Quick Guide to Login Types

Confused about when to use your HarvardKey to log in to a University application or service, and when to use another login type? Check the tables here.

What's in a name — specifically, what's in your login name? Your login name is the unique identifier that you have been issued by a particular Harvard system. Each of those systems represents a different login type, which means that if you have access to five different Harvard systems, each of those may have its own login type and issue you a separate login ID (with its associated password) specific to that system. However, as more and more Harvard systems adopt HarvardKey, there are fewer login names and passwords for you to remember.

When you log in to a resource protected by HarvardKey, you'll see that the login screen includes a set of tabs at the top corresponding to different login types. If you only have one type from that set of tabs, go ahead and choose that option, and enter your login name and password associated with that type. If you have login names and passwords associated with more than one login type, choose whichever login type you'd prefer to use. In either case, make sure that the correct login type is selected for the login name that you intend to use. If you are having trouble logging in, it may be because you have selected the wrong tab for your login type.

Not all applications accept every login type, but depending on the application that you're trying to get in to, you may see one or more of the following login type options in the tabs at the top of the login screen. If you have questions about which login type to use, please email ithelp@harvard.edu or call 617.495.7777.

  • HarvardKey: Your login name is the email address that you chose (or were assigned) when you first claimed your HarvardKey. If you have trouble remembering your login name, you can have a reminder sent to you.
  • Harvard University ID (HUID): Your login name is your Harvard University ID number (the first eight digits of the Harvard ID number on your plastic ID card). Extension and Summer School students, please note that the DCE ID beginning with ‘@’ is not the same as your Harvard ID number. For more information about DCE ID numbers and PINs, please see the DCE website.
  • XID: Your login name is usually your email address, but it may also be a different value specified when your XID account was created.
  • eCommons: Your login name is the same ID that you use on ecommons.med.harvard.edu. 
  • NetID: Also called ADID, this login name is made up of three letters and three or four numbers (example: abc1234); used in systems where HarvardKey login name is not accepted (due to technical constraints), or as an alternative login type in Microsoft Active Directory environments.