Making the Connection from Microsoft Project Professional to Project Online

When you start using Project Online (or Project Server), most users already have Microsoft Project Professional installed locally on their machine, but they may not know how to make the connection to view and maintain their projects in the Cloud. Here is a brief set of instructions to help you create that connection.

Requirements for creating the connection:

  1. A user must possess a licensed version of Project Professional, obtained either through subscription (e.g., Office365) or purchased as a standalone retail desktop package. NOTE: Microsoft Project Standard cannot be connected to Cloud environments.
  2. A user must have, at a minimum, a role of “project manager” or “manager.” By default, a “Resource” or “Team Member” does not have access to connect from Microsoft Project Professional to Project Online/Server. You will need to identify the URL of the Project Web Application (PWA). This refers to the address of the website that displays your projects in the Project Online environment. The address differs by organization, but it will look something like this,

Now let’s run the following steps within Microsoft Project Professional:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Project Professional, on your computer

Step 2: Click File > Info

Step 3: Click the “Manage Accounts” button

Step 4: Click the “Add” button.

Step 5: Complete the fields as follows and click OK

a) Account name: Specify a unique name to associate with the account. Since it is possible to maintain and connect to multiple accounts, you will want to choose a name that differentiates it from other accounts. For example: if we have a production environment and a test environment, we could name one account as PWA-PROD and another account as PWA-Test.

b) Project Server URL: This refers to the URL of the PWA that we described earlier.

Step 6: To provide the option to choose which environment we want to connect to the moment we open the Microsoft Project Professional, select “Choose an Account” and click OK

Step 7: Close Microsoft Project Professional

Step 8: Re-open Microsoft Project Professional. You will be prompted with the following window:

If you select “Computer,” this will give you the option to work with a schedule without being connected to Project Online/Server.

If you select one of the other Account Profiles, when you select a particular account for the first time, you will be prompted to confirm your credentials to access the environment.

Assuming you have the appropriate permissions to access the environment, and if you correctly confirm the credentials, you will be connected and will now be able to view and manage projects.

Other recommendations:

  • If you do not already have Microsoft Project Professional installed, make sure that the language is the same as the Project Online/Server
  • Check the Regional settings in the Control Panel, specifically regarding the use of commas (,) and points (.), decimals and thousands
  • It is recommended that you do not have other versions of Microsoft Project installed on your computer.

Viola! You’ve made the connection and it’s time to get to work. If you have additional questions feel free to comment below or email us directly at