Student Office 365 - Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Microsoft Office 365

As a registered MiraCosta College student, you now have access to Microsoft Office 365, including online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive.  With Office 365, you can get things done from virtually anywhere. Whether you're on your computer at home, or on the go with your phone or tablet, you will have access to the very latest versions of your documents, all the time.

Important Information

Freqently Asked Questions

  • Office 365 services become available once a student is enrolled in classes(s).
  • Once a student has not been enrolled for two consecutive regular semesters (regular semester being defined as either fall or spring), access is revoked.
  • To avoid data loss, please relocate/backup your MiraCosta Office 365 data prior to services revocation. It is the responsibility of the student to do so.

Basic Office 365 web apps such as Word, Excel, Outlook Email, and OneDrive. Basic Microsoft Office Mobile Apps - available from the App or Play Stores.

  • Word
  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • OneDrive storage
  • Go to the MiraCosta PortalGuard Portal
  • Logon using your SURF ID and password just as you always do.
  • Then, choose the tile labeled Office 365.

  • You'll be asked whether you'd like to stay signed on. We recommend NO. Never choose Yes when using a shared or lab computer.

  • You'll then be on the landing page.

Click the Avatar in the upper right area. Choose Sign out, then clear cache and close the browser.

When you Sign on to apps you downloaded using the App or Play Store, or when you add your email to your device's native email app, the sign on name is your complete MiraCosta email address.

Apps examples: OneDrive, Outlook, your mobile device native app

In other words, when signing on, instead of your SURF ID, you must logon using your full MiraCosta email address and your standard MiraCosta password.


You'll then be redirected to MiraCosta's Single Sign-On portal where you'll enter your MiraCosta password. If successful, you'll then be directed back to the Mobile App.

Online help is available on the Microsoft Office 365 support site. Help is available by selecting the Question Mark (?) at the top, right corner of your Office 365 landing page.

  • Sign in to SURF
  • Click "Message Center"
  • Click "Office 365 Welcome Email"
  • There they will find your email address

I am having issues accessing MiraCosta Office 365. I also use Office 365  at <insert any other organization here>, so when I go to the Office 365 URL, it directs me to <insert any other organization here>.

Probable Causes

MiraCosta uses Single Sign-On. It's likely your password is saved and automatically fills or the other organization also uses Single Sign-On.


Option One
Use the MiraCosta Single Sign-On Portal entry point to sign on. Login with your entire MiraCosta student email address and SURF password. Click the tile labeled "Office 365."

Option Two
Use a different browser for MiraCosta than used for the other organization.
Example: Chrome for other organization, Firefox for MiraCosta

Should you need assistance, please contact the Student Help Desk.

Employees who are also students: Continue to sign on using your employee username and credentials for both your employee and student role.

Protecting Your Data in Office 365

  • Enable 2-Factor Authentication!
  • You are responsible for protecting the data you choose to store in Office 365.
  • Always Sign out of your Office 365 session and close all browsers. If using a lab or other shared computer, Sign out of your Office 365 session, clear browser cache, then restart the computer.
  • Keep your operating system and software patched and up-to-date.

Sharing in Office 365

  • Periodically review security and sharing settings, ensuring that information is shared only with intended audiences.
  • When sharing, use folders to share groups of files with specific people.
  • Share files with specific individuals. Do not share with:
    • "Anyone with the link" – This allow anyone access to your data.
    • "People in MiraCosta College with the link." – This allow anyone in MiraCosta - College, staff, faculty, and other students - access to your data.
  • Be careful when sending links to shared folders because they can be forwarded to others to whom you did not intend to provide access.
  • Remember that once a file or information is shared, the recipient can download it to a device and share it with others.
  • Remove individuals when they no longer require access to files or folders.

TIP: How to see what is shared all in once place. How to add and revoke access.

Sign on to Office 365.
Open the OneDrive tile.
On the left side, you'll see Shared:
Select shared. On the right, select Shared by you.

Hover over the three dots to the right of the file or folder. Choose manage access.

Then on the right side you’ll see where you can see what links are shared or if there is direct access..or both.

General Tips to avoid being phished

  • Enable 2-Factor Authentication!
  • MiraCosta will never ask for your password. Never share your password with anyone. Reputable organizations will never ask for your password by email, phone, text message, or in person.
  • If you suspect your password has been compromised, it is important you change your password right away. This would be a good time to​ enable 2-Factor Authentication
  • Phish frequently will be an email with a file sharing link to Google, Dropbox, Office 365 and other cloud providers.
  • Phish might insist you take some sort of action or there will be a consequence.
  • Phish may appear to come from people and organizations you trust.
  • Phish will most often include a link for you to click. Oftentimes, the site will look very similar to a legitimate site.
  • If you are unsure if a message is legitimate or if you aren't expecting it, delete it.
  • Though the signature of an email may include a legitimate name or logo, this alone should not be used to determine whether an email is actually from from that person or organization.
  • Spoofed email addresses. You may see the friendly display name that is a fake. Verify the actual email address to confirm it is legitimate.

Student Help Desk Contact Information

You might consider changing the default of "Reply All" to "Reply"

  • Log in to your MiraCosta Email account.
  • Go to the settings gear icon located in the upper right area.
  • You will the "Search all Settings" field. Type reply
  • You will see "Reply Options" and you can make "Reply" not "REPLY ALL" the default.

All enrolled students are provisioned for the services, but use is not mandatory.