Students Staff

Passwords help

In this article:

How to change your password

You can:

You can change your password using:

  • Your current or most recent password
  • Your external email address and passphrase
  • A recently assigned one-time password

If you forget your password

If you forget your password, you have three options:

Option 1. Request a temporary one-time password

If you’ve registered an external email address or mobile phone number with the University, then you can request a one-time password be sent to either or both and can then use this one-time password to assign yourself a new password.

  • Visit and choose request a one-time password to be sent to my registered mobile phone or external email address.

Option 2. Change your password using your external email and passphrase

If you’ve registered an external email address and passphrase, you can use these to reset your password.

Option 3. Contact the IT Helpdesk

If you’re unable to reset your password, you’ll need to contact the IT Helpdesk. We won’t be able to tell you what your current password is, but we will be able to give you a one-time password that you use to create a new password.

How to create a new password

Your password must:

  • be between 16 and 40 characters long
  • not be too obvious or contain personal information
  • not be too similar to your passphrase or a previous password

Your password can include:

  • letters
  • numbers
  • spaces
  • special characters

Tip - use random words for a strong password that you won’t forget

Think of a few random words and arrange them into a random phrase, with or without spaces, for example:

  • hunger past contain bear
  • life power nothing

You can make your password even more secure by including a mix of capital letters, numbers or special characters.

When you should change your password

User group How often you need to change your password
New staff and students

When you start at Essex you’re given an automatically generated password. You must change this password within your first four weeks. If you don’t you’ll be locked out of your account and you’ll need to visit the IT Helpdesk.

Current students

You do not need to change your password, unless you choose to, or if we ask you to.

Current staff

You must change your password every 12 months.

What to do after you change your password

After you change your password you should:

  • sign out of any computers, services or systems that you are currently signed in to, then sign back in with your new password
  • enter your new password on your devices that are using services like eduroam wifi or email

If you don’t do this you may experience problems with some services.

Manage an external email address, passphrase or security question