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Microsoft Office Applications for Cornell Employees

This article applies to: Software Licensing

All employees at Cornell University can expect to be provided with the software needed to perform their job duties when using Cornell-provided computers. Exactly which services are available varies by college and administrative unit. Please work with your supervisor and/or your department's local Technical Support Provider (TSP) to obtain access to the software you need to perform your job.

For more information about using Microsoft Office applications on Cornell-owned computers, please see Office 365 for Faculty and Staff.

If you need to use office productivity software (such as Microsoft Office) for university business purposes on a device that is your personal property, here are some options:

Microsoft 365 Online Apps

  • Eligibility: All Cornell employees
  • Supported OS: Any; accessible via a web browser
  • More Info: Office 365 Online Apps 

Microsoft 365 Online Apps are web-based versions of Office applications that you can use from any computer. This includes online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and several others. You can use Microsoft 365 Online Apps to view and edit any files in your Microsoft OneDrive account, and can easily transfer files between your OneDrive account and your desktop.

Microsoft 365 Mobile Apps

The Microsoft 365 Mobile Apps for Android and iOS provides access to all of the documents in your OneDrive account and allows you to view and edit them within the app.

Microsoft 365 for Desktop

Eligible full-time employees with a Microsoft 365 A3 license may install Office 365 desktop applications onto a personally-owned computer. You can use your OneDrive account to easily synchronize your files between your personal and Cornell-provided computers. Your A3 license allows personal use of this software, but you may not use Cornell-provided software for any non-Cornell business or commercial activities. Please be aware that your university license to use Microsoft 365 for Desktop applications only applies to you, not to anyone else who may have access to your personally-owned computer.

Google Workspace for Education

To support collaboration with Cornell students and colleagues at other institutions, Cornell employees may obtain Google Workspace accounts. This service provides access to Google Docs, which can upload, read, and edit files created in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Files can also be saved in Microsoft-compatible formats.

Options for Personal Use

We are providing this personal use information as a courtesy to the Cornell community. The following products and services are NOT provided by Cornell University and are NOT SUPPORTED by the IT Service Desk. If you require support for a service you have obtained from a third party for use on your personally-owned computer, please contact the respective manufacturer's customer service department.

Cornell employees who wish to use office productivity software compatible with Microsoft Office on their personally-owned computers for personal use have options including the following.

Microsoft 365 Workplace Discount Program

Cornell personnel are eligible to purchase personal annual subscriptions to Microsoft 365 for Desktop at a 30% discount from standard retail. To take advantage of this service, you will need to register your Cornell email address as a personal Microsoft account, using an independent password that's stored at Microsoft. DO NOT USE THE SAME PASSWORD THAT YOU USE WITH YOUR NetID. Please be advised that this version of Microsoft 365 is intended for your personal and family use, and will not automatically synchronize with your Cornell email or OneDrive accounts.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a free, web-based office productivity suite that can open most Microsoft Office files and can save files in Office-compatible formats.


LibreOffice is a suite of free, open-source office productivity applications for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux desktop. LibreOffice applications can open and edit files in most Microsoft Office formats and can save files in those formats.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Friday, April 28, 2023 - 11:16am

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