Frequently asked questions about Office 365

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This list of frequently asked questions about Office 365 was gathered by Winona State University Information Technology Services staff from students and employees. The list is checked regularly and modified as needed. Please direct suggestions for additional questions to the Technical Support Center (, 507-457-5240, Somsen Hall 207).


Does Office 365 support multi-factor authentication?

Yes. All Winona State University students and faculty are strongly encouraged to enable MFA on their Office 365 account and any other account that offers it. It is a requirement for all Winona State University staff members and is the best way to prevent someone who steals your StarID password from accessing your Office 365 account.

Is Office 365 the same as Office?

Office 365 is the new brand name for what used to be called Office, but it's much more than that. Office 365 represents the evolution of the Office line of personal productivity tools into an integrated, cloud-based ecosystem for supporting all aspects of the organization. With Office 365, you can still have powerful versions of familiar tools like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel installed on your laptop or desktop, but they are all connected through a set of web services that also provides file storage in the cloud, online versions of your favorite applications, and new online tools and mobile apps that move with you. With Office 365, Microsoft has turned the old Office into a highly collaborative, always ready, mobile-friendly Office for today's online workplace.

I used Office 365 at another school. Is this the same?

All Minnesota State schools are covered under the same Office 365 license. If you used Office 365 at another Minnesota State school recently, the services offered through Winona State University are the same. If you used an older version of Office at another Minnesota State school some time ago,

What's the Office 365 web portal and why would I use it?

The Office 365 web portal provides you with access to the Outlook Online, a popular tool for checking your campus email. You can also access your OneDrive file storage, online versions of Office applications, and other online services. Finally, you can install desktop versions of Office applications from the web portal and edit your Office 365 settings.

Why are there applications on the web portal that aren't installed on my computer?

Some Office 365 applications do not have desktop versions and are designed to be used online and through mobile apps exclusively. This includes such tools as Sway, Forms, Flow, SharePoint, and Bookings.

Can I install Office 365 applications on my personally-owned computer?

Yes. You can install the desktop versions of Office 365 applications on up to five computers.

How do I check my Winona State University email?

Outlook is the email management tool supported by Winona State University. The desktop version comes pre-installed on all Winona State University laptops and desktops. You can also access your email using a browser and the online version of Outlook from your Office 365 web portal. Finally, Winona State University Information Technology Services strongly recommends using the Outlook app for accessing your university email on your Android and iOS mobile devices.

Can I use my Winona State University Office 365 account when I leave the university?

Winona State University students can continue to access their Office 365 accounts for a full semester after leaving the university. Retirees with Emeriti status have continuous access to their Office 365 accounts. All others lose access immediately following their departure.

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