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Computing Guide: Getting Software

A guide to computing at Berkeley Law.

Software Information on this page

Microsoft Office

UC Berkeley provides all students with the Microsoft Office suite for free while they are enrolled at the school. The software will continue working as long as you remain an official Berkeley student, but will expire very soon after you graduate.

This software is provided and managed by Campus IST, not the law school. While we can help walk you through the downloading and installation process, we cannot provide the software to you ourselves, nor can we answer some account-related questions. For these questions, you need to contact or reach out to Campus IST.

Obtaining the software

The Microsoft Office suite, along with many other pieces of software licensed by the campus, is available at Software @ Berkeley. To directly access campus information and instructions about your Microsoft software options, click here. Here are basic steps for downloading and installing the software:

  1. Visit and click Sign In
  2. Type in your full email address and click Next (no password needed). If prompted, select the Work or school account option. You will be redirected to a Berkeley CalNetAD page.
  3. Type in your CalNet username and passphrase and Sign in. If your autofilled username includes "" at the end, delete that part of it before signing in. Complete CalNet 2-Step authentication if prompted.
  4. Once you are logged in, Click Install Office, download and run the installer, and follow the prompts to install Office.

You can download Office for your Windows or Macintosh laptop. You should also be able to use your Office 365 account to download and use Office apps on your mobile devices.

More detailed instructions (with screenshots) have been provided by campus for Mac or for Windows (***links are Google Docs and require you to be logged in with your account).

More information about the products and support, including support for mobile devices (Chromebooks, tablets and phones) can be found here.

A Note about Microsoft OneNote

Many students like to use OneNote to take notes in class. For Windows users, the Microsoft Office suite includes OneNote software that you can use to save local notebooks on your computer. (To use OneDrive storage, follow the same instructions as Mac users below.)

For Mac users, the campus Microsoft Office suite does include OneNote, but does not include OneDrive. OneNote for Mac requires the use of OneDrive. Campus will not enable OneDrive for accounts, so you must create a (free) personal OneDrive account and link it to OneNote in order to use the software.

To create a free personal Microsoft account, visit and click Sign in. You will be given the option to create an account if you do not have one. This account cannot be created using your email address.

Once you have a personal Microsoft account:

  1. Open OneNote. Authorize the application using your CalNet information if necessary.
  2. Click on the '<' icon near the top left of the window to reveal your account. (If you do not see the '<' icon, look in the lower left corner of the OneNote window instead - you should see a circle containing your initials or account icon there. Click on that instead.)
  3. Click on your name, then click on the '+' next to Connected Services. Click on OneDrive (NOT for Business), then log in with your new personal ( account credentials.

These steps will allow you to use the university-provided OneNote software with your personal OneDrive account.

Alternatively, Mac users can download Microsoft OneNote for free through the App Store on your Mac and create a OneDrive account to use with it.

Adobe Creative Cloud

NOTE: (August 15th, 2022) Campus Adobe licenses are now issued on a yearly basis. All students wishing to use Adobe must request/activate a new license each year - the current academic year's licenses will expire in mid-August 2023. (Last year's licenses expired on August 14th, 2022.) More information is available here (from campus) and in the instructions below. Please read through this information carefully, and reach out to if you have questions.

UC Berkeley provides all students with subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud (including Adobe Acrobat) for free. Students wishing to install and use Adobe Acrobat or other software from the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite will need to request/activate a new Adobe license from the campus software team each year while they are enrolled. The software license that you receive from campus at any time during the 2022-2023 academic year will expire in mid-August 2023 and you will need to obtain a new license at that time.

For more information or to submit your request for an Adobe license, visit the campus Adobe page. More information about why this procedure was put into place can be found here.

This software is provided and managed by Campus IST, not the law school. While we can help walk you through the downloading and installation process, we cannot provide the software to you ourselves, nor can we answer some account-related questions. For these questions, you need to contact or reach out to Campus IST.

Obtaining the software

You must submit an activation request for an Adobe license to the campus software team and the system will automatically issue you a license. Step-by-Step instructions for the Adobe request and installation process are available here.

Important notes:

  1. UC Berkeley students do not need to purchase Adobe Creative Cloud apps! - If you attempt to log into previously-installed Adobe apps after August 14th, 2022 without requesting a new license, you may see options to "Try" or "Buy" products from Adobe. Do not purchase the software! Instead, go to the Adobe Software page to request your free license.
  2. There may be a four-hour wait time after you request your Adobe license! - Due to API and other limitations, it can take up to four hours after a request has been made before you will see your new license displayed in Adobe. You can check the status of your license plan by logging into your account via the web at or by clicking the campus license activation link again.

Software @ Berkeley

Software @ Berkeley is a consolidation of several IST sites that offer software to UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students for free. Software downloading requires a CalNet username and passphrase. Software available for free to students through Software @ Berkeley includes:

You can see a full list of all campus-provided software that you are eligible for here.

Antivirus Software

Most new computers come with antivirus software that keeps itself up-to-date for a trial period, after which you must purchase an ongoing subscription. Microsoft, however, provides free antivirus software to Windows users. For all active/current versions of Windows, this software is called Windows Security and it comes installed on your computer. We recommend using this free, easy-to-use option for antivirus software, but the most important thing is that you are using antivirus software that is active and up-to-date. Using an antivirus program that has expired means your computer is not being protected!

Make sure you uninstall any other antivirus software that may be installed on your computer before re-activating Microsoft's software. Having more than one antivirus package installed/running can cause problems that may be difficult to fix. If you previously used a different brand of antivirus software (which expired or which you uninstalled), you should always double-check that Windows Security has "taken over" and is actively protecting your computer again after you remove it, as other security software will sometimes deactivate Windows Security automatically.

Mac viruses are still very uncommon and antivirus software is generally not a necessity for Mac users (unless they are running Windows on their Macs). Berkeley no longer offers free antivirus software for Macs, and the campus policy is that the built-in security features of MacOS are sufficient. If you believe you've accidentally installed malware on your Mac, a good free malware scan app is MalwareBytes (there is no need to use the paid version).

Help & Support

Email computing staff at

Chat with computing staff HERE during remote support hours.

Walk-in support available in the LL131 computer lab (labtechs).

Lab Hours

The computer lab is open (to Berkeley Law students only) whenever the Law Library is open (but not during the Main Reading Room-only hours). Please consult our hours here or reach out to us through email or chat for technical assistance.

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