Using Gmail

Storage Limits

  • The message size limit for emails sent to or from a Gmail account is 25 MB. During the transition to Google Mail, any messages over 25 mb in size will be left behind on central email and will go away after 30 days.
  • The 25 MB message size limit includes all attachments. Other options for sharing files within the University are NetFiles or, if you're sharing files with someone in the same collegiate unit, Active Directory. Google Apps is designed to simplify file sharing by providing links to shared content rather than including it as an attachment, in order to ensure that people will be working and collaborating on the newest version.
  • GMail accounts are provided with up to 25 GB of e-mail storage.
  • Google saves the contents of your Trash folder for 30 days.

Access With Other Email Programs and Mobile Devices

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) strongly recommends the use of the Google web client, as it maximizes the full collaborative features and functionality of Gmail. However, your Google Apps for the University of Minnesota Gmail account also can be configured to work a number of email clients so that you can retrieve your Gmail messages with clients or devices that support IMAP.

Because Google supports several optional desktop email clients which may change from time-to-time, OIT provides support for the web client only, and is not equipped to help users with specific desktop clients beyond the general configuration parameters listed on the right side of this page. For a list of clients and setup guides currently supported by Google, visit Gmail's supported IMAP client list page.

You will need to set a Google desktop/mobile client password if you want to use desktop email clients and/or if you want to access to your Google account with your mobile device. Read more information about Google desktop/mobile client passwords. Go to your Internet Account Options page and select Change Your Google Desktop/Mobile Client Password.

To set up your desktop or mobile client or device, follow the instructions for your particular client or device on the Google Help Center Web site, and use the University of Minnesota-specific information on the right side of this page (Note—IMAP has been enabled for you already by the University).  

Personal Google/Gmail Accounts

Your University of Minnesota Google Apps account is totally separate from your personal Google/Gmail account, so nothing about your personal Google account will change. Your private account and institutional accounts will not be merged.

Forgotten Passwords

If you have forgotten your Google desktop/mobile client password, you can reset it by logging in with your Internet ID and password on your Internet Account Options page, and select Reset Google Desktop/Mobile Client Password. If you don't know either your Google desktop/mobile client password or your Internet password, call 1-HELP at (612) 301-4357 (1-HELP on campus) to first have your Internet password reset. After your Internet password has been reset, you can reset your Google desktop/mobile client password on your Internet Account Options page.

Transitioning Existing Email Messages

New email received is directed to your new Google account once the opt in process is complete and contents of your Inbox, Sent folder and Trash folder for the most recent 30 days have been transferred. Email messages in other folders will be transferred automatically to your Google account. This transfer process may take several hours, days, or even weeks, depending on the size of the account. A maximum of 6 GB of email may be transferred to Google.

Once you initiate the migration process to your Google account, messages in your Inbox, as well as messages placed into your current Sent and Trash folders within the most recent 30 days will be moved to Gmail. Messages in your Trash folder older than 30 days will be deleted. For users who have not yet signed-up for a University Google account, auto-filing of Sent and Trash folders will continue on a monthly basis in order to maintain optimum performance.

See Transitioning to Gmail for further information.

Import Contacts

You can import contacts you already have stored in another email program into your Google Apps for the U of M account. See Importing Contacts on Google's website for details and instructions .

Auto-reply, Out-of-Office Replies, and Mail Forwarding

U of M Google account users will need to use Google's auto-reply, forwarding and mail filters features available in Gmail. The existing central functions will no longer be available to Google users. Please note that in Gmail, you cannot forward to more than one account as is now possible with the existing University user tools.

To configure a vacation out-of-office auto-reply, use the "Vacation Responder" feature in Gmail. Instruction are on Google's Web site.

Email Aliases

Aliases will continue to work as they do now. We will continue to accept mail for the various domains, such as, forwarding them on to users whether they are in Google or not. However, you should note that the "To" and "Cc" lines will show the Google domain rather than the original domain. For example, email addressed to will appear as "To:" in Gmail. Likewise, will show up as in Gmail.

Autoreplies will be sent by Google based on mail they receive and should work for those aliases, but that process is still in the testing phase.

This service offering is part of Messaging & Calendaring Services.