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Microsoft SharePoint Login For Every Type of Setup

We do a lot of SharePoint support for companies of all sizes.  It is no surprise that we often get asked for the Microsoft SharePoint login steps.  The interesting thing is the answer depends on what edition of SharePoint you are using.  The instructions to login to SharePoint Online are different than the steps to sign in to SharePoint on premise.  Let’s go over these steps in detail.

Microsoft SharePoint Login

Most people associate SharePoint Online as just SharePoint which is great.  SharePoint Online is what Microsoft has been pushing as the way of the future.  If you compare SharePoint Online to SharePoint 2019 on premise, there are striking differences.  SharePoint Online can, in general, do a lot more than SharePoint 2019.

The typical SharePoint login steps are:

  1. Go to
  2. Type in your username and click Next.
  3. Type in your password and click Sign in.
  4. You will be presented with your user dashboard. Click the SharePoint icon on the left-hand side to start exploring areas of SharePoint.

SharePoint Online icon in Office 365 menu


Here are some of the other screens you may see and what to do.

First, if your company uses a security protocol called multi factor authentication, you might be prompted to approve your sign in request.  The screen will look similar to the below.  If you get this prompt, you must validate your SharePoint sign in via a phone call, text message of the Microsoft authenticator app.  You may also have the option to have your approved sign in remembered.  This ‘remember’ option can be configured by your IT team, but is considered more risky than not allowing this option.

Office 365 approve sign in request


Additionally, if you haven’t logged in a while or this is your first time, you will likely get prompted on whether you want to stay signed in to Office 365.  This is purely optional, but can be nice to have if you frequently reboot or are working on a work device.  The stronger security answer is to click ‘No’.

Office 365 stay signed in prompt


Finally, your company may use a technology called an identity manager such as Okta or OneLogin.  The login screens and instructions may be slightly different than the above if something like this is in place.  Typically, you will see an indication with the branding of which identity manager is in place.


Microsoft SharePoint Login for 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019

There are a lot of SharePoint editions for on premise.  On premise means that your company has their very own SharePoint edition on their own servers.  Editions older than SharePoint 2010 are out of Microsoft support.  End of life for SharePoint 2010, per Microsoft, is April 13, 2021.  SharePoint 2012 isn’t too far away in April, 2023.

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Technically by default, you do not need to sign in for SharePoint on premise.  The platform on works if you are on a company network.  This means if you are not on a company network, you need to sign in somehow.  Your IT department may or may not have setup a way to allow this.  Some companies do not allow people to login from outside the network.  Here are the most common ways people login to SharePoint if IT allows it.


Login to SharePoint on VPN

A VPN is a way for someone to connect to a company network.  There are a large number of VPN services out there.  Each one has their own unique settings and nuances on how you login.  You may need instructions on how to use your company’s VPN.  If this is the case, we recommend you contact your IT department for exact instructions.  Ask IT “Can you please give me VPN instructions?” and they should know what you mean.

Once you are logged in to the VPN, you should be able to use your companies SharePoint URL.  One of the benefits of SharePoint on premise is your company can use its own customized URL.  Unfortunately this also means we cannot give you the exact URL for SharePoint since every company has the liberty of changing it.  If you are on the company network and need access to SharePoint, ask IT “Can you please send me the SharePoint URL?” and they should know what you mean.


SharePoint Sign In via Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

There are some instances where you may need to login to SharePoint using RDS.  These are somewhat rare because it is considered less secure than using a VPN.  You may need to use RDS for some more technical capabilities, but if that is the case then this article isn’t for you!

If you do need to sign in using RDS, then using a Windows laptop or desktop, go to Start > and type “Remote Desktop”.  The option that pops up will be Remote Desktop Connection; click that.  You will need three things to use this:

  • Computer Name
  • Username
  • Password

Each of these is customized for every single company.  If you need any of these three things, send IT a specific email asking for which aspect you need.

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