Students Staff

Accounts and passwords

Change your password

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Can't log in? Change your password to update your University of Essex IT account.

Information about our account and password services including:

  • your IT account
  • external email and passphrase
  • closure of IT accounts
  • personal web space
  • sign up

New account holders should change their passwords immediately. Thereafter, all account holders must change their passwords at least once every four months.

Help and information

Your IT account consists of an Essex ID, a password, an email address, a home directory and personal web space.

New IT accounts

  • For students

    How to get your account

    The Registration Office will contact you by email or post to let you know when and how you can collect your IT account details. This usually happens shortly after your application has been processed and you have been accepted.

    Once you receive notification, you can collect your account details online.

  • For staff

    How to get your account

    If you've been advised that you can pick up your account details early then please follow the instructions provided by your department or section.

    Otherwise please visit the IT Helpdesk on your first day to collect your account details.

    How staff accounts are generated

    Staff IT accounts are automatically created for all members of staff in the University's Human Resources system. Generally this includes professional services staff, administrators, teaching related staff and research related staff.

    Useful links


  • For guests

    Visitors and guests may be eligible for an IT account. To arrange this please contact the IT Helpdesk.

Your Essex ID and password

  • Your Essex ID

    Your Essex ID, along with your password, gives you access to all of the services that are available to you, for example email, eduroam wifi, computer labs, Moodle etc.

    Your Essex ID will look something like this: dw16902@essex.ac.uk. Your Essex ID is also your email address, however if you're a member of staff you can choose a preferred email address.

    How is my Essex ID generated?

    As of January 2016, all user accounts are now created using the form abXXYYY, where ab is the persons initials, XX is the year in which the account was created (not the academic year of entry) and YYY is a unique number to disambiguate.

    Can I change my Essex ID?

    Your Essex ID can't be changed once it has been created, however, staff may choose a preferred email address.

  • Changing your password

    When should I change my password?

    New account holders should change their passwords immediately. After that you'll need to change your password at least once every four months - we'll email you a reminder when this is approaching.

    How do I change my password?

    There are a few ways to change your password:

    Online

    You can change or reset your password online using either your most recent password, your external email address and passphrase or a one-time password.

    From any computer on campus

    Log on to any computer on campus using the username and password below, and then follow the onscreen instructions.

    • Username: pwchange
    • Password: changepw
    Visit the IT Helpdesk

    If all else fails, you can visit the IT Helpdesk and they will issue you with a temporary password that you can use to create a new password.

    Learn more

    For more information about passwords see our password frequently asked questions.

  • Password complexity rules

    The complexity rule states all passwords 16 characters or less must contain characters from three of the four character sets below:

    • Upper case letters A – Z
    • Lower case letters a – z
    • Numerals 0 – 9
    • Punctuation characters ! ” # $ % & ‘ ( ) * + , – . / : ; = ? @ [ \ ] ^ _ ` { } ~

    Longer passwords

    If you create a password that is longer than 16 characters and contains at least one space, the password complexity rule won't apply.

    This means you'll be able to use simple words that are a lot easier to remember (and type), instead of having to use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and punctuation/symbols. For example:

    Example password Character count
    Longer than sixteen 19 characters
    The more the merrier! 21 characters
    I like this a lot 17 characters

    If you choose a password that has 16 characters or less then the complexity rule will apply.

  • Keeping your password safe

    Your password is the key to keeping you and your information safe. Here are some basic rules you should follow:

    1. Never share your password. Be suspicious of anyone asking you for your password, it could be a scam to defraud you. The University of Essex will never ask for your password.
    2. Don't write it down on post-it note and stick it to your monitor. No really, don't.
    3. Choose a strong password that has a combination of numbers and letters and change it regularly. Once every few months is fine. Don't choose obvious words like your mother's name or your pet and avoid using dates of birth.
    4. Try to avoid using your web browser's "remember password" feature. Whilst it's convenient, you're more likely to remember your password if you have to type it manually each time.

If you have a personal email address, for example a Gmail or Yahoo account, you can register this email address with us, along with a passphrase and security question. You can then use this email address and passphrase to change or reset your University password.

When you leave the University, through graduation, resignation, retirement or other reasons, your IT account will close. For staff and contractors, this information comes direct from HR. For students, this information comes from Academic Section.

  • For standard staff and students (this is most of the University) your IT account will close 93 days after your course or contract officially ends.
  • For non-standard staff, such as external staff, contractors or others, your IT account will close immediately after your last contracted day.

To find out if you're a standard or non-standard member, email the IT Helpdesk.

Once your account closes you will no longer be able to access University services, for example email or restricted webpages, so there are some things you need to consider before this happens.

If you have annual leave before your last day, your IT account will still close on your last contracted day whether you are physically here or not.

  • Extending / reopening an account

    Extending an IT account

    You're not able to request an account extension. Access to IT accounts is only available to current staff and students.

    Reopening an IT account

    Accounts can only be reopened if you have an ongoing staff or student affiliation with the University.

    If you return to the University within 100 days of leaving, your IT account will be reactivated and any data you previously had saved will still be present. After 100 days, any data will have been irretrievably deleted.

    If you believe your account has been wrongly closed you should contact:

    We trust the information given to us from the HR and Registry systems, and the closing and reopening of accounts happens automatically. We will not manually reopen an account.

Check-list of things to consider

Please read the advice below carefully and discuss any work or study related issues with your line manager or course administrator.

  • Email


    • If you have any personal or important emails you want to take with you, copy or forward them to your personal email account or save them to your personal storage device.
    • Update any websites you've signed up to using your University email address, for example Facebook or Amazon to use a non-University email address.
    • Contact any people or businesses that you have corresponded with for personal matters and inform them of your new email address.

    Staff only:

    • Discuss with your manager where to copy emails that others may need access to, and make key contacts aware of your departure and future contact arrangements. If they are not already in use, the most practical approach is to use a role mailbox, as already exists for many University teams and services. This avoids communication problems when individual email accounts are closed.
    • Out of office messages cannot be set up on closed email accounts.

  • Documents

    Move or copy any personal or important documents you want to take with you, for example from your M:\ Drive, OneDrive or shared drive.

  • Software


    • If you've installed our free version of Microsoft Office, your free subscription will end when your IT account closes. At this point you can either buy your own subscription, carry on using it but only to read documents (you won't be able to edit them) or uninstall it.
    • If you've installed other software using a University licence then you must uninstall it when you leave.

  • Privatewww websites

    If you've set up a privatewww website it will be deleted and taken offline when you leave, so make a copy of the website if you want to take it with you.

  • Payslips and P60 (for staff)

    Your payslips and P60 are important documents and provide evidence of your earnings and deductions during your period of employment.


As part of your IT account, you have access to shared web space, also known as privatewww, which you can use to publish personal webpages.

  • Using your web space

    How to access your web space

    In IT labs

    If you're using a computer in an IT lab, you can access your web space by going go the W: drive.

    On staff computers

    You can either:

    1. Map the folder path \\privatewww\myweb to a drive letter.
    2. Use SharePoint Designer to open your site - click File → Open Site → and enter \\privatewww\myweb

    How to view your website

    To view your web pages, use the web address http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~yourID , for example http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/-ab16902

  • Guidelines

    The University does not exercise editorial control over the private pages on this server, but will act on any breach of the guidelines which comes to its attention.

    As a general guideline, don't place any of the following on your personal website:

    • copyrighted material, for example documents, software downloads, images, videos, audio files,etc.
    • any material that other people may find offensive
    • material relating to the creation of viruses or hacking of systems
    • official University logos or crests

Sign up an IT account

If you've been given an account and need to sign up to our IT Acceptable Use Policy, go to: