Montana State University-Northern
Login Simplification

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Information Technology
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Active Directory Usernames to Change

How did we get here?

On 9/27/13, MSU-Bozeman held a kickoff meeting for the 4-Campus Login Simplification Project. The purpose of the project is to address users’ concerns over having too many logins and passwords. The Login Simplification Project was initiated to address this challenge, with the end result being students, staff, faculty and affiliates will only need to remember one username and password for most, if not all, systems.

The username that has been selected is the NetID. Many already use the NetID to access services such as Library services, Desire2Learn and Google Apps. Email addresses will not be affected by the move to NetIDs and will remain in their existing format.

Login Simplification - FAQs

Why are we doing this?

The transition to NetID is one big step in the overall effort to reduce the number of usernames and passwords that students, faculty and staff have to remember at MSU campuses. Accomplishing this is more complex than it might appear at first glance. Each of the different systems on each campus that have different requirements for access must be reconfigured to use the same username/password. Transitioning to the NetID moves us much closer toward the end goal of login simplification- having just one username/password to remember.

What is a NetID?

The NetID is a 7-character mixture of lower case letters and numerals in the format of a12b345. Because the NetID is not based on an individual's name it eliminates the ongoing administrative costs of managing name-based usernames. Names change and more than one person can share the same name (think Jane Smith). To get an idea of the effort required by a name change think about the time it takes following the move to a new location to update your contact info with anyone you do business.

The Login Simplification project will extend the use of the NetID login to as many services as possible on all MSU campuses so that users have only one login to remember.

Where do I find my NetID?

You can find your NetID in MyInfo located under Personal Information. To find it, go to the MSUN home page and click the MyInfo link located in Navigate Northern. Click the Enter Secure Area link and once you are logged into MyInfo, click the Personal Information tab and then click the View IDs link.

Finding your NetID

How do I set my password?

The best way to set your password is to use the My Profile password reset tool. To get to My Profile go to (if the "Set a New Password" page isn't displayed after you login - click the Change Passwords link). You may be presented with a list of other services that are marked with check boxes. To reduce confusion, setting all services to use the same password is recommended.

Resetting your Password

What about my MSUN ID (GID) and other ID types?

An MSUN ID is not the same as a login. Your current student/faculty/staff MSUN ID (in the format of -12345678 and sometimes referred to as a GID) will continue to be your MSUN ID. This is the number on your MSUN North Card and is also the User ID that you use to access MyInfo.

Do I need to keep my NetID private?

Yes, you do need to keep your NetID private! You should never share it with others outside of those providing official ITS technical assistance. Inappropriate sharing of your NetID increases the possibility of password theft.

Will my email address change?

No. Email addresses will remain in the first.last format.

Will my NetID work on all campuses?

No, not at this time. We hope to achieve this capability in the near future.

When will I really have to start using my NetID?

Unless you were migrated early, on Thursday, August 21, 2014, all students, staff and faculty will begin using NetID to access most MSUN services. This includes computer workstations, faculty/staff email, D2L, MSUN-Secure Wireless, "Z: Drive"/Network Shares, VPN (and others).

Can I change my NetID?

No. Your NetID is a purely unique and persistent identifier.

What happens if I change my password inside Windows?

After MSUN transitions to using the NetID, you should not change your password inside Windows (i.e. using ctrl + alt + del). You should reset your password using the MyProfile password reset tool.