Michigan State University IT Services Support website

MAIL.MSU.EDU Frequently Asked Questions - TB10902

This item provides information on these topics:

Overview

Key points of information and frequently asked questions regarding mail.msu.edu are listed below.

What web browsers are compatible with the service?

Current release versions of popular browsers are compatible with the service, provided you have cookies enabled. We also recommend that you update Java for best results.

Note: (March 2014) Customers have reported having problems while using Google Chrome to access http://mail.msu.edu/ that may cause mail to be moved to the trash or deleted unintentionally. It has been determined that the most likely cause is a misconfiguration with plugins, extensions, or browser cache in Google Chrome, making Google Chrome incompatible for use with the http://mail.msu.edu/ website. It is suggested that an alternate browser be used to access the http://mail.msu.edu/ website.

Yahoo Browser users: The Yahoo browser portal installed by SBCglobal, AT&T, or other providers is not compatible with mail.msu.edu at this time. Users are advised to use an unmodified version of Internet Explorer or other browser such as Firefox.

Why do I get "kicked out" of the service back to the log-in screen?

The most common reasons include:

  • Issues with your browser's security settings or cookies
  • Failing to enable cookies for mail.msu.edu
  • Use of an incompatible browser, including beta versions or the AT&T /Yahoo Browser
  • Outdated Java software (mail.msu.edu makes use of javascripting)

Why can't I add contacts to my address book?

Certain settings on your account are incorrect. Follow the steps in our article about recommended address book settings to make sure your settings are correct.

Can I auto-forward to another e-mail service?

The service provides an e-mail forwarding function that can be used to auto-forward all incoming e-mails without further processing.

Click on MSU Prefs in the sidebar menu to access the Forwarding Address setting and add, change, or delete your forwarding. Please ensure you correctly type the e-mail address to forward to.

Are mail folders that I created in the legacy e-mail service available?

Yes. Any user-created folders in your e-mail storage space were retained and are available when logged in to the service.

Server-side folders created using an e-mail client set for IMAP access are also available when logged in to mail.msu.edu.

Is conditional forwarding available?

IF-THEN conditional forwarding is not available in mail.msu.edu. An e-mail client such as Outlook or Thunderbird may have such a capability.

Consult the help function within your client for further information.

Why aren't my messages displaying when I log in?

Please be sure to enable cookies in your browser. Webmail requires that your browser accept cookies, and will not load properly if cookies are not enabled. On rare occasions inbox display issues may occur. See TB13530.

Why is logging in to the mail service slow for me?

The new service uses IMAP. As part of the synchronization that occurs, all of the e-mails in your Inbox are checked to see if their status has changed (ie: read / unread, deleted, etc). If you have an extremely large Inbox your log-in and other response times may be slow - similar polling of the files and folders occurs whenever you refresh your Inbox.

We suggest creating folders and using filters or manual filing to keep the number of messages in your Inbox below 500.

See also our article on reducing log-in problems and improving response time.

How do I sort messages in the new service?

Click on a column title to sort by that column's data. A small arrow displays on the top of the column currently being used to sort messages. You can toggle between ascending and descending sort order.

Click once to sort on a column's data. Click a second time to reverse the order of sort.

Do mail service upgrades change the settings required for e-mail clients (ie: Outlook, Thunderbird and Eudora)?

No. Our upgrades do not change the settings and steps to set up an e-mail client for either POP mail or IMAP access. Refer to E-mail client configuration for more information regarding set up of common e-mail clients.

How do I check my mail quota if I am using an e-mail client?

You will have to log in to mail.msu.edu using a browser to check your mail quota which is displayed at the top of the Inbox.

If you use e-mail client software set to leave mail on the mail server, it is highly advisable to periodically check your quota to be sure you do not run out of space.

What is the difference between IMAP and POP3 protocol?

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and Post Office Protocol (POP3) are the two prevalent standard Internet protocols for e-mail retrieval. Virtually all e-mail clients and mail servers support both protocols.

IMAP generally provides more complete and complex remote access to typical mailbox operations. IMAP has the following typical characteristics:

  • Allows multiple clients/machines to manage the same mailbox.
  • Email is normally stored on the server. Clients may store local copies (on their machine) of the messages, but these are considered to be a temporary cache.
  • The state of messages (Read, Unread, Deleted, etc) is synchronized between the server and the client(s).
  • E-mail clients using IMAP generally leave messages on the server until the user explicitly deletes them.

POP generally supports single-machine/client simple download-and-delete requirements. While most POP clients have an option to leave mail on server after download, e-mail clients using POP usually connects, retrieves messages, stores them on the user's machine, deletes them from the server, and then disconnects. Multiple client and machine access is possible but usually problematic.

POP is best used as a method of archiving e-mail rather than for regular day to day use.

Can I set a vacation message?

The mail service provides a Vacation Message function. Click on MSU Prefs in the sidebar menu to access this setting.

To enable, add, change, or delete your vacation reply message, access the Vacation Message setting in the new e-mail service by clicking MSU Prefs in the sidebar menu.

Additional notes regarding the Vacation Message function:

  • Mail forwarding, if set, will supersede this function.
  • The function will detect the List headers in a message from a properly configured listserv and skip the vacation reply for that email.
  • Replies to spam are generally harmless since most spam messages contain a bogus "Reply-to" in the header

Does any spam processing occur?

Yes. By default, all incoming messages to mail.msu.edu are processed for spam (junk e-mail) using SpamAssassin. Known spam is rejected, with a notice provided to the sender. Suspected spam is tagged with "*****SPAM*****" prefixing the subject line of the message and delivered to the user's Inbox.

Further handling of tagged messages is handled according to user-selectable spam handling settings which include:

  • Mark as SPAM and deliver to the Inbox (default)
  • Discard Spam
  • Filter to SPAM Folder

Please refer to TB11475 - Spam Processing for more information and instructions.

Are addresses placed on my Accept or Block lists processed for spam?

No. Those in the Accept list are delivered directly to the Inbox. Those on the Block list are moved to your Trash folder (server-side).

Please refer to TB14200 - Accept/Block Lists for additional information and instructions.

How do I add an Empty Spam icon to the menu?

To add an Empty Spam icon to the menu:

  1. Open your Inbox
  2. Click on the Options icon (Options for Mail )
  3. When the Options for Mail page displays, click on Deleting and Moving Messages (under Message Options)
  4. Select the Display the "Empty Spam" link in the menubar?" option
  5. Click Save Options

Why isn't the folder emptied when I click the "Empty Spam" icon

I selected the Display the "Empty Spam" link in the menubar?" option (found under the preference Options for Mail | Deleting and Moving Messages). But, when I click on the icon, the folder does not get emptied.

Refer to our Spam Processing article for instructions on how to designate a spam folder.

What is the Virtual Inbox

In simplest terms, your Virtual Inbox folder is a logical grouping of all unread mail messages in all polled folders that are marked as unread. Opening the Virtual Inbox folder provides a way to quickly read all new (unread) messages which may be spread across many folders.

How much e-mail storage are users allocated?

Current users:

  • 1024 MB (1 gigabyte) for faculty, staff, departments, graduate students, and Registered Student Organizations (RSO)
  • 512 MB for undergraduate students

Former students, staff, or faculty whose e-mail account remains active will retain the quota they had upon changing status (transferring, graduating, leaving employment, etc.)

The following courtesy notice is e-mailed to you when your account is more than 85% full:

    You are receiving this courtesy notice from the MSU IT Services Support because your MSU e-mail account is more than 85% full. If left unattended your account could exceed its quota, which would prevent you from being able to log into mail.msu.edu. Exceeding your quota could also result in loss or rejection of incoming e-mail. Please reduce the messages in your e-mail account to prevent any future difficulties.

    If you need additional assistance, please see knowledge base article http://techbase.msu.edu/article.asp?id=189 or contact IT Service Support at (517) 432-6200.

What happens if my account's quota is full?

If your mail space is full (hits 100% of mail quota used), e-mails sent to you are returned to the sender. Additionally, mail users who have a full mailbox are usually no longer able to log in to their mail.msu.edu account.

Contact IT Services Support for assistance, as special temporary arrangements will have to be made for you to have access and reduce the number of messages.

Can I purchase additional mail storage space?

Individuals cannot personally purchase additional mail space, however a department can purchase more space as needed for their department mail account or for staff mail accounts.

While additional personal mail space can be purchased on behalf of a staff person, billing must be to a valid departmental account. Payment cannot be made with cash, check, or credit card.

Can I request an e-mail "alias"?

E-mail alias or nickname requests to have an e-mail address longer than 8 characters are limited to use with a department NetID. Individuals who wish to have a different NetID must submit a NetID Change form. Changed NetIDs, however, are still limited to a maximum of 8 characters.

Is there an attachment file size limitation?

Yes, there is a limit. The total size of a sent message, including text and all attachments, cannot exceed 50 megabytes when using a mail client such as Thunderbird or Outlook.

Users of the Enhanced layout mode of Webmail should also be aware that the auto-save function in that mode temporarily stores drafts of outgoing messages in your Drafts folder so your disk quota must have at least two times the size of the message and attachment.

Why don't my mail folders download correctly?

You are probably running into the 50 megabyte file size limitation. If you attempt to download a e-mail folder that is more than 50MB (approximately) in size, the browser writes the filename, but does not write out any data. This results in a download file size of zero kilobytes (0kb).

The fix is to keep or reduce folder size to 50MB or smaller before attempting to download the contents.

I exported contacts from the legacy e-mail service. Can I still import them?

Users who previously the used the legacy e-mail service's Export utility and retained the file can still use the import facility of the new service.

Use the Import Contacts function in the new e-mail service to populate your new address book.

How long do users retain an e-mail account?

The centrally-funded e-mail account is one of a number of services accessed using your MSU NetID. Access may change depending on your current status. See TB609 - NetID privilege categories for complete information on the service privileges.

Why did I encounter the error message: Your message cannot be sent.... you have exceeded the outgoing limit...

MSU mail servers enforce a limit on the number of e-mail recipients that can be sent to within a given timeframe.

If you are sending to a large volume of e-mail or to a large number of recipients you may encounter an error message if your use is exceeding our server limit. The actual verbiage of the error message varies from one to another client software. With Thunderbird, for instance, the error message will state that "you have exceeded the outgoing limit for this service." Other clients may use other verbiage or provide feedback to select another server or check your configuration.

Often if you wait a few minutes and try again a subsequent "send" will work without issue.

How do I report a problem or suggest improvements?

In standard webmail view only, Click on the "Problem" icon at the top of the mail.msu.edu screen to display a contact form for the webmail service.

Keywords for this Document

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Date Last Modified: 3/28/2014 4:27:18 PM

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