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Columbia Email and UNI Password Troubleshooting

The information on this page is specific to general Columbia email and UNI accounts. For help with Exchange email and/or MC Domain passwords, please see this FAQ.

How can I change my email/UNI password?
Columbia's Manage my UNI page has a link to immediately Change your Password. You will either need to answer or set up your Security Questions; this provides extra proof that you are the person authorized to manage the password by requiring that personal questions of your choice can be answered correctly.

What should I do if I forgot my email/UNI password?
Remember that UNI passwords must be from 8 to 64 characters long and must contain some mixed case letters (upper and lower case), numbers and special characters; if you are not using a password that meets these requirements, it cannot be the one you originally selected.

If you still can't remember your password, go to the Manage My UNI website and select the Forgot Password? link. You will be prompted to enter credentials including information found on your Columbia ID card; once you have entered your information correctly you will be able to choose a new password.

If you receive an error message when trying to pick a new password, it should indicate specifically why the selection did not work (e.g. UNI not found, incorrect number of characters in the password). Please contact us at extension 5-Help (212-305-4357), option 5 if you are not able to resolve issues with your UNI password via the Manage My UNI site.

I changed my password and now I can't open my email in Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.
University policy states that everyone should refrain from storing passwords in email or other programs. This helps prevent others who might gain access to your computer from being able to easily access your email; it also helps keep your password fresh in your memory. 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.

Most email applications do have the option to store your password. If you change your email/UNI password and can no longer open or send email from your program afterwards, please follow these instructions:

    Outlook 2010 on Windows
  1. 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.
  2. In the Account Settings - E-mail Accounts window, make sure the E-mail tab is selected. Double-click on your Columbia email account listed under the Name heading (it will typically be called Columbia IMAP) to open the Change Account window.
  3. Clear out the Password field in the lower left and type in the new password you selected for your UNI/Columbia email account.
  4. Click the Next button in the lower right, then Close/Cancel and/or Finish to save the new password.
    Outlook 2011 on Mac
  1. Select Tools from Outlook 2011's topmost menu bar.
  2. Select Accounts from the bottom of the Tools drop down menu.
  3. If there is more than one account listed in the left of the window, make sure your Columbia account is selected/highlighted.
  4. Clear the Password field and type in the new password you selected for your UNI/Columbia email account.
  5. Click the red button in the upper left corner of the Accounts window to close.

If I change my UNI's password, will this affect other programs where my UNI is my username?
UNI login prompt via WIND authentication It depends. If the program or system is University-wide, or if you are brought to a CUIT logon screen within your browser, it will most likely use the same as your UNI password.

If it is a program that is specific to a campus, department (such as your logon to your work computer), school program, or NYPH, the logon information is probably not managed through the same system and therefore the password will not be the same. Your UNI may have been selected as your logon so that you wouldn't have to keep track of too many logon IDs. This is true of MC domain accounts (computer logins) and Exchange email - the passwords are different from your general UNI account; see this FAQ for assistance.

Almost all programs allow you a few tries when entering your password, so you can use the one you think is correct and then try a different one if it doesn't work.

Why can't every program I use just recognize the same password?
From an individual's standpoint, it's unfortunate that technology isn't at a point where every system uses the same logon information. However this is actually more secure, so that systems that access different information don't also "know" your logon and password to other unrelated or more sensitive information.

We do have tips and tricks that can make remembering your password and picking a secure, complex password, easier for you. Please visit the Password Use page for details.

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Last updated 11/19/2013

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