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Prepare for Pitt: Your IT Checklist

The fall semester will be here before you know it. Whether you’re a first-year student or coming back for another great year, make move-in less hectic by completing a few key IT tasks before you arrive.

Pitt IT Pre-Arrival Checklist: 

1. Prepare Your Laptop (Skip the Printer)

Laptops are a helpful tool for completing work while moving around campus. If you don’t have a PC that works well, check out the recommended configurations and great Pitt discounts with Dell at If you’re getting a new device, order it ASAP due to global shipping delays.

If a laptop’s simply not in your budget, consider the University’s laptop loaner program. Then, make sure your operating system, browser, and apps are current with latest updates and patches.

You won’t need a printer. Pitt IT maintains Pitt Print Stations throughout the Pittsburgh campus. Just send a document to be printed and pick it up at any print station using your ID or touchless printing.

2. Download Software

Pitt IT provides loads of software at no cost for students at the Software Download Service, while some other popular software can be downloaded directly from the vendor. It can take a while to install all those apps, so get it out of the way now. The must-have programs include:

  • Office 365: You can download Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook by logging into with your Pitt username/password and clicking Install Office in the upper right corner. You can also install desktop versions of other Microsoft apps, like OneNote.
  • Zoom: Zoom is great for keeping in touch with friends and family, online group work, virtual office hours, and online events. Log into with your Pitt credentials and click Download Client at the bottom of the home screen.
  • Antivirus and Malwarebytes: Pitt IT recommends several free antivirus tools to help protect your devices from hackers.

Short on space or using a borrowed device? You don’t need to download every app—you can access the full desktop version of software via the Virtual Computing Lab.

3. Install Mobile Apps

You will use your phone to check all sorts of things, from academics and campus events to health and dining. The Pitt App Center has tons of free apps, but here are the ones you’ll use all the time:

  • Pitt Mobile—your campus gateway, with quick access to the resources you use most
  • Duo—for multifactor authentication when connecting to services via Pitt Passport
  • Microsoft Office apps—especially Outlook, Word, and OneDrive
  • Canvas Student—access your classes, including the calendar, assignments, and grades
  • Pitt CX Mobile—register for or add/drop classes and your check midterm and final grades
  • Pharos Print—view your print queue and quota balance, and use for touchless printing
  • Rave Guardian—health and safety info, including Pitt Police emergency calls and Safety Timer

4. Set Up Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is available in all Pitt buildings throughout all campuses. The wireless networks deliver speed and reliability—MyResNet in Pittsburgh residence halls and PittNet everywhere else. Your devices will likely detect PittNet_Wireless on its own, but you will need to create a MyResNet account to connect from your Pittsburgh campus residence hall.

Go to MyResNet and set your account up now, so your devices will automatically connect the minute you set foot in your room. If this is your first year in on-campus housing, you will need to create a new account and register up to ten devices (phone, laptop, smart TV, gaming console). If you already have an account, be sure to update your room assignment and devices if they have changed.

5. Set Your myPitt Favorites

myPitt is your gateway for finding anything and everything on campus. You can search for what you need, but you can also save the tasks you use most often. Just click the heart for the task to add them to your My Favorites section. Some student favorites include Pitt Email, PeopleSoft/Highpoint CX, Canvas, PittPay, Virtual Computing Lab, and Office 365. If you have a campus job, add PittWorx too.

6. Set Up Your Email and Account Settings

You and your friends may not use email much, but your instructors and University departments use it a lot for important communications, not to mention that your parents would love an occasional email update. Like it or not, you’re going to need to check your Pitt email regularly. You can use the Outlook mobile app to read email on your phone or tablet or favorite “Pitt Email” in myPitt to check it online.

Then, head on over to to create an email alias. This page also lets you enter your nickname, select your preferred personal pronouns, set your emergency contact, change your password, and adjust other settings.

7. Stay in the Know

It’s important to keep on top of IT news, even if you’re not a techie. You’ll want to know if a service you need is down, learn about a new scam before you accidentally fall for it, or discover a convenient service to make your life easier. So before you get busy and forget, sign up for IT communications at

Get It Done Early

Moving in and starting a new academic year is hectic enough. Check off each of the items above over the next couple weeks, so you’ll be able to hit the ground running. Have any questions, issues, or problems accessing your Pitt IT services? Hit up the 24/7 IT Help Desk at any time.

-- By Karen Beaudway, Pitt IT Blogger