Office 365 for Students FAQ

All active students with a valid CWL account.

Staff, Faculty, Extended Learning students, or students at affiliated colleges are not eligible for the software. However, staff and faculty who are also students may download and use the software if they qualify with the above requirements. A student who graduates, or is no longer an active UBC student, loses his/her legal right to use the software.

An active student is any student who meets either of the following two criteria:

  • They are registered in senate-approved academic courses in a current or upcoming term
  • They are a graduate student currently on recognized leave, or with a continuing status

Graduate students are able to install Office 365 if they are currently enrolled in any courses in a degree granting program. 

Staff members who are using tuition credit benefit to attend UBC courses also qualify as long as the course is a senate approved academic course and not a Extended Learning or Adult Learning Course. To install the software, login to with the CWL account that is associated with your UBC student ID.

Extended Learning students and students at affiliate colleges are not eligible for the software.

Students can obtain their subscription through our existing download service at Their new subscription will come with a new UBC-specific Office 365 account. Students will use that account to login at and download their product. Full installation instructions can be found here.

For the vast majority of eligible students, Office 365 will be downloadable with no issues. However, you may receive an error message that says: "This product is available only to certain user groups. To view the eligibility restrictions, click here". Before contacting support, ensure that you are eligible to download Office 365 (who is eligible?). If you are definitely eligible and still can't download the software, contact the UBC IT Help Desk.

Take a look through our knowledge base for more answers to issues that may occur with Office 365 installation.

If Office has been unable to retrieve a valid license from Microsoft's servers for 30 days, Office 365 will enter reduced functionality (read-only) mode. In this mode, you can open Office documents, but you will be unable to make or save changes. In the event this happens to you, simply re-connect your device to the internet and launch Office. Office will then check-in with Microsoft's servers and update the license on your device. If reduced functionality mode persists, your annual license may have expired and you will need to renew it at

The subscription expires annually and must be renewed on or after the date it was started.

Yes, you should get a notification when a full year has almost gone by. If you have not renewed the software, it will revert to read-only mode where you can still open files but cannot make any changes. The next time you launch the software, it will check-in with Microsoft's servers and update the license on your device.

Your download of Office 365 will expire one year after you installed it on your device. If you are still an active student at UBC, you can renew the software at You will go through the same order/checkout process that you did originally, and your license expiration date will be extended.

No, this service is strictly for Office 365.  Although we do not encourage it, students may sign up for a OneDrive or Dropbox account for use within the Office mobile applications.  This ensures that data is always securely available, regardless of the UBC Office 365 subscription status.

Office 365 can be installed on up to five devices. You can install Office 365 across most devices, as licenses are not tethered to the first platform a user activates. Please note that devices that have Office 365 installed on them must connect to the internet at least once every 30 days or the software will enter reduced functionality (i.e. read-only) mode.

  Windows 10 Windows 7/8 OSX 10.6+ iPad/iPhone Android Windows Phone
Word Yes Yes Yes Yes* Yes* Yes*
Excel Yes Yes Yes Yes* Yes* Yes*
PowerPoint Yes Yes Yes Yes* Yes* Yes*
Outlook Yes Yes Yes No No No
OneNote Yes Yes Yes* Yes* Yes* Yes*
Publisher Yes Yes No No No No
Access Yes Yes No No No No

* Some of these apps work only with Microsoft cloud services (SharePoint/OneDrive) or Dropbox, and do not support local file storage.

Please contact the IT Service Centre to have them reset your account password.

You can download and install the free mobile Office apps from the App Store (iOS), Google Play (Android), or Windows Phone Store (Windows Phone). You will then be prompted to sign in with their credentials the first time they launch the app.

Unfortunately, this is not possible with – it only presents the version of Office that is designed for the computer you are current using. If you want to download the Windows version, you must login from a Windows computer. Similarly, if you login from a computer running OSX, you will be presented with the OSX download options.

To re-download a copy of office, go to, login with your account, and click the Install button. There are no limits to the number of times you can download office, only on the number of devices you can have it installed on at the same time.

On computers running Windows 10, the new OneNote for Windows 10 app is the recommended version of OneNote. This version is pre-installed on most editions of Windows 10 and can be found by clicking OneNote on the Windows Start menu. However, the OneNote App from the Microsoft Store only works with OneNote files stored in Microsoft OneDrive so it may not be suitable or practical for all UBC students.

By default, Office 2019 and Office 365 will not automatically install the OneNote 2016 desktop version, but if you still need or prefer to use this version, you can download it separately and use it alongside your new Office 2019 apps.

See this Microsoft article for more information on this change, including links to download OneNote 2016 for Windows 10.