University Technology

Google Apps Frequently Asked Questions

Note: WIU's migration to Google Apps was completed in August 2016 and Zimbra was disabled in February 2017.

General Questions

Is Google Apps the same as the personal (free) version of Gmail and Google Calendar?

They’re similar, but we'll be using the business-class edition of Google Apps, which provides more features, more storage, and more support.

Will my email address change?

No, your email address won't change! You'll continue to receive all your email at your current @WIU.edu address.  (The email addresses of alumni may be changed at a future date to indicate their status as an alumni, but these details are still being discussed by University administration).

Will my username or password change?

No, you will still access Google services using your ECom username and password. However, we recommend changing your password in Guava soon after your migration has completed so that your password is completely synched with Google from the startOtherwise, you may experience problems using Google services on your mobile devices.

How will I log in to Gmail and other Google Apps?

Simply visit www.gmail.com and provide your full WIU email address when prompted to log in. You will then be redirected to the WIU Central Sign On page, where you will provide your ECom username and password to gain access to your email. Once logged in to Gmail, you can use the Google bar to switch between products like Google Calendar, Drive, and Contacts.

How much time will it take to set up and learn how to use Google Apps?

You'll be able to master the basics, like sending and receiving email and viewing and scheduling meetings, very quickly. It may take more time to really learn to make the most of your new services, depending on how you currently use Zimbra. For example, for a typical email and calendar migration, expect to spend a few hours over the course of a week or so to take the training, review documentation, and set up your services. If you also access email on a mobile device, plan on spending a bit more time.

Can I access my Google Apps account now?

You can access your Google Apps account as soon as you are migrated. Log in here to select a date/time to migrate to Google Apps. Our goal is to move everyone to Google Apps by August 19th, just prior to the start of the Fall 2016 semester. Those who do not select a migration date on their own will be moved as time permits in the migration schedule, so we highly recommend that you personally choose a date and time that works best for you.

Is Google Apps replacing Microsoft Office?

No. Microsoft Office will still be available to University employees on their work computers and available to students in all computer labs. For personal use, WIU will continue to offer Office 365 for free to students, and discounted Microsoft Office to employees. The Google Apps services (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) will just provide a new, optional avenue for collaboration.

Is Google Apps replacing the network drives (P: and S: drives)?

No, the Samba network drives, sometimes referred to as the S: or P: drives, are not being replaced or changed as a part of this transition. Google Drive will provide a new, optional avenue for file storage and sharing, but is not replacing the current University network storage. 

How is WesternOnline affected by this change?

There are no changes planned for WesternOnline. Sending and receiving mail in WesternOnline will be the same as before.

Are the existing email listservs being affected by this change?

No, the existing University email listservs are not being affected at this time. However, in the future, we may consider utilizing Google Groups as WIU's supported listserv platform.

Migration Questions

Note: Migrations to Google Apps were completed in August 2016. The Migration FAQs are therefore no longer applicable. Show them anyway.

When will I be migrated to Google Apps?

All Zimbra accounts will be migrated to Google Apps by August 19, 2016. Those who do not select a migration date on their own will be moved as time permits in the migration schedule, so we highly recommend that you personally choose a date and time that works best for you.

Are you migrating my email and calendars from Zimbra to Google Apps?

Yes, we'll copy all of your email messages, calendars, appointments*, personal contacts and filters from Zimbra to Google Apps so they'll be ready for you when you sign in to your new Google Apps account. (We will not copy items in your Zimbra trash).

* Caveats about calendar appointments

  • Events that you were invited to by another individual (at WIU) will not appear on your calendar until that person is also migrated to Google Apps. (If you have events that were sent by a non-WIU email address, we will migrate those events to your calendar.)
  • Google limits the number of external (non-WIU) attendees (people you invite to events) you can add to your calendar events at any one time to protect against spammers abusing the calendar system. Because the migration process is importing thousands of events in a very short period it runs into this limit very quickly. To get around this limitation we've had to remove external attendees from all imported events. In most cases this is a minor inconvenience. Your non-WIU attendees will still have their own copy of the event on their calendar. If however you absolutely must have the external attendee information on your appointments, we will email you a list of all affected appointments and the attendees we removed so that you can manually add the attendees to your events.
Are you also migrating all of my folders from Zimbra?

Gmail uses labels instead of folders to organize email. During the migration process, your Zimbra folders will be converted to Gmail labels, and the emails you had in those Zimbra folders will be added to the corresponding Gmail label. View more information on Gmail labels.

What about Zimbra tags, tasks, briefcases, and Zimlets?

Unfortunately, there is not a way to move tags, tasks, briefcases, or Zimlets to Google Apps.

When we migrate to Gmail, will all of our current emails lose the original sent/received dates?

No, the original dates of all sent and received email messages are retained.

How long will it take to migrate my mail and appointments from Zimbra?

The migration of mail and calendar data will take anywhere from a few minutes for small mailboxes (a few hundred MB), to several hours for average size mailboxes (several hundred MB to a few GB), or perhaps even up to a day or more for individuals with extremely large amounts of mail and calendar data (3GB+). However, you can log in to and use your Google Apps services as the migration is taking place behind the scenes.

Can I use Zimbra during the migration?

We strongly recommend that you avoid logging in to your Zimbra account during your migration. However, if necessary, you can do the following in Zimbra and on your mobile device:

  • View email messages you received before your migration date.
  • View calendar events scheduled before your migration date.
  • Send new email messages. However, these messages won't appear in your Sent folder in Google Apps.
  • View your Zimbra contacts.

However, remember that you should not make any changes to your data in Zimbra after your migration begins.

Can I receive email during the migration?

Yes, you'll continue to receive new email messages after your migration date. However, these messages will appear only in your Gmail inbox.

Will I still have access to Zimbra after my data is migrated to Google Apps?

Yes, you will still have access to Zimbra after you are migrated to Google Apps and will have access to your original Zimbra data. However, you will receive no new emails or appointments in Zimbra, and Zimbra should not be used to send new email messages, create new appointments, etc. Your Zimbra account will be automatically removed 6 months after your migration date; you will be notified well in advance of this date.

Will I be able to work with my coworkers who are still using Zimbra after I switch over?

Yes, you can continue to send and receive email with your coworkers as usual. You can also view and schedule meetings with Zimbra users. You will not be able to see their free/busy status until they also have migrated to Google Apps.

What if I previously created a personal Gmail account and used my WIU email address?

If you've previously created a personal Gmail account using your WIU email address, you will be prompted to choose one to use when you first login. You will want to choose the "organization" account. View more details about resolving conflicting accounts here.

It is not possible to combine two Google accounts or to merge data. A data moving tool is available for certain services if you'd like to transfer data to a Google Apps account. However, the tool is only available for transferring data out of conflicting accounts. View more details in moving data from a conflicting account to a Google Apps account.

Will Zimbra resources be migrated?

Publicly reservable calendars for scheduling rooms (labs, conference/meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.) and equipment (media carts, projectors, laptops, etc.) are not automatically migrated to Google Calendar.

If you need an existing Zimbra resource migrated, or would like to ask for a new resource to be created, please create a ticket by emailing or calling the Support Center at (309) 298-2704 or support@wiu.edu. We recommend waiting until the key individuals who use this resource have been migrated to Google Apps before making the request.

Do I need to do anything after I have been migrated to Google Apps?

You'll just need to complete a few simple tasks to complete your migration:

  1. Change your password in Guava so that your password is fully synched with Google services. This is necessary if you wish to use Google apps on your mobile devices or via an IMAP client.
  2. Review and install your mail filters; we'll convert your Zimbra filters for you and send you installation instructions via email as part of the migration process. Look for an email message with the subject "Converted Filters for Gmail".
  3. Review and install your personal contacts; we'll convert your Zimbra contacts for you and send you installation instructions via email as part of the migration process.  Look for an email message with the subject  "Contacts from Zimbra Are Attached". (Note: contacts conversion is imperfect at best. Some people may not be able to import their contacts due to errors in the converted file. It's very difficult to troubleshoot contact import problems; manually exporting/importing contacts from Zimbra may ultimately be necessary.)
  4. Manually re-create any contact groups you had in Zimbra. Unfortunately, we cannot migrate these for you.
  5. Manually copy data you wish to retain from your Zimbra tasks and briefcases. Unfortunately, we cannot migrate these for you.
  6. Manually re-add non-WIU attendees to your calendar events. Unfortunately, we cannot migrate these for you, but we will email you a report of any affected calendar events to assist with this process. Look for an email message with the subject  "Calendar Events: External Attendees Report" .
  7. Set your email signature back up within Gmail by following these instructions .
  8. If your email address was set to forward to another account, you must manually re-set up your forwarding.
  9. Re-add shares to your calendar and delegate access to shared inboxes - we will email you a list of people you had previously shared with in Zimbra with further instructions.
  10. Set up your mobile device to access your services from anywhere
Will Zimbra Accounts be Deleted?

Yes, your Zimbra account will be automatically removed 6 months after your migration to Google Apps; you will receive an email notification of this date approximately 30 days after you are migrated, and reminder emails several more times over those next 6 months.

Will uTech provide assistance during the transition?

To get you up to speed quickly, visit our documentation and training resources. Also, each department has been asked to have local "Google Guides" available to help employees with the transition, and student computer lab employees are available to assist students. We are also holding several live training sessions where members of the transition team will be available to answer your questions. You can also visit the Google Apps Learning Center for guides, tips and examples of how to make the most of your new services.

Comparing Zimbra and Gmail/Google Apps

Will I have more storage space than I had in Zimbra?

Yes! You get unlimited online storage for your email (much more than the 1 or 2 GB limits people started with in Zimbra), so you can archive all of your email online. You'll no longer need to worry about deleting messages or saving them in offline folders.

In Zimbra I could see both my email and calendar in one interface. Can I still do that with Google Apps?

Google Apps provides two distinct products for email and calendar: Gmail is used for your email, and Google Calendar is used for your calendars and appointments. In most cases you will need to open them separately; we recommend opening each in a different browser tab so that you can quickly switch between one and another if you frequently access both email and calendars throughout the day.

Alternatively, there is a "Google Calendar gadget" you can enable in the desktop version of Gmail that will display a small calendar and agenda within Gmail's left sidebar. You can enable this in Gmail by going to Gear > Settings > Labs and enabling "Google Calendar gadget". This gadget provides a way to quickly view your calendar events, add new events, and launch Google Calendar from within the Gmail interface.

Can I still set "out of office" replies in Gmail?

Yes. Gmail has a setting called "vacation responder" that works in a simlar fashion. The primary difference is that in Gmail, you cannot select a specific start/end time - Gmail's vacation responder starts at 12:00 AM on the start date and ends at 11:59 PM on the end date, unless you end it earlier. View more information on setting up Gmail's vacation responder.

Can I still change an email message priority (e.g. "high priority" or "low priority") as I did in Zimbra?

Unfortunately Gmail does not support message priorities. Instead, we recommend that you use the subject of email messages to indicate importance (e.g. "**Important** - Respond by end of the day"). You can also use "starred messages" to personally mark messages that you receive as important or to indicate that you need to reply to them later.

Alternatively, you can connect your Gmail account with a third party IMAP client to set message priorities. Note that support for third party email clients is not fully supported by the University.

Can I share my inbox or specific email folders with others as I did in Zimbra?

Unfortunately, Gmail does not natively support the sharing of just an inbox or specific folders. The closest that Gmail allows is mail delegation. You can delegate access to your Gmail to another person so they can read, send, and delete messages on your behalf. The delegate can also access the other person's contacts by clicking the Contacts link. View more information on mail delegation.

In Zimbra I could choose a date/time in the future to send an email. Can I do this in Gmail?

Unfortunately, this functionality is not available natively in Gmail. A third-party plugin called Boomerang may provide similar functionality, but has a cost if you wish to send more than 10 delayed emails a month. Use of this plugin is up to your discretion; University Technology can provide no support assistance with configuring or troubleshooting this application.

I used Zimbra to access the WIU Bulletin Boards. How can I access those in Google Apps?

The WIU Bulletin Board access was provided via a Zimlet in Zimbra, which do not exist in Google Apps. Please bookmark the web address https://www.wiu.edu/wiubb/webnews to access the bulletin boards after the migration. Alternatively, you can access the Bulletin Boards by clicking the link available in the my.WIU portal.

Will Gmail accounts be scanned for sensitive information (credit card or Social Security data), similar to our Zimbra accounts?

In order to comply with WIU's Sensitive Data Handling Procedure, compliance rules are in place to help reduce the amount of sensitive data within Gmail:

  1. You cannot send emails with sensitive data. Emails found to contain sensitive data (credit card numbers and Social Security numbers) will be blocked from sending via WIU Gmail accounts. Senders of these messages will be notified that their email can not be sent due to containing sensitive data.
  2. You can receive emails with sensitive data. If mail is sent to you from an external user and it contains sensitive data (credit card numbers and Social Security numbers), the words [Sensitive Data] will be added to the subject line. These emails should be permanently deleted from Gmail as soon as they are no longer needed.

Gmail Questions

How do I set up my MacMail, Outlook, or other third-party email client to use Gmail?

View instructions for connecting your Gmail account with a third party IMAP client. Windows users may also wish to use Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook.

Note that support for third party email clients is not fully supported by the University.

What is the easiest way to sync my Gmail contacts to my mobile device?

View instructions for Android devices or instructions for Apple devices. If you have a different device, please search for your particular device at Gmail's Help Center.

Can I type in the partial name or email address of another WIU user when sending an email and have it auto-complete?

Currently, only WIU employees and persons that have been migrated to Google Apps will show up in auto-completes. Please consult the WIU online directory to look up e-mail addresses during this period of transition until all members of the WIU community are moved to Google Apps.

Are there limits to the amount of email I can send?

G Suite limits the amount of mail one user can send. Limits restrict the number of messages sent per day and the number of recipients per message. View complete details on Gmail sending limits.

Other Questions

I've found a browser plugin or extension that adds some additional functionality to a Google Apps product.  Am I safe to use this plugin or extension?

You can use browser plugins and extensions at your own risk. The University can offer little to no support for these items.

Note that some plugins could potentially do malicious things like display ads, track your browsing activity, or capture passwords and private data. Official extensions made by companies associated with a service should have less risk. In other words, Google’s extensions are probably safer than extensions made by someone you’ve never heard of. When possible, install official extensions rather than a third-party one.