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How do I access National Chemical Database Service resources?

To access the CSD Remote Desktop, please send us a request for a CSD Remote Desktop username and password. This username and password can then be used to access the CSD Remote Desktop from any location.

All other services are accessed via web interfaces, and should automatically be accessible to users on UK academic networks. (When accessing the CSD or CrystalWorks, you will first be asked to accept the relevant terms and conditions of use.) If you encounter a login screen while on your institution’s network, please let us know.

If you require access to web-based services from outside your institution, and you do not have access via Shibboleth, please send us a request for a CDS username and password.

If you are experiencing difficulties accessing CDS services, please send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Who can I talk to about the NCDS at my institution?

The National Chemical Database Service has departmental representatives in many universities and research institutes across the UK. These representatives can give you more information about the NCDS, and help organise training opportunities. If you can't find someone from your institution on our list of representatives, please let us know and we will get in touch with your institution.

CSD - How to access the CSD

The Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) can be accessed via either:

  • WebCSD (a browser-based interface)
  • Remote Desktop Connection (connects to a Windows computer and allows access to the software ConQuest, Mercury and more)

WebCSD can be accessed like any other browser-based NCDS resource. To access the Remote Desktop, please register for an account.

CSD - WebCSD Java Problems

Google Chrome no longer supports Java, so the current version of WebCSD will not work in Google Chrome.

Older versions of Java may also be incompatible with WebCSD. You can test that you have the latest version of Java here.

Safari sometimes blocks web pages for Java applications. To remedy this go to Preferences > Security > Manage Website Settings and ensure that is allowed. Alternatively, go to Control Panel > Java > Advanced tab, and in the Mixed Code (sandboxed vs trusted) security verification section change the setting to "Disable verification".

CSD - How do I access the Remote Desktop Connection?


Use the pre-installed client Remote Desktop Connection:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection


We recommend the use of the free Remote Desktop clients rdesktop or FreeRDP to connect to the Windows Remote Desktop from Linux machines. To connect:

rdesktop:$ rdesktop -u USERNAME -p - -d CORP -g 1440x900 -P
FreeRDP:$ xfreerdp -u USERNAME

Mac users need to download the free Microsoft Remote Desktop from itunes.

CSD - How do I change my Remote Desktop Connection password?

To change your password, log into the Remote Desktop and press Ctrl+Alt+End. If you are using a Mac, press the ‘start’ button at the bottom left, then choose ‘windows security’ and the 'change password' option.

The new password must be reasonably complex using:

  • Letters and numbers
  • Upper and lowercase
  • At least one alpha-numeric character (?, !, &, £, $, etc)

CSD - Forgotten your Remote Desktop Connection password?

If you have forgotten your password, please email us from your academic email address to request a password reset.

CSD - How do I change the size of the Remote Desktop Connection window?

The remote desktop window size is changed from your Remote Desktop client before you log in:

Options > Display > Display configuration

CSD - How do I get multiple Remote Desktop Connection accounts for training?

Email us at for multiple Remote Desktop Connection accounts.

CSD - How do I get files from the Remote Desktop Connection?

To copy files to and from the Remote Desktop, you must set your local drive(s) to be used in the remote session.

Windows: Show Options > Tab: “Local resources” > More… > Choose Drives to share

Mac: Redirection > Enable folder redirection (tick) > Add > Path > Browse > Choose Drive to share

CSD - I am having problems accessing the Remote Desktop Connection

Try using the PC/computer name instead of

If this does not help, contact us at