Frequently Asked Questions about Google Apps for Education (GAE)
What does Google Apps for Education (GAE) gain us?
GAE allows us to increase capacity (larger mailbox sizes, larger attachment sizes), provide a superior webmail system, and provide a calendaring system for everyone.
Will my email address change with GAE?
No. Your current email address (email@example.com) remains the same with GAE.
Who do I call if I have problems with or questions about GAE?
The IIT Helpdesk at x3830 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via IM: stocomputerhelp
I'm a senior graduating before the migration deadline. Should I still migrate or remain with what I'm using?
The choice is up to you. You may migrate if you like, but you don't need to. It might be worth migrating if you want to make use of shared calendars, documents, and the nearly-unlimited email storage space.
GAE is free to educational institutions like St. Olaf, so how does Google make money?
Google has three objectives with GAE. First, Google has its roots in education (Stanford University) and wishes to contribute to the educational world by offering its products with no out-of-pocket institutional expense.
Second, Google hopes to make lifetime Google users out of all faculty, staff and particularly students. Their hope is that when graduates will continue to use Gmail and its associated products for the rest of their lives and perhaps even bring these products into their future business world.
Third, Google’s revenue flow is generated by delivering context-sensitive advertisements to the users of its products (e.g. Gmail and Google). When students graduate and if they choose to continue using Gmail, context-sensitive ads would be delivered to them through the Gmail interface.
Can Google stop GAE service or start charging for it?
St. Olaf has signed a four-year agreement with Google to provide GAE as is. If, after four years, Google decides to change some or all of GAE which might render it insufficient for campus needs and use, the College would reconsider GAE.
What are the Security and Privacy Issues with GAE? What happens with our email when it sits on Google’s servers? Is Google reading my mail?
Google’s (including GAE) most salient feature is its fantastic searching ability. GAE makes all of its components (Gmail, Calendar, etc.) searchable by the end-user. In order to deliver this feature, Google scans all email and calendar data and indexes the information to make it searchable by the end-user and only the end-user. During the searching and indexing, Google accumulates aggregate, non-personal information in order to provide better services.
So, is my data private with GAE?
Yes. In a nutshell:
- Google does not own your data.
- Google keeps the data as long as you want.
- Google deletes the data when you ask.
- Google allows you to take the data out of its system.
For further reference, see http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html
For a clearly-worded explanation of Google's privacy and security policies, see http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?answer=60762
If my email, address book and calendar information is stored off-campus on Google’s servers, who owns this data?
If my email, address book and calendar information is stored off campus on Google’s servers, who has access to it?
As with our current system, only you and IIT System Administrators have access to your information. However, both St. Olaf College and Google are US law-abiding entities and should some legal action, initiated by local or federal law agencies, require access to user data stored on Google’s server (e.g. subpoenaed information), the College and Google will act or respond as required by law. This is no different than what we do now. See section 9.3 of St. Olaf's Computing Policies: http://www.stolaf.edu/services/iit/documentation/intro_student/#section2
What changes with GAE?
The web-based user interface will have the same look and feel of Gmail.
When a user deletes a message (i.e. moves it to the trash), either inadvertently or on purpose, GAE expunges the message after 30 days. After that 30 days, the user and IIT are unable to retrieve that message.
I’m already a Gmail user. Can I combine my existing Gmail account with GAE at St. Olaf?
No. All St. Olaf users will have a email@example.com address; this will remain unchanged with GAE at St. Olaf. While you can forward either your personal Gmail account to GAE at St. Olaf or vice versa, we recommend keeping personal and college-related emails separate per St. Olaf's acceptable use policy (see http://www.stolaf.edu/services/iit/documentation/intro_student/index.html#section9)
Can I still use Thunderbird/Outlook/Mac Mail/Eudora with GAE?
We highly recommend using the web interface to Gmail to make best use of its features and integration with Google Calendar. However, Google Mail supports any POP or IMAP email client (e.g. Thunderbird, Outlook, Mac Mail, etc.). Since email is stored on Google's servers, accessing it via Thunderbird may be slower than you are used to.
To use another client (such as Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook), follow these steps:
- Using a web browser, sign in to Gmail.
- Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
- Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
- Select Enable IMAP.
- Click Save Changes.
Next, you need to configure your email client. Instructions for configuring Thunderbird are available from IIT.
For other clients (Outlook, Mac Mail, etc.), please visit this webpage: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&ctx=mail&answer=75726. Information you will need to configure your account:
- Incoming Username: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Incoming server type: IMAP
- Incoming Server: imap.gmail.com
- Port number: 993 ("SSL" checked)
- Outgoing Server: smtp.gmail.com
- Port number: 587 ("TLS, if available" or if Mac Mail, "SSL")
- Outgoing Username: email@example.com
Use the information above when following the directions as it may be slightly different than the instructions given.
I'm forwarding my email to another address. Do I still need to go through the migration?
At the end of May, 2009, all St. Olaf email will go directly through Gmail instead of being delivered to St. Olaf and then forwarded on. Once you migrate your account, you can set up forwarding again within Gmail on the Settings screen. (Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP).
Can I search for partial words?
No. Google allows you to search for (and create filters using) words but not parts of words. This feature has been requested and may be added in the future.
How are filters applied to messages?
All filters are processed for each message. So, if you have two different filters that match a message, both filter's actions will be processed unless one of the filters is set up to delete the message.
When I print my mail using File -> Print, the printout is not correct. Why?
To print a conversation, use the Print or Print all link on the Gmail sceen. To print an individual message, click the context menu of the message and click Print.
You cannot use File -> Print to print email correctly.
How do I label a message in my inbox with an existing label?
- Check the checkbox next to the message you want to label.
- Click on the More Actions pull-down menu above the inbox listing
- Choose the label you want applied.
You can also perform steps 2 and 3 while reading a message to apply a label to it.
How can I find a St. Olaf email address?
When composing an email message, click the To: link. Type part of the person's name, and matching email addresses will be displayed. Select the address(es) from the list, click Done, and continue composing your message. Anybody you send an email to will automatically be added to your contacts.
How can I have Gmail alert me in the task bar when I have new mail?
For Macs (MacOS 10.4 or later), Google has Notifier which alerts you of new messages. When installed, a Gmail icon and Calendar icon appear on the right side of the menu bar. When a Gmail message arrives, a translucent box tells you about that message. http://toolbar.google.com/gmail-helper/notifier_mac.html
For PCs, Google currently doesn't have a version of Notifier that works with Google Apps for Education and addresses that aren't listed as @gmail.com. We expect an update soon so that you can use your Gmail @ StOlaf address. Check back for more updates.
Why don't I receive an email when I send a message to a mailing list (or alias) that I'm on?
When you send a message to any mailing list you subscribe to, Gmail automatically skips your inbox and archives the message to save you time and prevent clutter. The message will appear in your inbox if someone responds to it or if there is an error delivering the message. If you'd like to view your message, you can find it in Sent Mail or All Mail.
Is there a way to make the banner that appears above the Archive/Spam/Delete buttons and the Inbox listing go away? It is promoting entertainment, news items, etc.
Yes. The banner is called web clips and can be disabled or customized by going to Settings -> Web Clips and choosing the options you want.
Why did I get locked out of my email?
To help stem the flow of potential spam, Google will temporarily disable your account if you send more than:
- 500 messages per day (i.e., you can hit 'Send' a maximum of 500 times)
- 500 unique recipients per message
- 2000 total emails per day (for example, you could send one message to a group of 500 people four times)
In addition to these limitations, Google will temporarily disable your account if you send a message to more than 500 recipients or if you send a large number of undeliverable messages. According to the Google help center, you can only send a message to up to 100 people at a time if you use POP or IMAP.
Gmail isn't loading. What should I do?
The most likely problem is that firefox is attempting to load old (cached) data. Go to Tools -> Clear Private Data then uncheck everything but cache. Click Clear Private Data Now. Then try reloading the page. If that doesn't work, try restarting Firefox.
If there is a "Use Basic View" link in the lower left-hand corner of the page, click it. Once the page loads, you can then click the "Switch to Standard View" link at the top of the page, and you will be able to continue working on your email as normal.
If none of these solution work, check with Google here: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=8767
I am going to be gone for a few days and won't be able to check e-mail. Can I set up a vacation/auto-responder message?
Yes, Google provides a vacation responder in Settings > General. This will automatically respond to any e-mail sent to you. Be sure to turn it off once you are back on campus.
I placed a note in the address book for all the people in my group, yet when I do a search for contacts they don't come up. Why?
Google doesn't search your notes in the address book. The notes are for your own personal reminders. To place your contacts in a group search for them in your contents and click add to group.
I like to keep "templates" of messages I send often. How do I do that in Gmail?
Gmail does not currently offer any kind of 'template' feature, but there are two work-arounds.
Gmail will keep a copy of your sent mail in the Sent Mail label/folder. You can access it by clicking Forward and will then be able to modify the message as you wish.
Alternatively, you can save your "template" email as a draft, create a label called "Templates" and label the message with that. You'll then be able to find it there whenever you want to use it.
Can I add an email to a conversation by changing its subject line?
At present, there is no way to add a message to an existing conversation. You can only add to the conversation by replying directly.
How do I transfer my mail from my St. Olaf Gmail account to some other account? (i.e., I'm leaving St. Olaf and want to take my mail with me.)
The easiest way to take your mail with you when you leave the college is to set up a personal Gmail account (see http://mail.google.com to sign up) and then transfer your St. Olaf mail to your personal Gmail account. Instructions for doing this can be found at https://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&ctx=mail&answer=21288
How do I open mailto (course aliases, email links) links in Gmail, instead of Thunderbird/Mac Mail?
No fix known at this time.
* At the Firefox 3 address bar, you need to type in "about:config" and you will be prompted with a warning page. Just click on "I’ll be careful, I promise!" button to proceed.
* Type in "gecko.handlerService" into Filter box until you get gecko.handlerService.allowRegisterFromDifferentHost Preference name. Make sure the value is "True". Change it if it is not.
* Also check for network.protocol-handler.external.mailto Preference name. Make sure the value is "True".
* Copy the following link and press ENTER if you are a Google Apps user:
* Firefox 3 will thence prompt you a question whether you want to add application. Click on the "Add Application" button.
* Now you click any mailto: link and you will prompt with a small window "Launch Application". Firefox 3 requests your confirmation on which applications to be used. Check the "Gmail" box and also check the box showing "Remember my choice for mailto links". Click OK
* NOTE: if this still doesn't work, then choose Edit->Preferences->Applications, (or Tools->Options->Applications), search for "mailto" and choose "St. Olaf Gmail" under action, save and close preferences.
* The process is done. Anyway, for safety reason, it is advisable to go back to "about:config" gecko.handlerService.allowRegisterFromDifferentHost value back to false.
Taken from the following blog:
How do I check my email if gmail.stolaf.edu isn't working?
You can always use the following URL if gmail.stolaf.edu is not working:
I have Mac OSX 10.3 and can't get mailto links to use gmail.
Sorry there is no good fix for this. The problem has been solved on 10.4 and latter editions of Mac OSX. However there is a work around possible.
Configure Thunderbird to use IMAP as shown here.
Then, in Thunderbird, go to Account Settings and click Copies and Folders.
Select "Place a copy in" Other
Lower the dropdown menu, Select firstname.lastname@example.org, then select [GMAIL], then select Sent Mail
This will place a copy of the message in your Gmail Sent Mail label.
What does "Oops… the system encountered a problem (#6400)" mean?
We have seen this error when trying to read Gmail messages on Firefox version 1.0. We recommend upgrading to the newest version of Firefox at:
My Thunderbird, Mac Mail, or Outlook email client won't allow me to login to my St. Olaf email, yet I can login through the St. Olaf Gmail web interface.
According to the following Google Help entry:
Google may disable access to a service for up to 24 hours if they see unusual activity on the account. To unlock the account for St. Olaf Google Apps accounts, you will need to visit:
Login with your username, password, and enter the Captcha text. This will immediately unlock your account.
How do I insert HTML code into my email?
Gmail already gives you many formatting tools, there may be times when you wish to send HTML formatted messages beyond the capabilities of the built-in Rich Formatting. To do this, you should:
- Save your HTML as a .htm file on your local hard drive.
- Open your .htm file in Mozilla Firefox.
- Choose Edit > Select All from the browser's menu bar.
- Choose Edit > Copy.
- Start to compose a new message in your St. Olaf Gmail window.
- Clicking on the Gmail email body.
- Choose Edit > Paste.
You should see the rendered version of your HTML file in the body of your email.
How can I prevent people's calendar invitations from automatically appearing on my calendar?
- Click on the Settings link in the upper right corner of the calendar window.
- Next to the label Automatically add invitations to my calendar, check the No option.
- Click Save.
I have many Google calendars displayed at once and I want to just view one or two for now. Can I switch between calendars or hide certain calendars?
To the left of the main calendar (underneath the monthly calendar) there is a list that displays all calendars you have chosen to view. You can click on the calendar names to show or hide events from that calendar. Each click toggles that calendar on and off.
If you want to hide or remove a calendar from the list, you can click Manage Calendars and adjust according to your preference (click the Hide link or the trashcan icon.)
How can I see/add a holiday calendar?
Type US Holidays in the search box and click Search Public Calendars,then click Add This Calendar. (You can find all sorts of other public calendars there too, e.g., Twins Schedule, Walker Art Center Schedule.)
How do I get a calendar with St. Olaf events?
Option 1: Type St. Olaf Events in the search box and click Search Public Calendars, then click Add to Calendar under the first one listed.
Option 2: Select Add -> Add by URL, and enter http://www.stolaf.edu/calendar/icals/all.ics
To view a list of other St. Olaf event calendars that can be subscribed to, open a browser to http://www.stolaf.edu/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=ical
Can I get a daily summary of my calendar via email?
- Click the Settings link in the left-hand column underneath My Calendars.
- Click the Notifications link for the calendar you want to be notified about.
- Finally, check the checkbox for Daily Agenda.
If you do the same for multiple calendars, you still get one email but with a summary of all events for all of the calendars for which you have checked Daily Agenda.
How can I add a document attachment to my calendar event?
You can "add" an email attachment by entering the unique email URL into the description of your event. The URLs will look similar to:
The next time you open the event, you can click on the hyperlink, and it will take you to your email, where you can review your attachment.
How can I prevent people I don't want to chat with from chatting with me?
If you need to block another Google Talk user, follow these steps:
- Click on the person's name listed in the Google Talk panel. The little chat window will appear in the lower right-hand corner of the Gmail window.
- Click on the Options button and then select Block Name...
How can I be alerted when an instant message comes in?
If you are reading mail, messages will appear in a Gmail-integrated chat box. The title of the window will also change to say Name says... and the taskbar button will flash (PC) or the dock icon will bounce (Mac).
How can I limit who can chat with me?
Gmail automatically invites contacts with whom you often communicate. To change this behavior, refer to the following page.
How can I run multiple instances of Google Talk?
If you would like to login to Google Talk for both your personal Gmail, and also your St. Olaf Gmail accounts, you would:
- Install Google Talk here.
- Right-click on the Google Talk shortcut on your desktop and choose Properties.
- Add /nomutex to the end of the path found in Target. (ie "C:\Programs\Google Talk\googletalk.exe" /nomutex)
Once you have added the /nomutex flag, the shortcut will start a new instance of Google Talk every time you double-click it.
Where are footnotes and endnotes?
Footnotes and endnotes are not yet supported in Google docs. To encourage Google to work on this, submit your feature votes on their Feature Suggestion site.
Is there a file size limit?
Size limits are explained in the following Google Doc Help entry:
Someone shared a Google Doc with me, but when they left St. Olaf, I no longer see the shared document...
Google deletes all Google Docs when the owner's email is deleted from our system. (http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=92358) We recommend that you change the ownership of all shared Google Docs before the person leaves.
Can I access my St. Olaf Gmail, Contacts, or Google Calendar with a mobile web browser?
For Gmail and your Contacts, you can login to:
For your St. Olaf Google Calendar, you can login to:
Can I sync my mobile device, PDA, or cell phone with St. Olaf Gmail, Contacts, and Google Calendar?
Please visit the following page for information about using Google Apps with your mobile device.
How do I reset the convenience key on my Blackberry?
The convenience key is reprogrammed under Options -> Screen/Keyboard -> Convenience Key Opens -> Gmail (or Mail by Google)
I am not receiving email on my mobile device until long after it is sent. What's wrong?
We have seen this issue with Blackberry devices when they move in and out of service areas. It is recommended that you try to perform a manual refresh of the Gmail program on your device. Here are the steps for performing a manual refresh on a Blackberry:
1. Open the Gmail program on your Blackberry.
2. Click the Menu Key, and then 'Refresh'
I try to login to my Google Sync and keep getting an "Account Locked" message, though I am sure I have entered the Captcha text correctly.
According to the following Google Help entry:
Google may disable access to a service for up to 24 hours if they see unusual activity on the account. To unlock the account for St. Olaf Google Apps accounts, you will need open a web browser and visit:
Login with your username, password, and enter the Captcha text. This will immediately unlock your account, and you will be able to use your mobile device email or calendar sync once more.
How do I sync my G1 Google Phone with my St. Olaf Gmail, Contacts, and Google Calendar?
The steps for logging in or out of your St. Olaf Gmail account on a G1 Google Phone are as follows:
1. Click Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Google Storage > Clear Data
2. Click your Home key
3. Click the Gmail applet > Next > Sign In
Once you have signed in to your Gmail applet, your Email, Contacts, and Google Calendar will sync to your phone.
How do I sync my Palm Pre with my St. Olaf Gmail, Contacts, and Google Calendar?
Palm Pre is able to sync with St. Olaf Gmail by using the instructions found under the 'View instructions for Google Apps email addresses' heading:
NOTE: It is not recommended that you setup Google Apps (St. Olaf) Gmail through the Palm's 'Email' program, but to use the Palm's 'Contact' program instead.
How do I sync my Blackberry with my St. Olaf Gmail, Contacts, and Google Calendar?
On your Blackberry's web browser, visit and install the following three programs:
Once installed, you simply sign in using your full St. Olaf email address.
NOTE: The programs are installed into the Applications folder by default, but you may move them to your preferred location.
How do I sync my iPhone with my St. Olaf Gmail, Contacts, and Google Calendar?
There are three possibilities for checking your St. Olaf Gmail on an iPhone:
1. Install the Gmail applet for Mobile Devices, by visiting the following address in your iPhone web browser:
2. Read your St. Olaf Gmail using the iPhone's web browser, by visiting:
3. Sync via IMAP:
- Using a web browser, sign in to Gmail.
- Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
- Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
- Select Enable IMAP.
- Click Save Changes.
Then visit this Google help link and follow its instructions for setting up your account on the iPhone:
The instructions for setting up an iPhone to sync Google Calendars are here:
The instructions provided above will synchronize your Default Google Calendar. If you would like to sync multiple calendars, you must follow these steps:
1. Visit http://m.google.com in your iPhone web browser.
2. Choose "configure for your domain" at the bottom of the page.
3. Choose the sync button.
4. Choose the button for for Google Apps
5. Choose the calendars that you would wish to sync, and click Save.
This answer was found here:
Why am I having to register my iPod Touch every day?
We are sorry that you are experiencing this issue. We are aware of the problem, and are working to resolve the issue. An interim fix is to register your iPod Touch on our Game Console Network Registration page:
To find your MAC Address on your iPod Touch:
- Choose Settings > General > About
- Scroll down until you find Wi-Fi Address
This fix has been verified to work, until we can track down and fix the problem.
How do I sync my Android 2.1 phone with St. Olaf Gmail, Contacts, and Google Calendar?
The steps for logging in or out of your St. Olaf Gmail account on a Android 2.1 phone are as follows:
1. Click Settings > Accounts & sync
2. Click Add account button -> Google (brings up Add a Google Account wizard)
3. Click Next -> Sign in -> Enter your full St. Olaf Email address, and password
1. Click Settings > Accounts & sync
2. Click Add account button -> Exchange ActiveSync
3. Fill in the information on the "Edit account" page:
Email address: St. Olaf Email Address
Server address: m.google.com
Username: St. Olaf Email Address
Password: St. Olaf Password
Check the box next to "This server requires an encrypted SSL connection"
NOTE: Android 2.1 will only allow you to sync the calendars from one account. If you want to view the calendar from two different accounts, you will need to share the desired calendar with the account that is currently syncing.
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