Email Overview

Google Apps for Education (GAE)

Williams College uses gmail as its email provider

Email Addresses

Williams provides emails addresses in the format:
username@williams.edu and First.M.Last@williams.edu

The Login ID for email is the combined username + @williams.edu    (this directs the Google server to the Williams College domain)

All  user names created since 2007 are in the format: initials + sequence number

For example, email sent to Ephraim.A.Williams@williams.edu and to eaw1@williams.edu go to the same account.

STUDENTS:  Note that once you graduate you can have the fml1@williams.edu address forwarded to an email address that you have set up apart from Williams.  The first.m.last@williams.edu address will not be forwarded and will stop working.

Selecting and configuring an Email Program

Accessing your Williams email using a browser provides the most comprehensive approach since the full integration of not only gmail but Google Drive, Google Calendar and more is available.  Although Google Chrome may be the best choice any browser will work (examples: Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.)

Should I choose POP or IMAP?

IMAP is recommended. One distinct advantage is that IMAP mail resides up on the gmail servers, not your computer, and it gets backed up automatically.  All of the messages stay on the mail server unless you trash them (after 30 days any message that has been trashed is deleted permanently).  All of your Inbox contents and IMAP folders can be viewed on multiple computers (your home and office computer for example).

POP is an older protocol that moves your email from the server to your desktop computer. When you start an email client in POP mode, all the mail in your inbox is transferred to your desktop computer. The mail then only exists on your computer. If absolutely necessary you can use POP with a “Leave mail on server” option. If you do, be sure to select “delete from server when emptied from trash” and “delete after x days” where x is less than 30.

Setting Up Your Email Program

Google Mail requires no setup:  http://email.williams.edu and/or http://gmail.com

Local email clients (Outlook, Mac OSX Mail, etc.) must be configured for your account and your mail server. The data you need is:

  • Account Login: your username@williams.edu , (e.g. jsmith@williams.edu or abc1@williams.edu)
  • Email address: username@williams.edu
  • Incoming Mail Server: imap.gmail.com
  • SMTP server (Outgoing Mail): smtp.gmail.com

Set both your incoming and outgoing mail servers to use a secure connection/communication of the SSL type. You must set your outgoing mail to use authentication. See below for directions.

Outgoing Mail Authentication:

  • Outlook
    File tab | Info |  Account Settings | Select your account |  click “Change” button | click on “More Settings” | Outgoing Server tab | “Use same settings as my Incoming Server”
  • Mac OSX Mail
    Mail | Preferences | Account Information | Outgoing Mail Server Options button | select “Password” in the Authentication drop down menu, then add your username and password

Security settings to encrypt your email:

  • Outlook
    File tab | Info |Account Settings | Change | More Settings | Advanced tab | Incoming is SSL (port 993), Outgoing is SSL (port 465)
  •  Mac OSX Mail
    Preferences | Account Information | Under Outgoing Mail, select Server Settings| click “Advanced” button | Check “Use Secure Sockets Layer”  Check “SSL” at the bottom, select “Custom Port and enter: 465 into the field.
  • Thunderbird
    Tools | Account Settings | Outgoing Server section | Edit | Check the button for TLS (not SSL) under Use Secure Connection | Click OK | Server Settings | Check the button for SSL for both outgoing (port 465) and incoming (port 993)

Setting Up Automatic Replies (Absence Mail and Auto-reply)

  • Open Gmail.
  • In the top-right, click the gear Settings.
  • Select Settings.
  • Scroll down to the Vacation responder section (stay in the “General” tab).
  • Select Vacation responder on.
  • Fill in the date range, subject, and message.
  • You can limit who can see your vacation response:
  • Check the box next to Only send a response to people in my Contacts if you don’t want everyone who emails you to know that you’re away from your mail.
  • If you use Google Apps, you’ll also see an option to only send a response to people in your domain. If you check both of these boxes, only people who are in your contacts and your domain will receive the automatic response.
  • Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

More information may be found at Google’s HelpPage