The University of Michigan now provides each student and employee with an email account managed by Google. This page will give you an overview, and you can use the links at right to go into more detail.
Google Apps for Education
After an extensive evaluation process, U-M chose Google in January 2011 to provide students, faculty, and staff with a wide variety of tools to improve collaboration. In transitioning to Google Apps, the goal is to provide a powerful, web-based environment that will support the U-M's leadership in teaching, learning, and discovery; improve collaboration among faculty, students, and staff (and colleagues around the world); and reduce operational costs. The transition to Google was done in three major phases, with the Ross school completing their transition on June 18, 2012.
Among the 40+ Apps in the "Google Suite" is Gmail and Calendar. This means that you'll be using the Google interface to access and manage your U-M mailbox. And because it's web based, you can access it anywhere you go without having to set anything up.
Your Email Address and uniqname
Your uniqname is your unique identifier at the University of Michigan. It also comprises the first part of your email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, it serves as a Google ID; that is to say, you can log in to Google services by using your email@example.com as the username. You can edit information about your uniqname, change your away message, and forward your email to other providers through the M Community Online Directory (formerly referred to as UMOD).
Logging In To Your Mailbox
The most efficient way to access your U-M mailbox is by pointing your web browser to: http://email.umich.edu. (You may want to create a bookmark, favorite, or shortcut using the web browser of your choice so that you can easily return.) Once you log in, along the top of the screen will be links for you to open your Calendar, Docs, and other Google Apps. By default, these usually open in separate tabs within the same browser window.
Suggest an Improvement to Google Mail
We often get requests for suggested improvements to Google Mail. Unfortunately, we have as much programming control as you do! Fortunately, it's easy to suggest your ideas directly to Google using this link.
Configuring Mobile Devices
Most common mobile devices (like tablets and phones) support the use of Google Mail, Calendar, Docs, and other Apps. Google provides documentation on how to set up and use your device with their products. For the most part, just remember that your Google ID is your firstname.lastname@example.org, and your phone or device should walk you through the rest. For specific instructions, click the link in the sidebar.
Special notice for Android users: Initial setup of an Android device requires you to enter a "master Gmail account." This must be a personal Gmail account ending in @gmail.com. If you attempt to use your @umich.edu address as a master account, the device will accept it, but will behave inconsistently and require a reset. Note that this only refers to the "master account," which is configured during initial Android setup. This has nothing to do with using your Android device to simply read your @umich.edu email.
Accessing your mailbox wherever you go, even without a connection
One of the nice things about having a web-based email solution is that it's accessible wherever you go, as long as you have an internet connection. But if you travel a lot, you know that finding a reliable internet connection can sometimes be spotty. For this, we recommend Gmail's offline mode. Offline mode allows your Google mailbox to create a local copy of everything before you leave, so you can read and compose messages even while disconnected from the internet. As soon as you connect again, anything you were working on will sync back to your mailbox, and any messages you've composed while offline will get sent.
You might also find yourself in a situation where the internet connection you're using has blocked the service you're trying to access. Some countries, for example, may have a firewall that prevents you from using portions of your Google account. You can get around this by connecting to the Ross VPN (virtual private network). You can download the VPN client by visiting the "Software" page (click the link at the top of this page). Allow it to install, follow the prompts to connect, and then log in to your Google account.
Configuring Third-Party Email Applications
Gmail is a fully web based, robust and intuitive alternative to programs like Outlook, Thunderbird and Apple Mail. While it may have the capability to connect and be used by third-party email applications, we really do not recommend it for the following reasons:
- Third-party email applications do not natively support full integration of the Google Calendar, contacts, etc.; most will sync only email.
- Many of Gmail's unique features (like "labels" and Labs) are not supported by third-party email applications
- Using a third-party application requires use of the POP or IMAP protocol, which prevents dynamic, real-time monitoring of your mailbox
For these reasons and others, the Ross Helpdesk does not recommend or support the use of third-party email applications. We recommend and fully support use of the web version only. That said, for those interested in using Outlook on a Windows PC, Google does have an automated App that makes setup easy; we have instructions here. Detailed instructions for other applications can be found within your Gmail settings.