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SUNY Potsdam uses Microsoft Office 365 as our standard calendar, email, and collaboration solution.

A full suite of on-line tools is available by visiting:

Applications are available for macOS and Windows, however we recommend using the web portal for a more consistent and feature rich experience.

Best Practices for a smooth O365 Experience

Office 365 (O365) is first and foremost designed to be used from a web-browser via the portal. While many clients exist, and certainly can be used, a best practice for O365 is to setup and maintain items from the web interface, and let those items "filter down" to the clients.  Some of the most used items that are best done this way are:

  • Automatic Replies
  • Calendar Sharing (initial setup and giving access)
  • Email Rules
  • Signatures
  • Templates

The following items should only be done with the web for the best experience:

  • Contact lists: these lists are best maintained on the web. Contact lists do not (yet) filter down to clients. Additionally, any client with locally saved contact lists will likely lose them if the account needs to be deleted and re-added.

General FAQs

Q. Why does SUNY Potsdam use Office365?
A. O365 provides numerous advantages for our campus:

  • It is available for free to higher education institutions, saving the campus money on hardware and utility costs.
  • The comprehensive set of cloud-based tools and services facilitate collaboration, web-based access, and cloud storage.
  •  The web-based tools tightly integrate with the Microsoft products already deployed on campus, providing a seamless user experience.
  • The service is fully compliant with the various federal, state, and SUNY security requirements.

Q. I installed the Desktop apps for O365 and they are telling me "Editing is not supported"?
A1. The first time you use any of the apps you will need to sign-in with your SUNY Potsdam e-mail and password in order to use them. Learn how to sign-in to Office with specific instructions for your device here:
A2. Some faculty/staff accounts are limited to only the web versions of the Office apps. If you are unsure if you are in the group, contact the IT Service Desk for more information.

Q. I’m not seeing any new mail in my Apple Mail or Thunderbird or on my phone/tablet or I'm having an issue with a program that says it works with Office 365?
A. Microsoft Outlook is the only CTS-supported means of accessing your mail in O365.  It is available as an app for computers (Mac and Windows) and for Android and iOS (Apple) devices.

Q. I really like a different e-email and/or calendar program.  Can’t I still use that?
A. All campus computers will be configured to use only Outlook. No support will be provided for legacy clients nor will client settings from Thunderbird or Apple Mail be preserved in situations that require a re-image of the computer or a new computer is installed. For personally owned devices, Outlook is a free application for download so that you will have the same experience at home as you do with your campus computer.

Q. Is there a quota on O365?
A. Yes.  Users are limited to 50 Gigabytes of stored e-mail and attachments.

Q. I installed Outlook on my phone/tablet and it doesn’t work/won’t authenticate me, but my other Potsdam accounts seem to work.  Why?
A. You did not update your Campus Computer Account password when we asked you to in March of 2016.  You will need to do so before you can access O365.

Q.  Outlook on my phone/tablet authenticates me, but I don’t see any mail.  Why?
A.  The first time you connect it can take a few minutes for everything to synchronize with your device.  Be patient and check again in a few minutes.

Q. I have sensitive data in my mailbox. Will it be safe in Office 365?
A.  Yes, with caveats: All communication with Office 365 servers is encrypted, and Microsoft is compliant with all world class industry standards including ISO 27001, EU Model clauses, HIPAA BAA and FISMA, and this is verified by third party auditors. Also, SUNY mailbox content is always housed on servers in the United States. However, your mailboxes should only be considered secure if you are using the web-version of Outlook (OWA). Using an Outlook client/app on any device should be considered not-secure as the cached data is on the device itself. CTS recommends using OWA only. Further, any email sent to a address should also be considered insecure as it leaves our managed O365 servers for its final destination.

Microsoft Office for Personal Devices FAQs

Q: How much does this cost?
A: There is no cost to current SUNY Potsdam Employees or active students.

Q: I graduated from SUNY Potsdam.  Do I get ProPlus?
Q2: I am retired/emeritus/emerita.  Do I get ProPlus?

A: No.  ProPlus licenses are available only to active students and active employees.  Availability of ProPlus is subject to the provisions of the campus Campus Computer Account Retention Policy: .  Personal subscriptions to Office 365 are available:

Q: How do I get my copy of Microsoft Office?
A: There is an “Install Software” link available on the Office 365 login page ( ).  Detailed download and installation instructions are available from Microsoft:

Q: I am having trouble installing Office on my personal computer.  Will CTS help me?
A: CTS does not support or assist with the configuration of equipment not owned by SUNY Potsdam.  If you are having trouble using Microsoft Office on a campus-provided computer, please contact the IT Service Desk for assistance.

Q: Can I install Office on everything I own?   What if I have more than one computer?  Can I install it on my phone and my computer?
A:  Microsoft Office can be installed on as many devices as you wish, but it can only be activated on 5 devices at the same time.  More information about license activation and deactivation is available here:

Microsoft Office for Campus Owned Computers Info & FAQs

SUNY Potsdam has entered into a Microsoft Campus Agreement license, which eliminates the need to order individual MS Office and Windows desktop licenses each time a new college-owned computer is ordered. The license covers all faculty, staff, and lab computers campus wide and includes all versions of MS Office (existing and future) for both PC and Mac. For any computer that is funded under the Student Computer Lifecycle and Faculty Computer Lifecycle programs, there will be no need to process orders for MS Office or Windows. When new computers arrive, the IT Service Desk will install the software.

For new computers that are not funded through either of these two lifecycle programs, departments will be recharged $100 when a new computer is ordered by their department. Not only does this new license eliminate processing time but the purchase price combined (Office + OS) is less than what departments paid in the past. There will be no additional cost for any future upgrades and no charge to upgrade current versions of MS Office, Windows, or MacOS on existing college-owned faculty, staff, and lab computers.

Q: How do I request an upgrade to my installed copy of Office on my campus owned computer?
A: Visit and enter a ticket to request installation or e-mail with your request. Please note that any previous version of MS Office is removed in the upgrade process.

Q: My computer went into the IT Service Desk for service and came back to me with a newer version of the Operating System and/or Office, why?
A1: If your computer was returned to you with a newer Operating System and Office it was because your computer's Operating System was damaged and the computer needed to be re-imaged. The IT Service Desk maintains master images with only the latest Operating System and versions of Office.
A2: If your computer was returned with a new version of Office is it because as part of our standard service we ensure that each computer has the latest productivity software on it before it leaves our care.