How do I sign into my account
Who is eligible for an Office 365 email account?
All University of Waterloo undergraduate students are provided an Office 365 account.
Waterloo alumni will receive a Microsoft Office 365 email account that will provide anywhere access to a more secure, reliable, and much improved email experience.
An investigation in moving alumni email addresses into the cloud-based service will begin in Fall 2017.
How long will I have access to my Office 365 account?
- Office 365 applications will be licensed for approximately 16 months after your last registered term. Your email account will work indefinitely, if you graduate from the institution (see 'What happens to my Office 365 account (email and apps) after I graduate?' for more info).
- If you do not graduate from the institution, you will retain access to your Office 365 account (email and apps) for approximately 16 months after your last registered term.
Staff, faculty, and graduate students:
- Staff, faculty, and graduate students will have access to their Office 365 accounts for the duration of their employment or enrollment.
What happens to my Office 365 account (email and apps) after I graduate?
Undergraduate email: You will keep your Office 365 email account after you graduate.
Office 365 Applications: You will keep your account for approximately 16 months after your last registered term. In order to keep any files, they will need to be saved to a new location. (See also FAQ entitled "How can I transfer files from my undergraduate OneDrive account to a secondary account (personal, staff, faculty, graduate student, etc.)?"
What happens to my Office 365 account when I leave (or retire) the University?
Staff and faculty will have access to their Office 365 accounts for the duration of their employment or enrollment. In order to keep any files, they will need to be saved to a new location. (See also FAQ entitled "How can I transfer files from my undergraduate OneDrive account to a secondary account (personal, staff, faculty, graduate student, etc.)?"
Can I download and install Office 365 apps onto my work computer?
Apps from Office 365 such as Microsoft Teams and OneDrive can be installed onto your work computer.
The use of Microsoft Office 2016 on University computers should continue to be accessed only through the IST Webstore.
Can retired faculty (including adjunct or emeritus) have an Office 365 account?
No, Office 365 is only available to current staff, faculty, and students.
What are the terms of service from Microsoft?
What is the Microsoft data retention policy?
Data stored in this service are subject to Microsoft data retention policies which may change from time to time. There is no capability to restore deleted data beyond the user-accessible facilities (e.g. versions and recycle bin) provided by Microsoft. Currently, Microsoft maintains a file history for 30 days.
What are the differences between a student and staff Office 365/OneDrive? Which one do I use?
- Staff and student OneDrive accounts are identical in terms of storage size and access.
- Students will use Office 365 to access their UWaterloo email account and will have access to the full suite of Office 365 apps.
- Staff, faculty, and grad students will have access to the full suite of Office 365 apps, but will access their email through Connect.
- If you have both a student and a staff account, you should use your primary one to access Office 365:
- If you are a student on co-op, continue to use your student account (@edu.uwaterloo.ca) to access Office 365/OneDrive.
- If you are a staff member taking classes, continue to use your staff account (@uwaterloo.ca) to access Office 365/OneDrive.
My email disappeared from my mailbox, how do I get it back?
Search your Archive folder. The Archive button is easy to accidently select while typing an email reply. The Archive button has been deactivated on the managed version of Office 365, however pressing the backspace key while a message is selected will still move the message to the Archive folder.
My Office 365 documents read-only. How do I edit these documents?
You should be prompted to authenticate. Click the top right log in button, enter your WatIAM (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) credentials. If you are not affiliated with the University of Waterloo (e.g. Laurier or University of Guelph student), you can use your home institution credentials to authenticate O365 (e.g. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
I have reached the device limit for activating O365. How do I remove old devices and add new ones?
Log into your Office 365 portal, go to My account > My installs > Deactivate as needed. Please note that Office 365 ProPlus on IST managed workstations will not count as one of your activations.
I am unable to locate my files. Where are they?
Make sure you are logged in to your computer and into O365 with the correct University of Waterloo account. Check all recent documents under File > Open in the appropriate O365 application.
I accidentally deleted a file in O365. How do I retrieve the file?
Check your recycle bin and second stage recycle bin in your OneDrive online portal.
I'm a visitor or I don't have a University of Waterloo O365 account.
Authenticate with your personal Microsoft account or contact your IT service desk for more help
Outlook is being slow and unresponsive after creating a new email, looking at calendar events, etc.
Disable hardware graphic acceleration: File > Options > Advanced, under the Display section, make sure the 'disable hardware graphics acceleration' is selected. Note: this has already been done for IST managed workstations.
Skype for Business is not auto-starting.
In Skype for Business, select Settings > Personal, make sure the ‘Automatically start the app when I log on to Windows’ option is selected. In addition, open Task Manager > Startup and make sure Skype for Business is listed and enabled.
I am not able to view comments in a shared document.
Make sure all users editing the document are using the same version of Office. There may be minor problems between users collaborating and using different versions of desktop Office suites (such as Office 2016 and Office 365 ProPlus). Some features may not exist in an older version of Office or may be implemented in a new way. If the same desktop version cannot be used and problems occur, we recommend using Office Online (web version) available in O365.
What is Office 365 ProPlus?
Office 365 ProPlus is the version of Office that is available through Office 365 (O365). ProPlus includes applications such as Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Skype for Business, and Word. You can use these applications to connect with Office 365 services such as SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Skype for Business Online.
Is Office 365 a cloud service with OneDrive?
Microsoft has reused the name Office 365 to refer to their cloud services including OneDrive. For clarity in this FAQ, we will refer to the cloud service as O365, and the Office desktop applications (Word/Excel/PowePoint/etc) as Office 365 ProPlus.
How do I get started with Office 365 ProPlus?
Contact your IT support team for information on how to have Office 365 ProPlus installed on your computer.
- You will require an active Office 365 account.
- Office 365 ProPlus SEW courses will be available for all faculty and staff, starting in the Fall 2019 term. There are also online resources such as LinkedIn Learning, Office 365 Training Center and What’s New in Office 365.
- Information on the current versions is available in the knowledge base.
What is the difference between downloading direct from Microsoft vs. SCCM install (managed computers)?
IST and some faculties will be deploying Office 365 ProPlus 64-bit via SCCM (on managed computers) in the near future. The managed version is tailored for uWaterloo’s faculty and staff with scheduled monthly updates.
The downloadable version from portal.office.com will have Microsoft's default settings, and may be 32 or 64 bit. Updates will happen on Microsoft's schedule. This is only recommended for home, and unmanaged computers.
What if I use a shared account on a departmental laptop?
Office 365 ProPlus will work as long as you are logged in with a Nexus account. If you use a generic account, you can request to either keep Office 2016 or install Office 2019 on the laptop. Please contact your local IT support for advice on the best approach to use Office on a shared laptop.
Why do my Office applications/icons look different after an update?
Some user interface changes may occur during the monthly Office 365 ProPlus update.
Do I need to be connected to the Internet to use Office 365 ProPlus?
No, Office 365 ProPlus can be used offline. However, you need to be connected to the Internet the first time you run any office application for the initial authentication. After that, you will need to connect to the Internet at least once every 30 days to renew the token (done automatically once connected). If O365 fails to renew the token, it will enter reduced functionality read-only state.
What happens if I leave the University of Waterloo? Would I still have access to O365 services including Office 365 ProPlus?
Microsoft Teams disappeared from my computer after switching to Office 365 ProPlus. How do I regain access to Teams?
Log off and/or restart your computer and log back in.
Outlook/Office 365 ProPlus applications keep crashing/not responding.
If your Office 365 ProPlus applications are crashing, troubleshoot using the Software Center: click on the Windows Start menu > Software Center > select Licensed – Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus > click Repair. All of the Office 365 ProPlus applications can be repaired using the Software Center. If the issue persists, please contact your local IT support for further assistance.
Note: All associated Microsoft Office software (i.e. Visio, Project) will be re-installed using this method.
Why isn't AutoSave enabled?
AutoSave in Office 365 ProPlus has two meanings. When using O365 OneDrive AutoSave does a real-time save as you edit Office files, and this option is visible as the AutoSave toggle in the upper left. When saving to another location (local drive or SharePoint) Office 365 ProPlus provides a timed automatic save, and the AutoSave toggle in the upper left will not be available.
ProPlus is displaying errors and not functioning properly.
Try an Office 365 ProPlus Quick Repair. Open Control Panel > Programs and Features and look for Office 365 ProPlus; select the Change button. This will prompt you to select a Quick Repair. For managed workstations, if Quick Repair doesn't work, submit a request to email@example.com (or submit a request using the general RT form) to request assistance.
I am getting a ‘problem activating shared token’ or ‘unlicensed’ error.
Try an Office 365 ProPlus Quick Repair. Open Control Panel -> programs and features and look for Office 365 ProPlus; select the Change button. This will prompt you to select a Quick Repair. For managed workstations, if Quick Repair doesn't work submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org (or general rt form) to request assistance.
After the Office 365 ProPlus update, Outlook 365 crashes when I click on a shared mailbox or when I use the search function.
Click File > Options > Add-in, go to COM Add-ins, and uncheck 'Microsoft Teams Meeting add-in for Microsoft office'.
Where can I get help with my OneDrive account?
Additionally, please refer to the Microsoft Office OneDrive help page.
Can academic work be shared between professors and students?
Sharing files with students is possible but please be aware of the General principles section on the Guidelines for Cloud-Based Educational Technologies document. LEARN is the preferred method to share academic work; auditing file logs are possible in LEARN but not OneDrive.
Please see How do I share files using OneDrive?
Can I co-author a document?
Yes, you can real-time co-author documents with your colleagues. See the Microsoft documentation on how to share the document and invite others to edit it with you.
Can I share files with off-campus users?
Office 365 allows file sharing with off-campus (external) users. Please see How do I share files using OneDrive?
Is OneDrive a replacement for the N: drive?
No, OneDrive is not intended as a replacement for your UWaterloo N: (home) drive. If you need to save highly confidential information, it is not recommended to save these files/data on the OneDrive.
Expectation of privacy
Expectation of use
- Use of this service is governed by the Guidelines on use of Waterloo computing and network resources.
- This service shall not be used for the storage or transmission of Highly Restricted data as defined by University Policy 46, Information Management.
- Data stored in this service are subject to Microsoft data retention policies which may change from time to time. There is no capability to restore deleted data beyond the user-accessible facilities (e.g. versions and recycle bin) provided by Microsoft.
- Users of this service are expected to exercise the utmost care when sharing files, e.g. verify spelling of names and email addresses.
Can I use O365 or Teams to store and/or share restricted or highly restricted data?
Please see the Guidelines for secure data exchange at https://uwaterloo.ca/information-systems-technology/about/policies-standards-and-guidelines/security/guidelines-secure-data-exchange-choosing-information.
When saving files from Office 2016 on my work computer, in addition to my regular drives, I am given the option to "Save As" 'OneDrive', 'Sites-University of Waterloo' or 'SharePoint'. Which should I use?
When saving to ‘OneDrive’, you are saving to your Office 365 account. When saving to ‘SharePoint’, you are given the option to save to a recently used University of Waterloo (on premise) SharePoint site on which you have edit permissions. If you try to save to ‘Sites-University of Waterloo’ you will see an ‘UPLOAD FAILED’ error since this saves to a Shared space where all staff/faculty using Office 365 would see your file.
What are the recommendations for OneDrive vs Dropbox and other apps and services for file sharing?
IST's recommendation is to use the supported Microsoft Services.
How can I transfer files from my undergraduate OneDrive account to a secondary account (personal, staff, faculty, graduate student, etc.)?
- Log in to the desktop version of OneDrive using your undergraduate account (@edu.uwaterloo.ca).
- See our OneDrive guide.
- Log in to the web-based version of OneDrive using your secondary account (staff, faculty, graduate student, personal, etc.) at onedrive.live.com.
- Select all files from your desktop OneDrive folder and drag them into the web-based version.
- Keep your web browser open until the sync completes.
- Log in to the desktop version of OneDrive using both accounts. (See OneDrive guide for adding a second account.)
- Drag and drop files from your undergraduate folder, to your secondary folder.
- Allow time for OneDrive to sync.
What is the maximum file size that can be uploaded to O365 and Teams?
|Application||Maximum File Size|
|Microsoft Teams||15 GB|
How much storage is on the Microsoft Teams OneDrive?
The Microsoft Teams OneDrive has 25 TB of storage.
What is my email address?
Office 365 email addresses are in the form email@example.com.
Can I have a "friendly" email address?
You can select a 'friendly' email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) by updating your profile WatIAM.
Instructions to create a friendly email address:
- Once you sign in to WatIAM, select "Manage Familiar Name".
- You can change choose your "familiar name" to whatever you would like as shown below:
- Select “Submit” to save your “Familiar Name”.
- Select "Manage Email Settings"
- Select your friendly email address, and select “Submit”.
Can I change my Office 365 display name?
Yes. However, you need to change your familiar name in WatIAM. The familiar name change will be reflected in your Office 365 account.
- Go to WatIAM
- Select "Manage Familiar Name".
- Enter your familiar name
- Click Submit
Can I send from address userID@uwaterloo.ca?
No, emails sent from an Office 365 account will come from an @edu.uwaterloo.ca address.
Can I receive email sent to me at userID@uwaterloo.ca?
Yes, email sent to your @uwaterloo.ca address will be forwarded to your Office 365 address throughout your undergraduate career, plus 16 months after the last day of your last academic term registered. Email forwarding will be disabled at that time, but senders will still receive a bounce back message instructing them to email the recipient using their new address. It has yet to be determined how long this bounce back message will remain in place.
Can I forward email from Office 365 to a different, preferred account?
Yes. See these steps for forwarding email from your student Office 365 account.
If I delete an email, can I get it back?
Please refer to information on recovering deleted items or email in Outlook Web App.
Why is my Office 365 account asking for remote security administration access on my device?
When setting up your new Office 365 email account on your Android device you should be aware that if you use the ActiveSync method, it asks you to allow the following:
"Remote Security Administration: The server outlook.office365.com requires that you allow it to remotely control some security features of your Android device. Do you want to finish setting up this account?"
I'm receiving spam messages. How do I manage this?
Why can't I use email or calendar in Office 365?
Faculty, staff and graduate students will continue to use Connect for email and calendar.
I have an @edu.uwaterloo.ca account but am now staff, faculty, or a grad student. Which email account do I use?
Undergraduate students who have an @edu.uwaterloo.ca email but are now either staff, faculty or a graduate student can create an inbox rule within O365 to forward email to their new email@example.com email account, if they prefer to use only one email account. Faculty, staff and graduate students must use their Connect email account for University business.
How is Office 365 security controlled?
Office 365 physical and logical security is managed by Microsoft and their service and data center staff. UWaterloo manages the authentication and login credentials. Microsoft is the hosting service and does not get user IDs and passwords. UWaterloo has administrator access to our instance of Office 365. The University is the service provider to the community and we control our data.
Do we give Microsoft our login credentials?
No. Users gain access to Office 365 by logging on to our standard University web login screens. When a user wants to access email, Office 365 sends a request to the University’s authentication system (CAS) asking for UWaterloo credentials. This takes the user to the University’s web login screen, on equipment hosted by the University. When log in is successful, a token is sent back to Office 365 that verifies the user’s identity. This is part of the separation of duties designed to better protect the privacy and confidentiality of community members.
Are Office 365 tools exposed to external surveillance?
In our digital world, most forms of communication are potentially exposed to electronic surveillance regardless of where they are hosted. Microsoft has stated that they do not provide back doors to their servers to governmental agencies. The University’s instance of Office 365 is fully hosted on Canadian servers.
Is multi-factor authentication available for Office 365 apps?
Yes, two-factor authentication (2FA) is currently available via opt-in for web-based logins only.