Gmail@Valpo - Frequently Asked Questions

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Privacy & Permissions







Why did Valpo choose to use Google Apps for Education?

As alternatives to "in house" email develop, we've reached a point where cost versus benefit tips over to outsourcing email. Many universities large and small have already made this switch. Google is a familiar entity and provides services that far exceed what we can provide with GroupWise. In addition, student testing showed a much stronger desire to utilize Google than any other hosted email service.

Will Gmail@Valpo be the only email solution offered to the Valpo Community?

Yes. All students (undergraduate, graduate, and law) have already migrated to the Google Apps for Education Platform. Faculty and staff will be migrated over during the 2012 spring semester with a deadline to have all groups moved over by April 15th.


How do I login to Gmail@Valpo?

You can access the new Gmail@Valpo login page by going to Use the firstname.lastname portion of your Valpo email address (without the with your ValpoNet password.

What is my email address?

All email accounts through Valparaiso University are in the format

Do I need to use a different password?

No. You'll be able to access your email with your existing ValpoNet password. Should you want to change your password in the future, you can continue to do so at the Account Management System:

What if I already have a Gmail account?

If you already have a personal Gmail account, that's OK. Your Valpo Google Apps account is totally separate from your personal Google/Gmail account, so nothing will change about your personal Google account. You will not be able to integrate these two accounts at this time.

Keep in mind that Valpo will always use your official Valpo email address for campus communication. Official University email will go to your address and email addressed to your personal email will go to your current Gmail account.

There is no possibility to merge your personal and Google accounts into one. However, you can be signed into both the Google domain accounts AND accounts simultaneously by adjusting the "multiple sign-in" settings in each account. Additionally, you can set your Google accounts to POP or IMAP messages between them, or set up a forwarding rule to send messages from one account to another.

I was already using Google Services with a username that ended in "," what does the transition mean to me?

It was possible to sign up for a personal Google account with an email address. Now that IT is officially managing the Google Apps domain, these accounts are now in conflict, meaning that they occupy the same user-name-space. This means the non-Valpo managed Google account will need to be renamed. Don't worry, your data is safe, and Google has made the process very easy.

See this webpage for what to do when you are prompted about an account conflict.

For more information see Google's support article on the topic.

How much storage space does my account have?

More than 25 GB and counting. Google continues to add more storage space so email users can archive older messages rather than having to delete them. Much more generous amounts of storage space will allow your email to truly become a filing system during your college career.

Google does limit message size (including attachments) to 20 MB, so you don't need to worry about a large attachment taking up all your email space.


Is my information secure?

Absolutely. Just like bank and credit card websites, Gmail@Valpo uses always-on HTTPS encryption to keep your mail secure, so someone sharing your favorite coffee shop's public wi-fi can't sneak a peek at your information.

Who owns the data?

  • Google owns the software and applications within Google Apps for Education.
  • Valpo owns the email messages, calendar events and all other data within our Google domain.
  • Google is required to comply with all applicable privacy laws. Valpo's agreement with Google specifically requires Google to comply with FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) when handling data that includes Valpo student information. In addition, Google is registered with the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement, which helps ensure that the protection of Valpo's data will comply with European Union standards for educational institutions.
  • Valpo's agreement with Google limits Google's use of Valpo's data to the uses necessary for Google to provide the services required by Valpo. Google may not scan or mine Valpo's data for advertising or other purposes. Google is contractually prohibited from serving advertisements in Valpo's Google Apps for Education environment.

For more information, see this Google webpage about security & privacy.


What services are included in the Google Apps for Education package?

Google Apps for Education is MUCH more than email. Everyone with a Gmail@Valpo account also has access to calendaring, contact lists, an "Office-like" word processor and spreadsheet program (Google Docs), file storage (Google Drive), and chat messaging. Our initial roll-out includes Apps that recreate the functions we were using in the old GroupWise system. Other services may be added in the future as they are available and appropriate.

Where do I go to learn more about how to use Google Apps?

These webpages contain a lot of information about Google Apps. You can do Google searches to find information as well; Google has extensive help pages and tip sheets on how to do everything in their products.

IT also offers training sessions; see the "Gmail@Valpo Training" link on the left for the schedule of upcoming classes. There are also multiple training videos available on the Online Training Library® regarding the various apps such as Gmail and Google Docs.

Can I log on to other Google-sponsored services with my Gmail@Valpo username and password (e.g.,, etc.)?

Your Google Apps username and password will only work with the services that have been deployed within the Valpo domain. To access other Google services, you will need to use a personal account through Google.

Will I be able to customize my email homepage background?

Yes. To modify the appearance of your Gmail@Valpo account, click on the wheel in the upper right corner and select Settings. Then select the tab for Themes and select your preferred appearance.

Are Google's search functions built into Gmail@Valpo?

Google’s search capabilities are built into all Google Apps by default. You can search on any piece of information contained within an email message, whether a name, email address, date or time, keyword, attachment name, etc. Similarly, you can search within Contacts, Calendar, Docs, and other Apps to find what you are seeking.

Are there keyboard shortcuts or other quick ways to do things in Gmail?

Yes, see these links for more information:

Does Gmail have chat or notification features?

Gmail@Valpo has integrated chat in every account, and you can even reply to email messages via chat.

There are notification options available within your Gmail@Valpo account for chat, email, and appointments. Use the Google Chrome browser and take advantage of the "desktop notification" feature in your account.

If you use a different browser, you can download and use Google Notifier (available for both Windows and Mac). See this Google webpage for more information.

Is there a "retract" function?

Gmail does not have a "retract" feature for sent messages. There is a Labs feature called "Undo Send" that can be enabled; this lab gives you the ability to cancel the sending of a message during a specified time interval after you click the "send" button. It can be configured between 5-30 seconds. It is important to note that the Labs features are currently in beta mode and are not guaranteed.

Is there a "resend" function?

There is no "resend" feature. To resend a message, go into your Sent Mail label (or perform a search for the message) and forward your message to the recipient.

Is there a feature to tell if a recipient has opened your email?

You can select the option to request a read receipt when composing a message, which will append a note on the sent message in your account showing when the message was opened by the recipient. Please note that this option only indicates that the message has been opened; it does not guarantee that the message has been read or comprehended.

Will I have access to a global address book?

Yes. The email addresses of all Valpo students, staff, and faculty are available in the global contact list. As you send messages from your Gmail@Valpo account, addresses are automatically added to your personal contact list.

In addition, the online directories also list student, faculty, and staff information as appropriate.

Can I import a contact list into my Gmail@Valpo account?

You can import contacts from Microsoft Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo!, and other services into your Contact list. To do so, first make sure your file is formatted as a CSV (Comma Separated Value). Then, access the contact manager and import your file by clicking Import on the right side.

For more information, see this Google help page with instructions.

Note: You can only import up to 3,000 contacts at a time. If you have more than 3,000 contacts, you'll need to create multiple CSV files and upload each individually.

How do I remove an old/incorrect email address from a contact?

When viewing the specific contact record, click on the address that is incorrect and then click the trash can icon that appears next to it.

How will I create an office wide email distribution list that I can then share with others in the office?

Gmail@Valpo does not allow sharing of contact lists; each individual will be responsible for managing their own lists. Someone who creates a list can export the list, send it to another person, and that recipient can import it into their contact list.

Instructions for doing this are at the following Google help pages:

Alternately, you can request a Google Group or Mailman mailing list if you regularly email the same groups of people. Contact the Help Desk to discuss these options.

Can I color code my messages?

You can assign colors to your labels by clicking the down arrow to the right of the label in your list and select the color in the "Label color" section.

How do I edit/delete/show/hide a label?

Click on the gear button in the upper right and select "Settings." Then click the "Labels" link to view your labels. From there, you can add new labels, edit or remove existing labels, show or hide them from your list, and more. For more information, see this Google help page.

Can labels be sorted any other way besides alphabetically?

No, this is a system setting that Google does not allow us to change at this time.

Can I use a third party email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail, etc) to read my messages?

Yes, just see this help page on Google's website to configure your client.

How do I archive my email and change my archive location?

You will never need to store messages to a different location outside your Gmail@Valpo account. In Gmail, the term "archive" simply means "remove from the inbox." To archive a message, click on the message and then click the "archive" button. To access that message again, search for it by using the name or email address of the sender or recipient, a keyword from the subject or message body, etc. It will be located in the "All Mail" label of your account.

How do I share my email account with someone else?

Delegated access to a Gmail@Valpo account can be granted by following the instructions on this Google Help doc.

How do I share my calendar?

Individuals can share access to their calendar with any other Google account, whether inside the domain or outside. Instructions for sharing a calendar are at this Google help doc.

How do I set reminders on appointments in my calendar?

See this section of Google Calendar Help for information about calendar reminders and notifications.

How do I convert a mail message into a calendar event?

When viewing a message, click the "More" button and then select "Create event."

My repeating events/meetings occur randomly, and not on a set pattern. Do I have to enter every single event by hand?

No, Google Calendar has an option called "duplicate event" that will copy an event to a new date and time. Click on the event and edit it. From the "More actions" drop down menu at the top of the event, select the option for "Duplicate event."  Change the necessary information, invite guests to the event, and then click the "save" button when you are finished.

Can I duplicate an event to more than one person's calendar?

Yes. Click on the event and edit it. Follow the same instructions to duplicate an event (above). If others were invited to the original event, they will also be invited to the duplicated event. You can also add or remove guests as necessary for each event you duplicate.

What are the limitations on attached files in my Gmail@Valpo account?

To help prevent the spread of viruses and other malware, Gmail won't accept file attachments that are executable files. There's also a 25 MB size limitation on messages. See more information at this Google help page.

Can I upload and download PDF files using Google Docs and Spreadsheets?

Yes. While in the Docs app, click the Upload button and select Files. Select the file you wish to upload and confirm your selection. Once the upload is finished, you will see the file listed in your document listing.

Are there limitations on file sizes within the Gmail@Valpo services?

  • Documents: The maximum permitted size is 500 KB plus up to 2 MB per embedded image. Additionally, your account has a limit of 5000 documents and 5000 images.
  • Presentations: The maximum permitted size is 10MB with a limit of 5000 documents and 5000 images.
  • Spreadsheets: Each spreadsheet can be up to 10,000 rows, or up to 256 columns, or up to 50,000 cells, or up to 20 sheets -- whichever limit is reached first. Imported spreadsheets cannot exceed 1 MB. Your account is limited to 200 spreadsheets.

How can I reflect a formal name change within my Gmail@Valpo account?

Students need to formally change their name through the Registrar's Office (219.464.5212). Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources (219.464.5214). Once the Valpo online directory has your new name, it will be reflected within 2 business days in your Gmail@Valpo account.

Please note: your login information will not change if you change your name. You will continue to login with the same username and password.

Can I send and receive email from other accounts within my Gmail@Valpo account?

Yes. Follow these steps to add other email accounts to send and receive mail within your Gmail@Valpo account.

Can I forward email from my Gmail@Valpo account?

To forward your Gmail@Valpo messages to another account, follow the instructions on this Google help page.

Can I forward mail from my Hotmail/Gmail/Yahoo!, etc. account to my Gmail@Valpo account?

To transfer information from one account to another, users can forward messages to Gmail@Valpo accounts. Please refer to the documentation provided by your email provider for instructions on how to forward your email. This Google help page offers some useful tips.

Can I set up filters using this new account?

Log into Gmail@Valpo with your username and password. Click on the wheel in the upper right corner, then select Settings. Click on Filters and create a new filter. For more information, see this Google help page.

How is spam handled in Google Apps?

Google maintains a sophisticated anti-spam solution for all of their Gmail accounts. This system is maintained by Google and cannot be altered by Valpo staff. Any email coming from a address to a Gmail@Valpo account is automatically trusted to ensure that you can effectively communicate with fellow students or colleagues.

How do I report junk email?

While viewing a message, use the Report Spam button to let Google know if you received junk email or a spoofed message. Use the Report Phishing link to let Google know if you have received a phishing message. You will see a red warning message at the top of any emails that are suspected of referencing a phishing site.

How do I get rid of spam or junk mail?

Google automatically deletes any messages in your spam listing after 30 days. If you want to remove those messages sooner, follow the instructions on this Google help page.

How do I set up vacation messages for my Gmail@Valpo account?

You can create a vacation response in your Gmail@Valpo account that will automatically reply to anyone who emails you. Instructions are on this Google help page.

Why are the Gmail@Valpo services slightly different from similar services that are publicly provided by Google?

Google has customized the Google Apps for Education services for optimal educational collaboration. Students, faculty, and staff will not see advertisements and Valpo branding will appear at the top of most Google Apps pages. In addition, Valparaiso University has taken steps to ensure that your data is protected above and beyond a publicly available account.

When will Google add new features to Google Apps? Why didn't anyone tell me Google was going to change something?

Google updates their applications on a regular basis and does so without notification, so IT is not able to let you know beforehand. All applications should be considered Google's property and any feature requests should be directed to Google and not IT. You can submit feature requests via this Google webpage.


I want to use a smartphone or mobile device to read my messages/check my calendar. How do I do this?

Google services are very easy to access on a smartphone or mobile device. See this webpage on the Google Apps Learning Center or this IT webpage for instructions on setting up your smartphone or mobile device.

What devices can I use to access my Gmail@Valpo account?

Gmail@Valpo is typically accessed through the web at, but you may use a mobile device or other IMAP client to access your account. See Google's IMAP help page for more information on configuring IMAP for Google. Please note that some features may be limited or not work properly when using a mobile device or IMAP client.

Which mobile devices support access to Gmail@Valpo?

You can access your Gmail@Valpo account using the following handheld mobile devices:

  • Android devices
  • Apple iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches
  • BlackBerry devices
  • HP webOS devices
  • Windows Mobile devices

See the Google Apps Learning Center pages for Mobile Users for specific instructions.

I'm very concerned about accessing my email and calendar with my Blackberry.

There are known issues between Google and RIM (owner of Blackberry); these are beyond our control. Our testing has indicated that syncing email and calendar information does work between Gmail@Valpo and Blackberry devices using the instructions linked above.

Can I/How do I use Google Talk on my mobile device?

See when your friends are online and send instant messages from anywhere by visiting from a web-enabled cell phone.


What is the difference between Google Chat and Google Talk?

Google Chat is embedded in your Gmail@Valpo account, and Google Talk is a separate chat application that you can download and install on your local computer.

Does Google Chat/Talk have a video option?

Yes, Google Chat and Google Talk allow video and voice chatting as well as regular chat.

Is there a cost to use Google Chat/Talk?

No, there is no cost to use it. All chats, voice calls, and video chats to other Google users are free.

How do I download Google Talk?

Google Chat is embedded into your Gmail@Valpo account, so no download is required. Windows users can download a separate client for Google Talk which incorporates additional functionality at

What are the system requirements?

Information about the system requirements for using the Google Talk client for Windows is available at this Google webpage.

How do I connect/sign into Google Talk?

To connect:

  1. Open the Google Talk software.
  2. Under Username, enter your Valpo email address in the format
  3. Enter your ValpoNet password.
  4. Click Sign In.

How do I use Google Chat/Talk?

Information on using Google Chat is available at this Google webpage.

Information on using Google Talk is available at this Google webpage.

How do I join a chat group?

Information on chat groups is at this Google webpage.

How do I change my status?

To change your status, follow the instructions on this Google webpage.

Why do uninvited people appear in my chat list?

This Google webpage explains why uninvited names appear on your chat list.

Can I use Google Talk to share files?

Yes, you can send files of any size directly to a friend while chatting. This option is great for sharing videos or presentation that might be too large to send via email.

What are bots?

Bots allow you to chat with someone in a different language; the bots automatically translate your messages. More information is available on this Google webpage.


Can alumni request Gmail@Valpo accounts?

Yes! Valpo alumni are now extended the courtesy of lifetime email accounts. Alumni may contact Alumni Relations to place this request.

I'm graduating, can I continue to use Google Apps?

Valpo alumni are extended the courtesy of lifetime email accounts. You will be able to keep your Gmail@Valpo account indefinitely after graduation. If you wish to forward your Valpo email address to another account, instructions are available on the IT website or by contacting the Help Desk.

See additional information for graduating students on our "Information for Graduates" page.

Will alumni have access to Google Chat/Talk?

Alumni with Gmail@Valpo accounts will have access to all features and functions that are enabled for all Valpo accounts.


I would like to know if and how we can use Google Docs for group projects.

Google Docs is available to everyone within the domain. Students and faculty are welcome to take advantage of the service for group projects or other needs.

I've heard that China is blocking Google.

IT has heard conflicting information about this situation. The government of China did block all Google services at one point. However, we have had successful interactions with students who are using Google services in China. This situation is largely beyond our control. If someone traveling to China is concerned about accessibility to Gmail@Valpo services, please contact the IT Help Desk for assistance.

Does the availability of Google Docs mean we are going to stop using Microsoft Office?

No, Google Docs is not a replacement for Microsoft Office. These applications will continue to be available to the campus. IT's software licensing for Microsoft Office will remain the same.

Am I held accountable to Valpo's Honor Code and Acceptable Use Policy while using Gmail and other Google Apps?

Yes. If you have any questions, please review the Honor Code and Acceptable Use Policy web pages.

Am I required to use my account?

The handbooks for students, faculty, and staff state that Valpo email is an official communication mechanism. IT provides the option of directing messages sent to University-supplied email addresses to other addresses, but cannot guarantee delivery. Those who choose to forward their University addressed email do so at their own risk.

Who do I call if I have questions or need technical support?

Valpo's IT Help Desk is ready to answer your questions. Check out the information on this website and the Google Apps for Education help pages first, and if you need more information, feel free to contact the Help Desk online at or via phone at 219.464.5678.