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Google Gmail Transition FAQs

Ƶ is transitioning from Gmail to Microsoft 365 for its student email system to unify the communication platform for faculty, staff, and students.

This move is expected to enhance security, boost efficiency, and introduce new tools and services beneficial to the entire organization. Notably, student emails will now require multi-factor authentication (MFA), which adds an extra layer of protection beyond the standard username and password. MFA may involve using a mobile app, a hardware token, or a telephone number to confirm a user’s identity, keeping your data secure.

As part of the transition, comprehensive assistance will be available through the Ƶ Service Desk.

Please read this page carefully to see if your question has been answered before contacting our support team.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why is Ƶ transitioning from Gmail to Microsoft 365?

Having all faculty, staff, and students on a shared platform gives the Ƶ community an opportunity for a more-secure environment overall, better efficiency, and a way to introduce new tools and enhancements to the services that will benefit the entire organization.

The switch also enables Ƶ to utilize multi-factor authentication (also commonly referred to as two-factor authentication, two-step verification, or second-factor authentication). MFA is an additional layer of security beyond a username and password. Typically, it involves an app installed on your mobile device, a hardware token, use of the biometrics (fingerprint or facial recognition) from a laptop, or a telephone number. After signing into a service with your username and password, you are prompted to confirm your identity via the mobile app, hardware token, or telephone number. You may already be familiar with this process if you've enabled two-step verification with popular consumer services such as Apple ID, Twitter, Facebook, as well as most financial institutions.

 

How will Microsoft 365 benefit students?

Having a shared email/calendar platform will have many benefits, not just for students but also for faculty and staff.

  • Sharing and Collaboration - Having faculty on one platform (Microsoft) and students on another (Google) presents challenges when it comes to sharing and collaborating on files. Ƶ using Google Docs often must save their work in a different file format (PDF, Word) before submitting assignments. Collaborating on files between platforms is a tedious process, leading some faculty to create and use a personal Gmail account for their classes just so they could collaborate with students. Having a single platform will make for a much more seamless experience.   
  • Microsoft Teams - Microsoft Teams will become an option in addition to Zoom. Having faculty on one platform (Microsoft) and students on another (Google) presents challenges with using Teams because students are treated as "guests." Having a single platform will make for a much more seamless and efficient experience.
  • Calendars - Ƶ often need to schedule appointments with their advisors, instructors, or other campus personnel. Having two separate calendar platforms (Microsoft and Google) makes this difficult to do. With a single calendar platform, this experience will be much more seamless and efficient. 
    • Advisors will continue to use Navigate for scheduling, but other meetings may be scheduled in Outlook.

 

When will the transition take place?

The transition will take place at the beginning of the spring 2024 semester.

  • Ƶ will have access to their new email starting Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, which is one week before the spring semester classes begin.
  • All new emails after January 8, 2024 will be found in your Microsoft 365 email account or Outlook mailbox. Your old emails will still be accessible in your Gmail inbox until the account is deactivated.
  • Ƶ Gmail accounts will be fully deactivated by January 2025.
  • All other Google apps will still be available to you, but your data should still be backed up using the methods listed below to ensure there is no loss during the transition.

 

How do I access my new Microsoft 365 email account?

Once your account has been migrated, you will be able to log in to your inbox on Microsoft 365.

  1. Using a browser, you can go to to view all Microsoft applications including Outlook email.
  2. Bookmark mail.uafs.edu for quick access to your email or install Microsoft Outlook.
  3. If you wish to connect your account to an email client like Outlook, just open Outlook, sign in with your new email account name and your Ƶ password, and Outlook will do the rest.
  4. On your phone, download the Outlook app and login with your new email address at username@uafs.edu 

 

How do I set up my Microsoft 365 email on my mobile device?

 

Will multi-factor authentication (MFA) be required to sign in to Microsoft 365?

Yes. As part of the University of Arkansas System-wide initiative to protect student privacy and data, Ƶ requires MFA for all faculty, staff, and student accounts for various applications including Office 365 applications like Outlook.

 

How do I set up MFA?

Click on the link and login with the format of username@uafs.edu

 

How will I use MFA if I don’t have a mobile phone?

  • Ƶ IT has tested and confirmed hardware tokens that enable MFA access without a phone. The keychain-sized devices are available through the Ƶ Service Desk beginning Aug. 1, 2023.
  • Ƶ who do not have a mobile phone should as soon as possible to secure their MFA device and set up an appointment with IT to have the device enabled. Click on the request form and login with the format of username@uafs.edu
  • The approximately $14 cost of the device will be added to student bills as a non-mandatory fee once the device is enabled so that financial aid and scholarships may be used to cover the cost of the device.

 

Will I have a new email address?

Yes. Current students with Gmail accounts will receive a new email address when migrated to Microsoft 365. The new email address will be in the format of your Ƶ username@uafs.edu. For example, if your current email address is jdoe01@g.uafs.edu, your new email address will be jdoe01@uafs.edu.

 

What will happen to mail sent to my old email address? 

If someone sends mail to your old address (username@g.uafs.edu), the message will be forwarded to your new Microsoft 365 address (username@uafs.edu) for a period of one year.

 

Will I still be able to access my Gmail account after my account is moved?

You will be able to access your Gmail account with your archived email for one year after your account is moved to Microsoft 365 (until January 2025). New email, however, will only be accessible from your Microsoft 365 account.

 

Are there any expectations for appropriate use of university email and other campus computer code?

Yes. Please refer to the Student and Faculty and Staff handbooks for conduct expectations. 

 

What additional features and applications are available with Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 offers a wide range of applications and services including:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneDrive
  • Teams
  • Planner

These applications provide enhanced collaboration and productivity tools for students.

 

Will I have access to Microsoft Teams?

Yes.

 

Will I have access to Zoom?

Ƶ is under contract with Zoom until January 2026.

 

Will I have access to share folders on Microsoft OneDrive?

Yes. Once access is granted, you will be able to access shared folders with colleagues, faculty, staff, and students.

 

Will I receive any training on how to use Microsoft 365 applications?

Yes. Microsoft offers a to help you easily and quickly learn to use Microsoft 365 Applications. Training resources will also be made available on My.Ƶ during and after the transition. 

 

What do I need to do to prepare for the transition?

Follow the instructions and communications provided by Ƶ throughout the transition process. This may include downloading or transferring any Gmail emails that you wish to keep, updating your email settings, and familiarizing yourself with Microsoft 365 applications.

Ƶ will need to change any third-party accounts on websites that use their Gmail account name. Your new Office 365 Outlook email account or a personal email account will need to be used as your login for all third-party apps.

 

Will there be any downtime during the transition?

There may be minimal downtime during the transition process. You will be notified in advance if any disruptions are expected.

 

Who should I contact if I need help or have any issues during the transition?

For assistance during the transition, you can contact the Ƶ IT Service Desk at 479-788-7460 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

Will my email storage capacity change with Microsoft 365?

Storage for your Microsoft 365 account will increase to 5TB. Your Outlook inbox will have 100GB of storage.

 

Will Microsoft 365 be accessible on all devices and platforms? 

Yes. Microsoft 365 is designed to be accessible on various devices and platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Detailed instructions on accessing Microsoft 365 on different devices will be provided during the transition process.

 

Will there be any change to the way I access third-party applications?

There should be no impact to your use of Ƶ applications or logins including your access to campus computers or My.Ƶ. However, IT suggests changing your email login for any third-party accounts that are not related to your Ƶ studies to a personal email that is not managed through the institution. This protects your access to those accounts long after you leave the institution and discontinue use of your Ƶ email.

 

How do I import my contacts from Gmail to Microsoft 365?

You can import your contacts using the

 

Can I still access my old Ƶ Gmail account during and after the transition?

You will be able to access your Gmail account with your archived email for a minimum of one year after your account is moved to Microsoft 365 in January 2024. This gives you until January 2025. New email, however, will only be accessible from your Microsoft 365 account. Google apps will still be available.

 

What will happen to my Google files after the transition?

IT will make every effort to maintain access to all Google apps other than Gmail. For your information security, IT strongly recommends downloading your Google Drive, Photos, Keep, Sheets, and Docs files manually so they are preserved.


How can I transfer my files from different Google applications?

Google Drive

Begin the process of transferring your Google Drive by reading the instructions below.

  • Do Some Clean-Up
    • Remove any files you don't need. Whether you are downloading your files or moving them to another Google account or third-party storage solution, there will likely be storage limits. There is no point in moving something you don't need.
    • Files shared from your Drive will no longer be shared once you move them, and they will have new URLs. You will need to re-share the files with other users who may have had access previously.

  • Choose a New Location for Your Files
    • To determine the best way to transfer or export your files, you first need to decide where they will be going.

  • Transfer to Another Google Account
    • This is the most straight-forward option as you can move your files to an existing personal Google account. You can also create one if necessary. Google offers free storage up to 15GB. For more information on additional storage, 


  • Transfer to Another Storage Service or Download to a Hard Drive
    • You choose to create export files which can be transferred directly to another storage service like OneDrive or Dropbox or downloaded to your hard drive.

 

Google Photos

Begin the process of transferring your Google Photos by reading the instructions below. 

  • Do Some Clean Up
    • Remove any photos you don't need. Whether you are downloading your photos or moving them to another Google account or third-party storage solution, there will likely be storage limits. There is no point in moving something you don't need.
    • Videos take up more space than photos, so start by focusing your efforts on removing unwanted video files. You can quickly find your videos by clicking Explore on the left-hand menu. Then, near the bottom of the screen, select Categories > Videos. Select the videos you no longer need, and click the Trash icon in the top right.
    • Photos or videos that have been shared with you will not transfer to another account. Similarly, photos or videos that you have shared will also no longer be shared.

  • Choose a New Location for Your Photos
    • To determine the best way to transfer or export your photos, you first need to decide where they will be going.

  • Transfer to Another Google Account Using "Partner Sharing"
    • We recommend transferring to a personal Google account as it is the most straight-forward and fastest way to move your photos. You can use an existing Google account or create one. Google offers free storage up to 15GB. For more information on additional storage,


  • Transfer to Another Storage Service or Download to a Hard Drive
    • You can also choose to create export photos which can be transferred directly to another storage service like OneDrive or Dropbox or downloaded to your hard drive.

 

Gmail

You can also transfer your emails to another Google account or create a back-up of your data.

  • Do Some Clean-Up
    • Remove any emails you don't need, especially ones with large attachments. Whether you are downloading your emails or moving them to another Google account or third-party storage solution, there will likely be storage limits.

  • Choose a New Location for Your Files

  • Transferring Your Emails to Another Google Account
    • Using the Google Transfer tool (also available for your Drive files), you can move your emails directly into another Google account.

  • Export Your Email Data for Backup or Use with a Third-Party Application Like Thunderbird

 

Google Play

Google Support can transfer some purchases you have made with your student account through Google Play. You will need to contact Google Support directly as they will not allow the university to request transfers on a user's behalf.

    • Under “Tell us what we can help with,” type "Transfer account" and click Next.
    • Under “Choose the best description of this issue,” select Transfer Account Content.
    • Under “Which specific area do you need support for?” select one of the options. (You can specify with the support rep that you want to move everything.)
    • Click Next Step.
    • Choose your preferred method of communication.
    • The Google Support rep will ask you some questions to verify you are the owner of both accounts.

 

Google Keep

It is possible to export some data from Google Keep using Google Takeout. However, Google does not currently offer a method to import this data into another Google account, so you would need to manually add the data yourself. We have found a method that allows you to share and then save the notes to another Google account.

  • Export Your Keep Data Using Takeout
    • .

  • Share Your Keep Notes to Another Account

One thing that differs from the instructions under the "Tidying Up a Bit" section of this article, it doesn't give you the option to select "Remove Myself" when you multi-select the shared notes and click the three dots in the top right. You just need to click "Delete Notes."

 

Other Google Services

  • Go to your while logged in to your student account, and click "Data from Apps and Services You Use" to see which services are being used.
  • If you wish to preserve any data associated with those services, you can use  to download most, if not all, of it. Google does not necessarily offer a method to import this data into the service associated with a personal Google account. You will need to connect directly with to determine what your options are.

If you are unable to find your answer on this page, contact the IT Service Desk support team at 479-788-7460 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.