Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions about UTmail? We've collected a list of answers here, and you can also check UTmail Help for more information.
For specific information go to:
What are the benefits of UTmail?
Those who opt-in to UTmail will have 25 GB inboxes, which is fantastic! (You can store about 500,000 average-sized emails in 25 GB.) UTmail also provides an easy-to-use interface and a number of additional collaborative applications, which many people are already using. If you choose UTmail, you are allowed to pick your own email address and keep it - "email for life!"
Why do I need a university-provided UTmail Google account when I already use Gmail?
UTmail lets you show your Longhorn pride with an "@utexas.edu" email address! With a UTmail account you get 25 GB inboxes compared to the standard 7 GB offered with Gmail; your account is also protected with greater privacy settings than public accounts.
How do I change/reset my UTMail password?
You can change your UTMail password by logging into the UTmail User Management page with your UT EID and selecting Change UTmail password.
How do I rename my UTmail email address?
You can rename your UTmail email address once every 30 days by logging into the UTmail User Management page with your UT EID and selecting Rename UTmail Account.
More information on changing your UTmail address is available here.
What mobile devices does Google sync with?
A list of the mobile devices that Gmail and other Google apps are compatible with is available at the Google Sync for your phone page.
Will this change the university's policy regarding email as an official notification method?
No, UTmail does not change the university's email policy. The university will still require all students, faculty, and staff to provide a current email address for official communication.
How did you decide on Google?
The UTmail service is the result of a year-long process begun in May 2010. The effort was spearheaded by student leadership under the sponsorship of the Research and Educational Technology Committee of IT governance. After a comprehensive process, Google was selected as the finalist in November 2010. Negotiations were completed and the contract signed in February 2011. The service was launched to students on April 20, 2011 and to alumni on September 26, 2011.
Are there privacy issues with UTmail?
The ISO has carefully considered the privacy and security features available with Google and is satisfied that Google will provide appropriate levels of privacy and security for student and alumni email.
Do Google's March 1, 2012 privacy changes apply to my UTmail account?
No. These privacy changes pertain to the Google services used by the public. The Google services provided through UTmail are governed by a contract between the university and Google. The University contract’s terms and conditions supersede Google’s privacy policies for consumer services. The core services covered by the contract include Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Docs, Contacts, Sites, Video, and Groups for Business. Within the UTmail portal it is possible to navigate to non-core services which are outside the contract and for which Google’s privacy policies for consumer services apply.
Is email a secure form of communication?
NO! Never send sensitive information by email because:
- Email is like a postcard - an unauthorized party could intercept and access your message.
- The recipient might share it in a way you would not want.
- You don't control what your recipient retains.
- Accessing your email over an insecure network (e.g., in an Internet cafe or on an open wireless network) can expose your user account information.
- Encrypted connections reduce the risk that your authentication credentials will be compromised, but email is plain text when traveling between the sender and the recipient, and can still be easily intercepted.
- Regardless of the provider, email is not a secure method of communication. This applies to current campus email systems as well as most third-party email providers.
- Email can be made significantly more secure via the use of message encryption and digital certificates.
What constitutes sensitive information in the context of electronic communications?
Sensitive information in electronic communications includes any information that is protected by law, policy, or specific contract. Generally it includes:
- Social Security numbers
- Driver's license numbers
- Credit card information
- Medical/health conditions, etc.
This information should not be sent by email, regardless of the email provider. If you would not want information to appear in public, it should be sent encrypted or not at all. Email can easily be read en route, kept forever, or shared with unintended readers.
Learn more about sensitive information in this Extended List of Category-I Data.
Are there specific risks related to the fact that some of Google's servers are hosted in other countries?
By law, some intellectual property should not be stored outside the United States. Individuals handling sensitive materials should not share this information by email regardless of the email provider. Also, an email intended for a domestic user can be easily forwarded elsewhere.
Are UTmail accounts subject to open records requests?
Student and alumni UTmail accounts are not generally subject to open records requests. However, there are scenarios in which they could be subject to disclosure pursuant to an open record request.
Examples include but are not limited to the following scenarios:
- Students who are employed by the university and use their UTmail account for university business could be subject to an open records request regarding that specific university business.
- Alumni who conduct university business with their UTmail account (e.g., a person who is a contractor but also an alumnus) could also be subject to an open records request regarding that specific university business.
Faculty and staff UTmail accounts generally ARE subject to open records requests, as are faculty and staff Austin Exchange Messaging Service (AEMS) email accounts and faculty and staff email accounts hosted by various colleges and departments. However, many emails in these accounts would not be subject to disclosure because they would fit within any number of exceptions to the open records law. Examples include but are not limited to emails that are protected by the attorney client privilege, or which contain Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protected information, or other information made confidential by law.
Is UTmail accessible to individuals with disabilities?
UTmail is accessible with accommodations, however, some of the associated Google Apps are less accessible. Therefore, UTmail and Google Apps are currently opt-in for students and alumni.
What other schools are using Google?
There’s a list of customers on the Google Education Customer page.
Students and Graduate Students
I have a mail.utexas.edu account. What will happen to that?
You can import the contents of your mail.utexas.edu account into your new UTmail account - instructions are here. Sometime in fall 2011 or spring 2012, student mail.utexas.edu accounts will be retired.
Are students required to sign up for UTmail?
UTmail is optional. However, students are still required to provide an email address for official university communication.
Can grad students use UTmail?
Yes, grad students can use UTmail. Some departments may also want their grad students to have an Austin Exchange Messaging Systems (AEMS) account for official university business.
Faculty and Staff
I’m a UT Austin faculty or staff member. Can I use UTmail?
Yes! UTmail accounts are now available for faculty and staff of the University of Texas for business use.
Should I use AEMS and/or UTmail?
Faculty and staff are eligible to use both Austin Exchange Messaging Service (AEMS) and UTmail accounts.
You should use an AEMS account and NOT UTmail if:
- You require calendar or resource (rooms, etc.) sharing with colleagues on AEMS (Exchange)
- You require email encryption or digital signature
- Your data is export controlled or subject to a Technology Control Plan, Non-Disclosure Agreement or Sensitive Data Control Plan
- Your data is specifically protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA or Federal Information Security Management Act FISMA.
- Your data is specifically protected by a contract (e.g., NSF, NIH, DOE) and prohibits the use of 3rd party services such as Google's Gmail service.
I’m a UT Austin alum and a faculty/staff member. Can I use UTmail?
As an alum of the university, you are eligible to claim a UTmail account for your personal use. You should not use the account for official university business. As a faculty/staff member you are also eligible for a business account. This account is for official university business use and is contingent upon your employment with the university.
Are business UTmail accounts email for life?
No, Faculty and Staff accounts are for employee use and will be deactivated at the end of employment. University retirees will be able to keep their account after retirement.
Is UTmail appproved for use with Category-I data?
UTmail has been approved for general business use, which includes most forms of Category-I university data. However, data that is protected by HIPPA, FISMA, export controls, or specific funding contract provisions is NOT approved for use with UTmail. Any questions regarding interpretation can be sent to the Information Security Office (email@example.com).
UTmail and Accessibility
The university provides UTmail as an email application. Applications within the Google Apps suite other than Gmail (e.g. Google Docs, Google Sites) do not currently meet the university’s accessibility standards and are therefore not permitted for official university business (e.g. as required elements of course curriculum). Use of Google applications other than Gmail must be done in compliance with the university’s policies on accessibility.
If I’m an alumni, will I be able to get an account?
Yes! As of September 26, 2011, UTmail powered by Google, is available to all UT Austin alumni. You can sign up for an account in three easy steps.
What is the difference between the email forwarding service offered by the Texas Exes and UTmail’s "email for life"?
The main difference between the email forwarding service and a UTmail lifetime mail account is that email forwarding does not come with storage space for email. Email forwarding simply forwards any email sent to your @alumni.utexas.net address to the email account you have specified as your forwarding address.
Now that UTmail is available for alumni will the Texas Exes' Email Forwarding service go away?
No. The Texas Exes will continue to offer the email forward service.
Why would I want a lifetime email account if I already have lifetime email forwarding?
If you want a UT branded (@utexas.edu)email account that includes storage, an easy-to-use interface and a number of additional collaborative aplications, you should set up a UTmail account. Email forwarding does not include storage or any other additional features.
Is UTmail available for Retirees?
Yes! UTmail is now available for Retirees. Please sign up at utmail.utexas.edu.
UTmail at the Law School
What is the new @utlaw.utexas.edu email address?
It is an alternate University of Texas Law School branded email address. This works in conjunction with your existing UTmail (@utexas.edu) address.
How do I get my @utlaw.utexas.edu email address?
When you sign up for a UTmail (@utexas.edu) address, your @utlaw.utexas.edu email address will be added automatically to that account, often by the next day.
Please sign up at: utmail.utexas.edu. You do not have to sign up for or create a separate account for your @utlaw address.
If you cannot access your @utlaw address after two business days, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 512-475-9400.
Who can get an alternative email address?
Currently the Law School is offering law students and law school alumni an alternate, branded email address.
What is my assigned @utlaw.utexas.edu email address?
Each branded email is based on and consistent with the official UT name of record. To view your assigned @utlaw.utexas.edu email address, login here using your EID and EID password. If you need help with your EID go to the EID Self Help Tools or call the ITS Help Desk at 512-475-9400.
Questions about your assigned @utlaw.utexas.edu email address?
Alumni should contact Teri Raeke at the Law Alumni Association and students should contact the Law School Student Affairs Office. Each branded email is based on and consistent with the official UT name of record.
How does sending and receiving work with my @utlaw.utexas.edu email address?
- Receiving: Once your @utlaw email address is created, you will be able to receive email to both your @utlaw.utexas.edu address and your @utexas.edu address. All email sent to your @utlaw.utexas.edu address is accessed through your existing UTmail (@utexas.edu) inbox.
- Sending: When composing a new message a drop down box in the "From:" field will allow you to select which email address the message will be sent from.
- Your @utexas.edu address will remain the default "Send from" address.
- To change the default "Send from" email address go to Options (button in upper right corner)> Mail settings > Accounts > make default.
- You can also configure the system to reply from the same account the message was sent to. Go to Options (button in upper right corner) > Mail settings > Accounts under your mail addresses you can select: Reply from the same address the message was sent to.
Does this affect my log in for UTmail?
Your login is not affected; continue to log in with your @utexas.edu username and password. Your @utlaw.utexas.edu mail is accessed through your existing UTmail account.
- NOTE: You cannot log into your UTmail account using your @utlaw.utexas.edu username. For example, if your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you also have an alternate email address of email@example.com, you must always log into your UTmail account using the jane.doe username.
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