About the Sign In Application

Topic Last Modified: 2009-10-19

The Microsoft Online Services Sign In application is installed on each end user’s computer to provide a single sign-in point for Microsoft Online Services. The Sign In application makes it possible to sign in one time and then access services any number of times during the sign-in session. Without the Sign In application, end users must provide a name and password each time they try to access a service.

In addition to providing a single sign-in point, the Sign In application automatically configures users’ applications so that they can be used with Microsoft Online Services. During its configuration of Microsoft Outlook, the Sign In application creates a new Outlook profile to use with Microsoft Online Services. After the initial auto-configuration, each time a user opens Microsoft Outlook through the Sign In application, the correct profile is used. The previous profile remains stored in Outlook.

We strongly recommend that you sign in to Microsoft Online Services through the Sign In application. Use of the services without being signed in through the Sign In application is not supported.

A service administrator typically deploys the Sign In application to each computer in the company or instructs end users to install it themselves by going to the Downloads tab on My Company Portal. The Sign In application has a link to My Company Portal, but end users can also go straight to My Company Portal by typing the URL for the site into their Web browser. To find the URL for My Company Portal, see URLs for Microsoft Online Services.

The Sign In application should be installed only on computers with Microsoft Online Services accounts. The Sign In application should not be installed on public computers such as those found in airports and libraries.

The Sign In application provides these features:

  • Automatic configuration of applications. The Sign In application automatically configures desktop applications on the user’s computer so that they can work properly with Microsoft Online Services. This saves time and trouble for first-time users and reduces support time for service administrators. If necessary, users can also use the Sign In application to reconfigure their desktop applications manually.
  • Single access point for services. Instead of signing in to each available service separately, users can use the Sign In application one time, and then start service applications without any additional sign-in requests. The Sign In application lists all the services that the company’s service administrator has made available to the user. These online services depend on the licenses that each company has purchased.
  • Password management. Users can change their service password in the Sign In application, and if their password expires, the Sign In application alerts them and offers the ways to update their password.
  • Sign In options. Users can configure the Sign In application to start automatically and sign themselves in each time they start Windows and to alert them when a new version of the Sign In application is available.
  • Notification of service license expiration. If the user’s service license expires, the Sign In application displays a notification. For more information about service license expiration, see About Expiration of Subscriptions.

See Also

Other Resources

URLs for Microsoft Online Services
About Outlook Profiles and the Sign In Application
About Expiration of Subscriptions