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VT Google Apps Mail Mailbox Management

The following topics in this document will help you manage the messages you receive through your VT Google Apps Mail account.

Important: Even if you forward your VT Google Apps Mail to another account, it is important to regularly check both the Inbox and Spam folders of VT Google Apps Mail for any emails that you may have missed.


Mail Storage and Retention

The VT Google Apps Mail server allows for a maximum storage of 25 GB of email messages. If you exceed this storage limit, then you will not be able to receive additional mail until you delete old email messages. Since it is recommended to enable IMAP when using VT Google Apps Mail, any messages deleted via a Web interface or by an email client will be deleted off the mail server, which means messages will be deleted from all clients and devices.

Unwanted Email (For Exchange Users)

All unwanted email, junk mail, or "spam" is managed through the Spam folder within your VT Google Apps Mail account.

Important: Even if you do not use your VT Google Apps Mail account or forward it to your Exchange account, it is important to regularly check both the Inbox and Spam folders of VT Google Apps Mail for any emails that you may have missed or have been marked as spam incorrectly.

Important: If email that you want to receive is repeatedly being filtered to the Spam folder, follow the instructions at Stopping Email from Going to Spam in VT Google Apps Mail to improve Google's filtering.

There are three options for managing email in your VT Google Apps Mail Spam folder. 4Help recommends you pick one of the following methods depending on if you forward your VT Google Apps Mail to Exchange or not.

This method requires that you regularly use a Web browser to log on to the VT Google Apps Mail interface to check email. If you have VT Google Apps Mail set to forward to Exchange, this method is not recommended, as you will have to remember to regularly log on with a Web browser and check your Spam folder.

You can use this method to see what was marked as spam without having to use a Web browser to log on to the VT Google Apps Mail. It requires that you use a mail client (such as Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.).

Whether you access your Exchange mail using WebOutlook or a mail client, you can use this method to effectively forward all spam straight to your Exchange account. However, you will have to distinguish between spam and legitimate messages that arrive in your Inbox.

For more information on the best practices to avoid unwanted email in general, see Spam (Unwanted Email).


Email has provided a medium through which viruses can spread efficiently and can infect a person's system with little or no warning. In recent years, the number of viruses spread through email has grown tremendously. To curb this problem, Virginia Tech is offering two solutions:

  • Special virus scanners have been installed that check every piece of email that passes through the Virginia Tech mail system. These scanners identify and remove viruses before they have a chance to infect your computer.
  • Virginia Tech provides Symantec Endpoint Protection for Windows and Mac OS at no charge for current Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff, as well as retirees. This software provides continuous virus protection against viruses received from all sources. It is extremely important that you keep your virus software current using the LiveUpdate feature. For more information, see Downloading, Installing, and Scanning for Viruses with Symantec Endpoint Protection.

Caution: Despite these measures, some viruses spread rapidly before antivirus updates are available to detect them. Please use caution when opening attachments, particularly when they arrive unexpectedly (even from apparently familiar senders) or from people you do not know.

Using Rules or Filters

Rules, also known as filters, enable your client to automatically perform actions on your incoming messages based on criteria such as who sent the message, the subject of the message, or the importance of the message. These actions can include sorting messages into folders, deleting them, or changing their importance.

See your client's documentation for instructions on using rules to automatically process your messages.

Checking Mail While Away

If you are away from your personal computer and would like to check your email, follow the instructions at Checking or Viewing Your VT Google Apps Mail Email.

Monitoring Email

Please be aware that Virginia Tech does not monitor email. However, if asked to do so by a law enforcement agency by warrant, the system administrators do have the ability. For more information on acceptable use of information systems, refer to the Acceptable Use Policy.

Additionally, the Student Life Office, the Office of Student Conduct, and the Virginia Tech Women's Center all handle questions of abuse of the Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy. Student Life and the Women's Center can assist students by asking the postmaster to monitor the email of a student who has been accused of harassing another individual over email. In these cases the VT Google Apps Mail administrators do not actually read the mail but, instead, watch for mail sent to the individual they are accused of harassing. The email is then sent to the Student Life Office or the Women's Center who can send it to the Office of Student Conduct for adjudication at the student's request, if the harasser is a Virginia Tech student.

You can contact the staff in the Student Life Office at (540) 231-3787 or the Virginia Tech Women's Center at (540) 231-7806 for assistance and options for addressing the situation. The Office of Student Conduct also has staff that can provide confidential information as to how they adjudicate such cases. You can contact the staff in the Office of Student Conduct at (540) 231-3790.

Sending Email to Random Sample of VT Addresses

In general, unsolicited emailings are prohibited at Virginia Tech. For more information, refer to the Acceptable Use Guidelines. Specifically pay attention to the sections about not using email or messaging services to harass or intimidate another person, and about not wasting computing resources.

If you feel that your use is acceptable, send an email message to describing what you want to do and the specific reason for the request.

Note: If you are planning research that involves humans as research subjects, you must have approval from the Institutional Review Board for Research Involving Human Subjects (IRB). Keep in mind that this applies to surveys as well. For more information, refer to the Institutional Review Board Web page.


Currently, the VT Google Apps Mail system runs IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol) for connections to the mail server. By default under IMAP, most email clients (such as Outlook) leave a copy of your email on the server when you check your messages. Since the messages are stored on the server, deleting messages from any synced clients or devices will also delete them from the server and from any other synced clients and devices. Email messages do not expire from the server, but you have a limit of 25 GB worth of messages.

Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines quota as follows:

Quota: a proportional part of a share; esp. the share or proportion assigned to each in a division or to each member of a body.

In the context of your email, a quota refers to how much disk or storage space you are allowed to use for storing your email messages on the server, either old or new. This includes not only the message text, but any attachments (PDF, JPG, MP3, WAV files, etc.) that may have been sent with the messages.

By enforcing a quota system, we will also be able to more easily monitor disk space utilization by individual account and notify you when you are reaching your assigned “proportional part of a share.” Depending on the volume of email you receive, as well as how you manage your email, you may or may not ever reach your quota limit.

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 3:55pm 9562 Views