Skip to main content

Cornell University

Tools for Working Remotely

Whether for personal reasons (illness, family care, etc.) or broader situations (pandemic, severe weather, etc.), you may need to be able to conduct your work from remote locations. This article summarizes how university IT services can help with that.

On This Page

If you need to work from home, IT@Cornell can help.


If possible, do your work from a university-owned computer. If you need to use a personally owned device, take steps to ensure its security. You can install Microsoft Office applications for free on your personally owned device.

Internet and cell phone coverage

Assess whether your internet plan or cell phone plan is the right size for what you and others in your home need to do online. You may need to upgrade to a higher level of service.

Teach and learn remotely

Faculty: See the Center for Teaching Innovation's Introduction to Online Teaching Tools and the university's information for faculty.

Students: See the Learning Strategies Center's Learning Online Resource Videos and the university's information for students.

Library resources: See the guide to Off Campus Access.

CU Print: When you're away from campus, you'll need to connect to Cornell VPN first, and then you'll be able to use a CU Print printer.

Online training:

Participate in meetings and collaborate

  • Zoom provides audio and audio/video conferencing with screen-sharing and text chat features, especially for small and large groups.
  • Microsoft Teams brings together chat, video or audio calls, meetings, document collaboration and review, and more, all in one place.
  • Slack provides real-time chat with discussion and media sharing. Slack is not officially supported by CIT, but we recognize that it is used broadly.

Share files and documents

  • Cornell Box provides great flexibility on sharing and managing files, available to faculty, staff, and students.
  • Cornell G Suite (students, faculty, and staff) includes Google Drive, where you can store and share files.
  • Microsoft Office includes OneDrive and Teams.
  • Cornell's Secure File Transfer service lets you securely send and receive files that contain confidential and restricted information.

Answer your office phone remotely

My Extension Everywhere can automatically forward your office calls to any other phone. Please note that the standard one-time charge and monthly fee for this service are being temporarily waived as part of Cornell's response to COVID-19.

Access your work files from anywhere

You may find that you need files that are stored on a computer on campus. If your unit or department has deployed Code42 backup and restore software (you will need to ask your department's IT or computer support staff), you can use it to get a copy of any file on your computer. See our Code42 Install article and our Get Your Files Overview article.

Log on to restricted services

A small number of restricted services can only be accessed if you're connecting from a Cornell network. When you're away from campus, you'll need to connect to Cornell VPN first, and then you'll be able to connect to those services. You can use most of Cornell's IT services without Cornell VPN.

Here's a short list of services that require Cornell VPN when you're connecting from your home network (or other non-Cornell networks):

In addition, some department systems may require Cornell VPN when you're off-campus. Your department's IT or computer support staff can tell you if any systems have that requirement.

Support Contact:

Cornell IT Service Desk

Normal Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm (Eastern Time)
Emergency Service Disruptions: After Hours Support


To share feedback about this page or request support, log in with your NetID

At Cornell we value your privacy. To view
our university's privacy practices, including
information use and third parties, visit University Privacy.