Advice on bringing computers to the University

The University has computer clusters (large, dedicated study areas of PCs. Cluster list) on-campus, but you may also wish to use a personal computer. See advice below for personal computing guidance.


Your computer

We recommend a laptop running the Windows 11 operating system, but an Apple Mac will also be fine for most purposes (although there may be more limited software available). You can also connect a range of mobile devices to the wireless network at Leeds. As you are likely to be taking part in online lectures and seminars, your devices should also have webcam and audio functionality. A headset typically provides better audio quality than your device's integrated microphone and speakers.

For most students, a standard-spec Windows 11 laptop (or equivalent) will be powerful enough for course requirements. However, if you need to use specialist software(eg. engineering software), you may need a computer with increased RAM or a more powerful processor/dedicated graphics unit. Find out what software you will need to use for your course before buying a new laptop if you have any concerns.

You are likely to use your computer very regularly, so please make sure that you have set up a safe, well-lit working area. The Posturite site has a guide for laptop setup to prevent injury, find out more here: Laptop workstation set-up.

Important: We can’t recommend specific computer models, as requirements for particular courses and your own individual needs will vary, but there are many buying guides on the internet offering advice which may prove useful when planning your personal computer requirements.


You will be provided access to 5TB of personal storage space, via OneDrive. We recommend you store files to OneDrive rather than on the hard drive, so you can access relevant files from multiple devices and locations.


General software

For web browsing requirments, as a minimum, you will need access to relevant applications such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

The University uses the Microsoft Office 365 application suite. Students can download a copy of Microsoft Office 365 on up to five devices, for free. As well as the standard applications such as Word and PowerPoint, Office 365 lets you access your email (via Outlook), files (on OneDrive) and to collaborate with colleagues (via Teams).

Important: Find out more about working from home on the IT website, here.

Software for your course

We will provide the software you need for your course. This will often be through Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). WVD Provides a similar desktop experience to that on the computer clusters on campus or AppsAnywhere

Anti-virus software

You should also make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software. If you're using Windows 11, your computer should have Windows Defender installed already. This is free and updates automatically. If you're using an Apple Mac, you can download and install Sophos Antivirus for Mac. Find out more about anti-virus software on the IT website, here.

Internet connection

All students have free access to the eduroam wireless network. If you're living in one of the University’s halls of residence you will also be able to connect to the wired network from your bedroom. Many laptops cannot connect to wired networks, but you can get an adaptor for around £10-15, and your residence site office can provide you with an ethernet cable.

If you're in private accommodation there are tips on the IT website for making the most of your bandwidth. If you're sharing accommodation with other, check if the bandwidth is sufficient if other people are using the network while you're trying to study (for example, do the other residents stream data-intensive video during your work/study hours?). Have a look at the options available from your internet service provider to make sure you have a package suitable for your needs.

Do I need a printer?

There are printers available on campus, and in the halls of residence, which you can use. These priters also allow you to scan and copy - there is a charge to print to these printers. Find out more from the 'MyPrint' guidance, here: MyPrint.

Important: you cannot connect wireless printers to the eduroam wireless network.

Staying safe online

The University has a range of systems and processes in place to help keep you safe online, though information security is everyone’s responsibility. For some tips and guidance to help you keep your data, devices and the University secure, please review the security induction and the staying safe online page on the For Students website.

More information

You can find more information about all the IT services at the University in the online IT induction. The IT Service Desk is also here to help, whatever your IT query. Find out more, including how to let us know if something is broken or if you have an IT request, on the IT website.

Back to top