When you access protected resources such as MyUW, Canvas, MyPlan, Workday, as well as some desktop and mobile applications such Outlook, Zoom, and Husky OnNet you will be asked to sign in with your UW NetID, also knowns as single sign-on (SSO) . Learning how to sign in and sign out will help you protect your privacy and prevent unauthorized use of your UW NetID by others.
How to sign in
When asked to sign in, first enter your UW NetID and password.
If password verification is successful, you may be asked to sign in with two-factor authentication (2FA) for added security:
If the verification process is successful, you will continue to the protected resource.
Successful sign-in also creates a single sign-on session to reduce how often you have to sign in again (reauthenticate) during a browsing session.
Note that some resources require you to re-establish your presence by forcing you to reauthenticate during a browsing session.
When signing in with UW NetID to access UW Microsoft Office 365 and other applications integrated with UW Azure Active Directory, the Microsoft sign-in process often starts by entering your UW Microsoft ID (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). To learn more, refer to Microsoft sign-in process and Microsoft sign-in process with 2FA.
How to sign out
Although sessions will time out on their own, it’s better to be proactive about signing out. Follow these recommendations for common situations and types of devices.
On your personal devices
When using your own personal device such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can stay signed in as long as you lock the screen and use auto-locking settings to prevent use by others. Always lock your device before leaving it unattended.
On a lab computer or kiosk
When using a lab computer or kiosk, follow posted instructions on how to sign in and sign out. If instructions aren’t posted, ask for help before you sign in with your UW NetID.
On a shared device
When sharing a device with other people, discuss with them ahead of time how each person will sign in and sign out to prevent unauthorized use of your UW NetID.
By exiting your web browser
In many situations, you can sign out simply by exiting your web browser. However, some browsers use a “continue where I left off” or similar setting to keep you signed in, even if you exit your browser. To be confident you are signed out, clear your browser’s cookies.
By ending your single sign-on session explicitly
You may want to end your single sign-on (SSO) session explicitly, terminating the 12 hour single sign-on duration for this browser. To do so, visit the identity provider sign out link. If you’d like, you can bookmark this link for future use.
Note that this does not sign you out of every website that you have signed into, instead it requires your password for future UW NetID web sign-ins. If you want to ensure that you have signed out of other websites too, make sure you clear your cookies and other browsing data.
If you cannot find a workaround to a known problem below, contact us for assistance.
Requirements and compatibility issues
- Current browser software is recommended
- The sign-in process is known to work with recent versions of all major browsers. Other browsers may not be compatible.
- Cookies are required
- The sign-in process makes use of browser cookies. Your browser must be configured to accept cookies.
- TLS is required, and SSL is not supported
- Sign-in requires TLS (Transport Layer Security) for secure website connections. It doesn’t support SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). Recent versions of all major browsers support TLS. If your browser isn’t configured to use TLS, you will be unable to establish a secure connection. As a result, your browser might display an error such as “SSL error” or “cypher mismatch,” or it might suggest that you turn on support for TLS. Some browsers erroneously report “the web page is not available.” Contact us for assistance.
- “Your sign-in failed. Please try again”
- The sign-in process fails when the UW NetID and password aren’t successfully verified. Make sure you enter your UW NetID using all lowercase characters, and do not enter your full UW email address. Your UW NetID is the part of your UW email address to the left of the @ symbol (i.e. “uwnetid” is the UW NetID in email@example.com). Also, make sure your Caps Lock key is off and your Num Lock key is on.
- “My roommate is signed in automatically!!”
- If you try to sign in to MyUW or some other personalized UW website and your roommate or someone with whom you share a computer is signed in automatically, they may not have signed out. Please sign out for them and then try to sign in again. Contact us for assistance.
- “I want to switch from one UW NetID to another and it won’t let me!!”
- If you want to switch from being signed in with one UW NetID to another one, you must sign out first (see “How to sign out” above). This prevents two people from accessing each other’s personal information.
- Problems uploading files while signing in
- The sign-in process cannot help you sign in to a website and upload a file at the same time. It is a limitation that must be worked around by signing in to the website before trying to upload any files.
- Shortened domain names
- The sign-in process is sensitive to shortened domain names. When you open a location that relies on the sign-in process, use the full unabbreviated domain name. For example, use depts.washington.edu rather than just depts.
- Back button problems
- Many browsers have problems backing through the part of your browser history that includes the sign-in process. Sometimes you can work around this problem by clicking the back button an extra time or two. You can also get back to recent locations using your browser history. For example, click and hold the back button to choose a website from your recent browsing history. (Note: This problem is less common with newer versions of most browsers. Consider upgrading your browser if you encounter this problem.)
- Opening or bookmarking the sign-in page
- The sign-in page isn’t useful by itself. Its usefulness is tied to some other resource (e.g. MyUW) that relies on the sign-in process. Therefore, it isn’t very useful to visit or bookmark the sign-in page itself.