that you can only have one account associated with the workspace, so no support for multiple accounts.
Once you have signed in, you will see all resources which are assigned to this account.
To connect, simply tap on the computer you which to connect to and enter your credentials when asked to and you will be connected to your Cloud PC.
You can now use your Cloud PC from your mobile device, and keep working where you left your desktop! This is a great option when you have to check something on the go, to simply just connect to your Cloud PC.
Feature vice, the mobile app is pretty limited but you can easily connect to your desktop. If you have a larger screen, the experience will be better so an iPad or Android tablet with a keyboard would be ideal even though it works surprisingly well using an iPhone as you can zoom in and out if needed.