Email for Life FAQ

Email For Life

I have an @uwo.ca email address

I have an @alumni.uwo.ca email address

Featured Questions

1. Can I access my @alumni.uwo.ca email account through POP, IMAP or a mobile setup?

Yes! To access your Email For Life account on your mobile device or in your email client (i.e. Outlook, MacMail) you'll need to complete the four steps outlined on the Setting Up Email For Life on a Mobile Device or a Desktop Email Client page.

2. I had an @alumni.uwo.ca forwarding address prior to the introduction of Email For Life in 2011. What do I do?

Full Email For Life accounts have been set-up for Western alumni who previously had an @alumni.uwo.ca forwarding address.

To activate your Email For Life account, please follow the How to Connect instructions.

3. How do I get assistance with Email For Life?

Google has extensive resources for users. You can find more information about how to use the Gmail service in its Help Centre.

You can also complete the Email For Life Assistance Form and a support team member will contact you within 72 hours.

Background Questions

1. Is this email really "for life?"

We hope so but the reality is technology is changing. Who knows what email will look like in 30 years, or whether it will go the way of so many other technologies before it.

That said, we're confident that both Google and Western will be around in some form for a very long time. It is therefore reasonable to assume that your new @alumni.uwo.ca account will be too.

Of course, email usage is subject to Google's terms of use, and to the University's own policies around use of its web properties. As such, we reserve the right to suspend or deactivate email accounts if there is any breach of the user agreements.

2. Why is Western offering Email For Life to its alumni?

Western's primary reason for offering Email For Life is because, during the last couple of years, it is the most frequently requested addition to the existing suite of alumni benefits.

Email also offers Western and The University of Western Ontario Alumni Association a more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient way to communicate with you.

We currently send the following types of email:

  • Event Invitations (by geographic region or special interest)
  • Western Alumni News monthly newsletter
  • Faculty Newsletters
  • Alumni Service Offers
  • Fundraising Initiatives Surveys

3. Do other universities partner with Google

Yes, numerous other educational institutions partner with Google. A few Canadian examples include the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta, Wilfrid Laurier University and Nipissing University, all of whom use Gmail to provide email services to their alumni.

4. I already have a Gmail account, so how does this help me

Only Western has the right to give out Google accounts that end in "@alumni.uwo.ca." This demonstration of your affiliation with Western can be useful for résumés and connecting with fellow alumni.

In addition, Western's special education partnership with Google means there are no external ads on @alumni.uwo.ca pages.

5. How many Western alumni have received an alumni email address

More than 47,000 Western alumni have @alumni.uwo.ca email addresses. Every graduate from the Class of 2010 and onwards automatically receives a Western alumni email address.

6. Will Western be contacting me more often now

It's up to you. You determine which types of email you wish to receive. Become engaged.

7. Will Western share my email address with anyone

The University of Western Ontario Alumni Association has carefully selected a handful of trusted affinity partners. These vendors offer reduced rate and value-added features on products such as insurance and credit cards. Western may disclose your contact information, under strict confidentiality agreements, to these partners for the purposes of contacting you to determine your interest in their products.

For more information about how your personal information is collected and used, please see our privacy policy.

8. Can anyone at the university read my email

Western respects your privacy. Select Western employees are responsible for creating and, by request, disabling accounts but do not access inboxes.

9. I don't like Google's policy on advertisements.

In accordance with Western's special education partnership with Google there are no external ads on the @alumni.uwo.ca pages.

10. What personal information is being shared with Google

The only personal information provided to Google by Western is your name (for the "From" line of the email), and your email prefix (the part before the @ symbol; also known as User ID).

11. Where is my email physically located

All @alumni.uwo.ca accounts store their files in Google-owned servers around the world, along with other Gmail accounts.

12. Will Google read my email

No. Google will not read your email.

Technical Questions

1. How do I access my @alumni.uwo.ca inbox

You log in with your Western User ID and Password at mail.alumni.uwo.ca.

2. Can my "@alumni.uwo.ca" account be forwarded to another account

Yes. In the top right corner of any Google mail page, click on the "Options" wheel icon, select "Mail Settings" from the drop-down menu, then click on the "Forwarding" tab, and forward the account as you please.

3. What if I want a different @alumni.uwo.ca address

Each Western alumnus or alumna is assigned a User ID that serves as the prefix (the part before the @ symbol) of the alumni.uwo.ca email address associated with his or her account. This Western User ID is permanent and cannot be changed.

You may, however, request an email alias. An email alias is a forwarding email address that simply redirects messages to your actual account. It is important to note that an email alias does not replace your Western User ID. Your User ID will still be used to log in into your email account.

If you would like an email alias, please submit a new alumni email alias request to
efl-support@uwo.ca or call 519-661-4176 or 1-800-420-7519 business days between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Requests will be reviewed to ensure the requested alias does not already exist and created where possible.

4. I forgot my password. Now what

Go to the Western Identity Manager. Enter your User ID, which is your email prefix (the part before the @ symbol) and click the "Forgot Password?" link. You will need to correctly answer three of the challenge response questions you created when setting up your Western Identity for the system to reveal your password.

5. Is my Google password available

No. To ensure the highest level of security around your information as well as the exclusivity of the @alumni.uwo.ca address, Western is authenticating users through its own system rather than Google.

6. How do I access my @alumni.uwo.ca email account on a mobile device

To access you Email For Life account on your mobile device or in your email client (i.e. Outlook, MacMail) you'll need to:

  1. Decide if you want to set up your mobile device or desktop email client with an IMAP or a POP connection
  2. Set a Western Google Apps password
  3. Enable IMAP or POP access to your Email For Life account
  4. Set up you mobile device or email client

Full instructions can be found on the Setting Up Email For Life on a Mobile Device or a Desktop Email Client page.

IMPORTANT: Your Western Google Apps password is separate from your Western password and the two cannot be the same.

7. My mail.alumni.uwo.ca bookmark isn't working. How do I fix it

To enable the redirect on mail.alumni.uwo.ca to work properly, please edit the bookmark as follows:

IN FIREFOX
  • click on Bookmarks in the Firefox tool bar
  • click on Organize Bookmarks in Bookmarks drop-down menu - this will open the Bookmark Library
  • in the Bookmark Library, find and click on the mail.alumni.uwo.ca bookmark (NOTE: it may appear with a different name depending on how you saved it as a bookmark; i.e. @alumni.uwo.ca or Information Technology Services)
  • change the Location associated with the mail.alumni.uwo.ca bookmark from https://shibidp.uwo.ca/idp/Authn/UserPassword to http://mail.alumni.uwo.ca
  • close out the Bookmark Library window and test the bookmark
IN INTERNET EXPLORER
  • right click on the mail.alumni.uwo.ca bookmark in the list of bookmarks (REMEMBER: it may appear with a different name)
  • click Properties
  • change the URL from https://shibidp.uwo.ca/idp/Authn/UserPassword to http://mail.alumni.uwo.ca/
  • close out the Bookmark Properties and the test the bookmark
IN SAFARI
  • from the Bookmarks menu, select Show All Bookmarks
  • click on the mail.alumni.uwo.ca bookmark (NOTE: it may appear with a different name depending on how you saved it; i.e. @alumni.uwo.ca or Information Technology Services)
  • change the Address from https://shibidp.uwo.ca/idp/Authn/UserPassword to http://mail.alumni.uwo.ca/
  • close the Bookmarks Bar screen and the test the bookmark

8. I'm getting a browser security error when I try to log into mail.alumni.uwo.ca? What do I do

You need to modify your browser security settings as follows:

IN FIREFOX
  • Go to Tools -- Options -- Security.  Click on the “Exceptions” button, add mail.alumni.uwo.ca and click on Allow – this should then appear in the exceptions list. Then click on Close.
  • Go to Tools -- Options -- Security.  Under the Warning Messages, click on the “Settings” button -- make sure there is not a check mark beside the phrase “I am about to view an encrypted page that contains some unencrypted information (if it is checked, uncheck it).  Click on OK.
IN INTERNET EXPLORER
  • Go to Tools -- Internet Options -- Privacy. Click on the “Sites” button and add mail.alumni.uwo.ca as a trusted site.
  • Go to Tools -- Internet Options -- Security -- Custom Level under the Miscellaneous section. Change “Display mixed content” to Enable.

Student Questions

1. Is the @alumni.uwo.ca account going to replace my existing @uwo.ca student account

No, the two accounts are completely separate entities. Your @uwo.ca student account is only active, however, while you are a student and for approximately four months after your last registered term at Western. After that period, you will need to transition to using your new @alumni.uwo.ca account.

You can still, however, retain your @uwo.ca contacts and email messages by transferring them to your new @alumni.uwo.ca account. See questions 4 and 5 below for detailed instructions.

2. How long do I have my @uwo.ca student account

This e-mail account is provided to you for the length of your studies at Western. If you graduate and return to Western, you will be given the same account.

Removal of e-mail accounts generally occur after the last add/drop period in January following the term in which you were last registered. You will be notified of the removal timeline in January via an e-mail directed to your @uwo.ca e-mail account.

3. How can I share my new @alumni.uwo.ca address with my contacts

The easiest way to share your new @alumni.uwo.ca address is to turn on the vacation message for your existing @uwo.ca account while it is still active and include the message:

"I'm graduating! Please update your contact list with my new email address: your-prefix@alumni.uwo.ca."

4. Can I move my contacts and email from my student @uwo.ca account to my new @alumni.uwo.ca account

Yes, your contacts and email can be moved from your @uwo.ca to your new @alumni.uwo.ca account.

To respect your privacy, however, this information will not be ported over automatically. It will be up to you to transfer your desired contacts and email from your student account to your new alumni account. Detailed instructions are provided below.

5. How do I move my contacts from my @uwo.ca account to my @alumni.uwo.ca account

Moving your contacts is a two-step process.

You first need to export your contacts from your @uwo.ca account. Here's how to do so from Western's Webmail Interface:

  • Login to your @uwo.ca account at mail.uwo.ca
  • Select the Address Book tab (in the bottom left of the screen)
  • Click the Import/Export icon and select "Export" from the drop-down menu
  • In the Export contacts from Address Book pop-up, choose the export format "Microsoft Outlook CSV"
  • Click the Export Contacts button
  • Save the File Download and/or make note of the file name and location
  • If you're using a different email client for your @uwo.ca account, for example Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird or Mac Mail, please refer to the Western ITS Help documentation for exporting an address book at www.uwo.ca/its/doc/hdi/email/exportmyaddressbook.
The second step is importing your contacts into your @alumni.uwo.ca account. To do so:
  • Login to you @alumni.uwo.ca account at mail.alumni.uwo.ca
  • Select Contacts from the left navigation
  • Select Import (in the upper right corner of the screen)
  • Click the Browse button and find the contact export file
  • Click the Import button
  • You will receive a message indicating how may contacts have been imported.
  • Click the OK button to see all of them listed

 

6. How do I move email messages from my @uwo.ca account to my @alumni.uwo.ca account

  • Go to the Western alumni email for life homepage at mail.alumni.uwo.ca and login
  • Click Settings at the top of the page
  • Click on the Accounts tab
  • In the Check mail using POP3 section, click on Add POP3 email account
  • Enter your full @uwo.ca email address and click Next Step
  • Fill in the remaining settings as follows:
    • Username: Your Western User Id
    • Password: Your Western Password
  • POP Server: pop.uwo.ca
  • Port: 995
  • Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server (optional)
  • Check "Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail"
  • Label incoming messages (optional)
  • Archive incoming messages (Skip the Inbox) (optional)
  • Click Add Account

CAUTION: If you have messages stored in your @uwo.ca account that are in folders other than your inbox, you will need to move them to your inbox before they will be transferred. The process is easiest if you transfer one folder's worth of messages at a time (for example, transfer your inbox messages, then copy sent-mail messages to your inbox and transfer them, then copy another folder's message to your inbox, etc.). Just be prepared for the process to take awhile if you have a large number of messages and/or folders. It will take existing as well as future messages that are delivered to your @uwo.ca account and transfer them to your @alumni.uwo.ca account.

7. My student @uwo.ca address is currently forwarded to another email address. Will this continue

Yes, when your @alumni.uwo.ca is created, the forwarding from your @uwo.ca address is automatically transferred.

If you want to start accessing your @alumni.uwo.ca account in Gmail, however, you'll need to follow the instructions on the How to Connect to get into your account.

8. I'm a graduate of Western and also a returning student. Can I keep this address as well as my @uwo.ca address

Yes. One is being offered to you by virtue of your staff, faculty or returning student status, and the other by virtue of your alumni status. The two email accounts are physically separate, and will only forward or share email from one to the other if you wish them to.

9. Will my Email For Life account give me access to online library resources

To use online library resources remotely you must be enrolled as a current student or employed by Western as a faculty or staff member. This limitation is due to licensing restrictions of vendors providing electronic products to Western Libraries. For more information about using library resources after graduation please visit www.lib.uwo.ca/alumni.

Alumni Questions

1. I had an @alumni.uwo.ca forwarding address prior to the introduction of Email For Life in 2011. What do I do

Full Email For Life accounts have been set-up for Western alumni who previously had an @alumni.uwo.ca forwarding address.

To activate your Email For Life account, please follow the How to Connect instructions.

2. I'm setting up my Western Identity and the system won't accept my password. How come

Western enforces strict rules around passwords to ensure they are difficult for hackers to crack or decode. To review the rules that passwords must follow, please read the Western Password Policy.

3. What are challenge responses? Why do I need them

Challenge responses are your personal answers to predetermined questions. They are designed to enhance password security and facilitate easy password management, including accessing a forgotten password.

You need to answer at least three (3) challenge response questions when activating your Western Identity. To review the conditions that challenge responses must adhere to, please read the Western Challenge Response Policy.

4. I had an @alumni.uwo.ca address that was forwarded to another email address. Will this continue

Yes, when your @alumni.uwo.ca account was created in Gmail, the forwarding was automatically transferred.

If you want to start accessing your @alumni.uwo.ca account in Gmail, however, you'll need to follow the instructions on the How to Connect to get into your account.

5. I've never had an @alumni.uwo.ca email account. How do I get one

Western has created Email For Life accounts for all graduates from 2010 and onwards as well as alumni who had an @alumni.uwo.ca ca forwarding address prior to 2011.

If you are not a member of one of these groups, please complete an Email For Life Account Request.

Please note, it can take up to 10 business days to create an account.

6. I'm a graduate of Western and also a staff or faculty member. Can I have an @alumni.uwo.ca as well as my @uwo.ca address

Yes. One is provided to you by virtue of your staff or faculty member status, and the other is offered to you by virtue of your alumni status. The two email accounts are physically separate, and will only forward or share email from one to the other if you wish them to.

7. Will my Email For Life account give me access to online library resources

To use online library resources remotely you must be enrolled as a current student or employed by Western as a faculty or staff member. This limitation is due to licensing restrictions of vendors providing electronic products to Western Libraries. For more information about using library resources after graduation please visit www.lib.uwo.ca/alumni.

Help

Where can I go for help?
Google has extensive resources for users. You can find more information about how to use the Gmail service in its Help Centre.

You can also complete the Email For Life Assistance Form and a support team member will contact you within 72 hours.