First-Year, Exchange, Transfer & Current Student Techlist

Top Tips First Years, Transfers & Exchange Students

1. Initialize your official Macalester College account
Information Technology Services (ITS) will send an email message with the subject “Initialize your Macalester Account” to your personal email address on file with Admissions (ACTC students should expect this email message to be sent to your college email address). Read it carefully and follow the instructions to initialize your official Macalester College account.

2. Sign into your Macalester Gmail account and turn on Google 2-Step Verification
You’ll get 30 days—and more if you need it—after your first Google/email account login to turn on Google 2-Step Verification. Follow the enroll prompts from Google when you log in or review get started wtih 2-Step verificationMacalester uses Google Workspace for Education, offering reliable service with Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar and more! You will be prompted to accept Google’s Terms of Service the first time you sign into Gmail. Go to and sign in with your Macalester email address and password.

3. Set up Duo Mobile app for 1600grand
The very first time you log into 1600grand, Duo Mobile 2-factor authentication is required. Follow the instructions in our Duo Mobile Setup Guide to get ready to use the Duo Mobile app.

4. Claim your Zoom license
Macalester uses Zoom for video conferencing. You’ll need to use your Macalester Username and Password (not just the email address) to properly set up your Zoom account with our site license. Please follow these instructions to learn how to sign in with SSO to set up your Zoom account.


✓ Know how to get help

In response to COVID-19, the best way to ask for assistance is to email the ITS Help Desk at Use our Self Service Portal to search for answers, chat or submit a ticket. The ITS Help Desk in located at Humanities 314 for in-person assistance. Macalester’s Self Service Portal:

✓ Forgot your password? No problem! You can reset it yourself with our self-service password reset tool

Checkout the password requirements and how to change or reset a forgotten password.

✓ Check your email regularly

All official college communications are sent to your official email address. Faculty, Registrar, Dean of Students, and ITS are just a few of the departments on campus that send vital information to your inbox. Sign in with your email address at

✓ Learn more about Google Workspace

Even the most savvy Gmail user can learn a few time-saving tricks by following the Google Workspace checklist for new users.

Get your technology ready

✓ Review technology packing list

Do bring
  • Laptop and charger. Laptops are strongly recommended for all students. ITS supports both Windows and Mac. Review the minimum recommended computer specifications. 
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Earbuds or headphones
  • External hard drive
Don’t bring
  • Wireless printer
  • Wireless router
  • Ethernet cable, pick one up in the ITS Help Desk instead
  • Other networking devices. ITS will block devices that cause problems for others.

✓ Download software for class

Course-specific software is available for download at no cost or can be accessed in campus computer labs. Microsoft Office is available to students at no cost as part of our Microsoft volume licensing agreement.  software download | Microsoft Office for Windows (gdoc) | Microsoft Office for macOS (gdoc)

Keep your data secure

✓ Turn on 2-factor authentication for your Google & 1600grand account

It’s easier than you think for someone to steal your password, 2-factor authentication can help keep cybercriminals out, even if they have your password. Using a 2nd factor to authenticate to your Google and 1600grand account is a security requirement for all staff, faculty and students. You’ll securely log into your Google & 1600grand accounts with 2 things: 1) something you know (your password) and 2) something you have (your phone).

✓ Make a plan to back up your data and stick to it

Question: When would be a good time for your hard drive to fail and to lose all of your classwork? Answer: Never. Reduce your chances of losing valuable data by backing it up. backup solutions | Google Drive Backup & Sync

✓ Use a password manager

Set up a password manager account with a personal email account to keep all your passwords in one place making it easier to remember and change your password on a regular basis. There are many free password management tools to choose from. Google these suggestions to learn more: LastPass, Dashlane, RoboForm, KeePass, and Sticky Password.

✓ Set up your VPN for remote connections (optional)

Need a secure connection to Macalester’s network from off campus for coursework and research? Use GlobalProtect VPN software along with Duo Mobile—a multifactor authentication tool—to securely connect your laptop, smartphone or tablet to our network when you are not on campus. VPN & Duo Mobile setup guide macOS (gdoc)VPN & Duo Mobile setup guide Windows (gdoc)

✓ Start serial number tracking sheet

Get it logged. Get it back. Should your laptop or tablet be lost or stolen would you be able to quickly come up with its serial number? Now you can. Keep track of your stuff by recording the serial number and description in a Google Spreadsheet. serial number tracker template (gsheet)  

Macalester WiFi, eduroam & Gadgets

✓ Set up your laptop, smartphone or tablet to use wifi

You don’t have to be on campus to use eduroam’s configuration assistant tool to install and enable the service before arriving at Macalester. Once on campus, just select eduroam from the list of available wireless networks.  Get connected to eduroam. 

✓ Register gaming device or smart TV for network use

If you are planning on bringing a gaming device or smart TV to campus, its MAC address must be registered before connecting to the network. Once here, connect your device in the Residence Halls with an ethernet cable or on the Macalester Gadgets wireless network. Get connected to Macalester Gadgets.

Computer labs, printing, and technology checkout

✓ Visit computer labs

Public computer labs are located in the residence halls and Library. Academic departments also offer specialized computer labs for student use. In some cases, students may use a virtual computer to access specialized software for course work.

✓ Set up your uniFLOW account and associate it with your MacPass to start printing

There is no charge for students to print. Printers and multifunction printing devices are available in the dorms, Campus Center, Library and Humanities Building.  Follow the uniFLOW Account Setup Guide for Student Printing (gdoc). See Print Services Info for a list of printer locations and more.

✓ Checkout tech equipment from the Digital Resource Center

Students can checkout technology equipment at no cost from the Digital Resource Center. Book and browse equipment via ITS TechCheckout. You can also read more about available resources on the equipment checkout page. As the response to COVID-19 changes, access to checkout equipment may be limited this fall.

Streaming TV, movies & music

✓ Stream live TV legally

Stream live TV from on campus and thousands of Xfinity On Demand shows and movies directly to your laptop, desktop and mobile devices at Additionally, you can use your Macalester credentials to log into over 90 TV Everywhere apps when off-campus. 

✓ Find out how sharing music and movies could get internet connection turned off

Find out what it means to be a responsible user of technology services. Locate legal resources for online movies, television shows, and music. When students violate copyright laws, owners take action.  Information Technology Responsible Use  |  Filesharing  |  Digital Copyright Violations