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Cornell University

Office 365 ProPlus for Cornell Employees

Microsoft's suite of office productivity applications

This article applies to: Software Licensing

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All current Cornell faculty and staff have access to the latest version of Microsoft Office for Cornell business use on Cornell-owned computers. The license remains active until you leave the university. (Alumni and retirees are not eligible.) At that point, you'll be prompted to pay a license fee to Microsoft or stop using Microsoft Office.

Cornell's Office 365 licenses for faculty and staff come in two flavors: A1 and A3.

  • A1: 50GB mailbox quota, can use Office Online apps (cannot download apps)
    Sign in at for quick access to the online apps; they appear in the left column.
  • A3: 100GB mailbox quota, ability to administer MS Bookings sites, can download and install MS Office apps on computers used for Cornell business.

Faculty and staff with regular NetIDs (including affiliates, sponsored, or temporary) receive A1 licenses. If you have a business need, you can request an A3 license; see below.

To find out which license you have:

  1. Go to
  2. Select Subscriptions in the left-hand column.
  3. You will then see your Office 365 license (A1 or A3).

If you are unable to access the portal, and aren't sure whether you have an A1 or an A3 license, please contact the IT Service Desk, and they will be able to tell you.

If you have an A1 license and believe you have a business reason to receive an A3 license, see our A3 License Request article. The justifications for an A3 license are if you need one of the following for Cornell business purposes:

  • larger mailbox
  • ability to administer a Bookings site
  • downloaded apps (rather than use the online versions available to everyone)

Install Microsoft 365 for Desktop on Cornell-Managed Computers

If your Cornell-owned computer is managed by your department's IT support staff, please work with them to obtain Microsoft 365 software. Most Cornell employees do not have sufficient access rights to install software on their Cornell-provided computers. Your department can install a version of Microsoft 365 for Desktop on a Cornell-managed computer regardless of which license you have.

Install Microsoft 365 for Desktop on Self-Managed Computers (Self-Owned or Cornell-Owned)

If you are a Microsoft 365 A1 licensee with a computer that you manage yourself, whether a Cornell-provided or personally-owned, you can use the Office Online apps; no installing necessary.

If you are a Microsoft 365 A3 licensee with a computer that you manage yourself, whether a Cornell-provided or personally-owned, please see Microsoft's Install Microsoft 365 page for installation instructions.

If you have an earlier version of Microsoft Office installed, you should uninstall it first.

Using Microsoft 365 Desktop Apps on Personally-Owned Computers

An A3 license allows you to install the Desktop Apps onto personally-owned computers, with the following limitations:

  • Your Microsoft 365 A3 license is a personal license assigned to you. You may not allow other individuals to use your Cornell-licensed Microsoft applications, including family members.
  • Do not download any documents with sensitive university information onto a personally-owned computer (as per University Policy 5.10, Information Security). You can store such documents in your OneDrive space.
  • You may use your Cornell-provided Microsoft applications for personal matters, but you may not use Cornell-provided software for any external business or commercial use.
Use it at least once a month
To keep your free license activated, you need to launch at least one Office application (Excel, Word, Outlook, etc.) at least once every 30 days on each device.
Learn more about keeping your license activated.


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