CUMC Email FAQs
How do I get my CUMC Exchange (@cumc.columbia.edu) email account?
What should I do if I've forgotten, locked, or need to change my email account's password?
Departments and schools must request them for new employees and students, please see the main Email at CUMC page for general information including Requesting an Account.
Please use the myPassword site to instantly fix issues with your Exchange (email) account or password:
If you have forgotten your password and did not already set up security questions on myPassword, or are not able to fix an issue, call us at extension 5-Help (212-305-4357) option 5.
- Log in to the site with your UNI first. See the next FAQ if you are not sure of the difference between your Exchange and UNI passwords.
- Select the appropriate link to reset (if you've forgotten your password), change, or unlock your account.
IMPORTANT! Changing your CUMC Exchange password also changes your MC (computer login) password if you have one. It will not change your Columbia UNI password.
What is the difference between Exchange email, UNI, and MC accounts and passwords?
For convenience, your UNI account ID or "username" is also used as your login for Exchange and MC, so you do not have to keep track of different IDs. However, your UNI and Exchange/MC passwords will not automatically synchronize when one is changed since they are separate systems. It is fine if you would like to use the same password for both to keep them "manually" synchronized.
- UNI accounts are provided to current Columbia faculty, staff and students. They are used to access University-wide resources such as myColumbia (payroll and benefits information) and Student Information Systems. See the Manage My UNI website for UNI password changes, resets, etc.
- Exchange (@cumc.columbia.edu email accounts) and MC (computer logins) are specific to CUMC. They are part of a structure managed by CUMC IT called Active Directory, which centralizes accounts and the rights or "permissions" the account has to login to computers, network drives, and the Exchange mail system. They are essentially the same account, though not everyone with an Exchange account will also be able to login to MC-connected computers.
The myPassword site manages password changes, resets, etc. for both Exchange and MC accounts.
I changed my password and now can't open or send email from Outlook or my mobile device.
The email program on your computer or mobile device may store your old password and try to use it to login, which can lock your account. See below to update your password in Outlook, or visit the Synchronize Your Password page for help with mobile devices.
Outlook on Windows
- Select the File tab in the upper left corner of Outlook, then the Account Settings box/icon and the option to Add and remove accounts or change existing connection settings.
- In the Account Settings - E-mail Accounts window, make sure the E-mail tab is selected. Double-click on your CUMC Exchange email account listed under the Name heading (it will typically be called CUMC) to open the Change Account window.
- Clear out the Password field in the lower left and type in the new password you selected for your Exchange email account.
- Click the Next button in the lower right, then Close/Cancel and/or Finish to save the new password.
Outlook on Mac
While it is convenient to let an email program store passwords, per University policy you should refrain from using this option. If you do not save your password in your email program, you will only be prompted to enter your password each time you start the program, and the first time you send an email after opening the program.
- Select Tools from Outlook's topmost menu bar.
- Select Accounts from the bottom of the Tools drop down menu.
- If there is more than one account listed in the left of the window, make sure your CUMC Exchange account is selected/highlighted.
- Clear the Password field and type in the new password you selected for your CUMC Exchange email account.
- Click the red button in the upper left corner of the Accounts window to close.
What is the difference between @columbia.edu and @cumc.columbia.edu addresses?
For current CUMC faculty, staff and students, these addresses can both be used to receive email. If you are new to CUMC see steps under the Getting Started heading near the top of Email at CUMC page to see if your @cumc.columbia.edu account is ready.
While @columbia.edu addresses can be used to receive messages, the storage space to hold messages, attachments, contacts, and related account data is no longer available for those at CUMC. The @columbia.edu addresses were kept for convenience but exist as a forwarding service only for CUMC affiliates.
The storage space for your messages, attachments, contacts, calendar data etc. is on the CUMC IT Exchange system under your @cumc.columbia.edu account, and can be managed by setting up your Exchange account on your computer using Outlook, via a mail program on your mobile device(s), and Web Outlook. See links in the left column of this page for instructions on using any of these.
How much space do I have on my CUMC email account?
Storage space for a standard account on the CUMC Exchange email system is 1GB. This includes your mailbox and its contents (including any email attachments), Calendar entries, and other items that you leave on the Exchange server. For help in determining this including checking your current quota and using archiving to store account data on a computer see Manage Your Email Account Space.
Can I receive more space on my CUMC email account?
We recommend that anyone with quota issues use archiving to stay under the default quota of 1GB (see above), however more space can be requested by contacting us at extension 5-Help, option 5.
What types of attachments can I use with my CUMC email account, and how large can they be?
Attachments can be almost any file type except: executables (files ending in ".exe"), individually encrypted or password protected. Secure email should be used to encrypt or otherwise protect sensitive attachments. Size limitations are:
Note that if you attempt to attach something larger Outlook will display a warning when you try to send it. The Storage and File Transfer page lists other options that can be used if needed.
- Each attachment can be up to 10MB
- One email - the messages itself including any inline images or formatting - with attachments can be up to 60MB
Can I use a program other than Outlook, such as Mac Mail or Thunderbird?
Other programs are not as compatible with CUMC Exchange email accounts, and some features aren't available at all unless you are using Outlook. To provide better support and security, Outlook is the only CUMC IT supported email program for use with Exchange. Outlook for both for Windows and Macintosh is available free to current CUMC faculty, staff and students as part of the Microsoft Office Suite of programs. Mac users should be aware of known issues with Mac Mail, iCal and Exchange.
Why don't I see the same messages and folders in Outlook on my computer(s), the Web App and mobile devices?
CUMC email accounts have a main mailbox that "sits" on the Exchange email system, also referred to as the mail server. In most cases you see your main mailbox and its subfolders within Outlook or the Web App by finding the list of folders labeled at the top with your Last Name, First Name or your full firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
Different programs that connect to your account - such as Outlook on a computer, the Web App, and a smartphone or tablet's email, calendar, contacts etc. - will show your mailbox messages and other contents that are on the mail server with a few important differences:
Please see Managing Space for a more detailed explanation and help with moving or storing items in your email account.
- Settings in your mobile device typically don't download or show all messages and folders in order to save bandwidth and space on the device. This can be adjusted (refer to your device's instructions for help), but keep in mind that synchronizing large amounts of data is may cause issues on the mobile device.
- To avoid hitting your email account quota and possible performance issues, archive or back up folders may be set up to store older items. These are normally only saved and accessible from your main computer and will appear as a separate set of folders, but can be moved when needed.
Why isn't Outlook auto-filling an email address in the To field, or using the wrong address for someone?
A feature of Outlook called Auto-Complete saves address and name information on a computer that you've previously typed in when sending a message or meeting request. The next time you type the first few letters of the contact name in a To field, Outlook automatically lists any user names or emails you have used before that start with the same characters. If Outlook isn't suggesting someone, you only have to enter it once on that computer/iteration of Outlook for it to save in Auto-Complete.
Information in Auto-Complete is specific to the computer, and is saved in the Outlook profile used on the computer. This means that addresses you typed in when using Outlook with your CUMC email account on one computer (ex: a desktop at your office) will not synchronize with another (your laptop). Remember that you can use the CUMC Directory when searching for addressees (click the address book icon near the To or related fields) or save information in your Contacts, which will synchronize across different computers in the same CUMC email account.
To remove bad or old information for one address saved in Auto-Complete on a computer, right-click on it while it is highlighted in the To field and select Delete. If you would like to remove all of the saved information in your Outlook profile on a computer:
- Select the File tab in the upper left corner of Outlook, then Options.
- Select Mail in the left column, then use the scroll bar in the right to find the Send Messages heading.
- Click on the Empty Auto-Complete List button to the right, then the Yes button in the pop up window that asks Are you sure you want to empty the Auto-Complete List?
- Once Auto-Complete is emptied you will be back at the Outlook Options window, select the OK button in the lower right to close and return to Outlook.
- Open a new email message or meeting request and begin typing in the To field. Outlook should not prompt you with any names or auto-fill and will begin re-creating a new Auto-Complete list for you.
What should I do with spam, junk or phishing messages?
Never reply to or click on links within unsolicited messages, and be sure to review the Email Security page for help identifying and protecting yourself from phishing attempts. To help improve security for everyone you can also Report Unwanted Messages, and use your Blocked Sender list to prevent further attempts from reaching your inbox.
How do I add my CourseWorks Calendar to my email program?
See the CourseWorks Video Tutorials page and select the appropriate link under the Calendar heading.
What happens to my email when I leave CUMC?
Employees will not have access to their @cumc.columbia.edu email address after employment with CUMC ends due to resignation or termination; the account and messages, etc. contained in it will be deleted. For additional information please see the Separations and Termination page.
Students who graduate are notified by their School regarding deletion of their @cumc.columbia.edu 90 days after graduation. The email notifications from the School include information on saving any CUMC email messages, signing up for an alumni account, and other steps that should be taken. If a graduating student joins a department or will be pursuing another course of study at a CUMC School, the department or School must contact CUMC IT within 90 days of the graduation to continue the account without deletion; after 90 days the normal account request procedure should be used.
Students who are studying abroad or on a long absence will not lose their @cumc.columbia.edu accounts provided their student record remains active in the Student Information System and must verify this with their School in advance.
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