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Academic Technology Launchpad: Office 365 - Free!

Quick Guide to computer and academic technology resources for students.

office banner student computer help logo

Microsoft Office 365 - for current Madison College students, faculty and staff at no cost through our college agreement with Microsoft.

  • Microsoft Office programs for FREE! 
  • Office 365: PC/Windows, MAC, or Mobile
  • Full versions of software including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more. Packaged together for faster download and installation.
  • Install on up to 5 of your personal computers and devices.
  • Stays up to date with the latest releases from Microsoft. 
  • When you graduate or are not taking classes, your Office 365 ProPlus subscription will end and you will no longer be able to use the software for free. Your saved files will still be available. 

Campus computers and virtual desktops have Microsoft Office already installed.

How to Install the Free Microsoft Office - Get Started Guides

  • To check or manage your existing installations, see the Install Status instructions (tab above).

Step 1: Uninstall existing Microsoft Office programs

Uninstalling previous versions is recommended by Microsoft.

Before uninstalling, check to make sure:

  • you have your reinstall media or information for the previous version in case you ever want to reinstall it. The license for Office 365 ProPlus is only valid while you are a student at MATC.
  • your computer is compatible with Office 365 -  check System Requirements for Office (Microsoft)

How To Install Office 365 - PC (Windows) - Free!

office 365 program list icons windows

Latest version apps - currently 2016. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Outlook, and more. 
  1. Login to your Madison College student email 365 logo with circle
  2. Click Office 365 - the link at the upper left of your screen; Click Install Office Apps (upper right). OR click the Gear icon on the right - select Office 365 under App Settings; then click Install Status.  
  3. Follow the on screen instructions, generally choosing the default settings.
  4. If a popup box appears at the bottom of the screen asking if you want to run or save the setup program for office, select Run. 
  5. If a User account control box appears, allow access by selecting Yes so the install can continue.
  6. The Office logo may appear. It may take several seconds to load  information, then a Welcome screen will appear. Select Next.
  7. You may see a window at the bottom of your screen that says "Office is installing in the background" along with a the percent complete. Do not turn off your computer or disconnect it from the Internet until installation has completed. 
  8. If prompted, select either Use recommended settings or No thanks.
  9. Select Accept to agree to the Microsoft license. .
  10. Select Next as needed to proceed.
  11. Select Sign In and Enter your Madison College email address and your Madison College password
  12. Be sure to select "Organizational Account" or "Institutional Account" when prompted. Do Not select Microsoft Account. 
  13. You can choose a theme for Office - the design displayed in the Office header area. You can change this later. 
  14. When the confirmation message appears, your Office install is complete. Select done to exit the install. The Office applications are now ready for use.

Step 1: Uninstall existing Microsoft Office programs

Microsoft recommends that you uninstall any previous existing version of Microsoft Office software on your computer before installing a new version. Before uninstalling existing versions, check to make sure:

  • you have your reinstall media or information for the previous version in case you ever want to reinstall it. The license for Office 365 ProPlus is only valid while you are a student at Madison Area Technical College.
  • your computer is compatible with Office 365 ProPlus and meets the System requirements for Office (Microsoft) 
    • Mac: Office 2016 for Mac requires Mac OS X 10.10 or later. 
    • Mac: 4 GB RAM for Office 2016 for Mac
    • Mac: 6 GB HFS+ hard disk format for Office 2016 for Mac 

How To ​Install Office 365 - MAC - Free! Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook applications in dock

Note: Microsoft does not have versions of Access or Publisher for MAC. 

office 365 logo with circle

Step by Step Guide - You may see some different options depending on your MAC OS.  

  1. Login to your Madison College student email account.​ Click Office 365 - the link at the upper left of your screen. Click Install Now and follow the on screen instructions. OR  Gear, question mark, and persons silhouette iconsSelect the gear icon next to your name in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Under My app settings, select Office 365. 
  2. If prompted, select Software and then Office.
  3. Select Install and an installer (.dmg) file will now be downloaded to your Mac.
  4. When the download completes, launch the installer by selecting the office installer icon (or you can open the .dmg file that was just downloaded).
  5. The installer will guide you through a series of steps, select Continue and Agree and then Install to move through the install process. 
  6. An Installing Microsoft Office for Mac screen may appear. When installation is complete, you should see a screen that says the Installation was Successful. Select Close. 
  7. To activate Office so you can use the programs, select one of the applications from the dock or your Applications.
  8. A welcome screen appears. Select Sign in to an existing Office 365 subscriptionSelect Organizational account  if you get a screen with that option - Important! 
  9. Be sure to enter your Madison College email address ( and your college password when asked to login or sign in to activate Office. Then select Next or Sign In
  10. Enter the information to personalize this copy of Office (first name, last name). Then select Continue.
  11. Select Yes when prompted if you would like to keep Office for Mac up to date. You can choose Yes or No when asked whether you'd like to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program. 
  12. You will now see a screen that says Congratulations! You're now ready to use Office. Select "Done.

If you are no longer using Office 365 on a particular computer, you can deactivate an installation. You can also check your installations. 

Check your install status or manage installations

  1. Login to your Madison College student email account
  2. Select the Settings "gear icon" next to your name in the upper right hand corner of the screen. email gear settings icon
  3. Under My app Settings, select Office 365       myappsettings 365 office
  4. Choose  "Install Status" in the Navigation bar. install status navigation bar
  5. You can view or manage your installations from the Install status page. For example, you can deactivate Office on a computer that you are no longer using. 

install status screenshot

Or to Install, click "Install Desktop Applications", Click "Install".  

 install options page

System Requirements: Office Mobile for Android phones can be installed on phones running OS 4.0 or higher. Office apps for Android tablet can be installed on tablets running Android KitKat 4.4 or higher with a minimum screen size of 7 inches and an ARM-based processor. 

How To Install Android Office apps

  1. Open the Google Play store and sign in with your Google account if prompted.
  2. On your Android, download Microsoft WordExcel or Powerpoint or OneNote for Android phones from the Google Play store
  3. Select "Install" and then "Accept and Download" when prompted. The app will now install and may take several minutes
  4. Once the app is installed, open it. 
  5. Sign in using your Madison College email address (
  6. If prompted, select "Organizational Account"
  7. When prompted for the password, enter your Madison College account password.

Microsoft apps for Chromebooks

Using a compatible Chromebook, you may now be able to add some Microsoft Office Apps from the Google Play Store - such as Word. 

Sign into the app with your Madison College email address (

These are apps - not the "full" Microsoft software.

Options and Assignments

For some courses, you may be able to use Google Chromebook apps (such as Google Docs), online apps, or Microsoft apps to view files from your instructor or work on assignments such as papers, presentations or spreadsheets. Be sure to follow your assignment instructions.

Save as an acceptable format following your assignment instructions. You may need to download or save the file to a storage location before adding as an attachment in email or uploading to Blackboard. 

Business Software Courses (Word, Excel, etc)

Chromebook apps are not the "full" Microsoft WIndows software - so you cannot use the Chromebook apps for a business software course at MATC. For example, our Microsoft Word courses require the full software package on a Windows platform.

Workaround: use the virtual desktops on a Chromebook (or MAC) to access Microsoft software Windows versions - choose quick browser / VMware Horizon HTML Access.

System Requirements: Microsoft offers three office apps that are designed specifically for the iPad: Word for iPad, Excel for iPad, PowerPoint for iPad. Each iPad app is installed separately. If you have a 3rd generation or higher iPad, you have the option to install "Microsoft Office Mobile" instead, which installs mobile versions of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint using a single interface. The iPad must be running iOS 7.0 or later.

How To Install Office apps for IOS: iPad or iPhone

  1. As you activate/install the app(s), information about saving to OneDrive may display. After you install the app, you can use the "Add a Place" feature to connect the app to OneDrive. You can also use the "share" feature to email documents as an attachment.
  1. Go to the app store on the iPad (you'll need to use your iTunes account)
  2. Select "Search" and Enter the name of the app you'd like to install. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote
  3. Select the "Free" button and a circle will appear that will show the progress of the install. The install make take several minutes. When the install is done, the button will change to "Open"
  4. Select the "Open" button and you will be prompted to sign in. Sign in to activate the install using your Madison College email address 
  5. If prompted, select "Organizational Account"
  6. Enter your Madison College account password.

How To Set up Office 365 on a Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile Device

System Requirements: Windows Mobile: Office 2013 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. Windows 8 or higher required. Office Mobile applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) require Windows 10.

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Use your Madison College email address to sign in to Office 365 

If you previously used a version of Microsoft Office, even a trial version, or use another Microsoft account, you may need to sign out of that account before signing in with your new Madison College account. The license for your subscription is tied to your college email.

Offline Access - You can use the software offline. However, you must connect to the Internet once every 30 days to verify you are still eligible for the program. 

Access after graduation or when no longer enrolled - When you graduate or are not taking classes, your Office 365 subscription will end and you will no longer be able to use the software for free. You will not be able to edit files, but should still be able to view your locally saved files. You could choose to purchase a consumer version.

Existing Purchases or Subscriptions - If you purchased or subscribed to a version of Microsoft Office, you can continue to use that instead. Students are not required to install or use the Microsoft Student Advantage program. Refunds or reimbursements are not available. Microsoft Office 365 Student Advantage and its license is only valid while you are a student at MATC.