Computer Centre, IIT Kanpur

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur 

Q. What is (my) Microsoft Account? Why do I care?

Microsoft Account is a single sign-on account which connects all your Microsoft Apps and services. Just like your Google account is a single sign-on account for Google Drive, Gmail, Google Meet etc., your Microsoft Account is a single sign-on account for Exchange Online (mail), SharePoint, OneDrive, Microsoft 365 Apps and Teams etc. If you have been using the Office 365 services at IIT Kanpur since 2019 or later, your email id [ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ] is (one of) your Microsoft Account(s). Note that this is your Computer Centre account too. Your Microsoft account password need not be the same as your CC password. There are practically no restrictions for your MS Account password – it can be any combination of letters, numbers and (special) characters, including spaces. So your password can be a sentence of your choice – easy to remember yet complex to crack!

You can further strengthen your MS Account security by opting for MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication). Once you opt for this, you may choose any one or multiple MFA authentication methods [Authenticator App, Phone(call/text) or alternate Email]. Recommended option is Authenticator app, and/or Phone. We recommend installing Authenticator App on your mobile, and whenever you sign in on a new device, you will have to approve it on Authenticator.

The answer to the second part of the question will be evident once you read the entire document.

Q. What is a personal Microsoft Account and a “Work or School” Microsoft Account?

If you ever created Hotmail or or email account, it is your personal Microsoft Account. But this is not all. Anyone can create his/her personal Microsoft Account, which can be any email address, for example, your Gmail or Yahoo mail address too.

The url where you can create a Microsoft Account (personal) is:

“Work or School” Microsoft Account is administered by the institution of which the user is a member. Hence those who have their account created on the IITK subscription to Office 365 (details are provided on CC home page under Information link), have their IITK email address as their “Work or School” Microsoft Account. If you had already created a Microsoft Account with your IITK email address earlier than 2019, then that is your personal Microsoft Account. The same is also your ”School or Work” Microsoft Account. To distinguish between these two account types and to provide the subscribed services, the Microsoft service to which you login will prompt you with a dialog box asking whether you want to login to your personal account or Work or School Account. You need to choose the Work or School Account if you want to use the IITK provided office 365 facilities.

Q. What else does my Microsoft Account provide?

If you purchase a new laptop or PC, you will need to sign in with a Microsoft Account (it can be personal or “Work or School”). The corresponding MS account stores some vital information about the computer, including the Bit-locker key (in case it is a Windows Professional computer) This is very important. If your Windows crashes or the computer develops any problem, the hard disk will not be readable on any other computer unless you provide the correct 48-digit numerical password which would be stored in your Microsoft account (personal or “Work or School”). Note that if your new computer came with a preinstalled Office product, the license information would be saved in your MS account you use to login for the first time.

In case of personal MS account, the bit-locker key is accessible to the user on the MS account page ( on the devices tab. Similarly, any Office Product purchased along with your laptop will be visible under “services and subscriptions” tab.

Q. What are the best practices for Microsoft Account for faculty, staff and students of IITK?

It is recommended to always have a personal MS account and use this account as the first MS Account to sign in on a newly purchased computer, so that the settings specific to your personal computer and office products are always with you.

In order to use the Microsoft 365 services suite available to all faculty, students and staff at IIT Kanpur, you can sign-in to the office products using your “Work or School” Microsoft account.