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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides

IT Essentials



This is a guide to using IT at the University of York. IT stands for Information Technology, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as "the science and activity of using computers and other electronic equipment to store and send information". Basically, using computers and other devices to do things!

We've organised the guide so you can work through the content at your own pace via the menu below (and tabs at the top) or you can simply browse the content you need. The sections of this guide are organised in no particular order; however, we recommend you begin with Getting Started.

  • Signing in
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Email and calendar
  • Printing
  • Working on different devices
  • What is an operating system?
  • Multi-screen setup
  • Choosing the right tool
  • File types
  • Default applications
  • Image and video editing
  • Wifi and wired networks
  • Browser essentials
  • Searching online
  • Communication and social media
  • Saving and the cloud
  • Downloading and uploading
  • Backing up your files

Microsoft Office

Office logo

Guidance on Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Google Workspace

Google icon

How to use Google apps like Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, and more.


You can access a range of IT-related training at the University which can help you further your knowledge and gain new skills.

Digital skills training

Information on digital training events on a variety of topics, open to all members of the University.

University of York learning management system

Browse and book courses specifically for staff.

IT Support

If you need any help or advice with IT-related issues, or have any questions about anything you've read in this guide, you can contact IT Support.

How to contact IT Support