Your Populi account login: everything you need to know

This article discusses a regular Populi login. Some schools, however, use different systems to create usernames and passwords that they then use with Populi. Such systems don't work the same way Populi logins work. If you're at such a school, no doubt they've made that known. If you have questions about such a login, please check with a staff member at your school.

To use Populi, you need a login. Your login consists of a username and password—and, for users who are required to use login approvals, an additional one-time use passcode. To get a login, an existing Populi user has to set it up for you. Here are all the ins-and-outs of your Populi account login.

Login approvals and devices

Login approval is a security measure that helps protect your Populi user account by requiring an extra login "factor"—in this case, a passcode generated by an authenticator app. Your school may either allow or require you to use login approvals. To use login approvals, you'll need to install an authenticator app on your smartphone (if you don't have a smartphone, some authenticator apps also offer a desktop version).

Recognized devices are created whenever you log in to Populi on a new browser or device (a computer, phone, or tablet). You can find a list of recognized devices in your personal settings. If login approvals are required for your account, you'll have to enter a passcode every time you log in on a device that's not on that list. After a device is recognized for your account, you can also mark devices trusted, which means that you can remain logged in on that device for as long as you wish.

You can read more about login approvals and recognized devices in personal settings.

Logging in for the first time

  1. When someone creates a new user account for you, you'll be sent a welcome email from your school via; it'll look something like this.
  2. The email contains your username, which was set up for you by your school.
  3. It also contains a unique link that lets you set a password and log in to Populi for the first time. This link will expire thirty days from when the email is sent. Even if you don't need to use Populi right away, we recommend logging in as soon as you see the email just so it doesn't expire on you!
  4. The first thing you'll be asked for on the login page is a mobile phone number (you'll have the option to skip this step). Your school uses this number to send you text notifications from Populi. After entering your number, Populi will text you a verification code. Enter the code to verify your number and you'll be taken to the password screen.
  5. Your password needs to be at least 10 characters long, contain at least one capital letter, and at least one number. You can also use special characters and spaces. When all the instructions are green, your password is good to go. Afterwards, confirm your password by typing it again.
    • Populi checks your password against a database of passwords that have appeared in data breaches. If it matches one of these hacked passwords, you'll need to enter a different password before proceeding.
  6. Check to indicate your acceptance of the Acceptable Use Policy.
    • If login approvals are required for your user account, you'll be asked to set up an authenticator app with Populi. See below for details.
  7. When you're done, click Save Password and Log In. You'll be taken to your Populi Home page.

Logging in with an authenticator app

Who needs to read this section?

  • Users for whom login approvals are required by their school.
  • Users who wish to use login approvals, even if not required to do so by their school.

If you are not required to use login approvals and do not wish to do so, you may continue to access Populi with your username and password; feel free to skip this section.

As mentioned above, login approvals work with a "Time-based One Time Password" (TOTP) generated by an authenticator app on your smartphone or desktop. Here's how to use your smartphone's authenticator app with Populi:

  1. Download an authenticator app to your smartphone. Any such app will work—search your phone's app store for "authenticator app" or "TOTP app". Here are three that we ourselves use at Populi:
  2. After creating your password, you'll see a screen asking you to download an authenticator app. Once that's done, click Next.
  3. Populi will display a QR code on the screen.
  4. Open your authenticator app and use the add account function. Hold your smartphone camera up so it can see the QR code on your computer screen. Follow the prompts in your app to finish adding the account.
  5. Enter your Populi password.
  6. The app should have generated a six-digit verification code at this point. Enter that code below the password.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Populi will generate a recovery code for you. This code lets you log in to Populi one time in case you lose access to your smartphone (and can't use a code from the authenticator app). Copy the recovery code and store it in a safe place.
  9. Click Done to go to Populi > Home.
  10. In the future, whenever you log in to Populi on a new device, check your authenticator app for a freshly-generated passcode and enter it where requested on the Populi login screen.


Now that you have a Populi login, here are the basics:

Logging in

To log in to your school's Populi site:

  1. Go to your school's unique Populi URL. It looks something like this:
    • You can find this URL by looking at your welcome email.
    • You can also bookmark your school's Populi login page.
  2. Enter your username. If you're using your own computer, click Remember to have Populi remember your username whenever you log in—less typing! If you're using a public computer, don't click Remember!
  3. Enter your password. This field hides what you're typing by showing your characters as black dots. If need be, click Show so you can see what you're typing—but we recommend you don't do this if you're in a public place.
    • Populi will periodically check your password against a public database of passwords exposed in data breaches. If your password matches, you'll get a reminder to change it.
  4. If login approvals are required for your account and you're logging in on a new device or web browser, Populi will ask for a verification code. It will be generated by the authenticator app on your smartphone. Enter the code to complete the login on the new device.
  5. Click Log in or press Enter on your keyboard.

Browser tabs, timeouts, and support

Some miscellaneous items worth knowing:

  • Once logged in, if you leave your account open without using it, Populi will automatically log you out after one hour (unless you're using one of your trusted devices). This is to help prevent unauthorized access to your account.
  • If you get logged out, you can log right back in. Populi will take you right back to where you were working.
  • You can open multiple Populi browser tabs. As long as you're doing something in one of those tabs (moving your mouse, typing something, etc.), the timeout clock will reset itself.
  • Your Populi login also admits you to this help system. Just go to and enter your regular username and password, and then enter your school's unique Populi subdomain. (If you're already logged in to Populi, just click the Help link in the upper left.)
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