Frequently Asked

Click a category to find users' most-asked questions.

I can't log in to MyMail. What should I do first?
  1. Reset your passphrase at
  2. Wait a few minutes, then log back in to your email at
  3. If that doesn't work, close your browser completely.
  4. Open a new browser session and log in to your email.
If you have a Hotmail or other mail service linked to your MyMail account, your browser may still be logged in to that account. A new browser session should correct this issue.
Can I use Office 365 applications when I'm offline?
You don't need to be connected to the Internet all the time to use Office desktop programs like Word and Excel.

However, you must log in to the Internet at least every 30 days for your Office 365 license to sync with Microsoft. Otherwise, your account will stop working.
How much space is available in my OneDrive?
OneDrive for Business folders are 1TB.
Does my mailbox account have a limit?
You have 50GB of mailbox space with your Office 365 account.
Where do I receive help?
Contact the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866/1.800.340.7081 or visit the Pirate Techs Student Computing Support Center nearest you.
What if email stops working on my mobile device?
In most cases, the best way to fix this is to delete the account from your phone and set it back up from scratch as an Exchange account. This applies to both Android and iOS devices.
Is my Office 365 subscription available to me after I graduate?
Your ECU Office 365 email and OneDrive storage automatically transfer to an alumni account one semester after graduation. However, your Office 365 download subscription expires.
I have a download for Skype for Business. Can I use this with my personal Skype contacts also?
Yes, you may use Skype for Business to contact your personal Skype contacts. You may also contact other ECU users by adding them as a contact and texting them.
How does my Office 365 subscription work?
Full-time employees and enrolled students are provided a Microsoft 365 subscription in effect until they graduate, retire or otherwise leave ECU. Alumni have a limited subscription that includes email and storage.

See the apps page for details.
Should I download Office 365 to the ECU desktop in my office?
There is nothing prohibiting this if you decide to do so. However, all ECU-owned computers include the current ECU software image which includes Office 2016.

To upgrade your ECU desktop to Office 2016 without using one of your five personal licenses, enter an IT service request to have your ECU computer Office version upgraded to 2016 or download the Office 2016 install from and do the upgrade yourself. Please note that is for ECU-purchased devices only.
Do I need to uninstall other versions of Microsoft Office?
What about work-at-home rules?
You are free to use your Office 365 install at home on your personal computers.
I have an account with ECU, but I am not an employee or enrolled student. Do I have an Office 365 subscription?
No, only enrolled students and full-time ECU employees have an Office 365 subscription.
What if I leave ECU? Will I still have Office 365 on my computer?
Office 365 is licensed for employees and enrolled students only. Once your ECU account is deactivated, your Office 365 desktop software no longer works. Documents saved to your computer become read-only.
Faculty and staff who retire or leave ECU lose their Office 365 subscription. Documents become read-only.
Graduating students retain email ( migrates to alumni system) and OneDrive cloud storage, which includes Office apps (the online version of Office 2016).
What if Microsoft comes out with a software upgrade? How do I upgrade my version of Office?
Office 365 software and security patches are now monthly downloads. Your computer updates in the background. This includes operating system upgrades and security updates.
Are the applications or experiences in Office 365 Office 2016 different than the ECU image version?
Office 365 subscriptions include all the same applications and user features as the Office 2016 image, but optimizes the installation and software updating process to be faster. Both versions work with or without a persistent connection to a network, both can be customized in the same ways, both run from the computer's hard drive and both use the same underlying code to run Office applications.
Will I be able to work offline with Office 365?
You don't need to be connected to the Internet all the time to use Office desktop programs like Word and Excel.

However, you must log in to the Internet at least once every 30 days for your Office 365 license to sync with Microsoft. Otherwise, your account will stop working until you sign in to your account online.
What if I need to install Office 365 applications on more than five computers?
You only have five licenses. Therefore, you must first deactivate one license before installing Office on a new computer. License management is done through the Office 365 settings screen.
How do I deactivate a license?
Your five Office licenses are managed from Settings. Each license you have installed is listed. To free up a license, click the deactivate link underneath one of the listed computers. You can now install Office on another computer. Remember that it no longer works on the original system, and all files are now read-only.
Where do I receive help?
Call the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081 or visit the Walk-in IT Help Desk nearest you.
Are retired faculty and staff eligible for Microsoft Office 365 from ECU?
No, only current employees are eligible for the Office 365 subscription.
What is OneDrive for Business?
A cloud storage folder that is part of your Office 365 subscription. Includes Office Online so that you can edit stored files and create new files from within OneDrive.
What are the benefits to using Office 365/OneDrive?
  • Automatic software updates
  • Office Online apps for quick edits
  • Ability to share files/folders with ECU and external users
  • Current 1TB of storage
  • Collaborative features (multiple editors, real-time)
  • Syncing with your local device
Who has access to OD4B cloud storage at ECU?
Alumni, faculty, staff, students and certain contractors (added on a case-by-case basis).

Groups who do not have an ECU Office 365 subscription include Vidant employees, residents, ECU retirees, non-employee and part-time ECU personnel and contractors (see above).
Are there any file type restrictions for uploading content?
Yes. You can easily share Microsoft documents, PDFs and image files, even Adobe files. There are some limitations:
Are there any restrictions on filename characters?
Yes, and there is a 255 character limit:
What data types can I store in OneDrive?
OneDrive is approved for storage and sharing of general research and academic information (e.g., FERPA but NOT SSN). Not approved for storage of sensitive data, including but not limited to protected credit information, social security numbers, protected health information, identifiable human subjects data, and data covered by nondisclosure agreement or otherwise restricted from dissemination by extramural sponsors and partners. When approved by the Institutional Review Board, de-identified human data may be stored on OneDrive.

Please use caution when sharing research data, technical specifications, or information that is:
  • Controlled (subject to the Export Administration Regulation (EAR) and/or U.S. Munitions List (USML));
  • Related to defense (military) articles and/or services; or
  • Connected to research contract clauses restricting:
    • Publications or dissemination of information; or
    • Access, involvement, or participation of foreign nationals.
Contact the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (328-9474) to determine whether research data, technical specifications or information falls under these categories.

For more information, see the network storage security page.
My Office 365 home page shows a list of "Recent Documents." Where did they come from?
Recent Documents are files you have recently opened in OneDrive or any SharePoint sites for which you have access. Although they were accessed at other sites and not stored on OneDrive, these file names will appear in your recent files list.
When I choose to edit a file within OneDrive, I see two options: 1) edit in Word and 2) edit online. What does this mean?
If the computer you are using has Office 2016, you choose whether to edit the file online with the appropriate online app (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) through OneDrive or download the document in the stand-alone version on your computer.

Office Online is a convenient way to edit OneDrive documents when you do not have the full version available.
I created a document online, and I don't see a SAVE button!
Documents created in Office Online or the mobile apps are automatically saved to your OneDrive folder.
What happens when more than one person is editing the same file at the same time?
OneDrive allows multiple users to collaborate and edit a document in real-time. You will see a rectangle display with another user's name where they are working within the document. You will also see a note in the top right corner that indicates more than one person is in the document.
Can I map to my OneDrive for Business (OD4B) account?
Not recommended.
I'd like to set up a OneDrive for Business account for my department. Is this possible?
We recommend using the Teams app which includes a chat feature, a OneDrive folder for the team's uploaded files and more.
How often do I have to access Office 365 online for my license to remain active?
Microsoft 2016 requires a check-in every 30 days to remain active on your desktop or laptop. You will need to log in to the Microsoft Office web portal ( at least every 30 days for your account to remain active.
Why do I see "students" in the URL for my OD4B content?
In the URL you will see "students." That cannot be changed and does not impact file storage. Example: If you are in an open document within Office 365, notice the URL begins with https://studentsecuedu66932...
Can I access a previous version of an Office document in OneDrive?
Yes, using the Version History feature, you can access previous versions (View/Restore/Delete).
If I delete a file and empty the Recycle Bin, can my file be recovered?
No, once the file is deleted from the Recycle Bin, it cannot be recovered.
What happens to my OneDrive for Business folder after I leave ECU?
What happens when I open a file on my mobile device?
When you open a file on your mobile device, you are downloading a copy to your device.

Please note: no sensitive files should be stored or accessed on OneDrive.
Can I sync my OneDrive files to my workstation?
Yes. You can use the Sync client to sync files between your workstation and OneDrive for Business. You choose which files and folders to sync during setup.
How do I organize my OD4B information?
Create folders as you do on your computer. See this Office website for videos and documents:

I have another OneDrive that I set up with my new computer. What is the difference between My ECU OD4B and my personal OneDrive?
A personal OneDrive is available to anyone who creates a free Windows Live account - most often done during setup of a new Windows computer.
Can I merge my OneDrive personal and my ECU OD4B?
No, ECU OD4B is based on a different platform than your personal OneDrive, and the two cannot be merged into one account.
What is the difference between my OneDrive for Business cloud storage and my Piratedrive storage space?
OD4B is a great place to store non-sensitive work or class assignments, create and edit new documents with Office Online and collaborate or share with both ECU and non-ECU users.

Your ECU OneDrive is cloud storage (not stored on ECU's campus), and therefore, please follow sensitive information guidelines when saving information there.

Sensitive files should be saved to Piratedrive, which is located in ECU's Data Center. Piratedrive is approved for sensitive information storage, is password-protected and backed up daily.

Faculty and staff can request DatAnywhere that works with your Piratedrive to allow Piratedrive/computer synchronization, mobile access and shared links via PIN verification.
Which file types are NOT stored in OneDrive?
OneDrive is approved for FERPA storage. Other sensitive information like HIPAA, PII, etc., should not be stored in OneDrive. See these websites for a full explanation:

Sensitive data should not be stored in OD4B. ECU provides the 40GB Piratedrive (used with DatAnywhere) for sensitive data storage.
Am I allowed to store personal information in my OneDrive?
Yes, but please follow copyright and file sharing regulations.
I tried to drag a folder over to my OD4B in the file explorer window. It didn't move!
When adding a folder to your OneDrive folder, it's actually best to create the folder in OneDrive and then copy over the files rather than dragging the entire folder.
I just upgraded to the Mac Sierra (beta) OS and now my sync feature no longer works! It worked with El Capitan. What's wrong?
This is a known restriction of the Sierra OS, which uses case-sensitive disk volumes.

Also note that Office integration (co-authoring and in-app sharing) isn't currently supported, either.
What is the best way to share a file?
To share a file with specific people that may not be forwarded, we recommend sharing via the Email Invitation option. The email invitation option allows you to assign either View or Edit access to a specific recipient via his/her email address. You can stop sharing at any time. You cannot prevent someone from downloading your files or distributing links to your files.
Can a file that I share via "Get a Link" be shared by others?
Yes, if you use either the View or Edit links, those links may be forwarded and accessed by anyone in the ECU tenant with a Microsoft Office 365 license. In the ECU tenant are faculty, staff, students and alumni. You can stop sharing at any time.
Can I share a file or folder with someone external to ECU?
Yes, you can share via the Email Invitation option. The recipient must have a Microsoft account in order to access the content. Anyone can create a Microsoft Account. The external person you have shared with will need to create a Microsoft account and use the username you shared the file with such as You can stop sharing at any time.
Can I share a file with "Everyone at ECU"?
Yes. This is not a typical scenario, but can be achieved by entering the words, Everyone but External Users into the Share People Picker.

Please note: if you share a file with Everyone but External Users, it will be searchable in Delve.