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Desktop Streaming

Machines are high-performing computing for scaling AI applications.

You can use the desktop app to connect to your Paperspace desktop machines from your Mac, PC, or Linux computer. Desktop streaming is available from both a web browser and our desktop app and lets you run virtual desktop apps on your personal computer.

Desktop stream features

Browser-based streaming has certain limitations that are available in our desktop app. Some benefits of the desktop app include:

  • Hotkeys. Use any hotkeys with complete OS integration.
  • Drag & drop. Get a file in to your computer in the cloud by dragging it and dropping it.
  • Multi-monitor. The app can run on up to two displays.
  • USB redirection. Forward your local USB device(s) into your machine.
  • Auto-shutdown. Use auto-shutdown to prevent idle runtime and safeguard against leaving a machine running by mistake.


A multi-monitor display is available in the native app and web browser by selecting “Add Monitor” from the Paperspace menu, which launches a secondary display window for your machine.

While it is possible to enable the second monitor in your web browser, there are some limitations to multi-monitor display on browsers. This is due to inherent limitations in web browser technology.

Copy and paste clipboard

You can copy and paste text between your local device and your Paperspace machine on all platforms.

In the app on a Windows Virtual Machine, you can copy and paste like you normally would, no extra steps necessary.

If you are accessing Paperspace from your web browser or a Linux computer, this requires syncing your local computer’s clipboard with your machine, so that your machine knows that you want to paste to it:

  1. Copy the text you would like to transfer, either on your local machine or within your Paperspace machine.
  2. Click the small circle button in the Paperspace interface and then click Sync Clipboard.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to paste. On a PC, enter CTRL+V to paste. On a Mac, first enter CMD+V to sync, then CTRL+V to paste into your PC.

Drag-and-drop upload (Windows machines)

You can upload a file or a folder to your Paperspace machine if you drag and drop it on a running machine. This feature works using both a web browser and our native app. Drag and drop are one-way, from the local machine to your Paperspace machine.

USB redirection

USB redirection lets you to pass a connected USB device along to your Paperspace machine. This feature is fully supported in the native app for Windows users.

To enable USB Redirection, open your Paperspace app and launch your virtual machine. Click the menu (in the upper right corner), and then select USB Forwarding -> Enable. Certain devices require you to install drivers on both the local machine and the Paperspace machine.

At the moment, connecting more than one device may cause issues. We recommend connecting one device at a time.


Auto-shutdown lets you to set your machine to power off after being idle for a specified period. We highly recommend this for hourly users who want to safeguard against leaving a machine running by mistake.

You can enable or disable auto-shutdown for each machine individually in that machine’s settings page in the console. You can set the frequency or disable it entirely if you want your machine to stay on by selecting the Off option.

For Paperspace to initiate an auto-shutdown, the machine must have no open Paperspace connections, meaning all browser tabs and app windows must be closed. Auto-shutdown does not trigger on a machine if it is displaying a system dialogue box that would prevent a normal shutdown. For example, if leaving a Microsoft Word document open on your desktop prompts you to save or delete it if you try to shut down your machine, then the same goes for auto-shutdown.

Active connections can only be detected by the Paperspace client (browser or desktop app). Using RDP or another remote desktop client does not work. As a result, it is best to leave auto-shutdown to “never” in this scenario to prevent losing work.

Desktop stream settings

Customize your app experience with the following settings. To access the Settings section in the desktop App, launch any machine, and click the menu icon in the upper right corner. Choose “Settings.”


UDP is a newer streaming protocol which you can read more about in the Native App Overview article. These settings allow you to enable it, as well as choose to use Super Responsive Mode, the maximum wait time (in ms), and the number of frames for an intra-refresh cycle.

Emulate USB mouse

This feature addresses an issue that some users have specifically while gaming. It uses an emulated USB mouse device, if available. The mouse movement may be slightly less accurate.

Allow machine to move mouse

Some games or applications move the mouse within the machine on its own. This setting mirrors the movement of the mouse in the local device. This is recommended if you use games or applications that capture the mouse, like some 3D games.

GPU acceleration

Allow the application to use your physical machine’s GPU (graphics processing unit) as a co-processor to accelerate CPUs for general-purpose computing. The GPU accelerates applications running on the CPU by offloading some of the compute-intensive and time-consuming portions of the code.


Within the app, you can set your shortcuts by clicking the menu, selecting “Settings,” and adding your hotkeys.

Many programs offer the ability to use keyboard combinations as shortcuts. By default, the local device you’re using captures these keyboard combinations, prohibiting them from getting sent to your Paperspace machine. Our desktop app can “forward” these keyboard events so you can use all your hotkeys, like you would on a physical machine.

Hotkey forwarding is not possible in a web browser.

Using RDP, VNC, or other streaming protocols

We have developed our protocol to connect you to your machine. If you prefer to use another remote desktop application, you are welcome to do so, and we do not prevent any remote desktop applications from running.

Some remote desktop applications require a Public IP address (or VPN tunnel) to connect. These technologies do not work unless a public IP is added to your machine. Examples of direct remote desktop applications include RDP, HP Remote Graphics, and VNC.

To use RDP on a machine, you need the Windows password to the paperspace user.

Remote desktop applications that do not require a public IP address include TeamViewer, Chrome Remote Desktop, GoToMyPC, etc. These technologies assist in establishing a link to your machine without using a public IP address.