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Help with signing in to OU systems

Your Open University Computer user name (OUCU)

This is usually sent to you by letter when you register. Your user name is usually your initials followed by numbers to make it unique and is in lowercase. The numbers 1 and zero are not used in the user name so if you think that you see these they will in fact be the letters L or O in lower case. The OUCU can’t be changed once assigned. Your personal identifier (PI) can be interchanged with your OUCU when logging in.

Your Password

We send you an initial password and expect you to change this when you first sign in. Your password is case sensitive. It needs to be over 8 characters long. Remember it is your responsibility to keep it secure. For suggestions on what to use see the section below called better password security.

Forgotten your password

If you forget your password you can reset it. Please follow the reset your password here link next to the password box. The Computing helpdesk are not able to see your password for data protection reasons so are therefore only able to help if the reset link does not work for you so and we can normally only send out a new password by letter. You can contact the computing helpdesk by going to the contact us section at Security information will be asked to verify who you are so please make sure you have information to hand about your course and particulars given when you registered.

Trouble signing in, some things to try

  • Are you actually signing in to the right page don’t use a search engine like Google to find the page. Type in to the address bar. This is right at the top where it starts http:


  • If you only type in there is a drop down list to select student home if you do not select this you will not get in
  • Check that caps lock is not on
  • If you use numbers and enter them by the number pad check that the number lock is on
  • Clear the box and start again making sure you are not accidently hitting shift or other buttons accidently

Better Password security

To create a password that is stronger and more secure it is better if it contains at least three of the following

  • English uppercase characters (A - Z)
  • English lowercase characters (a - z)
  • Base 10 digits (0 - 9)
  • Non-alphanumeric (for example: !, $, #, or % but not | " £ or space or non standard keyboard characters).

Remember, the longer it is the harder it will be to crack but do not make it so long or complicated that you cannot remember it yourself!

What not to include

  • Don’t include your OUCU or personal identifier
  • Your name or other things that can be easily guessed about you
  • Something that can be found in a dictionary e.g. don’t use password instead Pw9wrdx! would be more secure
  • If you reset your password don’t keep repeating and just adding incremental numbers.
  • Do not allow your browser to save your password to the page since this is a security risk if others have access to your computer or if your computer is stolen.
  • Don’t use obvious substitutions e.g. one for L

Cookies you may see if you browse our site signed in

We use cookies to make sure our websites work effectively and to improve your user experiences on them. The cookies we set when you sign in are essential, without these cookies you will not be able to sign in to secure areas of our website. For more information on cookies used by the OU please see

The Open University has computing code of conduct which can be found at