How to login to Office 365

How to login to Office 365

When you’re getting started with Office 365, you might find our Office 365 for Beginners videos to be helpful. Feel free to watch the video and read the summary below.

Your Office 365 account = Your identity

Office 365 works best when everybody in the team has an Office 365 account – and your account is everything to you in Office 365, it’s your identity, and when it comes to working in the cloud, your identity and the security of that identity is really important. It doesn’t matter if you share mailboxes, or files, or responsibilities with another person, because that can all be accounted for and easily configured. The bottom line is, having your own Office 365 login is essential.


There are a few different ways to login to Office 365, though my personal favourite is via https://portal.office.com. Because that takes you to your Office 365 Portal and you can get to everything from here.

Personal vs Work or School?

Microsoft provide two types of accounts. There’s Personal Accounts and there’s Work or School accounts. Unfortunately these aren’t the only two names that these accounts go by. Personal Accounts are also called Live IDs or Microsoft Accounts. Work or School accounts are also known as Office 365 accounts, Organisational accounts or even Azure Active Directory accounts. But basically, Personal accounts are accounts for consumers and you use them to log into consumer level services like the regular Skype, or Xbox Live or Outlook.com. Work or School accounts are accounts that are given to you by your work or school. And you’ll primarily use them to sign into the Office 365 services.

The tricky part is, these two accounts can be used to log into the same applications and services, and you can have the same email address associated with both types of accounts which is the case with mine.

Work or School or Personal accounts

I have signed up for a Microsoft account, or a Personal Account, with my Work or School email, and I also have an Office 365 account. So when I put my email address in, occasionally it will say Work or School, or Personal account? And If you’ve signed up for a Personal Microsoft account using your work or school email and you also have Office 365 for work or school, you’ll probably see this too.

So you need to pay attention, is this particular login screen asking for a personal account, or a work or school account, or is it asking for either. The general rule of thumb is, if you’re using Office 365 for work or school, choose a ‘Work or school’ account.

Inside the Office 365 Portal

Office 365 Portal

Once you’re logged into Office 365, you can do quite a lot from inside the portal. Here’s what you get.

  • Install Office for PC or Mac

    Install Office at the top of the portal – This one may not be common to most people, though if you’ve got an Office 365 account that gives you the desktop versions of Office, you can install it for PC or Mac by clicking ‘Install now’.

  • Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks

    The first three tiles Mail, Calendar, People, and the one below called Tasks, are your email, your calendars, your contacts and your tasks. You can work with them from here through the browser, or through Outlook, or on your phone or tablet.

  • Yammer

    Next is Yammer. This is a social network for your business. It’s just like an internal Facebook.

  • Sites

    SharePoint Online is under Sites. SharePoint sites are places where your team can collaborate on projects and share information.

  • OneDrive

    OneDrive for Business is your personal cloud file storage. It’s private to you, though you can share things from it.

  • Delve

    Delve is your Office 365 search engine, it also helps you discover what’s everyone’s working on in Office 365.

  • Video

    Think of Office 365 Video as an internal YouTube that you can use for training videos, meeting recordings or any video material that needs to stay internal.

  • Power BI

    If you’ve signed up for the Power BI Add-on, you’ll see it in the portal too. Power BI Pro is costs extra, though if understanding data is important to your business, it’s absolutely worth it. The free version also lets you accomplish quite a bit.

  • Office Online

    Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote are the Online versions of the Office programs that you can use to work on your files over the internet, even if you don’t have Office installed.

  • Sway

    Sway is pretty similar to PowerPoint, use it to present information in ways that look really nice on all devices.


So we’ve covered logging into Office 365, the difference between a Personal Account and a Work or School account, and we’ve touched on a few of the common Office 365 services. If you think that’s all you need to get started, you can go ahead and dive right in. But if you do want to dive a little deeper on some of these services you can go ahead and check out some of our other videos or articles.

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