Looking for guidance on changing your password or connecting to WiFi? Explore some of our most frequently asked questions!

Account Questions

If you are a new student to Purdue Northwest you will need to activate your account.

  1. You will need to go to https://password.pnw.edu.
  2. You will then click on “Activate Account (New Students Only)”
  3. You will put in your:
    • Career Account
    • Last Name
    • PUID# (Purdue ID Number)

Your Career account and PUID will be on your admission letter.
If you get an error that your account is not eligible for activation you will need to contact the Customer Service Center at 219-989-2888.

  1. All PNW passwords:
    1. Must be between 8 and 16 characters long.
    2. Must contain more than 4 unique characters.
    3. May not contain easily guessed words, e.g. purdue, itap, boiler.
    4. May not contain your name or parts of your name.
    5. Must be a different password than the previous password.
    6. Passwords may not be re-used for 1 year.
    7. Must NOT contain spaces.
    8. Must contain at least 1 letter.Must contain at least 1 number or punctuation mark.
  2. If your password is above 16 characters, you may not be able to get certain systems with your full password.
    1. You may only have to put in the first 16 characters of the password.
  1. Students and the majority of faculty and staff passwords expire every 180 days.
  2. Faculty and staff that have special privileges, passwords expire every 30 to 90 days.

If you forgot your password, you can reset it two different ways.

  1. You can reset your password using BoilerKey.  Go to https://pnw.edu/reset, and authenticate with your BoilerKey PIN and Duo.

2. If you are unable to use BoilerKey, and you previously set up your Security Questions, please go to https://www.purdue.edu/apps/account/SSPasswordReset. This page will allow you to put in your PUID , Date of Birth and you will need to answer 3 of your security questions.  (To setup your security questions BEFORE needing them, see the question below: “How do I setup Security Questions to reset my password.”

If you did not set up your Security Questions, and you are unable to use the BoilerKey option above, you will need to bring a photo ID to the CSC and they can reset your password for you. In certain cases, you can also reset your password over the phone by calling the CSC at 219-989-2888. The CSC will not give password through email.

If you call the Customer Service Center we will need the following information to reset your password.

  • PUID
  • Username
  • Name as it appears on File
  • Address on File

To set up or change your Security questions, you will need to go to https://www.purdue.edu/apps/account/SSPasswordResetOptions. You will log in with BoilerKey and answer 3 of the security questions.  You can then answer these questions to reset your password when needed.

The Purdue BoilerKey is a form of two-factor authentication, a system that requires two forms of verification of identity before a person can access protected computer resources.

At Purdue, these two forms of verification are something you know (career account username and either a password or PIN) and something you have (a physical token or the Duo Mobile application on your smartphone). These two items are used in place of your password alone to gain access to computer applications and systems.

The BoilerKey comes in two forms. One is the Duo Mobile application for your smartphone that either displays a push notification used when you enter your PIN or a randomized six-digit code. The other is a small electronic device, known as a hard token, which displays a series of six digits when activated.

Click here for more information about BoilerKey.

All Purdue affiliates need to have a password and Boilerkey.

  1. Career Account is used for:
    1. Campus Computers
    2. Eduroam
    3. Faculty/Staff Email (Outlook and outlook.office.com)
    4. Webfiles
    5. Office 365
  2. Boilerkey is used for:
    1. MyPNW/Brightspace
    2. SAP
    3. Student Email (Gmail)
    4. Success Factors
    5. others

BoilerKey uses your career account username. It does not use the career account password.

For the BoilerKey passphrase, you will use one of the following 2 options:

  • your 4 digit PIN + , + push
    • Using the word ‘push’ will send a push notification to your phone. You will need to approve the notification you receive from Duo Mobile.
  • your 4 digit PIN + , + the 6 digit code you see on your hard token/in your Duo Mobile application
    • Using the 6 digit code may be faster if you are having connection issues.

Management of your BoilerKey can be done through purdue.edu/boilerkey. From this page, you can set up additional BoilerKeys, set up self-recovery, get one-time-use backup codes, and much more. Additional assistance with managing your BoilerKey can be obtained through the CSC by calling 219.989.2888 or emailing csc@pnw.edu.

Your PNW password expires every 180 days or sooner, depending on what your account access privileges. When you change your password, please remember to change it on all of the devices that your account is attached to or your account may lock.

You will need to change your password for:

  • Mobile email accounts
  • Eduroam
  • Any third party email application

You will also need to restart your machine for your password to update. Also if you have multiple computers on campus, you will have to make sure that your machine are not logged into your account when you change your password.

PNW follows Purdue’s policy when it comes to disabling/deleting accounts.

Following these steps will ONLY change your preferred name in the myPurdue portal and in Brightspace. To change your preferred name in other PNW systems, please contact the Dean of Students Office at dos@pnw.edu.

  1. Access myPurdue by going to http://mypurdue.purdue.edu/
  2. Select the ‘Academics’ tab on the left side,  navigate to the ‘Personal Information’ box, and click ‘Name Change Info’
  3. You will then be able to update your preferred first name, and click Submit when you are finished entering your preferred first name.

This change can take up to 24 hours to appear.


PNW uses Microsoft’s Exchange Online to provide e-mail to all faculty and staff.  Exchange Online is a cloud-based service that allows faculty and staff to access their email, calendar, and contacts on multiple devices via the web or e-mail clients such as Outlook.

Faculty/staff can access their e-mail from a web browser here.

Click here for more information about faculty/staff e-mail.

Every student is provided with a Gmail account. Gmail is Google’s web-based email program, which provides users over 6 gigabytes of storage, fast Google search and powerful spam protection.  As part of Google Apps for Education, e-mail addresses are set to your PNW account username@pnw.edu. All official University information will be sent to this account. Therefore, plan to check for messages frequently.

Students can access e-mail from the MyPNW portal.  Go here for more information about Student e-mail.

You can sync up your PNW email on your mobile devices.

For student:

For Faculty and Staff

  1. Open a new email message.

  2. On the Message menu, select Signature Signatures.

    Depending on the size of your Outlook window and whether you’re composing a new email message or a reply or forward, the Message menu and the Signature button might be in two different locations.

  3. Under Select signature to edit, choose New, and in the New Signature dialog box, type a name for the signature.

  4. Under Edit signature, compose your signature. You can change fonts, font colors, and sizes, as well as text alignment. If you want to create a more robust signature with bullets, tables, or borders, use Word to format your text, then copy and paste the signature into the Edit signature box. You can also use one of our pre-designed templates for your signature. Download the templates in Word, customize them with your personal information, and then copy and paste them into the Edit signature box.
  5. Under Choose default signature, set the following options for your signature:In the E-mail account drop-down box, choose an email account to associate with the signature. You can have different signatures for each email account.If you want your signature added to all new messages by default, in the New messages drop-down box, select one of your signatures. If you don’t want to automatically add a signature to new messages, choose (none). This doesn’t add a signature to any messages you reply to or forward.If you want your signature to appear in the messages you reply to and forward, in the  Replies/forwards drop-down, select one of your signatures. Otherwise, accept the default option of (none).
  6. Choose OK to save your new signature and return to your message. Outlook doesn’t add your new signature to the message you opened in Step 1, even if you chose to apply the signature to all new messages. You’ll have to add the signature manually to this one message. All future messages will have the signature added automatically. To add the signature manually, select Signature from the Message menu and then pick the signature you just created.

Add a Logo to Your Signature

If you have a company logo or an image to add to your signature, use the following steps.

  1. Open a new message and then select Signature > Signatures.
  2. In the Select signature to edit box, choose the signature you want to add a logo or image to.
  3. Select the Image icon, locate your image file, and select Insert.
  4. To resize your image, right-click the image, then choose Picture. Select the Size tab and use the options to resize your image. To keep the image proportions, make sure to keep the Lock aspect ratio checkbox checked.
  5. When you’re done, select OK, then select OK again to save the changes to your signature.

Instructions can be found here.

Connecting to the Network

Eudroam is the Wi-Fi used across both Purdue Northwest campuses. When you are connecting to eduroam, you will need to enter your username@pnw.edu and your password. If you have entered that information and it does not work, please try entering your username@purdue.edu and your password. If neither of those options work, you may have to set up eduroam manually.These Knowledge base articles will be able to help you.

Visitors can access wireless networking on both PNW campuses by connecting to the wireless network “attwifi”.  This network will allow access to the internet, but does not give the device access to PNW internal network services.

Click here for more information on connecting to the attwifi network.

Being unable to connect to the network is usually the time to update your connection credentials. A simple way to fix this is to ‘forget’ the network and then reconnect.

For Windows Computers:

  1. Go to Network and Internet Settings.
  2. Choose Wifi.
  3. Click Manage Known Networks.
  4. Choose Eduroam, and Forget the Network.
  5. Reconnect to Eduroam using your @pnw.edu email address and career account password.

For Mac Computers:

  1. Click the Wifi icon in the top menu bar.
  2. Open Network Preferences.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Click on Eduroam to highlight the network.
  5. Click the – (minus) button at the bottom of the window.
  6. Reconnect to Eduroam using your @pnw.edu email address and career account password.

For Chromebooks:

  1. Click the clock at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Click the Settings gear.
  3. Select Wifi.
  4. Select Eduroam, then click Forget.
  5. Reconnect to Eduroam using your @pnw.edu email address and career account password.
  6. If necessary, update the following information as you connect.
    1. EAP Method: PEAP
    2. CA Certificate: Do not check/Do not validate
    3. Phase 2 Authentication (may be in Advanced): MSCHAPv2


If you are living in the dorm on the Hammond campus and would like to hook up your device to be able to access the Internet, you will need to contact the Customer Service Center with the following information.

  • Your Name
  • Your Username
  • What type of device you are going to connect (PS4, Xbox, etc.)
  • The MAC address for your device
  • What building you are in
  • What room you are in? Is this a wire or wireless connection

You can send this information to the CSC by phone (219) 989-2888 or by email csc@pnw.edu.

Click here for more information on connecting to the PNW VPN.


All Windows workstations save user files to a unique Users directory.  This directory is created for each user that contains that user’s profile data, including files in the Desktop, Documents, Favorites, Music, and Pictures folders.  For example, if your username was jdoe, then all your files would be stored in the folder: C:\Users\jdoe.  At PNW, we automatically back up some of these folders, but not all of them.  In order to ensure that your files are always backed up, follow these directions:

Backing up your files to the PNW file server:

All files stored in your Documents, Favorites, Pictures, and Videos folders are automatically backed up to PNW servers.  If you have files that you would like backed up from your Desktop folder, you will need to manually copy those files to a backed-up folder:

To move all files/folders from your Desktop folder to your Documents folder:

    1. Open File Explorer by clicking on the Start Menu, then typing “File Explorer” and clicking on the File Explorer icon, or by clicking on the folder icon in the Taskbar.
    2. Click on the Documents icon on the left side of the File Explorer window.
    3. Select all files/folders that you would like backed up from your Desktop, and drag them to this Documents folder.

Backing up your files to a removable storage device (USB drive):

You may also choose to copy your files/folders to a removable device for an additional backup.  We do not recommend using a removable storage device as your only backup.  Important files should be backed up the PNW file servers or a cloud storage service, such as Google Drive.

  1. Connect your USB storage device to the computer.
  2. Select all files/folders that you would like backed up from your computer, including from the Desktop, Documents, Favorites, Pictures, and Videos folders and drag them to the USB media.

Some faculty/staff Windows computer user folders are automatically backed up to PNW servers.  Use this chart to determine if your files are being backed up.  PNW IS recommends that all important files be kept in the Documents folder to ensure they are backed up.

Windows Default Locations Backed-Up PNW File Locations
C:\users\username\Desktop No C:\users\username\Desktop
C:\users\username\Documents Yes H:\Documents
C:\users\username\Downloads No C:\users\username\Downloads
C:\users\username\Favorites Yes H:\Favorites
C:\users\username\Music Yes H:\Music
C:\users\username\Pictures Yes H:\Pictures
C:\users\username\Videos Yes H:\Videos

PNW Information Services (IS) has designated certain times and days as Maintenance Windows.  Work performed during maintenance windows may encounter interruptions or poor reliability if maintenance is being performed.  These windows are listed below.

Occasionally, IS may need to extend these maintenance windows due to an emergency change situation.  These emergency changes, as well as all Scheduled Maintenance notifications, will be communicated to the university community via e-mail and/or the IT Status page.

  • Standard Maintenance Windows:
    • Saturdays – 5pm-12am
    • Mon-Sun – 9:30pm-5:00am (Faculty/Staff Workstations)
    • Mon-Sun – 1:15am-5:00am (Classroom/Lab Workstations)
  • Emergency Maintenance Windows:
    • Tuesday/Thursday – 4am-6am

If users need to access their on-campus workstation remotely, they will need to contact the CSC at csc@pnw.edu or 219-989-2888.  The CSC can enable that function.

Office 365 is available for download for Purdue students, faculty and staff on their personal computers. Click here and login with your @pnw.edu email address as your username, and your career account password. /a>. Please note that when you leave the university, you will lose access to Microsoft office.

Zoom is a video conference tool that is offered to all Purdue faculty and staff. Click here for information about how to create a Zoom meeting.

WebEx is a video conferencing system that is offered to all Purdue faculty and staff. Click here for information about how to create a WebEx meeting.

If you suspect that an e-mail you received may be spam or a phishing attempt, do not click on any links or open any attachments!  Forward the e-mail as an attachment to abuse@pnw.edu.  Information Services staff will then get back to you and let you know if the e-mail is truly a phishing attempt or spam and instruct you on the next steps.  Be sure to include in your e-mail if you have clicked on any links, opened any attachments, or provided your PNW credentials.

How to forward an e-mail as an attachment:

  1. Start a new message.
  2. Select Attach Item from the toolbar.
  3. Select Outlook Item.
  4. Browse to the message you are inquiring about, and select it to attach it.