Questions & Answers


Will my email address change?

No, you'll continue to use your existing U-M email address (

Will I be able to access my M+Google email from my mobile phone or another email program?

Google allows you to access email, calendars, and other apps via a variety mobile platforms, including iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android phones. It is also possible to set up a desktop client such as Outlook to access Google mail and calendar. However, U-M only supports web browser-based access. 

How much space do I have for my email messages?

M+Google provides unlimited email storage space. This is a vast improvement over previous/other systems at U-M:

  • Exchange - 500 MB of storage.
  • IMAP- 2,048 MB (2 GB) of storage.

Will I need to recreate mail groups?

No, you can send email to MCommunity groups. MCommunity is where email groups must be created and maintained.

Will my voice mail go to my inbox?

Yes, you'll continue to receive voice mail in your inbox. You can download and listen to the messages on your computer. Read more about how voice mail will work with Google.

Will there be equivalents to Outlook Tasks and Notes?

Google does not have fully-functioning equivalents to tasks and notes. However, it does provide a basic task application that includes integration with email and calendar, the creation of multiple task lists, due dates, a notes field, and the ability to save an email as a task.

How will my M+Google account interact with my personal Gmail account?

It won't. Your M+Google account is managed separately from your personal Google account. However, you will be able to integrate some functions if you choose. For example, you can forward mail and share calendars between accounts.

How often does the list of messages in my inbox automatically refresh?

If you're working in Google email, the refresh rate is approximately every 2 to 5 minutes. If email is idle, the refresh rate is approximately every 10 minutes.

How does M+Google Mail determine the date to use for a message?

The time and date displayed on a conversation depends on a few factors and can change depending on how you view the message.

  • In Inbox view, only incoming messages update the time and date shown. If you send an outgoing email, the time and date will not change.
  • In All Mail view, each message received and sent updates the time and date.
  • In a label view, the message to which the label was originally applied will determine the time and date. So, if there is a three-message thread and you apply the label after the second message, this is the one that will determine the time and date. Other messages do not actually contain the label. So while conversation view pulls in the entire conversation, the date reflected is the oldest message that matches the label.
  • If more than one label is applied to the same message, you'll see the date when each label was applied in its view. For example, if you labeled a message on June 12 with the label 'A', and on June 15 with the label 'B', and you've received a last response todat, you'll see:
    • Today's date in the Inbox.
    • June 15 in label 'B' view.
    • June 12 in label 'A' view

Back to Top 

Accessing Email

Can I access my email messages offline?

Yes, you can set up email for offline access to your most recent email messages. To enable this feature:

  1. Click Settings in the upper-right corner of your Mail window.
  2. Click the Offline tab.
  3. Click Enable Offline Mail for this computer.

Can I access and/or sync my Google email using a client -- Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.?

U-M will officially support using the browser to access Google Services. If you want to use a client to access these services, that configuration will not be supported by ITS, but may be supported by your local IT (each unit has to elect to support clients). If you want to configure your clients on your own, please see Google's documentation for configuring those clients. We have listed some of Google's resources on this page, but there are many others as well.

Back to Top  

Composing Messages

Can Google email automatically spell-check messages I write?

No, Google email doesn't include automatic spell-check. However, you can check your spelling at any time by clicking Check Spelling at the top of the message you're composing. Misspelled words are highlighted in yellow. Click a misspelled word to see suggestions for similar words.

Can I check the spelling for a language other than English?

Google email automatically checks spelling in the default language selected in your Settings. To check spelling in another language, click the down arrow next to Check Spelling, and then select the language.

Can I forward all messages in a conversation (message thread) at once?

Yes. Open the conversation, and then click Forward all at the right of the message window.

Can I reply to or forward just a single message in a conversation?

Yes. To reply to or forward a single message in a conversation, open the conversation and select the message to forward. At the bottom of the message card, click Reply or Forward.

If I forward a message or conversation, can I edit any text it in before I send it?

Yes, you can add a new message to the conversation, and even edit the text in the previous messages in the conversation.

Can I delete messages in a conversation before I forward it?

Yes, you can delete one or more messages in a conversation as follows:

  1. Open the conversation and select the message you want to delete.
  2. Click the down arrow next to Reply in the upper-right corner of the message card.
  3. Select Delete this message.

Can I add an action flag, such as "Follow-up," that recipients see when I send them a message?

No, Google email doesn't support sending flags in messages at this time.

In Outlook I could add voting buttons to a message and track the replies from recipients. Can I do the same thing in M+Google Mail?

The combination of Google email and Google Docs provides a similar feature, but with even more options. Go into Drive, then click New > Form. Use the options on the form to create voting options (or many other types of questions and fields), and then email the form. To track results, simply return to the form and click See responses. For details about using forms, see the Google Help Center.

Is my email signature applied when I reply to or forward a message?

Yes, Google email adds your signature to every message you reply to or forward.

Can I select from multiple signatures for my outgoing mail?

No. Currently, Google email allows for one signature. However, it does have an optional "canned response" function that can serve the same purpose by inserting a saved text block into your message.

Can I send file attachments in Google email using the "Send To  Mail Recipient" feature in the Windows "right-click" menu?

No, this feature works only with a client email program installed on your computer.

Can I recall a message I already sent?

Yes, Google Mail has an "Undo Send" feature that lets you recall a message up to 30 seconds after you send it. To enable the feature, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of your Mail window and select Settings. Under the General tab, click the Undo Send option and select your time preference.

Back to Top

File Attachments in Mail

Can I include file attachments in email messages?

Yes, you can attach one or more files to an email message.

Is there a size or type limitation for file attachments in Google email?

Yes, to help prevent viruses, Google email won't accept file attachments that are executable files. There's also a 25 MB size limitation for each message, including attachments. For details, see the Google Help Center.

Can I drag and drop a file to attach it to a message?

Yes, drag and drop file attachments is supported.

Is there a way to copy a file attachment from one message to another, without first downloading it to my computer?

No. Because Google email is a web-based system, you can't drag a file attachment from one message to another. As a workaround, you can do the following:

  1. Open the message or conversation that contains the file attachment.
  2. If the file is attached to a single message, click Forward (at the bottom of the message). If it's attached to a message in a conversation, click Forward all on the right.
  3. Delete all the "forwarded" content from original messages, which appears at the bottom of your new message. Note that the file attachment remains with the forwarded message.
  4. Then compose your new message and send it.

Alternatively, you can download the attachment and then upload it to another message.

Can I attach a message or conversation to a new message?

No, you can't embed one message into another directly. As a workaround, you can do the following:

  1. To attach a single message, open it and click Forward at the bottom of the message. To attach a conversation, open it and click Forward all on the right.
  2. Compose your new message and send it. The earlier message will be included below your new message.

Alternatively, you can copy the text from the earlier message and paste it into a new message.

Back to Top

Using Labels, Stars, and Filters

There are no folders in Google email. How do I organize my messages?

Instead of folders, Google email has a "labels" feature. Labels are similar to folders, but are more powerful and flexible, because you can add multiple labels to a message to categorize it in several ways. For details, see the Google Help Center.

If I label a message and archive it, but later remove the label, what happens to the message?

The message remains in your All Mail archive, but without the label. You can easily find it again later using Google search.

Can I apply more than one label to a single email message?

Yes, you can apply any number of labels to a message: Select the message in your Inbox, or open it, and select one or more labels in the Labels drop-down list at the top of your Mail window.

Is there a limit to the number of labels I can create?

There is no limit, but using too many labels can slow processing. Use less than 500 labels (including nested labels) in your account and use search and filters to help find messages.

How do I move a message from my Inbox to a label?

If you've already created the label, select the message in you Inbox or open it, and then select a label in the Move to drop-down list at the top of your Mail window. If you haven't yet created the label you want, select Create new instead. If you want to move a message to multiple labels at once, select the message in your Inbox or open it, and then select the labels in the Labels drop-down list at the top of your Mail window. Then click Archive.

How do I add a color to a label?

After you create a label, find it in your Labels list at the left of your Mail window. Put your mouse pointer over it, and then click the down arrow that appears. Choose a color from the list.

Can I change the label on one or more messages?

Yes. To change a label on a single message, select the message, and then, in Labels drop-down list at the top your Mail window, uncheck the label currently applied to it. Then select another label and click Apply.

To change a label on all messages that have that label, click the label in your Labels list at the left of the Mail window. At the top of the list that appears, click Select all. Then, in Labels drop-down list, uncheck the label you want to remove, and select the new label you want to apply. Click Apply

Can I create sub-labels to recreate the folder tree I set up in Outlook?

Yes, Mail allows for nested labels. This feature lets you build a label hierarchy, just like you can with folders. In your labels list, click the arrow icon to the right of the existing label and select Add sublabel.

    When setting up an email filter, can I apply more than one label for the action?

    You can apply only one label per email filter. However, if you want to add multiple labels to a filtered message, you can do the following: Create multiple filters with the same criteria, except specify a different label for each filter. If you receive a message that meets the criteria for the filters, Google email will apply the multiple labels to that message.

    Can I delete a label from a single message or all messages that have that label?

    Yes. To delete a label from a single message, select the message, and then, in Labels drop-down list at the top your Mail window, uncheck the label. Click ApplyTo delete a label from all messages that have that label, in the Labels drop-down list, select Manage labels. (You can also click Edit labels at the bottom of your Labels list at the left of the email window.) In the list that appears, find the label, and then click Remove.

    If I set up a filter to add a label to specific incoming messages, but then later delete the label, is the filter also deleted?

    No, even if applying the label was the only action for the filter, your filter is not deleted. You can edit the filter to specify a different label or another action.

    What are stars and how do I use them?

    Stars are a way to highlight messages. Assign stars to special conversations or messages in your Inbox, or use them as a visual reminder that you need to follow up on a message or conversation later. To quickly see all messages with a star, click Starred at the left of your Mail window.

    Back to Top

    Working with Your Messages

    Can I stop messages from being grouped into conversations?

    Yes, you can control whether messages are grouped into conversations: Click Settings in the upper-right corner of your Gmail window and, on the General tab, scroll down to Conversation View.
    • If Conversation View is off, new messages won’t be grouped into conversations, and any existing conversations are ungrouped into separate messages.
    • If Conversation View is on, you can't separate the messages in a conversation. However, if you want  to send a reply but don't want it to be added to the conversation, you can simply change the subject line in your reply.

    Can I highlight messages in my Inbox?

    Yes, you can use labels and stars to highlight messages in your Inbox. For example, you might create a label named "Action" and apply the color red to it, so you can easily see it in your Inbox.

    Can I mark a message as "unread" in my Inbox after I open it?

    Yes, in your Inbox, select the message. Then, in the More actions drop-down list, select Mark as unread.

    Can I sort messages in my Inbox to move unread messages to the top?

    No, you can't sort messages in your Inbox. However, you can choose from several predetermined Inbox configurations, one of which puts unread mail at the top.

    What does it mean to "mute" an email conversation?

    If you're subscribed to a mailing list, you might receive messages in a very long, ongoing conversation. If you'd rather not receive anymore messages in that conversation, you can "mute" the conversation to keep all future additions out of your Inbox. To mute a conversation, select it in your Inbox or open it, and then click Mute under More Actions at the top of your Mail window. Note: The mute feature works only for messages you received as part of a mailing list. If the message was sent directly to your email address (your address appears in the To or CC field), you can't use the mute feature.

    Can I "unmute" a conversation?

    Yes. First, find the conversation. An quick way to find it is to type is:muted in the Search field. Then, select the conversation and select Inbox in the Move to drop-down list at the top of your Mail window.

    Can I make the "quoted text" in a conversation visible by default?

    No, quoted text is always hidden by default.

    Back to Top

    Archiving and Deleting Messages

    What is the difference between deleting and archiving email messages? When should I delete and when should I archive?

    If you either delete or archive a message, it's removed from your inbox. If you delete a message, it's placed in the Trash and then permanently removed from your Google Apps account after 30 days. On the other hand, if you archive a message, it's moved to All Mail (your archive), where you can easily find it in the future, using Google's powerful search feature.

    How long do messages stay in my archive?

    Messages remain in your archive forever, unless you choose to delete them.

    How long do messages stay in the trash?

    Messages remain in the Trash for 30 days. After that, Google email permanently deletes them.

    Can I move message out of the trash?

    Find the message in the Trash and select it. Then, in the Move to drop-down list at the top of the Mail window, select Inbox.

    If I delete or archive a meeting invitation from my Inbox, is the meeting removed from my calendar?

    No. Deleting or archiving a meeting invitation does not affect the invitation on your calendar.

    If I archive or trash a message, and then someone replies to it later, will it show up in my Inbox?

    Yes, if someone replies to a message you archived or trashed, that message appears in your Inbox as a conversation, with all previous content. If you applied a label to the archived message, the label will appear in your Inbox. If the message was permanently deleted from the Trash, you'll see an option at the bottom of the message to view the deleted messages in the conversation. However, the message won't have the original label you applied to it.

    Should I delete or archive messages in the Sent folder?

    There's no need to delete or archive messages in the Sent folder. Messages remain in this folder forever, unless you delete them. But, because you have unlimited storage space, you can keep messages in this folder to refer to them later, if needed. Also, note that messages in the Sent folder are actually archived in All Mail, so even if you archive these messages, they stay in the Sent folder.

    Back to Top

    Searching for Messages

    I can't always find messages I search for. How does Search work?

    To search for messages, type a word that the messages contain. Note, however, that Search matches "whole words" only—that is, it doesn't recognize partial or similar matches. For example, if you search for benefits, Search won't find benefit or benef. Also, Search doesn't recognize special search characters, such as square brackets, parentheses, currency symbols, the ampersand, the pound sign, and asterisks.

    By default, Search doesn't look in your Trash or Spam folders. To search those folders also, click Show search options next to the Search field, and then, in the Search drop-down list, select Mail & Spam & Trash. You can find more information about using Search in the Google Apps Help Center.

    How do labels work with Search?

    When you search from the inbox, the default is to search all messages, regardless of labels. (Labels aren't treated like Outlook folders that require you to explicitly include sub-folders in a search.) You can search within a label as well either by using the operator label: <labelname> or first selecting the label and then searching. You can't search specifically for all messages that don't have a label.

    Where can I find information about performing advanced searches?

    A list of the advanced search operators is available in the Google Apps Help Center. You can also print the Google Mail and Search Shortcuts document.

    Back to Top

    Handling Spam

    How long do messages remain in my Spam folder?

    Messages remain in the Spam folder for 30 days. After that, Gmail permanently deletes them.

    How do I prevent messages from specific senders from being tagged as spam?

    To make sure that any messages you receive from a specific person outside our domain pass through the spam filter, create an email filter using the Never send it to Spam option:

    1. Click Settings > Filters > Create a new filter.
    2. Enter the person's address in the From field, and then click Next Step.
    3. Select Never send it to spam, and then click Create Filter.

    Back to Top

    Setting up Google Email

    Can I change the colors of my email window?

    Yes, you can choose from a number of different color schemes, or even create your own! To change the colors, click Settings in the upper-right corner of your Mail window. Then select Themes.

    What is the maximum number of characters I can use for my email signature?

    Your signature can contain up to 2000 characters.

    Can I format my email signature and add graphics?

    Yes. To set up your signature, go to Settings > General tab. You can format your signature with different colors and styles, and even add links and images, such as your company logo.

    Can I change the way Google email displays the names of message recipients, so their last names appear instead of their first names?

    No, the display of names is an option that your administrator sets for your entire organization. If the "first name, last name" option is set, Google email displays only the first names of message recipients in your Inbox and at the top of the message body. However, when viewing a message, you can click Show Details to see the full names of all recipients.

    Can I create my own mailing (distribution) lists?

    Yes, you can create a personal mailing list (called a contact group) using the contacts picker, which includes the email addresses of all U-M personnel in Google Apps. Access the contacts picker when composing an email message: Click the To: link.

    If you need to create a corporate mailing list that others can use, please contact IT.

    Back to Top

    Managing Your Email

    Where can I find detailed information about methods for managing my email?

    The following websites have information about innovative ways to control the flow of your email and manage your Inbox:

    Back to Top

    Migrating Email and Data

    Will my Outlook email rules copy over to Google email?

    No, you'll need to recreate your rules using the Filters feature. Filters let you to manage the flow of incoming messages using keywords, sender, recipients, and more. Using filters, you can automatically label, archive, delete, star, or forward your mail, and even keep it out of your Spam folder. For details, refer to the Google Help Center.

    After I migrate, will I still be able to access my old email and calendar?

    Yes. You can access your old ITS IMAP email in read-only mode until fall 2012, when the servers will be retired. You can access your old ITS Exchange account as read-only for 60 days after migration. After 60 days, these accounts will be deleted. (Note that units will continue to be billed for their ITS Exchange service during this 60-day transition period.)

    • If you were on ITS IMAP, you can log in to a read-only copy of your messages at
    • For ITS Exchange, you can view your old mail and calendar at You will receive a new login ID and password in an Exchange confirmation message after your migration.
    • If you used Outlook, your software will still be installed on your computer so you can access data archived in PST format. If you want to use Outlook to view your old migrated email, you will need to reconfigure Outlook. Instructions will be in your migration confirmation message.

    Can I move my archived PST files into Google?

    Yes, you can move your archived PST files into Google after your migration by following these instructions.

    Back to Top

    Email Features

    Does M+Google Mail have an out of office, away message, vacation message feature?

    Yes. For personal UMICH accounts you may use either the away/vacation message responder in M+Google Mail or the away message feature in MCommunity. Note that due to the way MCommunity group mail is routed, these options will NOT work for Shared Accounts. There is currently no simple option for enabling an automated away message in this situation, however the process outlined in this document can be used if needed. 

    I like using keyboard shortcuts. Are they available for M+Google Mail?

    Yes, Google email includes a full set of keyboard shortcuts. First, you must enable keyboard shortcuts:

    1. In the upper-right corner of the Mail window, click Settings.
    2. Under Keyboard shortcuts, select Keyboard shortcuts on.
    3. Click Save Settings.

    Then, to see the shortcuts, press SHIFT+? while viewing your list of messages in the main Mail window.

    Does M+Google Mail support shared or departmental mailboxes? How can I share my email with another employee?

    Shared mailboxes are not supported, but as a workaround you can use the email delegation feature to allow up to 25 other users access a single email account. You can also easily set up an email filter (rule) to forward specific types of messages to another employee. The project team has worked with MCommunity to create "shared accounts" (along with other non-person account types). Once provisioned, the shared account could be delegated to multiple users and used much like a shared mailbox. Learn more.

    Does Google email have a "tasks" feature that lets me add messages to a list for follow-up?

    Yes, the Google Tasks gadget is available in Google email and calendar. Just click the Tasks link in the pane on the left to open the Tasks gadget. Use the gadget to create one or more task lists. To add an email message to a tasks list, open the message and then click More Actions > Add to Tasks. The subject of the message appears at the top of your tasks list, with a link to the message content.

    Can I request read receipts in M+Google Mail?

    Read receipts are not available to U-M users. During the security review before the move to Google, the Technical and Security Advisory Committee recommended that we not enable that feature because read receipts can be a privacy concern for recipients. In addition, read receipts are unreliable because the recipient can simply choose not to send the receipt. If you need confirmation that your email was received, it is best to request in the body of your message that the recipient reply to you directly.

    Back to Top

    Other Email Questions

    Can I make M+Google the default email program when I click email links in my browser?

    Yes, you can specify Google as your default email program in Chrome. For instructions on how to set the default email handler for other browsers, refer to their help documentation.

    Can I open a message I'm composing or viewing in a separate window from my main email window?

    Yes, if your browser is set to display pop-ups in a new window, you can click do the following:

    • If you're reading a message, click the New Window link in the upper-right corner of the message.
    • If you're composing a new message, click the "pop-up" icon in the upper-right corner of the message.

    Will the move to M+Google Mail affect our ability to send out targeted emails through ITS Access Services?

    The targeted email system used by ITS Access Services has its own server as part of the software, so communications are sent directly to email accounts and will not be affected by the move to Google.

    I send out large volumes of mail. Can I still do this? Are there sending limits with Google?

    Although they are fairly generous, Google does have daily limits on the amount of mail a user can send. You can find details here. Note that sending to an MCommunity group that is synced to M+Google counts as ONE recipient against your sending limit, regardless of the number of addresses in the group.

    Does M+Google Mail support mail merge? How do I set up mail merge?

    We recommend using Yet Another Mail Merge to do a mail merge in the M+Google environment. Yet Another Mail Merge is a third party app that will let you select a draft written in your google mail, replace template keys with names and other information from a spreadsheet and automatically send the email. Please keep in mind that ITS does not support third party apps. 

    For more information on Yet Another Mail Merge, see: