Beardshear Hall framed with fall foliage with text Your Adventure powered by ITS

Welcome to Iowa State!

Information Technology Services is here to power your adventure with fast, reliable internet, modern software and apps and professional technical support. The Get Started section is filled with tasks you should complete at the same time as Orientation. Items in the Before You Get to Campus section will help make your transition to campus easier and less stressful. Lastly, the When You Get to Campus section contains instructions and tasks best completed when you arrive at Iowa State.

Get Started

Start here to make sure your Iowa State account, called a Net-ID, is set up and secured.

Your Network Identification, or Net-ID, is the group of characters before the "@" sign of your Iowa State email address. It is different than your University ID, which is the nine-digit number listed on the front of your ISUCard. 

Your Net-ID is important because it serves as your unique identifier during your adventure at Iowa State. In fact, many Iowa State accounts to which students have free access automatically recognize Iowa State Net-IDs as login credentials.

You may have already created your Net-ID through your Iowa State admissions account, but if not you can can set it up now.


  1. Go to
  2. Click on "Need to register for a Net-ID?" under the box labeled Register
  3. Enter the required information and click Next
  4. You can keep the suggested Net-ID or change it here if you'd prefer
  5. Set your password. Be sure to follow the password standards described on the page.
  6. Click Accept and then click Register
    1. NOTE: the Net-ID registration may take a few minutes to process. If you encounter a system error at this point, please contact the IT Solution Center.

At some point, you may get locked out of your account and need to reset your Net-ID password. To set up do-it-yourself password reset, go to your Okta dashboard and confirm your secondary email. We’ve made the process easy by adding the personal email you provided during the application process. Be sure the secondary email account is one you can access at any time. Without Password Reset enabled, you’ll have to contact the IT Solution Center to have it reset.


  1. Go to and sign in with your Net-ID and password 
  2. Select your name in the upper right corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Edit next to Personal Information.
  5. Confirm your secondary email or add a new one; select Save.
  6. For additional options, you can also set up a text message and/or voice call.

Because you’ll be using your Net-ID and associated password every day, it's important to protect it. One tool used to protect your login is multifactor authentication, or MFA, (Sometimes called two-factor authentication.) MFA increases account security by requiring a second login step, like typing in a code received via text message, after entering a password.

Okta tile for Multifactor Authentication featuring a fingerprint, text message bubble and key.

There are five different verification options available for MFA: the Okta Verify app, the Google Authenticator app, SMS text message, voice call, and Yubikeys (a USB-type physical device). You can learn more about the verification options on the MFA webpage. Most verification options will require a cell phone. If you don't have a cell phone and can't acquire a Yubikey, please contact the IT Solution Center before attempting to activate MFA.


  1. Go to and sign in with your Net-ID and password
  2. Click on the Activate Multifactor Authentication tile (pictured above)
  3. Read the information about MFA and click Activate at the bottom of the screen. This will log you out.
  4. Log back in and follow the instructions to set up your preferred verification method(s). We recommend Okta Verify and SMS for ease of use.
    1. Setting up multiple options ensures you can still log in if one isn’t available – like if your phone dies and your charger is at home.

Okta is the name of your Iowa State application dashboard and the easiest way to log into your most-used and favorite applications (4,700+ and counting). In fact, you've already enabled password reset and activated MFA by using Okta, but we’ll go into more detail now.

Okta is a “single sign-on” solution, meaning that once you sign into Okta, you can access other Iowa State applications (like your email or online coursework) with just one click, like using a master key. You don’t have to type in your login credentials again or navigate away from the web page. It is safer than using bookmarks in your browser for login actions, which are more exposed.

Action Items


Screenshot of the Okta dashboard featuring multiple application tiles

Iowa State’s email platform for incoming students is Microsoft Outlook. Your Outlook account was automatically created after you received your Net-ID, and so your Iowa State email address is: [Your Net-ID] Your Outlook account can be accessed in your computer browser through the Okta dashboard and added to an email app on your phone, tablet or computer. 

Okta tile for Outlook

As a student Cyclone, all communication from Iowa State offices will go to your Iowa State Outlook (not a previously-used email account), which can include correspondence from Admissions, Financial Aid, the Registrar’s Office, your academic adviser, your instructors and others. In other words, you are responsible for checking the information that is sent to you via your Outlook account, so it is important to check it regularly, even before you arrive on campus.

Microsoft Outlook also offers a robust calendaring system, perfect for keeping track of classes, appointments and events. Since faculty and staff also use Outlook, it's possible to request appointments through Outlook. However, be sure to confirm Outlook is the preferred scheduling method, either by referring to your syllabus or reaching out to the individual you're meeting with. Many staff and offices use their own scheduling software, particularly academic advisers, in order to ensure a high-quality experience for everyone.

Want to learn more about how Outlook works? Check out these resources from Microsoft. 



Showing the relationship between a Net-ID and Iowa State email with the format

If you run into technology problems, there are multiple resources available to you as a student. 

Self-service through the IT Portal

Using the knowledge database in the IT Portal allows you to easily search the issue you are having to find possible solutions. For example, you can find instructions for how to join a Webex videoconference, add "CyCash" to your account, and request your transcript. You can access the IT Portal by visiting or by clicking the "ISU Portal" tile on your Okta dashboard.

Okta tile for the ISU Service Portal


Assistance from the IT Solution Center

The IT Solution Center, located on the first floor of Parks Library, is your on-campus resource for technology assistance with a technician. The IT Solution Center is open seven days a week, except for university holidays. More information about hours of operation and in-person support options is available here.

2 student employees outside of the IT Solution Center in Parks Library working on a laptop

You can easily request help from the IT Solution Center though the Get Help option in the IT Portal. You can also contact the IT Solution Center by calling 515-294-4000 or emailing, even if you experience issues before you arrive on campus.

Screenshot from the IT Portal's Get Help option showing a red and white cross image with text Get Help, contact the IT Solution Center to report an incident

Physical Repairs through Tech CYte

Tech CYte in the ISU Book Store has licensed and trained technicians that can service both Dell and Apple computers in their Service Center on campus. View their contact information, service rates and schedule an appointment here.

Technician performing a hardware repair on a computer

System Status

ITS offers a central StatusHub with information about various campus technologies, like the internet networks and email. You can subscribe to email notifications when there are outages or planned maintenance so you're always in the loop. Learn how to subscribe to notifications. You can access the StatusHub from the ITS website menu and by going directly to

Before You Get to Campus

Here you'll find information and tasks we recommend you review and complete before the semester starts.

As a student, you’re required to own or obtain a laptop computer or other device appropriate to your major. This requirement helps to ensure that you’ll be able to complete your coursework successfully. For full details on the requirement, please visit the Computer Requirement web page linked below. To find a computer that will work well, check out the section Get the Right Computer for Your Major below.

TechCyte in the Iowa State University Book Store has developed the MajorSuccess program, designed to help students find the right computer for their specific major. TechCyte sells various computers and technology products on campus in the Memorial Union, with no sales tax.

Get your computer recommendation now.

AccessPlus is a secure and confidential campus information system used for doing official university business. 

There are two ways to log into your AccessPlus account.

  1. Through the Okta dashboard by logging in to and selecting the AccessPlus button
  2. Go to, select Sign Ons in the upper toolbar, select AccessPlus, and sign in

Okta tile for AccessPlus

    The following personal and campus information can be found in AccessPlus:

    • Update and verify your in-session or interim address 
    • Register for classes
    • View or print your class schedule 
    • View and pay your university bill online 
    • View residence hall information 
    • Search for jobs on and off campus 
    • Grant Third Party Access to someone, such as a parent or family member to view your grades and/or pay your university bill
    • Set up ISU Alert to be notified of campus emergencies
    • View or print an up-to-date degree audit
    • Update your emergency contact information
    • Select a meal plan
    • Much more!

    Your ISUCard is your physical, permanent university identification card, which includes your picture and 9-digit university identification number. You will use your card for most campus services, including door access, meals on campus, testing centers, recreation center, riding CyRide, the library, and many more.

    To request your ISUCard, be sure to carefully read through the guidelines on taking an ID photo and  how to submit your photo.

    An example of an ISU Card featuring a photo of Cy the Mascot

    All Iowa State students have access to Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office 365 products at no additional cost.

    The Microsoft Office 365 set of products can be downloaded to your device or used as a web application. The downloadable Office 365 applications run on your computer (no internet connection necessary), while the online app runs in the cloud and is accessed by using your web browser. 

    Okta tile for Microsoft Office 365

    Popular Microsoft Office 365 applications available to Iowa State students include Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote and Teams.

    Action Items

    Download the desktop applications, if desired

    Explore the web applications

    Canvas is the learning management system at Iowa State University. It's an online platform where your instructors will keep important class information. As a student, you will interact with Canvas regularly to access course resources, complete assignments or take exams.

    Okta tile for Canvas

    As a new student, your Canvas account was automatically created when you received your Net-ID. The first time you sign in to Canvas, your profile will be populated with your name, email address, and University ID number. Go to Iowa State's Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching Canvas@ISU page get started.

    Videos are also available to help you learn how to use Canvas (such as submitting assignments, completing quizzes and viewing grades) from the Canvas community support website.

    Accessing Canvas

    To access your Canvas account, log into your Okta dashboard and select the Canvas application tile (pictured above).

    Note: In the week prior to the start of a semester, contact the course instructor if you do not see your course on the Canvas Dashboard.

    The no-cost MyState App is the ultimate student tool kit. Drawing nearly 27,000 users a month, you'll find the app to be a very useful tool while at Iowa State. Even before getting on campus, you can familiarize yourself with the university by exploring the app. Use the map to see where your classes will be, how close you will be to a dining center, and which CyRide bus stops you'll take.

    App icon for the MyState app

    On the app, you can:

    • View your class schedule, add it to your phone's calendar or share it with others
    • Check CyRide bus routes, schedules and current bus locations
    • Find information about campus events
    • View the campus map with the ability to pin things such as buildings, dining centers, outdoor Wi-Fi and more
    • Research student organizations and find contact and website infromation
    • Find testing centers on campus, hours of operation and available seating
    • Stream 88.5 KURE, the student-run alternative music radio station in Ames
    • Browse the library catlog and view outstanding loans, fees and requests
    • View pictures from around campus with Photostream, submitted to
    • and more!

    Download the app for free on your Android or iOS device by selecting the correct button (or search "MyState" in the Play or App Store).

    Icon for downloading on the Google Play Store

    Icon for Downloading on the iOS App Store

    Visit to become a beta tester, providing valuable feedback on app updates before they're released, or to apply to be a student developer. 

    Screenshot of the MyState app's menu page

    Screenshot of MyState app's CyRide page

    Screenshot of MyState app's testing centers pager


    The Cyber Guide booklet is filled with information about technology resources available to you as a student and is a great supplement to the information on this webpage. You can download a PDF version now and pick up a printed copy on campus.



    Two pages of The Cyber Guide with information about ITS and the IT Solution Center

    Two pages of The Cyber Guide featuring information about Digital Accessibility and the Student Innovation Center

    When You Get to Campus

    The items below can be reviewed at any time and will be important to you once you arrive on campus.

    Connect to the Internet and NetReg Your Device

    When connecting to Wi-Fi on campus, you should always try to use the eduroam network. It’s easier to connect to eduroam because you don’t have to register your device - like your laptop and phone. Just sign on with your full Iowa State email address ( and password. 

    Devices you DO have to register - no matter the network - include any device using ethernet, game consoles, smart TVs/streaming devices, and smart speakers. Some devices will need to be registered through the ASW portal and some will need to be registered by submitting a form through the IT Portal. View the details and how to NetReg your device by clicking the button below.


    Showing when NetReg is required for different devices for different networks. View the IT Portal article linked above for the details.

    Outdoor Wi-Fi

    Along with internet access in all campus buildings, Iowa State also offers Wi-Fi across 15+ acres of green space. You can enjoy Iowa State’s beautiful campus while also getting some work done. View a map of outdoor Wi-Fi locations here or in the MyState app under Map > Search > Categories > Outdoor Wireless.

    Our wireless networks serve thousands of students, faculty and staff each day. With that many devices on the network, it’s important to understand how internet performance can be affected. This graphic shows 5 basic factors that will affect performance while on campus.

    Infographic showing the 5 basic factors that affect internet performance which are the number of devices in an area, the way devices are designed to interact, interference from Bluetooth, microwaves and walls, your individual device and software and the quality of infrastructure like routers and access points

    Storing and Sharing Documents

    Cybox is one of Iowa State’s cloud storage solutions that allows you to share documents and work collaboratively on projects. With Cybox, you can sync files from your desktop or laptop, meaning you can securely upload files from Microsoft Word or other programs and share them with others. Additionally, Cybox lets you discuss and work with others on a document in real time. 

    Access Cybox through your Okta dashboard. Other cloud storage solutions you might choose to use include Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, also available through your Okta dashboard. 

    Okta tile for Cybox 

    Top Hat  

    Top Hat is an interactive, cloud-based teaching platform that encourages in-class engagement and gives real-time feedback. Professors often use Top Hat for in-class questions as well as attendance tracking. Top Hat is supported by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and Information Technology Services.  

    Students can purchase a Top Hat subscription from the ISU Book Store either in store or online. You will be given a code to redeem your subscription, which you can activate at For easy access, you can download the mobile Top Hat app on your mobile devices.

    Okta tile for TopHat

    Student Design Software 

    Adobe Spark

    Spark is a media creation application available to every Iowa State student. Spark allows you to easily create graphic design content, edit video content, and design web pages. Every department provides different software for students; check with your college or major to see if the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite is supported. 


    Canva is a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content. The platform is free to use but paid versions are available.


    Grammarly is a digital writing support tool that provides powerful grammar, spelling, and plagiarism checking based on natural language processing and machine-learning technologies. It integrates conveniently into many of the places where students and faculty are doing their writing today, such as web browsers (so it can be used in Outlook and Canvas), Google Docs, office productivity software and mobile devices.  All students and faculty have free access to the premium version of Grammarly through a pilot program funded by CASTLE and supported by the Department of English.   

    View this article for more information on creating your account and downloading the app.

    Okta tile for Grammarly

    LinkedIn Learning

    LinkedIn Learning is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Your Net-ID gives you free access to the entire LinkedIn Learning video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.   

    For technical assistance, please contact Learning and Development at Be sure to check out the LinkedIn Learning support website for additional information.

    Okta tile for LinkedIn Learning

    You can print to campus printers - like those in Parks Library - using a system called PaperCut. Every student is allotted at least 500 printing credits at the beginning of each semester to use with PaperCut. Different colleges, departments, or programs may add additional credits, so you may receive more than 500. If you find yourself in need of more printing credits than your semester allotment, extra credits can be charged to your U-Bill at a rate of $0.01 per printing credit ($1.00 minimum). Printing costs vary by printer and ink type.

    You have several options on how to print on campus: 

    • Campus computer to campus printer

    • Personal computer (or other device) to campus printer*. Install the required app using these instructions

    • Personal computer (or other device) to a printer you own

      • This requires use of a wired connection from your device to your printer. Wireless printers are not allowed on the Iowa State internet networks. 

      • You're encouraged to wait until you've read your class syllabi to determine if it makes sense to purchase/bring a printer to campus.

    *For campus printers not using PaperCut, contact your college's IT team for more information.

    In addition to the computer stations available in Parks Library, additional computer labs are located across campus for student use. Some computer labs are open for general student use and others are reserved for students within a particular discipline or college. Depending on the lab and health and safety protocols, you may be able to use a computer on a walk-in basis or you may need to select a timeslot. Computer labs are managed by individual colleges and departments, so be sure to contact your college's IT team for more information.

    Here are just a few web pages with more information about select computer labs: 

    Students can borrow various equipment for free from the Tech Lending Program managed by Parks Library.

    Some equipment available includes:

    • Laptops and iPads
    • Graphics tablets
    • Power banks, chargers, adapters and accessories
    • Calculators
    • DSLR cameras, tripods, microphones and accessories
    • Projectors and screens
    • Sound systems
    • And more

    Visit the Tech Lending website to learn more about available equipment and how to borrow items.

    The testing centers at Iowa State are computer labs dedicated to facilitating exams for certain classes. These labs are monitored by staff at all times and are only used to take exams. There are currently four open locations on campus: 2552 Gilman Hall, 0060 Carver Hall, 0250 Carver Hall and 139 Durham Center. You can view more information about location and hours in the MyState app. Be sure to check your class syllabi to see if any of your exams will be at the testing centers.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind when using the testing centers. Visit this page to see all of the guidelines.

    • Arrive a few minutes before your appointment
    • Have your ISUCard out and ready before approaching the front desk
    • Tell the check-in staff the course name, section, instructor’s name, and which exam you are taking (Exam 1, Exam B)
    • Stow all backpacks, books, and other material under your desk
    • All electronic devices (phones, tablets, smart watches) must be shut off and stowed away during the exam
    • No wireless earbuds are allowed
    • You may not use any removable media (flash drive, portable hard drive) while in the testing centers


    Students using computers in the testing center

    Many Iowa State students experience daily barriers to their educational goals. Creating barrier-free access to hardware and software falls under the broad area of digital accessibility. Digital accessibility is not only the production of course materials, websites and communications in an accessible manner, it is a mindset.

    Join the conversation about digital accessibility at Iowa State in the Microsoft Teams channel.

    The Digital Accessibility Lab

    The Iowa State University Digital Accessibility Lab is a physical space located at Durham Center, Room 108, designed to create accessible digital experiences for students with disabilities and increase student learning and engagement.

    The lab is equipped with a variety of digital accessibility hardware and software:

    • Windows and Mac computers and laptops
    • Screen readers and magnifiers
    • Speech and language software
    • VR wearable technology
    • Games and gaming systems

    Visit for more information and to check when the lab is open.

    The Student Innovation Center, opened August 2020, is filled with state-of-the-art technologies for you to use as you turn your ideas into reality. Whether you’re looking to develop virtual reality or build a product prototype, the center can support you along the way.

    Some of the resources you'll find in the Center:

    • Media production suite, funded in part by ITS
    • Composite material fabrication
    • Dynamometer testing for engine torque and RPM
    • Paint and finishes booth
    • Digital modeling and visualization lab 
    • Demonstration kitchen for the College of Human Sciences
    • Gaming lab for the Colleges of LAS and Design



    Exterior of the Student Innovation Center 

    Need help?

    Contact the IT Solution Center

    Call 515-294-4000

    Submit a help request online


    Visit 192 Parks Library on campus

    Please note that our technicians can only assist students, not family members.