This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page aims to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions that are put to DIDE IT. There is a wealth of useful information in these pages, so please refer to the FAQs before asking DIDE IT as your question may well have an answer here. You may also wish to browse these pages to learn something new.

The FAQs section will be updated frequently, so please make sure you check it regularly for new answers to your questions.

The FAQs are split into different categories, so please select the category that describes the area you need help with:

General information

What is the current email service status?

ICT maintains the e-mail servers, so if you are having a problem with e-mail, you can check the service status page to see if there are any issues. You can find out the current status of the services offered by Imperial College on the ICT service desk page.

What is the name of my computer?

You can find your computer name by doing the following:

  • Windows 7: Click on Start menu, right-click on Computer and choose Properties.
  • Windows 10: Click on the Start menu, type System and click the System (Control Panel) icon.

The name of your PC/laptop will be listed under the Computer name section.

Can I give my visitor access to the network?

Visitors with their own laptop/smartphone

You can request a guest account for your visitor via the visitors and guests section of the College website.  The account can be either for one day (8 hours) or between 1-90 days.  The account will allow your guest to connect their personal laptop or smartphone to the College Wi-Fi network (Imperial).

Visitors from other academic institutions can use their own credentials to logon to the eduroam wireless network from their laptop/smartphone.

Visitors without their own laptop

If your guest does not have their own laptop it may be possible for DIDE IT to set them up with a temporary account to access the PCs in the Hot Desk area.

Which version of windows am I using?

To find out which version of Windows you are using, and whether it is 32bit or 64bit, do the following:

Windows Vista/7

  1. Click on Start, right click on Computer, and then click on Properties.
  2. In the Windows Edition section, it will display 'Windows 7' and then the edition (e.g. Professional or Enterprise).
  3. In the System section, next to System Type, it will show you whether it is a 32bit or 64bit version.

Is my computer a member of the DIDE domain?

To find out if your computer is a member of the DIDE domain or not, do the following:

Windows Vista/7

  1. Click on the Start menu, right click on Computer, and then click on Properties.
  2. You will see DIDE.LOCAL next to Domain if it is a member of the domain.

Usernames and passwords

How do I obtain my username?

  • All departmental members possess a DIDE username (for computer logon and file & print access etc) and an Imperial College username (typically used only for e-mail access).
  • Your College username will be automatically generated when your details are entered into the HR database. You will be given a CID number (your unique ID within the College), and you will need this number to activate your username, which you must do on the Activation webpage.
  • Once your College username has been generated, you will be given your DIDE username from a member of DIDE IT. It will be created using the same username you are given for your College username.

How do I change my password?

  • If you need to change your DIDE password, simply press Ctrl & Alt & Del on a machine on the DIDE network and choose Change Password. You will need to type in your existing password and a new password twice.
  • If you need to change your College password, you can do this using the method above on a machine on the IC network (e.g. in the library, MSc room, or another campus), but it is quicker to do it online.

How can I recover a forgotten password or unlock my account?

  • If you have forgotten your DIDE password, please contact a member of DIDE IT to have it reset. The following people are also able to reset your password for you:
  • If you have forgotten your College password, you can reset it here or by contacting ICT Service Desk.

How can I choose a strong password?

You can read about choosing a strong password on the Imperial ICT pages.


How do I get access to my email account?

For new starters, you will need to activate your Imperial College account before you will be able to use your e-mail. You can read more about this process in the New Starters section on the Introduction to Services page.

You can access your e-mail from any web browser using Office 365, or you can setup Microsoft Outlook to access it using these instructions.

Can I access my email from my mobile device?

Yes, you can access your e-mail from your mobile device/smartphone. Follow the steps for your particular device using the guides located here.

What is the maximum size limit for an email message?

An e-mail can have a maximum size of 25Mb. Anything larger than that will not be delivered. If you need to share large files with people in DIDE, use the T: temp drive. If you need to share large files with people outside of DIDE, use the File Exchange service.

How can I send an e-mail to everyone in DIDE?

If you wish to send a mass e-mail to all members of DIDE, please send it to:

There is more information on mass mailings, as well as the other distribution lists we have available, in the Mailing lists section of the Introduction to Services page.

How do I archive my email to free up space?

Online Archiving is the email archiving service at Imperial College London and is provided by Office 365. Online Archiving is enabled by default on all Office 365 email accounts. All messages over two years old are archived.

Learn more at Archiving emails.

Sending files

Where should I store my files?

You should store your important files on your Q: drive, which you will find in My Computer. The Q: drive is only accessible by you, and it is backed up every night. This means that if you accidentally delete something, or something becomes corrupted, DIDE IT will be able to restore it for you.

Please note that your Q: drive has a limited capacity, and therefore you should only save important data in this space.  The default size limit is 15Gb, but this can be increased at the discretion of DIDE IT.

Anything that is not important can be stored on your C: drive. Please note that the contents of your C: drive are not backed up, therefore it is your responsibility to save it to an external disk drive as for of backup. Please also be aware that someone else that logs onto your computer will be able to access your C: drive data unless it is password protected or encrypted.

How can I share files with other people in DIDE?

If you would like to share files that are too big to be e-mailed, or are not allowed through the e-mail system (such as .exe files), then you can store them on the T: drive. The T: drive, which you will find in My Computer, is a space reserved for the temporary sharing of large files.

Please note that everyone in DIDE has access to the temp drive, and that it is not backed up. You should remove your file(s) from the temp drive when you no longer need to share them.

DIDE IT deletes the contents of the temp drive on regular occasions. As a courtesy we may send out an e-mail notification before hand, but this may not always be possible.

How can I share files with other people outside DIDE?

If you would like to share files with other people in the College or outside of the College, you can send them via e-mail as long as they are under 10Mb in size. Any files over 10Mb in size, or those that would be blocked by the e-mail system (such as .exe files) can be shared using the College's File Exchange service.

This service allows you to upload your file to the File Exchange web page and can generate a web address that you can then send to the person you want to give the file to. They can simply browse to the web page and download the file.

It also allows someone from outside the College to give you access to a large file using a similar method of uploading it to the File Exchange web page.

How can I recover deleted or corrupt files from my Q: drive?

Please contact a member of DIDE IT if you wish to recover data from your Q: drive, as we can restore the data from our backups.

Mobile devices

Can I access my e-mails from my mobile device?

Yes, you can access your College e-mail from your mobile device. Guides are available on the Imperial ICT page.

How can I access Imperial's wireless internet from my mobile device?

The wireless network that you need to connect to is called Imperial-WPA. When you attempt to connect to it from your mobile device, you will need to enter your College username and password, as the wireless network allows access to only College staff and students.

Guides are available on the Imperial ICT page.

Working remotely

What's the Best Way to Work Remotely?

The most efficient way of working remotely requires you to have internet access in the first instance.

With internet access you can:

Do I need internet access to work with email?

To access new e-mails and send e-mails straight away, yes you do need internet access. But Outlook has a function called Cached Mode which allows you to read and respond to e-mails without having to be connected to the internet.

Cached mode creates a copy of your mailbox onto your computer's hard drive. This means that you can view e-mails downloaded during your last connection with the e-mail server. You can also reply to messages and they will sit in your outbox waiting until you next connect, whereupon the will be sent.

Cached mode is turned on by default when your Outlook profile is created.

My DIDE VPN connection is not working

If you find that your VPN connection is not working, make sure you have been given access to use the facility by a member of DIDE IT.

If you have, you should try deleting and recreating the VPN connection using this guide.

Make sure you are using your correct DIDE username and password. If your account is locked out, the VPN connection will not work.

If all fails try connecting to the College's VPN service. If that fails, and you are using a Wi-Fi hotspot or another organisation's network/internet, you may find that the firewall of the provider of the connection is blocking VPN connections.

I cannot access my office computer

  • Make sure your office computer is switched on.
  • Make sure you have initiated the VPN connection.
  • Try using the full computer name. This involves adding to the end of it. So if your computer name was 'mycomputer', the full computer name would be

Can someone log into my PC if I am remotely using it & vice versa?

If you are remotely accessing your computer using Remote Desktop, then no one else will be able to physically log on to it. The screen will show that it is in used and has been locked by you.

Similarly, if you are physically present and logged into your computer, then no one else will be able to Remote Desktop to it.