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NetID: Complete Guide to NetID

This document is comprised of all the KnowledgeBase documents on NetID.


Getting Started

What is a NetID?

Your NetID and password allow you to access many university systems. Your NetID is a combination of your initials and numbers (e.g. abc123) and is not the same as your Rice ID or Owl ID.

 Eligibility for NetID

Your NetID account will work for the duration of your "active" status at the university. The actions below change your status in the Rice database, which triggers the creation of your NetID. In turn, your NetID creation activates your Rice email account.
  • Faculty and Staff: after acceptance of employment (Contact Human Resources for any questions regarding eligibility.)
  • Undergraduate: within 24 hours of your undergraduate student status (late April or early May after deposits are received) (Contact the Office of the Registrar for any questions regarding eligibility.)
  • Graduate: after completion of the acceptance process (Contact the Office of the Registrar for any questions regarding eligibility.)
  • Retirees: university retirees as defined by Human Resources have access to email only. 

 Computing Systems Linked to NetID

Activate NetID 

Go to the Online Account Management System. The MyNetID page is divided into two parts:

  • Left section: Sign In (for current account holders)
  • Right section: Activate Your NetID (for new members of the Rice community).

In the right section, select the link, Start by activating your NetID

The web page with the link Activating your NetID highlighted

You will be asked to provide your Rice ID number (which is on your Rice ID card or in your welcome letter), your birth date, and your first and last name (which should match the name given to the Office of the Registrar or Human Resources). Then select Submit.

Screen displaying activate your NetID

If you already have an active NetID: clicking Submit will respond with "Your NetID is already activated. It can not be activated again." You can click on the link at the top of the page: I already have a NetID to log in to your NetID Account.

After successfully setting up your NetID password, you will receive a congratulations message that identifies your name and NetID. Your NetID is created automatically and is a combination of your initials and numbers.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to make a note of your NetID. In the example below, mmf11 is the example NetID.

Success screen with NetID credentials

Once your password is set, you can access your Rice email through Rice Google Mail. Read more in Google Workspace for Education

Duo Authentication 


Duo is a tool used to improve access security by using two-factor authentication (2FA), also called multi-factor authentication (MFA). Individuals are required to verify their identity by sharing something they know (i.e. userid and password) along with something they have (i.e. a smartphone app). This type of authentication protects Rice systems against cyber attacks.

Rice has several systems that require Duo authentication. Duo's enrollment process makes it easy to register your phone and install the Duo Mobile application on your smartphone or tablet. If you have multiple devices, a smartphone, and a tablet, we recommend that you register both as a hedge against the loss of one device. If, for example, your smartphone is lost, stolen, or damaged, you could use your tablet with DUO, until your smartphone is replaced or repaired. 

Duo prompts you to enroll when you enable Duo Two-Factor Authentication within MyNetID (Online Account Management System).

Supported Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and Opera.

Step 1: Login to the Online Account Management System with your NetID credentials. Select the Sign in button.

Screenshot of MyNetID login window. You can login or activate your NetID.

Step 2: Select Two-Factor Authentication under Account Maintenance menu or the lock icon on the main screen.

Welcome window that pops up after logging in.


Step 3: Select Enable Two-Factor Authentication.

Screenshot of of two-factor authentication window showing the button to click to enable two-factor authentication.

Step 4: Click Start setup to begin enrolling your device.

Protect your Rice account: Two-factor authentication enhances the security of your account by using a secondary device to verify your identity.

Step 5: Select the type of device you'd like to enroll in and click Continue. We recommend using a smartphone for the best experience, but you can also enroll in a landline telephone, a universal two-factor authentication (U2F) token (currently only works on Chrome browsers), or iOS/Android tablets.

What type of device are you adding? Buttons for device choices.

Step 6: Select your country from the drop-down list and type your phone number. Use the number of your smartphone, landline, or cell phone that you'll have with you when you're logging in to a Duo-protected service. You can enter an extension if you chose Landline in the previous step.

Double-check that you entered it correctly, check the box, and click Continue.

Text entry box for your phone number.

If you're enrolling a tablet you will not be prompted to enter a phone number.

Step 7: Choose your device's operating system and click Continue.

If you do not have a compatible smartphone device or decide not to install the Duo Mobile app: choose Other > Continue > Continue to Login > Enter a passcode. Click Text me new code at the bottom of the window. Enter in the passcode you received from Duo via text message and select Log In. Skip to Step 11.

Select button to indicate type of phone.

Step 8: Install Duo Mobile

Duo Mobile is an app that runs on your smartphone and helps you authenticate quickly and easily. Without it, you'll still be able to log in using a phone call or text message, but for the best experience, we highly recommend you use Duo Mobile. Since Duo Mobile works in any country, it doesn't require a cell service and is more reliable than SMS/Voice, making it the best option for authenticating your device. 

Follow the platform-specific instructions on the screen to install Duo Mobile. After installing Duo Mobile, return to the enrollment window and click I have Duo Mobile installed.

Screen with button to indicate that you have installed Duo Mobile

Step 9: Activate Duo Mobile:

Activating the app links it to your account so you can use it for authentication. This will require access to your camera. The application will request access to the camera, which you can temporarily allow. This can be disabled after enrollment.

On your smartphone: activate Duo Mobile by scanning the barcode with the app's built-in barcode scanner. Follow the platform specific instructions for your device:

Screen with QR bar code for scanning

After you scan the barcode successfully, select Continue.

Screen with large green check mark that indicates Duo Mobile has been activated.

Can't scan the barcode? Click has an activation link emailed to you instead and follow the instructions.

Step 10: Configure Device Options (optional):

You can use Device Options to give your phone a more descriptive name or select Add another device to start the enrollment process again and add a second phone or another authenticator.

If this is the device you'll use most often with Duo then you may want to enable automatic push requests by going to the When I log in: option and changing the setting from Ask me to choose an authentication method to Automatically send this device a Duo Push or Automatically call this device and click Save. With one of the automatic options enabled, Duo automatically sends an authentication request via push notification to the Duo Mobile app on your smartphone or a phone call to your device (depending on your selection).

Screenshot of My Settings and Devices that allow you to pick options.


Select Continue to login to proceed to the authentication prompt.

My Settings and Devices screen

Your device is ready to approve Duo authentication requests. Select Send me a Push to give it a try. All you need to do is tap Approve on the Duo login request received at your phone.

Choose an authentication method screen

Step 11:  Congratulations, you can now use Duo Authentication!

If you see a screen that is similar to below, you have completed the Duo 2FA Enrollment!

MyNetID window with a message- Duo Two-Factor Enrollment Successful.

If you encounter issues during setup, contact the OIT Help Desk.


Password Criteria and Best Practices


New Rice Google account holders use their NetID password to login into Google.

Individuals with Rice Google accounts that were established prior to May 17, 2021, will continue to have a separate Google password that differs from their NetID password until they change one of the passwords and then the passwords will automatically be synchronized. If individuals would prefer to have one less password to remember, they may synchronize them by resetting their password at

Password Criteria

  • Passwords should be 8 characters or longer in length (passphrases are highly recommended)
  • Passwords should be secure and memorized. (Writing down passwords is not recommended)
  • Passwords should contain at least 1 character from each of the following character sets:
    • Upper case letter (A-Z)
    • Lowercase letter (a-z)
    • Digit (0-9)
    • Special character (! ?. )
  • Passwords should be secured and private.
  • Passwords should not contain a common proper name, NetID, email address, initials, first, middle, or last name in forward or reverse format.
  • Passwords should not be or contain a dictionary word if less than 12 characters.
  • Passwords should have not been used previously in the last year.

Best Practices

  • Each password chosen is new and unique for each account.
  • Don't share it with anyone.
  • Don't write it down.
  • Do change the password if it is shared or if you think someone else may know it.
  • Do change the password regularly.

Changing your NetID Password


New Rice Google account holders use their NetID password to login into Google.

Individuals with Rice Google accounts that were established prior to May 17, 2021, will continue to have a separate Google password that differs from their NetID password until they change one of the passwords and then the passwords will automatically be synchronized. If individuals would prefer to have one less password to remember, they may synchronize them by resetting their password at

CHANGE vs. RESET:  If you have forgotten your NetID password, you can reset it. Follow these directions: NetID: How to Reset a Forgotten NetID Password

Before proceeding, you must be enrolled in Duo Authentication.  Logging into the Online Account Management System ( requires using Duo.
If you are already enrolled in Duo, or after you complete enrollment, start at Step 1.

Step 1:  Log on to: Online Account Management Page.
Step 2:  Choose your Duo authentication method by selecting one of the three buttons: Send Me a Push, Call Me, or Enter a Passcode. (The example in this document uses a mobile phone with the Send Me a Push button.)

Screen displaying Duo Authentication
On your mobile phone, a notification for a login request will appear.  Select Approve.

Duo Notification on Mobile phone

Note:  if you do not Approve the notification promptly, your Login request can time out.

Login time-out message

Step 3:  Select the Change your account passwords option. In the next screen, select the option for Netid Password.
Enter your new password (making sure it meets the criteria listed below), re-type the password, and click Submit. 
Password Requirements
• It must be different from your current password.
• It must be at least 8 characters.
• It cannot be based on your NetID.
• It must not contain your name or common words (e.g. Rice or Owls).
• It must contain at least three of the four character classes:
• Uppercase letter
• Lowercase letter
• Special character
• Numeric digit
• It must be composed of characters in the Roman alphabet or symbols on the US keyboard.
Create a new password based on the specific requirements. Enter your new password twice and then select submit.
Enter new password twice and select Submit

Resetting a Forgotten NetID Password

New Rice Google account holders use their NetID password to login into Google.

Individuals with Rice Google accounts that were established prior to May 17, 2021, will continue to have a separate Google password that differs from their NetID password until they change one of the passwords and then the passwords will automatically be synchronized. If individuals would prefer to have one less password to remember, they may synchronize them by resetting their password at

RESET vs. CHANGE:  If you know your NetID password but want to change it, follow these directions: NetID: Changing your NetID Password

Select Forgot Password on the Rice University Online Account Management System.

Screen displaying Rice online management system
Enter your NetID, birth date, and click Submit.
Screen showing Reset your NetID password

You will then be asked to select your preferred notification method. After you make your choice, click Submit. A password reset token will be sent to you via your selected method. This token is only valid for 24 hours and can only be used once. If needed, you can generate another token.
Screen showing Use Password Reset Token
Enter your NetID and the token and then click Submit. Follow the subsequent instructions.
If you need assistance throughout this process, contact the OIT Help Desk.

What to do if Locked Out of Account

How do I know that my account is locked out?

There is no simple answer to how do you know if you are locked out.  

  • Did you have access to this system or service recently?
  • When you try to authenticate to the system or service, do you receive a message saying the "invalid password," or "account locked," or does it fails silently with no response?
  • Are you able to log into with the same password?

If the answers to all of these questions is YES, then at least one of your accounts may be locked.

Why am I locked out?

Have you changed a password recently?  Automatic account lockouts typically activate after multiple consecutive failed login attempts to a specific authentication system. An old password on an active device could be the cause of the lockout.

What to Do 

If your account is locked, keep calm.  The lock automatically expires if no other failed authentications occur. 

While you are waiting, check your phone and laptop for places where you may have an old saved password and change it to the new password. Did you get a new laptop and phone but still have the old devices? Check those older devices. Read more about places to check below.

If you still are unable to figure out what is causing your account to automatically lock, please reach out to the OIT Help Desk.

What triggers the automatic account lockout?

An automatic account lockout event is usually triggered by old passwords that are saved in an application (like an email client) or a device (like a mobile device, laptop, phone or tablet).

Common places with passwords stored:
  • WiFi/Wireless Network Settings - perform "forget this network (Rice Owls)", re-authenticate with credentials
  • Email Client (Thunderbird, Exchange, Apple Mail, Outlook)
  • iOS / Android 
  • Cached credentials / stored passwords in a web browser (clear the browser cache)
  • Windows stored credentials 
  • Windows Mapped Drives (disconnect "mapped drives" and reconnect with proper credentials)
  • MacOS X/ MacOS Keychain (remove password from Keychain and re-authenticate with credentials, add to Keychain)

Rice's Authentication Systems

To better understand the automatic account lockouts, it's important you understand that we have two independent authentication systems with auto-lock protection:
  • Active Directory
    • RiceNet Wireless
    • Rice Exchange Mail
    • Workstation/Kiosk Logins (Windows, Mac)
  • LDAP / Web Single Sign-On
    • Rice Campus Mail
    • Rice Authenticated Web Sites (Canvas, Box, Subversion,  Webmail, etc)
    • Server/Desktop Logins (Linux)

Auto-lockout affects access to everything within that authentication system. For example, if you trigger the auto-lockout by entering your password incorrectly into Webmail (Rice Campus Mail), you will be unable to access any Linux computers that are also using LDAP for authentication, but your RiceNet Wireless would continue to work normally because it uses a different authentication system.

Preventing Future Lock Outs

Before you change a password:
  • To prevent mobile devices from causing an auto-lockout event, is to disable wireless and/or enable "airplane mode" on the device before changing your password.  Enable the wireless or disable "airplane mode" once the new password has been stored on the device.
  • Identify devices where your password is saved and know what devices that you are currently logged into, whether on campus or at home.
  • If you use a smartphone or other mobile device, "forget" the Rice wireless network in network settings.
  • If you use multiple computers, log off of all of them except one.
  • Save your work and close any open applications. 

Need help?

Reach out to the OIT Help Desk if you need assistance.

Managing Your NetID Account

Changing your Published (Primary) Email Address

Note to students: If you prefer not to be listed in the Rice online directory, you can request it to be withheld within the ESTHER system. See also the Office of the Registrar's web page on FERPA.

You can select which of your email addresses or aliases you prefer to appear in the Rice online directory ( 

Login to which is Rice's Online Account Management System and requires using Duo Authentication.

Screen Displaying Welcome to the online account management system
Click the Select Primary Email Alias link in the left menu. 
Select the radio button for your preferred primary email alias and then click Publish.

Creating an Email Alias (also known as Vanity Email Address)

With the activation of your NetID, you are automatically assigned two email addresses:
  • NetID

  • Official full name address:
You can create up to three personalized addresses that are called email aliases or vanity email addresses. These are not different email accounts- all email messages sent to your NetID address, your full name address, and your aliases are directed to your one Rice email account. You might want an alias for job or internship searches or perhaps a fun alias to use with your friends. Choose wisely. You only have three aliases for your entire time at Rice and you cannot change them, delete them, or get more.
Select vanity addresses carefully since you will not be able to delete or modify them later.
  • Example Vanity email addresses: 


To create a new email alias, login to Accessing the Online Account Management System ( requires using Duo Authentication.

Welcome Screen displaying the Rice Online Account Management System
Click the Create Email Alias link in the left menu. 

Create Email Alias

An Email Alias is also called a Vanity Mail Address or a Vanity Alias.

An email alias allows you to personalize your address. Your NetID automatically assigns you two email addresses: your NetID address and your official address (usually your full name). You may create up to three email vanity aliases. All addresses deliver messages to your NetID email account. NOTE: you cannot delete or modify alias addresses after you create them.

Email Alias Requirements

• Must contain at least 3 characters.
• Must contain only lowercase letters, numbers, dashes (-), and the period (.)
• Alias addresses must begin with a letter and end with a letter or a number.

You have 3 vanity mail alias remaining.


Updating Contact Information in MyNetID

Be sure to keep your contact information in the Rice Online Account Management System, MyNetID, updated. In order to reset your forgotten password yourself, the system needs to know a cell phone number or a secondary email address or both. This way, a reset token can be sent to those contact points that are external to the password that needs resetting. 

Login to Click the Change your contact information button or the Contact Information link in the left menu. 

Screen displaying Welcome to Rice online account management system

Enter your personal email address and your SMS-capable phone number along with the service provider name. Then select Save.

Screen displaying Set up your personal contact information

Account Summary

Getting to the Account Summary Display

To view your MyNetID account information, login to using Duo authentication. Once logged in, click the Account Summary link in the left menu. 

Screen displaying Rice Online Account Maintenance
Once on the Account Summary page, you will see the following categories of information:
  • NetID Information - use your NetID to log on to Rice classroom and lab computers and campus systems.
  • NetID Account Status - the status is indicated.
  • Primary Email Address - This is your published email address in the Rice online directory.   You may select your preference for a published email alias.
  • Email Alias or Vanity Email Alias  - You may personalize your Rice address by creating up to three email vanity aliases. All email addresses delivered to your NetID email account.

NetID Information

Your NetID is abc123. (Your NetID is a combination of your initials and numbers.)

Use your NetID to log into Rice classroom and lab computers, as well as the university systems, and applications.

Email Information

Your published email address is

To access your Rice email, you must log in using your NetID account name, abc123.

Primary Email Address

Designate one email address as your primary or published address for the Rice Online Directory. You may choose your NetID address or one of your email aliases as your published email address.

(Learn more NetID: Changing your Published (Primary) Email Address

Email Alias or Vanity Mail Alias

An email alias or vanity mail address allows you to personalize your Rice address. Your NetID automatically assigns you two email addresses: your NetID address and your official address (usually your full name). You may create up to three email vanity aliases. All addresses deliver messages to your NetID email account. (Learn more NetID: Creating an Email Alias (also known as Vanity Email Address)

When you are on the account summary page, it will show all the addresses that can deliver messages to your NetID email account and if you have any vanity mail aliases remaining.

See Also:

Keywords:NetID, net id, account, email account, activate netid, netid password, change netid password, reset netid password, create email alias, email alias, change published email, account summary, contact information, netid lockout, forgot password,   Doc ID:58397
Owner:Cynthia S.Group:Rice University
Created:2015-11-20 16:48 CDTUpdated:2023-03-14 03:50 CDT
Sites:Rice University
Feedback:  15   11