Google Apps @ MHC - First Day

If you've recently been receiving email messages alerting you to your email account's transition to Google Apps and your transition date has arrived - you've come to the right place! Your account has migrated, and it’s day one for you at Google Apps @ MHC. You log in to Horde or launch Thunderbird to check your email and notice you have no new messages this morning. You’ve got questions . . .

Where’s my email?

Your email -- old and new -- is moving to Google’s mail servers.   Depending how many folders and messages you have this can take a little while, but you can use your Google Mail right away.

To get there, open up your web browser and go to:
https://gmail.google.com/
Use your full Mount Holyoke College email address [yourname]@mtholyoke.edu as your username and your current MHC email password.* 

You'll see that everything received just prior to the switch is labeled .inbox-mhc  in your Google Mail (left column) and all your new mail is coming into your MHC Google Inbox in the center of the screen.

*Note: If on logging in, you see a message that "An update to your account is required," please refer to the Google support pages on "conflicting accounts," or call the Help Desk at 538-2600 before proceeding. If you do not see this message, you are all set.

Now that I’ve found my mail at Google, what do I do with it?

Google Mail has a clean and simple interface, but it may have features and functions that are not familiar. A terrific starting point, which answers questions about forwarding, signatures, labels, contacts, and others, is the GMail Ninja page. “White Belt” level has information on labels (Google Mail’s answer to folders), importing contacts, and signatures. “Green Belt” has the lowdown on filters, vacation messages, and the wonderful combination of filters and labels.

As mentioned above, you may not see all your old email the first time you login to Google, especially if you login early on your transition day.  Copying old email from Mount Holyoke's previous email server to the Google server may take some time, especially in cases where there is a large amount of accumulated old email.  It could take hours or in some unusual cases, days, for all your old email to be fully copied to Google.  

If you need to access an old email before it has been copied to Google, you may do so temporarily using your old email program - Horde or Thunderbird. However, do not make any changes to your mail folder structure on or after your scheduled transition day, or those changes may not be copied to Google. Also, while it may be tempting to do some spring cleaning in your new Google Mail, it's best to wait until the transfer of mail is complete.

When your old email is copied to Google, it will be stored under label names in the left column that correspond to your previous email folder names.  The only exception will be new labels called .inbox-mhc, .sent-mhc, .drafts-mhc and .trash-mhc.  These labels contain the contents of your old Inbox, Sent, Drafts and Trash folders which have been copied over from the MHC email servers.

If I previously forwarded my MHC email to another account, do I have to re-forward it?

Yes.  Your previous forwarding settings do NOT get automatically transferred to Google.  You will have to re-forward your email in Google if you want to continue forwarding your MHC Google mail after the transition. Once you have logged into Google for the first time, you can find instructions on how to re-set your forwarding on the Google Mail forwarding instructions page 

How do I change my options in Google Apps?

To access your options for any Google App, click the gear icon at the top right corner of your browser window, next to your username in the black Google bar. This will give you the option of going directly to Settings, or to Help if you have questions.

Why are my emails grouped into single items by subject name in Google Apps?  Can I change this to show each email individually?

Google's default view is called Conversation View, which threads together all emails under a specific subject heading into a single item.  Opening a Conversation allows you to read all the emails within it in order.  The whole thread can be viewed by using the Expand All button, which appears as an downward pointing arrow in the upper right corner of the topmost email in the conversation.  

If you prefer to see all emails in a conversation as individual items, you can turn off Conversation View by clicking on the gear icon button in the upper right corner of the Google Mail screen and choosing the Settings option.  Within the Settings screen, under the General tab, the option Conversation View appears as the sixth option on the page.  Choose the option 'Turn Conversation View Off' and then scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Save Changes button.  All emails will then appear as separate items on the page, even if they have the same subject line.

How do I get my current Address Books into Google?

Check out the Preflight check page for step-by-step instructions for moving your contacts from Thunderbird and Horde into Google.

Can I still use Thunderbird/Horde?

With the migration to Google Apps, the Google Mail browser interface becomes the email standard for MHC. It is possible to use email software such as Thunderbird to access Google Mail and you can find setup information for other email software within the Google Mail settings. However, the Helpdesk will only provide full support for the Google Mail web interface. 

Horde is the direct interface to the old, locally-managed MHC email system and cannot be used to access Google Mail.

How can I set up my Smartphone/mobile device to access Google Apps @ MHC?

You can follow the instructions within the Google Mail settings pages to set up your mobile device to access Google Mail.

Help! I’m stuck!

Don’t panic. Give us a call at the CTS Helpdesk, x2600, or send us an email at helpdesk@mtholyoke.edu.