Working Remotely (Non-Managed Desktop Users)

When you work remotely, you have two primary options to securely access your work environment: OneDrive and Cisco AnyConnect VPN. This web page will help you determine which service to use when, and the steps you need to take to ensure you have access.

Please select the service(s) you need access to and read the accompanying recommendations. We ask that you test the option you select prior to working remotely to ensure that you have access to these services when you need them. 

If you are a Digital Workplace client, please reference the Working Remotely with Managed Desktop page instead. A comprehensive list of Digital Workplace clients can be found here.


Identify your options

1. I need to access Microsoft Office, email and my computer files remotely. I do not need to access ROSI and AMS/SAP.

When working remotely on a U of T laptop or your home computer, most regular users will find that using Office 365 tools such as Outlook, OneDrive and SharePoint will be sufficient. As long as you are logged in, you can use Office 365 on the web on any device. Here are some key applications you can use when working remotely:

Outlook: When working remotely, you can access your University email by using the UTmail+/Outlook web client. If you have not used Outlook Online before, you can learn how to access it through the U of T Digital Workplace UTmail+ page.

OneDrive: OneDrive will be a key application for you to use when you work remotely: it allows you to access your computer files from any device, anywhere in the world.

          • If you haven’t used OneDrive before, the set up is fast and easy. All you need to do is:

1. Open the online OneDrive app by logging in to your online Outlook/UTmail+ account and clicking on the waffle in the top left corner. Select the OneDrive tool.

2. When you open OneDrive you will see a list of all of your files that are currently uploaded.

3. To add new files from your computer, simply click Upload and select whether you would like to upload Files or a Folder.

4. Select the items that you would like to add and click Upload. The files will now be houses in your OneDrive!

As you can see from the image, you can upload all the folder and file types you need to work remotely. And you will never have to worry about running out of space – OneDrive has a storage limit of 1 TB.

If you have the OneDrive application downloaded to your computer, you can also use the sync option to ensure that any files edited on OneDrive are also edited on your computer. To learn more about this option, access this Microsoft article.

Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint: Online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are all available to you. To learn more about how to access them with your U of T account, you can explore the application pages from the University’s Office 365 website.

2. I need to access ROSI remotely.

If you need to access ROSI from your U of T laptop or home computer you should use the Cisco AnyConnect VPN. You should use this option if you are not a Digital Workplace client (see Working Remotely with Managed Desktop). With the VPN, you can access ROSI from your home or work computer when off-site. You will need an eToken.

Follow these instructions to set up the VPN: https://www.sis.utoronto.ca/cisco-vpn/.

Please remember that confidential information should never be stored locally as per our Manage Confidential Information in Browsers page. If you have any questions about accessing ROSI from home, please log a ticket through the Enterprise Service Centre.

3. I need to access administrative systems such as AMS/SAP remotely.

If you need to access administrative systems such as AMS/SAP while working remotely you have two options. You will need an eToken for both methods.

1. The easiest and most streamlined way to access administrative systems when working remotely is to use the Digital Workplace Remote Desktop Service from your home computer. This service enables you to access your work computer’s desktop from an off-site computer.  Note: this option is only available to Digital Workplace clients. Set up instructions can be found here.

2. If you are unable to set up the recommended Digital Workplace Remote Desktop Service option, the alternative option is to install SAP GUI on your work laptop or home computer and then set up the Cisco AnyConnect VPN.

The instructions for SAP GUI installation can be found here: https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/help/software-hardware/. 

Once you install SAP GUI, you will have to set up Cisco AnyConnect VPN. The instructions can be found here: https://isea.utoronto.ca/cisco-anyconnect-vpn-windows-client/. 


Frequently asked questions

OneDrive

How can I access my work computer's files when working remotely?

The simplest option for accessing your work files remotely is to use OneDrive. OneDrive is available to all staff, students and faculty at the University of Toronto, and you can access it through the Office 365 web interface.

To learn more about how you can use OneDrive at U of T, visit EASI’s OneDrive page here.

To learn how to upload your computer files to OneDrive before you work remotely, access OneDrive training through the University’s SuccessFactors website using this link.

What if I don't have OneDrive?

Good news – all University of Toronto staff, students and faculty have access to OneDrive! Getting started is easy: to learn more about how you can use OneDrive at U of T, visit EASI’s OneDrive page here.

To OneDrive training through the University’s SuccessFactors website, use this link.

Is OneDrive secure?

Yes, OneDrive is secure. To learn more about how OneDrive safeguards your data in the cloud, please read this article from Microsoft.

Do I need to use a VPN to access my files on OneDrive?

You do not need to use a VPN to access your files on OneDrive. You can use the Microsoft web interface to securely access your OneDrive files from anywhere in the world.

Using Office 365 remotely

Can I still access SharePoint when working remotely?

Yes. You can access SharePoint from any web browser on any device.

What if my home computer doesn't have Word, Excel or PowerPoint?

University of Toronto community members have access to online versions of Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. To learn more about how to access these tools through the web, visit uoft.me/dwO365.

Can people dial in to my Teams meetings from their phones?

Yes, people can now dial in to University of Toronto Teams meetings via phone. For more information on how this works, please reference this FAQ page.

When I open Teams I get a message that says 'Windows Defender Firewall has blocked some features of this app.' What should I do?

If you get this message, simply click Cancel and relaunch the Teams app.

Additional questions

Can I use remote desktop to work remotely?

The Digital Workplace Remote Desktop Service is available to Digital Workplace clients. If your division is not a Digital Workplace client, please consult your local IT support person to see if a remote desktop service is available to your division.

How can I determine which remote work option is best for the kind of work I do?

The remote work option you select should be determined by the type of work you do and whether you are a Digital Workplace client.

Most regular users will find that using Office 365 tools such as OneDrive and SharePoint will be sufficient.

Staff members who need access to University of Toronto administrative systems such as AMS/SAP should use the Remote Desktop Gateway from their home computing device (Digital Workplace clients only) or Cisco AnyConnect VPN.

What do I do if I need to access specific software that is only available on my work computer?

If you need access to specific software that is only available on your computer, you should bring your U of T laptop home. If you are not able to take your work computer home, please consult with your local IT support person for a solution.

Can I still work remotely if I need to access administrative tools such as AMS/SAP?

You can absolutely work remotely if you set up the proper service. Please see the instructions above to identify the option that is best for you.