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While your HTML course web site is under construction, you can limit access to it by setting up password protection. Do this by creating an .htaccess file which lists the UW NetIDs of people you want to see your site. In addition to yourself, these may include your TA or GA, the GA Help Desk Manager (jkboyd) and the Online Learning team (dmlis).  When you are ready to give your students access, you will edit the file to include the course section numbers (SLNs).

Note: this article does not apply to course sites in the  Canvas LMS. See adding people to your Canvas course.

To create the initial .htaccess file, open a text editor such as Notepad++ or Notepad (available in All Programs > Accessories) on Windows or TextEdit on Mac. Add the appropriate version of this text to a new Notepad++ file:

AuthType UWNetID
require user [yourUWNetID] [TA or GA UWNetID] jkboyd dmlis

Save this file as htaccess.txt and upload it via FTP to the server ( and into the folder housing your course files. The file name may automatically be converted to .htaccess and you don’t need to do anything else to it. If not, right-click the file and rename it .htaccess

When you are ready to give the students access, FTP to your folder on the server, right-click the .htaccess file and choose View/Edit in Notepad or Notepad++. Between the words “require” and “user” add the appropriate version of the following:

course WIN2013.12345 WIN2013.23456

The format for indicating each section of the course is: quarter abbreviation (AUT, WIN, SPR, SUM), 4-digit year, a period, 5-digit Section Line Number (SLN). You can find the SLN for your course in the My Class Resources area for each section in the Teaching tab of your MyUW. Be sure you have located all sections of your course. (LIS courses almost always have at least two sections to accommodate students in both MLIS degree programs.)

In the above example, the complete .htaccess file would be:

AuthType UWNetID
require course WIN2013.12345 WIN2013.23456 user [yourUWNetID] [TA or GA UWNetID] jkboyd dmlis

Save the edited .htaccess file.

As students register for (or drop) your class, they should be able to access (or denied access to) your class website as their registration into (or out of) a particular section you’ve indicated in the .htaccess file is refreshed in the Student Database. For tuition exempt or other students who must register after the first day of the quarter, you may want to add their UWNetID to your .htaccess file after “user.”

There are a number of reasons a student might not be able to access your class website:

  • You overlooked adding their section to the .htaccess file (or didn’t add any sections to the .htaccess file!)
  • The student only just registered for the course and there has not been time for the systems to reflect this.
  • There is an extra space or invisible symbol in the .htaccess file. Sometimes it is necessary to rebuild the .htaccess file to resolve problems that are not apparent. In this case, using Notepad++ is recommended.




If you have any questions after reading this article or if you need any help, please don't hesitate to contact the iSchool IT Help Desk.
(206) 616-3086