Microsoft 365 FAQ

Last modified 9/20/2023

This article provides answers to frequently asked questions about Illinois State University’s implementation of Microsoft (Office) 365.

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based Microsoft productivity suite that provides access to Microsoft services and software. You can access Microsoft 365 through a web browser, email software like Outlook or Thunderbird, or a mobile device.

How do I access Microsoft 365?

You can access Microsoft 365 by navigating to and logging in with your Illinois State email address (e.g., and password. All students, faculty, staff, and annuitants at Illinois State have access to Microsoft 365. For more information, see Logging in to Microsoft 365.

What’s included in Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 features are online tools and applications that Microsoft makes available via the Microsoft 365 web portal. Microsoft is continually updating, and adding features available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.

For more information about each feature, please refer to the “Microsoft Support” website at

Students, faculty, staff and annuitants currently have access to the following apps:

  • Mail, Calendar, People (Contacts), OneDrive for Business, Tasks, Delve, Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online, OneNote Online, and Sway.

For a complete list of features, and what is available to users, please refer to, sign in with your ISU email and password. Once here, you may need to click 'View all Apps' to see all available applications.

For more information, see Microsoft 365.

Do I use Microsoft 365 for email?

Illinois State University’s Microsoft 365 Email can be accessed through the web, via an email client (such as Microsoft Outlook), as well on mobile devices. Microsoft 365 email is the primary campus email and calendaring service.

Does Microsoft 365 work on MacOS?

Yes. Accessing Microsoft 365 will work with any supported browser on MacOS.

What’s the difference between Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365?

Microsoft Office is a productivity suite that includes common desktop applications like Word and Excel. "Microsoft 365” refers to a subscription-based service that includes access to Microsoft Office applications as well as other services that are enabled over the Internet, such as OneDrive, Mail, Project, etc. Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based service that allows access to these features from anywhere and from many devices.

What is Office Online?

Office Online is an online Microsoft Office suite which allows you to create and edit files using web-based versions of Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint. Office Online provides “lightweight” versions of Microsoft Office, which means that only the most-used features are available.

What version of Microsoft Office is available for Windows and MacOS?

The latest version for Windows is Microsoft Office 2016, which includes Word 2016, PowerPoint 2016, Excel 2016, Outlook 2016, OneNote 2016, Access 2016, Publisher 2016, and InfoPath 2016.

The latest version for MacOS is Microsoft Office 2016, which includes Word 2016, Excel 2016, PowerPoint 2016, OneNote 2016 and Outlook 2016. Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac requires MacOS 10.13.6 (or higher).

Can I upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Office?

The Microsoft Office installation from Microsoft 365 will not replace or upgrade any existing versions of Microsoft Office already on your computer. While it is possible to run more than one version of Microsoft Office at the same time, the Technology Support Center recommends that you uninstall your existing version of Microsoft Office before installing the latest version of Microsoft Office to avoid technical issues that may arise from having more than one version installed. For more information, see:  Uninstalling Microsoft Office

Should I install the latest version of Microsoft Office if I already have a version of Microsoft Office on my computer?

It depends. Installing Microsoft Office from Microsoft 365 is a personal choice, and there are reasons why you may or may not want to download and install it.

Do I need Microsoft Office to use the other Office 365 features like OneDrive or Office Online?

No. If you have Microsoft Microsoft 365 ProPlus installed, you can save files directly from Office applications to your OneDrive library. However, you do not need Microsoft Office to use OneDrive or Office Online.

Can I share my Microsoft Office downloads with others?

No. The Microsoft 365 license that is applied to your account grants you (and only you) access to Microsoft 365 resources, including the download and installation of Microsoft Office. You cannot transfer or share this license with others.

Will I still have access to Microsoft Office after I leave Illinois State?

If you are an Annuitant retiree, you will retain your access to Microsoft 365 email and calendaring services, as well as to Office Online, but you will not retain the ability to download Microsoft Office to your personal devices once you have left Illinois State University. Instead, you will have access to Microsoft Office Online, which has all of the applications of the Microsoft Office 365 suite you were able to access as an employee. The only thing that changes is how you access these applications. Accessing Microsoft 365 online can be done by opening a web browser (i.e., Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox, etc.) and navigating to and signing in with your full ISU email address and password. For more information, see: Office Online.

For all other students, faculty, and staff, your subscription to Microsoft 365, including Microsoft Office, is contingent on your association with Illinois State University.

After you leave Illinois State, your Microsoft 365 subscription, including Microsoft Office, will expire after approximately 1 year. At that point, you could reinstall your previous version of Microsoft Office or purchase a new version. If you want to reinstall your previous version, you will need your product key. 

For more information on your Product Key, see: Identifying your Microsoft Office Product Key.

Will I be able to purchase Microsoft Office or Microsoft 365 when I leave Illinois State?

Yes. You can purchase Microsoft Office or Microsoft 365 when you leave Illinois State University, but due to your separation from Illinois State, educational discounts may be unavailable. Microsoft Office can be purchased at most retail consumer electronics stores. For more information, visit

Can I use Microsoft 365 on my mobile device?

Yes. Microsoft 365 can be used on iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone devices. For more information, see Downloading and Configuring the Outlook App for Mobile Devices.

How do I set up my mobile device to access my Microsoft 365 account?

Each mobile device has instructions for setup. For more information, see Downloading and Configuring the Outlook App for Mobile Devices.

Does Microsoft 365 allow me to get Microsoft Office for iPad for free?

You can view, create, and edit documents with touch-friendly Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps on your iPad. You can download and use these apps on your iPad for free with a valid Microsoft Microsoft 365 account.

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