Office 365

Microsoft Office at Wellesley College

If your question about an Office 365 personal license or installation issue is not answered here, reach out to our vendor using their contact information at the bottom of this page.

Summer 2020: Office 365 is transitioning to a new name: Microsoft 365 Apps for Education

College-owned computers are fully licensed for Office 2019.

Who can install it? Who can't?

What's included? How do I install/renew it?

Office documents read-only? Renew! Log in!

How do I get my Office password reset?

What about Office Online?

My Mac won't let me renew (or launch the software on Big Sur)

I still need help!

Who can install MS Office on their personal device(s)?

  • Faculty and staff who have a college-owned computer assigned to you (i.e., not a shared computer)
  • Enrolled students

What does the personal MS Office give you?

  • Full computer installation of latest versions of Office for Mac or Windows PC (as of May 2020, that is Office 2019)
  • One-year subscription for Office 365 Online
    • full access to mobile apps
    • full access to Office via web browser
  • See the Frequently Asked Questions
  • Please use your Wellesley email address when you subscribe, and keep in mind that you may have to download the full version of Excel to your Windows or Mac computer to be able to use some features; see steps below for help installing the full version

Can't everyone get Office Online for free now?

There is a free-to-everyone version of Office Online with limited capability (for Excel, for example). The free subscription available through the College is different, as it allows you to install the actual software (like Excel) on your devices.

Retirees, union staff using shared computers, alums and others who are no longer employees or students here have many options, including:

  • Purchasing Microsoft Office from any reputable software store
  • Using free options like
    • the limited Office Online mentioned above
    • Google Docs and Sheets, which alums and some retirees have through the College (if you have retained your Wellesley email, that is your Wellesley Google account)
    • Google Docs and Sheets, using a different gmail account (i.e., one not through Wellesley)

How to get (or renew) Office for your personally-owned device and the web:

Whether you need to set up your free subscription to Microsoft Office 365 or renew it after it's been a year, here are the instructions you need for your personally-owned devices.

(For College-owned devices, you are welcome to use one of your personal licenses, but typically an upgrade is coordinated via the Help Desk.)

Already renewed recently? Skip to Step 3 to log in (especially if you reset your MS Office password when you renewed).

  1. Log in to MyWellesley and click on Software Store in the Administrivia tab.
  2. Follow the instructions on the screen to "purchase" your free Office 365 ProPlus annual subscription license and get your initial, temporary Office 365 Portal password

    Please note:

    The temporary Office portal password you receive with your initial purchase may continue to show here in the Software Store. This becomes obsolete as soon as you log in the first time to the Office Portal and change that password yourself. See below if you have forgotten your Office Portal password.

    You will need to "purchase" the free subscription again after a year to keep it valid, as long as you continue to be an active student, faculty or staff member of Wellesley College

    After receiving a warning that your subscription expires soon, note the date. You need to wait to renew until that date. If you need to renew sooner, contact the vendor (information at the bottom of this web page) and they can force the expiration so you can renew early.

    This subscription version of Office should only be installed on devices that have internet connectivity at least once every 30 days to keep the license valid.  (Faculty and staff can pick a different MS Office for a small fee in the Software Store if the internet connectivity is an issue.) 

  3. With a valid new or renewed subscription, log in to Microsoft Word (if it's already installed) or to the Microsoft Portal for Office online as well as installers for your personal computers. 
  4. Click Install Office in the upper right corner to download the full version of Office for the type of computer you are currently using. (You can do this on up to 5 devices, such as Mac and Windows computers.)
    For a new subscription, create a password for this account and note it in whatever secure password manager you use. (Can't find the initial temporary password? Go through the password reset below.)
    For a renewal, if you can't find the password from a year ago, see how to get an immediate password reset below.
    See Microsoft's "getting started" information for Office Online.

For Microsoft Office Portal password resets
(note: this is not synced with your password for the Software Store, which you log in to using your Wellesley account via MyWellesley, though some people do set this password to be the same):

  1. ​Try to log in to the Microsoft portal
  2. If you have trouble with the web page, try a different browser; Microsoft sites often work best with Firefox
  3. Can't figure out the password you set up (likely a year ago)? 
    Contact the vendor M-F 6am-6pm at 855-561-4160. Note: Select the last option when you call, for "everything else," rather than the "forgot password" option, which just has instructions you've already followed.
    (Alternatively, you can email

To reiterate: this password is not currently tied to your Wellesley College accounts directly; it is an account managed by our Software Store for Microsoft products (Kivuto / On the Hub).
The vendor had an automated script for changing the password immediately, but this is no longer functioning, and we are working with the vendor to provide improved password support as soon as possible. 

On a Mac that won't let you use your renewed licensing, or using macOS 10.15 and newer?

If you've had MS Office installed and are trying to do the annual renewal on your Mac computer, you may run into an issue where the new login will not work. See if this solution to remove licensing helps.

You may also have a problem using Microsoft Word and other Office software using 10.15 and newer: the usual solution for this would be to check System Preferences, Security & Privacy, Privacy, then check that Word and other Office programs have Full Disk Access.

Still need help?

If the information on this page does not resolve an issue you're having

...for accessing your free Microsoft Office:

M-F 6am-6pm at 855-561-4160. Note: Select the last option when you call, for "everything else," rather than the "forgot password" option, which just has instructions you've already followed.

Alternatively, you can email

...for other support using the Software Store: