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The University of Southampton

Away from campus

When working remotely, you will be able to access the same systems, services and files that you can while working in university locations.

Please note: Due the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our physical IT helpdesk locations are now closed until further notice. ServiceLine will continue to be available to support staff and students by phone, email and self-service tickets. ServiceLine will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday - Friday.

If you need out-of-hours assistance, please visit the self-service portal to raise a ticket or search our knowledge base for answers to common issues and frequently asked questions.

Due to the overwhelming number of people visiting iSolutions stores, and concerns over the health and well-being of staff, our stores are now closed until further notice. Orders can still be requested by raising a ticket on the self service portal and, where possible, orders can be delivered directly to your home address from our suppliers. However, please ensure that request is deemed critical to support your work activities before choosing this service, keeping in mind the workload of couriers during this busy time.

Remote Working Guidance 

There are several options available to help you access these systems and services, either through your own device or through a university-owned device. Many of these systems and services are available simply by entering the web address into your chosen internet browser and logging in using your university username and password. 

Information and helpful advice around data protection while working remotely can be found here.

Making the most of Office 365

Office365 is a great place to start when working remotely, you will have access to your email, calendar, Microsoft applications and Teams.

Teams is the best way for you to communicate and collaborate with your colleagues. Further information about using Teams, including how to set up virtual meetings can be found here: Office 365 Teams

We have produced a short support video for Teams showing you how to use chat, join and set up virtual meetings and post messages. The video can be found here: Intro to virtual meetings using Teams

Services you can connect to using your usual web brower

Connecting to the Virtual Private Network (VPN)

For additional security purposes, some services will require you to connect to the university’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) first.

Services that require a VPN connectionHow to set up VPN on your device

Important: Please disconnect from the VPN when you are not using systems or services that require the connection, as each system has a maximum capacity.  

Your web browsing speed may be slower due to routing through university servers.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get help with Blackboard or Panopto?

Information on how to access Blackboard, user guides and frequently asked questions can be found on the Blackboard Support Pages

How do I set up my remote workstation?

Information and guidance on setting up your remote workstation can be found on the university's Covid-19 Health and Well-being site.

This site also contains information regarding the Covid-19 virus and what symptoms to look out for. There are also hints and tips to improve your health and wellbing when working remotely.

How can I request IT equipment?

As part of the University's response to COVID-19, the purchasing of computer hardware including desktop computers, monitors, laptops and other mobile devices (Tablets) has been suspended.

What if my university laptop stops working?

If your university laptop fails and is beyond repair due to the limitations of remote support, we may issue a replacement under extenuating circumstances. If your device does fail or is no longer fit for purpose, please contact ServiceLine to raise a ticket. Your line manager will be required to provide a business justification for the replacement.

What if I don’t have a University device?

If staff members do not have university issued equipment, they will be expected to use their own devices during this time. If a member of staff does not have a device to use at home, they should contact their line manager for advice. If you require some assistance getting your monitor up and running, see our guidance on how to set up your monitor.

Accessories:  Due to stock availability and the closure of our University IT Stores, all equipment will now be ordered directly from suppliers. Therefore, we would request that you only request essential equipment going forward and utilise existing university or personal equipment where possible.

Headsets - all laptops have a standard headphone port and we would encourage you to use basic headphones for calls where you have them

Webcams – please use your laptop camera if you have one. Please only order cameras if you do not have this functionality within your device.

Order forms:  A full list of items available to order and costs can be found through the following link:  Computer price list

The order form for these items can be found through the following link:  IT accessories order form

*All orders will require cost code owner authorisation, you should ensure you check with the relevant cost code owner before you place an order. 

How do I renew my Windows Licence?

If you have received a message to say your Windows licence has expired, please complete the following:

Connect to the university’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) using Global Protect as that should automatically renew the licence. Further information on how to connect to the VPN can be found here.

If that doesn’t update your licence, you can download the Activation file WindowsOSkms.bat to your local machine by following these steps:

  1. Go to the university’s software store
  2. Select the Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 section. For windows 8.1 select the option Microsoft Windows 8.1 Enterprise (64 bit) . For Windows 10, select Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise 64Bit Build 1803.
  3. At the bottom of the page you will see WindowsOSkms.bat, click download
  4. Right click this file and select the option "Run As Administrator".

A command window will open and you should see phrase: REMAINING GRACE: 180 days. This indicates the licensing process has been successful. Each time you connect to the soton domain the license will be renewed for another 180 days in the background. If you need any assistance in doing this please call ServiceLine on 023 8059 5656 and have the teamview support page open and we can try and remote on to your machine and assist.


Which app(s) should I use when teaching and supporting students online?

A number of options exist to support you in transitioning from face-to-face to online teaching. To help you find the most appropriate option(s) for you and your students, see the Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP) guidance on which apps to use on their remote teaching pages.

How do I use specialist software?

The university has a large number of software packages available for download to your device. Please visit

How do I access my university-managed Windows PC remotely?

Guidance on how to access your university-managed Windows PC remotely can be found here: How do I access my university-owned Windows PC remotely?

How do I access my shared resource filestore (J:drive) away from campus?

Guidance on accessing your shared resource filestore can be found here: How do I access my shared resource filestore (J:Drive) away from campus?

How do I set up my university-owned laptop?

If you have been provided with a university-owned laptop, please ensure you connect the laptop to the university network, log in, and log out to ensure everything is working and you have access to all your files before taking it home. Otherwise you may not be able to log in or have access to all your files and you may need to return to campus.

What technology and equipment should I use to work from home?

You should use your university-owned laptop of you have one. You can also take home your mouse, keyboard and monitor to use with your laptop but for health and safety reasons you should NOT take home your desktop PC under any circumstances. If you do not have a laptop then you should discuss with your line manager the best way to get you up and running from home, whether that is using a personal device or requesting additional hardware.

Please note: due to reduced availability of hardware, all requests need to go to the Chief Operating Officer for approval/prioritisation and therefore only high priority requests are likely to be approved at this time.

How do I add a shared mailbox?

Instructions as to how to add a shared mailbox can be found here: How do I add a shared email account to Outlook for Windows?

Instructions on how to open a shared mailbox when working remotely using Office365 Web access (OWA) can be found here. Opening a shared mailbox from Office365 Web Access

What should I do if I have received a Covid-19 phishing email?

Advice and guidance regarding Covid-19 phishing emails can be found here: What do I do if I receive a phishing/scam email related to Covid-19?

How do I get further help?

For further guidance and support, please visit the iSolutions Service Portal where you will find a range of knowledge base articles to help you.

If you need specific help or advice with your IT, or for any specialist software or service not listed above, please call or email ServiceLine, who will be able to advise further. Contact details can be found here.

What web browser should I be using?

We recommend you use the latest version of Firefox or Chrome.

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