ICT has a webpage with information about getting started with WebEx. The tips we are sharing below have been reported to them and are listed in their Knowledge Base.  It would be too difficult for them to list all of these on their website. 

Cyber Security Precautions

We've all been told "be cautious about what you download from the internet". Whether you use the Web Browser version or the Desktop App of WebEx, you must download something.

The Web App requires you to download a browser plug-in, also known as an extension. This is a one-time set up. 

If you download the desktop app (see instructions below) you'll have to save it to your computer first.

See "I am a first time user" on the ICT WebEx page.


We learned from students who were surprised that they had to input their NSID and password to log in.  It's good to be cautious with this very important identification. While it's true that you should never share this information with anyone (including your parents), it's perfectly okay to use it to log in to WebEx.  This software is supported by USask and helps you connect to your classes and support units. Otherwise we would all be listed as anonymous users while using it.

Download the Desktop App

When you use WebEx web-version from PAWS, you will be offered an option to download the desktop app. We highly recommend this because there are some functions that are only available on the desktop app. You must use your NSID email address to log in. The first time you open the app, it asks you for a site URL.  Enter usask-students.webex.com if you are a student.  If you are staff, you must enter usask.webex.com

siteURL field

  • We have learned that the whiteboard function (found under "share files") is not available on the web app.
  • Some users have reported not being able to annotate shared files in the web app. This might not be a problem for everyone, but if you notice this doesn't work for you, you are not alone.

Sharing documents for tutoring or collaboration

It's been our experience that using the desktop app has the best results when sharing and annotating files within WebEx. 

To share content, simply click on the button indicated below.  You can share your screen, a file or use a whiteboard from this option.

share content function in WebEx

To share a file, scroll to the bottom of the options to choose that option and then locate the file on your computer.  *Please see our section about the mobile app about how do to this on a phone.

options to share in WebEx


Our tutors and peer mentors have been trained on how to guide you through the options of allowing both you and them to annotate the file.  Note - whatever type of file you share (it's common to share a Microsoft Word document), the file converts to a pdf. This means that any notes that you both add to the document must be used as a sample image for you to go back and edit your original document on your computer in Word. 


We suggest that you save a file that you want to share in Microsoft OneDrive and temporarily allow others to access that file while you are having an audio conversation in WebEx. 

This allows multiple people to collaborate on a living document in real time!

We've created a short video on how to do this, including how to share the link for your file in the chat window in WebEx. 


Studying and working remotely is new to all of us. While online help is available from ICT's Help Desk, it may take some time for them to help you, as they have an entire campus community to support.

There are many factors that could contribute to why software including WebEx doesn't work. We are all using different computers, operating systems, web browsers, and mobile devices.  Here are some tips for things for you to try before contacting ICT.

  • Do you have any updates that need to be installed?
  • Have you restarted your computer?
  • If you are using the web app for WebEx, you might need to try a different internet browser. This means you will have to download the "plug-in" for that browser too (see the Cyber Security section above).

If you contact the Help Desk, let them know that you tried all of the above suggestions and if possible, send them a screenshot of what the error message is. That information will help them try to determine the problem.

WebEx Mobile App

When you install WebEx on your mobile device, it asks you to enter a "site URL". 

  • staff must enter usask.webex.com
  • students must enter usask-students.webex.com

If you are participating in a video chat, it could potentially drain your mobile device's battery very quickly. Consider having a charger nearby, if at all possible.

If you want to share a file with someone, it has to be stored somewhere online, like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or DropBox . This is unlike using a computer where you can search for a file in your documents.

screenshot of Webex upload file

If you share your screen or a file, it would be very difficult to toggle between the chat window and your content. The screen is simply too small to see it all at once.

WebEx mobile options


Staff version vs student version

There are two different licences for WebEx and it depends on whether or not you are staff or a student.

*please note that most of the information on the USask WebEx website has links for staff, not students.

For example the link listed for the web app is for staff.

webapp link

The student link is https://usask-students.webex.com. However, when you log into the link that it listed, the system will recognize you as a student.  We recommend you access WebEx from PAWS.

The two licences are separate. If you add a profile picture in the student version and your prof invites you to a session in the staff version for a class, your profile picture won't appear.

Need to Knows for Mac Users

Are you new to using online calendars? Your Mac might want to open SLS workshop calendar reminders in iCal be default. Watch our instructional video on how to train your Mac to open these files in your preferred calendar.

If you are using a Mac computer with the latest operating system you need to follow some security settings in order to share files or annotate files that someone else shares with you.

In System Preferences, choose Security and Privacy, then Screen Recording.  It's recommended that you wait for the prompt (pop up box) when you try to share a file or a screen so that it will automatically add Cisco WebEx Meetings to the app list seen below. Once your computer warns you that you must do this, you simply have to check the box next to Cisco Webex Meetings.

system preferences


Unfortunately when you annotate a file, you cannot change the size of the text using the Edit -> Font menu. It doesn't register the changes you make.

Windows users can use the pencil tool and change the shape in the annotation menu on the left side. Mac users cannot.

 annotation menu webex

If you use more than one desktop on a Mac, it's possible that when you "share your screen" with someone, you might be looking at Desktop 1 while they only see Desktop 2!

two desktops on a mac

Contact ICT if you have questions. 

Another solution is to set up your Mac to only use one desktop.
If you choose F3, you will see both desktop icons at the top of your screen. When you hover your mouse over the one you want to delete, you will see an X in the top left corner to remove it.