Microsoft 365 Copilot

Microsoft 365 Copilot is an AI-powered productivity tool that seamlessly integrates with various Microsoft 365 apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and more). Using organizational data that user has access to, Microsoft 365 Copilot provides real-time intelligent assistance, enabling users to enhance their creativity, productivity, and skills.

See also Microsoft Copilot for the web, the free AI chat service provided under current Microsoft 365 license, for AI-powered web search, answers and content generation services.

Available to

All Staff, Project Accounts and Departmental Accounts

Service Charge and Application

Charged; application required

The account (including Project and Departmental accounts) must first be upgraded to Microsoft A3 License plan (a paid service that requires a separate application) in order to utilize the Microsoft 365 Copilot Service.

Access to Service

CUHK Microsoft 365 Portal:

Service Availability

7 X 24; except maintenance period

Getting Started


Copilot supports Microsoft Edge (recommended) and other major non-Microsoft browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Once Microsoft 365 Copilot is enabled in your account, you will soon notice related features begin available on Microsoft Office 365 on the web. For example:

Microsoft 365 Home Screen – Copilot app will appear on the left sidebar.

Word / Excel / PowerPoint for the web – Copilot button will appear on the Home ribbon.

Outlook for the web – Copilot button will appear when composing email.

Microsoft Teams – Copilot button will appear in chats.


The following are the prerequisite of enabling Microsoft 365 Copilot in desktop apps:

  1. Microsoft Office 365 (Office 2021 / 2019 are not supported)
  2. Office Update Channel needs to be set on the Current Channel or Monthly Enterprise Channel. To check the update channel that Office is configured for, open an Office app (such as Word), then go to File > Account.

Please consult your LAN admin / departmental IT support if in doubt.

Once the prerequisites are met, your Microsoft Office Desktop Apps will become copilot-aware within 72 hours after Microsoft 365 Copilot is enabled in your account. For example:

Word – Copilot button will appear on the Home ribbon, and draft with copilot button will appear in document area.

Outlook – Summarize button (Classic Outlook*) / Summary by Copilot button (New Outlook) will appear on message reading pane.

While you are waiting, you may want to visit Microsoft 365 on the web to experience the features first. After 72 hours, if you do not see any copilot feature on desktop apps, try refreshing the license status by opening the corresponding desktop app** (such as Word), then clicking File > Update License.

* Requires Outlook version 2402 or later
** Requires version 2401 or later


It allows you to create, edit, ask, summarize, and understand many things, based on information you have allowed access to in Microsoft 365 environment.  Doing so could help you improve quality of work, respond quickly, get up to speed rapidly, and boost your creativity.  For example,

This video quickly demonstrates Microsoft 365 Copilot in action.

For more ideas, please visit Microsoft Copilot Lab and watch Microsoft 365 Copilot YouTube playlist. Please note that some features may not be available in our environment.

Prompts are the way you request Microsoft 365 Copilot to perform a task for you. Just as you would ask for assistance from your co-worker, having the right components in your communication will help you receive the best answer from Copilot.

The image below, from Copilot for Microsoft 365: The art and science of prompting, shows what Copilot expects. Explore more examples of prompts at Copilot Lab Prompts to Try and follow its provided guidelines to create your own Copilot Prompts.


Microsoft 365 Copilot uses AI and the content that you have allowed access to, such as emails, chats, and OneDrive/SharePoint documents that you have the right to view, to provide its benefits. For this reason, it is important to:

  • Always use your work (CUHK) account to sign in to Microsoft 365 service.
  • Use different browser / browser profile to keep work and home data separate.

Avoid Possible Data Breach Caused by Excessive Content Sharing
Microsoft 365 Copilot will not change existing permissions and access to information. However, if your content is shared with more people than intended, Copilot might show it when responding to other user’s prompt, which could result exposing potentially sensitive information. To reduce this risk, you should:

  • Share just enough information, which means others can only access the information they need for their task, and not the information they are not supposed to see.
  • Review your OneDrive and SharePoint sharing permissions to ensure that your files/folders are only shared with the people you intended.

Maintain Copilot Interaction History
The prompts and Copilot’s response are encrypted and stored in Microsoft 365 service. The data is not used to train Copilot’s AI. You can delete such information by following the steps as illustrated in Microsoft’s support article. In addition, you should:

  • Avoid entering sensitive information in your prompts.


> General
Q: What are the differences between Copilot, Copilot Pro, Copilot for the web and Microsoft 365 Copilot?
A: If you want to use Copilot at home, you can choose between Copilot and Copilot Pro. If you want to use it at work, you can opt for Copilot for the web or Microsoft 365 Copilot. This video clearly shows the difference between them.

 > Web and Desktop Features
Q: Why I cannot find some feature on desktop app?
A: Web versions usually have new features before desktop apps do. To see the latest information, look at Microsoft 365 roadmap.

> Excel Desktop App
Q: Why is the Copilot button in the ribbon greyed out or inactive?
A: Copilot in Excel can only be used with Excel files (.xlsx or .xslm) saved to OneDrive or Microsoft 365 SharePoint locations with AutoSave turned on. The Copilot button is not active while editing files saved in locations on your computer or saved as unsupported file types.

> Outlook Classic Desktop App
Q: Why is the ‘Draft by Copilot’ feature not available?
A: Currently, this feature is not available in the ‘Classic’ Outlook Desktop app. You may use Outlook on the web as an alternative solution.