Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

  1. Background
    1. What is the new VT Google Apps Mail system?
    2. What are the benefits of Google Apps for Education?
    3. What is being included in the Google Apps suite at Virginia Tech?
  2. Migration
    1. How do I read my NEW VT Google Apps email?
    2. Will all of my mail migrate?
    3. What do I need to do to prepare for my transition to Google Apps?
    4. What do I need to know before the migration process?
    5. I chose to migrate my old email, but why is some of my email missing?
    6. How does this affect my Exchange account?
    7. What if I want to keep my Exchange calendar and use VT Google Apps Mail?
    8. What will happen when I'm scheduled to migrate my email to Google?
    9. Will only WebMail messages be moved over to VT Google Apps Mail?
    10. What happens if I don’t do any preparation?
    11. In what circumstances might my email not be moved?
    12. Will my email aliases be moved to VT Google Apps Mail?
    13. Will the Junk Mail Manager(JMM) still filter out spam?
    14. Does my VT email 'forwarding setting' transition to VT Google Apps?
    15. How do I enable an account that is going to be deleted due to entering my birthday incorrectly?
  3. Using VT Google Apps Mail
    1. What is my VT Google Apps password?
    2. How do I set up forwarding for my VT Google Apps Mail account?
    3. What is the default quota on my Google Apps account?
    4. Why am I having trouble logging on to VT Google Apps?
    5. I've been using Microsoft Outlook to check my email, what's different about VT Google Apps Mail?
    6. Are there limits on how much email I can send?
    7. Will there be any ads or other commercial links displayed?
    8. Is there documentation for using VT Google Apps email?
    9. Can I send mail from a different address or alias?
    10. How do I remove web clips?
    11. Why do I no longer receive a copy of listserv messages that I've sent out?
    12. Why, if I have two devices connecting to VT Google Apps via POP, does only one client or device get the message and the other does not?
  4. Accessibility
    1. If I am a teacher, what do I need to know about VT Google Apps and accessibility?
    2. How do I use accessibility features in VT Google Apps?
    3. I am having trouble using VT Google Apps Mail accessibly, where can I find assistance?
    4. How can I make content more accessible in VT Google Apps Docs?
    5. How do I use a screen reader in VT Google Apps Mail, Calendar, Docs, or Sites?
    6. Where can I find an assessment of Google's current accessibility options?
  5. Security & Privacy
    1. How secure and private is Google Apps?
    2. Will Google have access to my PID password?
    3. Does Google "own" the data that goes into our VT Google Apps domain?
    4. Will Google mine our data for their own purposes? Is Virginia Tech going to sell our data to Google?
    5. Where is our data stored?
    6. How will regulated data be handled in Google (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA, ITAR)?
    7. Where can I find more information about Virginia Tech's policies and recommendations with regard to security and using cloud or web-based services?
    8. Are there cases in which Virginia Tech's Terms of Service with Google does not apply?
    9. Are the collaboration services offered within VT Google Apps (e.g., Google Docs) allowed to act as a store for university off-campus data storage?
  6. Conflicting Accounts
    1. Why does an account conflict occur?
    2. When does a conflict occur and how will I know?
    3. I have been using my vt.edu address as a secondary address on my personal Google account...will this cause a conflict?
    4. Will I lose my current data because of the conflict?
    5. Can I just move my current data over to my new VT Google Apps account?
    6. What happens if I don’t resolve the conflict?
    7. The resolution wizard says I’ve used Google services that I don’t recall signing up for. How did that happen?
    8. I’ve gone through most of the process of resolving the conflict by trying to move my data to the new @vt.edu account. At the end, the button I need to click to accept the changes and continue is grayed out. Why won’t it let me continue?
    9. How do I get my Google Docs data to my new vt.edu account if I can’t move it?
    10. Can I change a document’s ownership to the new organizational account?
  7. Communications, Training, and Support
    1. What kind of communications can I expect about the move to Google?
    2. Will all the Google Apps be supported?
    3. How do I contact support?
    4. How do I find out about training?


Background

What is the new VT Google Apps Mail system?

Email at Virginia Tech will be handled by VT Google Apps servers. In the transition to these new email servers, users will gain a suite of tools aside from email. For more information about this email system and who has access to it, see the VT Google Apps Mail page.

What are the benefits of Google Apps for Education?

The goal of our decision to transition to Google Apps for Education is to provide a powerful, web-based environment that will support the university’s community in teaching, learning, and discovery; improve collaboration among faculty, students, and staff (and colleagues around the world); and reduce operational costs.

What is being included in the Google Apps suite at Virginia Tech?

The core tools introduced will initially include Google Apps Mail, Calendar, Drive/Docs, Sites, Contacts, and Talk.



Migration

How do I read my NEW VT Google Apps email?

Go to the following web site: http://start.google.vt.edu and click on the word Mail, then login with your PID and your new VT Google Apps email password.

Will all of my mail migrate?

No, not automatically. Once your VT Google Apps Mail account is created, if there is old email you want to transfer to your new VT Google Apps Mail account, you will need to follow the Moving Email from VT Mail to VT Google Apps Mail article to have Google move your old email for you.  You have 30 days from the time your account is created to move your old e-mail.

What do I need to do to prepare for my transition to Google Apps?

Refer to the Migration Instructions page for a procedure that will help you make the transition as easily as possible. You should also review the Announcements page on this site for additional notices.

What do I need to know before the migration process?

  • You will create a new password for creating and checking your VT Google Apps Mail account (known as your VT Google Apps password). This password cannot be the same as your PID password.
  • Once you create your VT Google Apps account at My VT, you will be able to access WebMail using your VT Google Apps password for 30 days via the WebMail interface or any email client (e.g. Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) you may have used. After this period, you will no longer have access to WebMail.
  • Upon creating your VT Google Apps Mail account, WebMail and any email clients (e.g. Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) configured to connect to the VT Mail server will no longer receive new email; instead, new email will arrive at the VT Google Apps Mail account until your email clients are reconfigured. Before reconfiguring clients, we ask that you use the VT Google Apps Mail web interface for at least 30 days to check your email before considering going back to a desktop program. If after that period, you still want to reconfigure your client, see Configuring a Client to Access VT Google Apps Mail.

I chose to migrate my old email, but why is some of my email missing?

  • If you have any email messages that are larger than 25 MB, you need to save them to your hard drive because they will not transfer to Google's servers.
  • If you have any email messages that contain executable files (.exe), .bat, .chm, and .vb file attachments, then you will need to save them to your hard drive because these file types will not migrate. For a list of other file types that will not migrate, see Google's Some file types are blocked page.
  • While new email will arrive without delay to your VT Google Apps Mail account, your other email will transfer slowly in batches in the background. As a result, it might appear that you're missing email: this is the result of the two items above or the fact that the next batch of email has not arrived yet.

How does this affect my Exchange account?

Exchange is a completely separate system. The only way you will be affected is that you will need to regularly check spam through your VT Google Apps Mail account.

What if I want to keep my Exchange calendar and use VT Google Apps Mail?

You can create a Calendar-Only Exchange account so that you have a VT Google Apps Mail account but can still use your Exchange calendar. If you create a Calendar-Only Exchange account, realize that everyone you correspond with by email will have to clear their cache (which is a storage of your previous e-mail address in their email client) and send you mail using your PID@vt.edu email address instead of your PID@exchange.vt.edu email address. If you decide to create a Calendar-Only Exchange account, you are advised to give people that you frequently contact these instructions: Clearing an Exchange User's Cached Email Address.

What will happen when I'm scheduled to migrate my email to Google?

In the process of provisioning your account, you will be asked to create a VT Google Apps password. This will create a VT Google Apps account and change your WebMail password to your VT Google Apps password. New mail will arrive at your VT Google Apps Mail account, but you will no longer receive new mail in WebMail. If you want to keep email from your previous VT Mail account, you'll need to migrate it by following the instructions for Moving Email from VT Mail to VT Google Apps Mail.

Will only WebMail messages be moved over to VT Google Apps Mail?

Yes. If you choose to migrate your old email, only your email messages will be moved. Any notes or contacts contained in WebMail or your email client (e.g. Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) will not be transferred. For instructions on transferring your WebMail address book, see Exporting a WebMail Address Book to VT Google Apps Mail. For more information on migrating address books from other clients, see Google's Importing CSV files web page.

What happens if I don’t do any preparation?

If you provision your account during the open enrollment period and do not move your old email after 30 days following the provisioning, then your previous VT Mail account and its contents will be deleted. If you choose not to provision at this time, then later this fall (date to be announced) we will provision an account for you; in this case, you will need to visit My VT to set a password to be able to access your new VT Google Apps Mail account.

In what circumstances might my email not be moved?

If you have been using an email client (e.g. Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) to view your email, and if your client is not set to leave a copy of messages on the server, then this email will not be moved to your new account (since it is stored on your computer's hard drive). However, it should still be available for viewing through your mail client as long as you do not delete your previous VT Mail account from your client.

Will my email aliases be moved to VT Google Apps Mail?

Yes, any alias you have defined will still work after the transition.

Will the Junk Mail Manager(JMM) still filter out spam?

No, the JMM will be disabled when you transition. VT Google Apps Mail has a built-in spam filter and spam will be placed in a Spam "folder."

Does my VT email 'forwarding setting' transition to VT Google Apps?

Maybe.
Yes, if you are currently forwarding your VT Mail to any email address that ends with "VT.EDU" (e.g. user@vt.edu, user@cs.vt.edu, user@vcom.vt.edu, etc.) then your email forwarding will transition to VT Google Apps.

No, for any other email address, the forwarding WILL NOT transition.

How do I enable an account that is going to be deleted due to entering my birthday incorrectly?

You need to follow the steps for "What can I do to re-enable my Google Account" on the Frequently Asked Questions about Google Account and Age Requirements page.



Using VT Google Apps Mail

What is my VT Google Apps password?

This is the password you create in My VT when you first provision your Google Apps account. Note that this password is not the same as your PID and is used to both create and check your VT Google Apps Mail account.

How do I set up forwarding for my VT Google Apps Mail account?

To set up forwarding, see Enabling or Disabling Forwarding from Your VT Google Apps Mail Account.

What is the default quota on my Google Apps account?

VT Google Apps Mail has 25GB of storage. For more information, see Mail Storage and Retention.

Why am I having trouble logging on to VT Google Apps?

  • You may be trying to access a Google App that is temporarily out of service. To check the status of Google Apps, check Google's Apps Status Dashboard.
  • If you are out of the country, check Google's Transparency Report to make sure the Google service you're trying to use is not blocked.

I've been using Microsoft Outlook to check my email, what's different about VT Google Apps Mail?

VT Google Apps Mail has many features that differ from Outlook, such as using labels instead of folders, providing 25 GB of storage space, and applying a different organizational scheme for email. To learn more, see Google's Get help switching from Microsoft Outlook page.

Are there limits on how much email I can send?

Yes, this is necessary to prevent compromised accounts from overloading servers as a result of sending out mass emails. For specifications of the limit of email you can send out, auto-forward, etc., see Google's Sending limits page.

Will there be any ads or other commercial links displayed?

Advertisements or commercial links will not be displayed.

Is there documentation for using VT Google Apps email?

Yes, Google has a lot of documentation. Please see the Google Apps Learning Center website.

Can I send mail from a different address or alias?

Yes, You can have mail appear to come from any alias you already have defined here at Virginia Tech. To define an alias, please see: Adding or Removing E-mail Aliases. Then, see the following Google documentation:

http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=22370

After the web page displays, click on the PLUS SIGN next to "I'm a Google Apps for Business user sending from a domain alias or nickname." and follow the instructions that appear.

Then when you send messages you will see a FROM box(with a pull-down arrow) and you can select the alias address in the FROM box to send from. Or go back to the "Settings" and the "Account" menu and pick the new alias address with "make default" button on the right-hand side of the screen.

How do I remove web clips?

Web clips are not advertisements, but headlines drawn from a variety of sources. They appear at the top of your VT Google Apps Mail Inbox page. You can turn them off by doing the following:

  1. Click the Gear button.
  2. From the drop-down list, select Settings.
  3. Select the Web Clips tab.
  4. Clear the Show my web clips above the Inbox check box.

Why do I no longer receive a copy of listserv messages that I've sent out?

Google limits duplicate email, so when emailing a listserv, you will not receive the message sent to the listserv because it already exists under your Sent Mail label. Also, if someone sends the same message to multiple listservs that you are subscribed to, then you’ll only see the message once. For more information, see An incoming message hasn’t arrived.

Why, if I have two devices connecting to VT Google Apps via POP, does only one client or device get the message and the other does not?

It is not recommended to use POP to retrieve your mail, but if this is the case, then the problem is that Google only allows the first client to access email. To configure VT Google Apps Mail so that multiple clients can access your email using POP protocol, see the article Using POP on multiple clients or mobile devices to set 'up recent mode'.



Accessibility

If I am a teacher, what do I need to know about VT Google Apps and accessibility?

If you are an instructor, please note that you are legally prohibited from requiring use of non-accessible services. This can include some VT Google Apps other than VT Google Apps Mail. When deciding on technologies for your course, you are obligated by law and the university's mission to consider the accessibility barriers of the tools you will use and what types of disabilities may be affected by their use. Do not allow any of your students to be left out by commission or by omission. If you decide to use VT Google Apps, make sure that your audience has available use of alternative, accessible software. Consider a change in pedagogy to include small group participation, eliminating the need for a person with a disability to interact directly with a Google App.

If you need assistance creating an accessible class, contact Dr. Susan Angle, the director of Services for Students with Disabilities, at (540) 231-0858.

How do I use accessibility features in VT Google Apps?

See Google's Using Google products: How to use accessibility features page for details on how to use accessibility features for VT Google Apps Mail, Calendar, Docs, and Sites as well as Additional Services or other Google products.

I am having trouble using VT Google Apps Mail accessibly, where can I find assistance?

If you need assistance using VT Google Apps accessibly, please contact VT Assistive Technologies.

How can I make content more accessible in VT Google Apps Docs?

See Making Content Accessible in Google Docs.

How do I use a screen reader in VT Google Apps Mail, Calendar, Docs, or Sites?

See Google's Accessibility features in Google Apps page.

Where can I find an assessment of Google's current accessibility options?

See ATHEN's ATHEN Report on the Accessibility of GMail and Google Calendar and ATHEN Report on the Accessibility of Google Documents.



Security and Privacy

How secure and private is Google Apps?

See Google's Security and Privacy page for details about security and privacy information. For further information, read the Terms of Service between Virginia Tech and Google.

Will Google have access to my PID password?

No. Your PID password and email password are synced, but separate. When you provision a VT Google Apps account, you will create a VT Google Apps password that will only overwrite your email password. This VT Google Apps password will be used by Google to transfer your email. At no point during this process does Google have access to your PID password.

Does Google "own" the data that goes into our VT Google Apps domain?

No. Google specifically disavows any ownership of end-user intellectual property. You grant Google the right to process the data as needed to show it to individuals based on the permissions that you set. Should the agreement with Google ever be terminated, Google is obligated to delete and/or return any end-user data to Virginia Tech.

Will Google mine our data for their own purposes? Is Virginia Tech going to sell our data to Google?

No. Per the terms of our agreement, Google may only process or otherwise use Virginia Tech account data as required for the purpose of providing services and performing its obligations under the agreement. This includes processes for preventing spam and ensuring the technical functioning of Google's network (including detecting, preventing or otherwise addressing fraud, security, or technical issues). Note that our agreement with Google specifically prohibits advertising within the Virginia Tech Google Apps for Education domain. The university is neither selling data nor profiting from this arrangement.

Where is our data stored?

Google will store data on its secure servers, which could be located outside the U.S. or within the U.S. accessible to foreign nationals. For this reason, Virginia Tech already has policies in place that users working with regulated export-controlled data must not store such data in their email or house this data outside the U.S. to be managed by non-U.S. citizens. Their use of other Google Apps must be in accordance with the Proper Use Policy and the Export Controls Laws and Regulations policy.  If you have questions about Export Controls and how they apply to you or your data, refer to the Office of Export and Secure Research Compliance web page.

How will regulated data be handled in Google (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA, ITAR)?

Google complies with FERPA standards. Compliance with HIPAA data is your responsibility. Google services are not ITAR compliant. For more information on ITAR compliance, refer to the Office of Export and Secure Research Compliance web page.

Where can I find more information about Virginia Tech's policies and recommendations with regard to security and using cloud or web-based services?

Refer to the Information Technology Security Office website.

Are there cases in which Virginia Tech's Terms of Service with Google does not apply?

Only in situations where you use Additional Services,  such as Picasa or Google+, that are not covered in the Core Services (Mail, Calendar, Drives/Docs, Sites, Contacts, and Talk). In those cases, Google's Google Terms of Service will apply.

Are the collaboration services offered within VT Google Apps (e.g., Google Docs) allowed to act as a store for university off-campus data storage?

Yes. In negotiating a contract with Google, Virginia Tech ensured that VT Google Apps would be acceptable for storage of university files. You may keep such files on VT Google Apps and have privacy, confidentiality, and ownership of the document protected.



Conflicting Accounts

Why does an account conflict occur?

When Virginia Tech signed their agreement with Google to use Google Apps for Education, it gained the right to institutionalize all @vt.edu Google accounts in current use and all those created in the future. If you used your @vt.edu address to access certain Google services under personal or Team Edition Google accounts, you may experience a conflicting account situation as a result of this change. Your @vt.edu account ID is a unique identifier and can no longer represent a non-organizational account outside of Virginia Tech. Here's a short video that explains what happens: Video Intro (2:09) (Transcript of Video Intro).

When does a conflict occur and how will I know?

It occurs when an account is created for you in the new organizational vt.edu domain. If you have a conflicting account, then when you log into Google using your @vt.edu account: “An update to your account is required” followed by an account resolution procedure to help you transition accounts.

If you receive this message, see Resolve Conflicting Accounts for details on how to update your account and share or move data to the new @vt.edu account, if necessary.

I have been using my vt.edu address as a secondary address on my personal Google account...will this cause a conflict?

No. If your @vt.edu address was previously a secondary address (or "nicknames") on your personal Google account, it will automatically be removed and no conflict should occur. All of the content that was previously shared with your @vt.edu address will continue to be accessible through your personal Google account.

Will I lose my current data because of the conflict?

No, you are just renaming your current Google account so that it no longer conflicts with your organizational account name. You retain ownership of content you created under your personal or team account. Although you cannot transfer ownership across domains, you can share content with your new account. For example, if you make copies of your documents while logged into the new account, the documents are then owned by the new account.

Can I just move my current data over to my new VT Google Apps account?

Not in all situations. If you have content in the conflicted account for Google services that is not currently turned on in the Virginia Tech Google Apps for Education edition, you will not be able to migrate any of your data directly to the new @vt.edu account. With most of the services now turned on, the apps that can't migrate should (hopefully) be minimized. Google requires that transfers of account data be “all or nothing.” The conflicting accounts message from Google will let you compare the two accounts. For more information, see Resolve Conflicting Accounts.

What happens if I don’t resolve the conflict?

All conflicting Google accounts must be resolved. If you do not complete the resolution process yourself within a certain time period, Google will automatically rename your conflicting account with the temporary name uniqname%vt.edu@gtempaccount.com with the same password you currently use. Your personal Google account data will remain safe and accessible at all times.

The resolution wizard says I’ve used Google services that I don’t recall signing up for. How did that happen?

If you used some common Google services, such as Picasa to view someone’s photo album or YouTube to watch a video, you may have “signed up” for a service without realizing it, even if you only used it once.

I’ve gone through most of the process of resolving the conflict by trying to move my data to the new @vt.edu account. At the end, the button I need to click to accept the changes and continue is grayed out. Why won’t it let me continue?

If you’ve used Google services under your @vt.edu account that are not turned on for the VT Google Apps domain, you will not be able to automatically move your personal data to your new organizational account. Not all Apps data is transferable between personal and organizational domains. If there isn’t a one-to-one relationship between the services you use personally in Google and those that the university will use, you may not be able to move data.

How do I get my Google Docs data to my new vt.edu account if I can’t move it?

You can log in to your renamed personal Google account and share documents with your new @vt.edu account.

Can I change a document’s ownership to the new organizational account?

No, Google does not allow you to assign a new owner from another domain. You must share the document and then copy it from within the new account.



Communications, Training, and Support

What kind of communications can I expect about the move to Google?

You should receive an e-mail telling you that it is possible to create your VT Google Apps Mail account. Remember, the university will never ask you for your password or login information. Also, pay attention to the URLs that you go to. For instance, "www.vt.edu" is the correct Virginia Tech website address as is "https://my.vt.edu" for My VT, whereas "www.vt.virginiatech.edu" would be a domain unrelated to the university and most likely a phishing scam as would "http://my.vt.vatech.edu" or an IPv4 address, such as "http://123.123.12.123".

Will all the Google Apps be supported?

Initially, full support will be available for VT Google Apps Mail and Calendar. Full support for the other Core Services will be phased in over the next few months.

How do I contact support?

See the Contact Us page for information on contacting support.

How do I find out about training?

This site will post details about the information sessions to be held as they become available. For training resources, see the Training page.