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    Aug 23rd, 2021

Exchange Email & Calendaring F.A.Q.

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What is Exchange?

Exchange is a modern, enterprise-class email and calendaring platform developed by Microsoft. Exchange provides:

  • A large-scale calendaring solution, which enables users to schedule meetings, conference rooms, and other resources within and across departments.
  • A robust and flexible email experience on the Web or via email software, irrespective of device or operating system.
  • Centralized contacts and address book entries accessible from desktops, mobile devices, or the Web.

Are Exchange email and calendaring currently available on campus?

A number of academic and administrative departments currently use Microsoft Exchange email and calendaring.

Can undergraduate students get Exchange accounts?

Undergraduate students use Google Mail for their official campus email. 

How do I access my Exchange email and calendar?

You can access your Exchange email and calendar using email software on your desktop, laptop,or mobile device, or on the Web, from any device with an Internet connection.

  • Outlook Web App (OWA) is the Web interface for your Exchange email and calendar. Use OWA when you are using public computers or are away from devices you use regularly. Note: The latest version of OWA is device and browser-agnostic, meaning that it will work reliably on most Web browsers, on most computing devices. List of recommended browsers
  • Windows or Macintosh email software. Configure devices you use regularly using one of the email software supported by UMass Amherst IT (e.g., Microsoft Outlook). Note: Our list of supported email software changes periodically.

What is my password?

Your password is your UMass Amherst IT Active Directory/Exchange password. Note: This may be the same as your UMass Amherst IT Account Password.

I use Linux. How will Exchange work for me?

If you are using Linux, we recommend that you access your Exchange email and calendar using Outlook Web App (OWA), the Web interface for Exchange.

What is my email quota?

All members of the University community with an Exchange account are allocated 30 GB of space on the Exchange mail servers. To request a quota increase, please contact exchangehelp@it.umass.edu.

Why am I having trouble sending or receiving attachments in Exchange?

For security reasons, Exchange will automatically block any messages containing files with the extensions listed below. Extensions appear after the period of a filename. For example, in a file named whatever.exe.exe is the extension.

The blocked extensions are:

ade, adp, app, asd, asf, asx, bas, bat, chm, cmd, com, cpl, crt, dll, exe, fxp, hlp, hta, hto, hgx, inf, ini, ins, isp, jse?, lib, lnk, mdb, mde, msc, msi, msp, mst, ocx, pcd, pif, prg, rar, reg, scr, sct, sh, shb, shs, sys, url, vb, vbe, vbs, vcs, vxd, wmd, wms, wmz, wsc, wsf, wsh.

Some of these file extensions are associated with malware (e.g., viruses and worms), while others, such as .exe or .dll are associated with specific applications that run on Windows computers.

If you have to send someone a file with one of these extensions, we recommend saving it to your Box account and sending the recipient a link to it, burning it to a CD, or saving it to a USB drive. If you are a UMass staff member, you may be able to use a shared network drive to exchange these kinds of files.

How do I create & insert email signatures in Exchange?

You can use various email programs to automatically include a signature (usually including your name and contact information) at the end of your email messages.

Email signatures are specific to the program in which you create them. For example, it is not possible to create an email signature in Outlook Web App and then automatically use the same signature on a mobile device.

Create an email signature

Create an email signature for later inclusion in email messages. Most programs allow you to automatically include a signature in each new email message you compose.

  • Android: Consult your device’s manual.
  • iOS: Go to Settings > Mail > Signature to create a signature for your Exchange account.

Insert an email signature into a message

  • Outlook Web App
  • Outlook 2016
  • Outlook 2013
  • Outlook 2010
  • Outlook 2011
  • Apple Mail: To insert a signature into an email message you are composing, click the Signature drop­down menu and select the name of the signature that you would like to include in the email message.
  • Android: Consult your device’s manual.
  • iOS: Your signature is automatically included in all email messages that you compose.

What is Conversation View in Outlook on the web?

Conversation view is how your email messages are displayed in Outlook on the web by default. See Microsoft's Change how email is displayed in Outlook on the web for instructions on how to turn Conversation View on or off.

To avoid Conversation View entirely, you can use Outlook Web App Light, which omits some of the features present in the full Outlook on the web.

Go to the Outlook login page. Click the check box Use the light version of Outlook Web App and log in. This logs you into Outlook Web App Light. Each email message will be listed individually rather than by conversation.

What is the maximum message size in Exchange?

The maximum size for any incoming or outgoing message, including attachments, is 50 MB. Note: Messages with attachments larger than 25 MB may be restricted or delayed. 

What about spam & virus filtering in Exchange?

The campus Exchange servers have a robust spam filtering system for all incoming and outgoing mail. The filters tag emails suspected of being spam and place them in the Junk E-mail folder. They also remove any attachments that may contain viruses or malicious software and tag messages with attachments that cannot be verified. You also have the option of creating your own spam filtering rules that will automatically filter unwanted messages. 

Legitimate email is being placed in my Junk E-mail folder. How do I fix this?

You should regularly check your Junk E-mail folder to make sure that there are no false positives which put legitimate mail into the folder. If there is legitimate mail in the Junk E-mail folder, mark it as not junk (right click on the message and under Junk Mail, click Mark as Not Junk). If you do this regularly, it will train the spam filtering system to recognize those messages as not junk. We recommend emptying the Junk E-mail folder regularly so it will be easier to spot the any legitimate emails.

There was a system upgrade and my Apple Mail is coming in really slowly. Why?

Apple Mail has to first re-cache your inbox before it pulls in mail. Once it does this, your mail will come in normally.

I had to remove and re-add my Apple Calendar after an upgrade. Why are my shared calendars gone?

The Exchange server does not store calendar information from Apple Calendar, so you will have to re-do your calendar settings if you remove and re-add your account. To avoid this, we recommend using Outlook for calendaring as it stores calendar settings on the Exchange server.

How long does my Exchange stay active after I graduate or leave the University?

UMass Amherst graduate students who leave the University in good standing have access to Exchange at no cost for one year after they leave the University. UMass Amherst faculty and staff who retire retain their email privileges.
Note: Your Exchange account stays active if you are studying abroad or are on medical or work-related leave (e.g., sabbatical).