LionMail FAQ

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Q: How will my mail be moved to LionMail?
A: Your mail will be copied automatically and securely from Cubmail to LionMail. Nobody will read the contents of your mail.

Q: Will all email accounts at Columbia University move to LionMail?
A: Currently, not all email accounts are scheduled to LionMail. People who have an affiliation with the Columbia University Medical Center or the Mailman School of Public Health should make arrangements to use the CUMC Exchange server. Call 212-305-help for more information.

Q: I’d like to be moved to LionMail now. Can I schedule this, or move myself?
A: No. The migration process is determined by CUIT and the deans of individual schools. 

Q: What about graduate students, faculty, and staff?
A: Now that we have completed the migration of undergraduates, several graduate schools have already begun migrating their students, faculty and staff to LionMail. In late 2012, master's candidates in SEAS, as well as graduate students in the School of the Arts and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation began using LionMail. Faculty and staff in GSAPP and staff in the Office of Alumni and Development also moved to LionMail. In January 2013, graduate students from Continuing Education, the GSAS and the School of Journalism, along with adjunct faculty from Continuing Education and staff from the SoA also began using LionMail. In April, all Law School students migrated to LionMail.

Q: If I already forward my Columbia mail to Gmail, do I need to migrate?
A: Yes. LionMail is powered by Google but has enhanced privacy features and a larger inbox. We ask that LionMail account-holders discontinue forwarding. 

Q: I already have an ordinary Gmail or Google account. Why should I use LionMail?
A: LionMail provides advantages over ordinary Google accounts including improved security and support from CUIT. Check out this table to see a comparison of LionMail and Gmail.

Q: Once I am on LionMail, will I still be able to use my Columbia email address as the alternate email address for my personal Gmail account?
A: No, you will not be able to use your Columbia address as the alternate email address for your personal Gmail account. However, you will still be able to use your Columbia address as your password recovery email address.

Q: Which Google Apps services will be available through LionMail?
A: Mail, Calendar and Drive are available. Learn more about other apps available through LionMail.

Q: When will we have access to Google Docs?
A: Google Docs is available. 

Q: Will there be any ads or other commercial links displayed in LionMail?
A: No.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of simultaneous connections I can have to LionMail?
A: Yes. The limit is 10 simultaneous connections. This limit comes into play if you use more than one device (computers, smartphones, other mobile devices) to connect to LionMail at the same time.

Q: Will I use my UNI and password to log in to LionMail?
A: You will use your UNI and password to log in to the web interface to access mail and calendar. If you use a mobile device or an email client such as Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail, you will use a different device password.

Q: What is a “lab”?
A: Labs are experimental features that Google has not yet incorporated into the basic applications. There are labs for both mail and calendar, and you can turn individual labs on to try them out. Google says that because they are experimental, they can change, break or disappear at any time.
You can enable individual labs in LionMail and Calendar by going to Settings and selecting Labs.
Q: What is a "conflicting account," and what do I need to do if I have one?
A: It's a personal Google Apps account that was created and associated with an email address. Read about conflicting accounts.


Q: Will my email address change?
A: Your email address,, will remain the same. If you currently use a self-selected email address, that will continue to work as well.

Q: I already have a Gmail account. Can I use my current Gmail ID and password to log in to LionMail?
A: No. Your LionMail account will be completely separate from any personal Gmail account you may have.

Q: Are there size limits on mailboxes and messages?
A: Yes. Mailbox sizes are unlimited and single messages are limited to 25MB.

Q: How do I filter messages in LionMail?
A: LionMail includes a powerful set of sorting rules.

Q: How do I create a signature in LionMail?
A: Setting up a custom signature is easy.

Q: How does LionMail handle spam?
A: Spam-blocking will still be handled at Columbia, so you will continue to enjoy the excellent service you receive now. If you think you should have received a message and haven’t, check your spam folder. When you read a non-spam message that is labeled as spam, please click on Not Spam to help teach LionMail what is not spam.

Q. How do I send an incoming message directly to a label without the message arriving in my inbox?
A. You can create a filter that applies a label while also selecting the option Skip the Inbox (Archive it). 

Q: Can I continue to use the same email program I use now?
A: Yes, but you should give the LionMail web interface a chance; it’s much more advanced than CubMail. But if you prefer, you can use an email client such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail or Outlook. For these, you will need to obtain a device password and set up a new account in your client to access LionMail.

Q: Can I access my LionMail from my mobile device/smartphone?
A: Yes, but you will need to follow special instructions to set up your device.
Q: Can I log in to LionMail from the Google Sign in Page?
A: Yes. Enter your in the username field and leave the password blank. Click the blue Sign in button and you will be redirected to the LionMail Sign in Page. Then, enter your UNI and password to log into your LionMail account.
Q: If I accidentally delete a message, can it be recovered? What is the procedure?
A: You can see your deleted messages by selecting the label/folder named Trash. (You may need to click All at the bottom of your label list in order to see the Trash label.) Open the message you want to recover, and click the small “x” next to the Trash label. (If you hover over the “x,” you will see “Remove label Trash from this conversation.”) Messages will remain in the Trash for 30 days and then will be expunged automatically. Once a message is expunged, it cannot be recovered.
Q: If I send a message to myself, it does not appear in my inbox. How do I fix this?
A: You can create a filter that will allow you to see such messages in your inbox. First, conduct a search using the following format: AND ( OR OR
Replace with your email address and conduct the search. Click on the down arrow next to the search box and at the bottom of the menu select Create a filter with this search. From the next menu, click on the checkbox next to Never send it to Spam. Click Create filter to finish the process.
Q: Why do I sometimes see messages in LionMail that have different time and date stamps in the email headers?

A: If you forward an email from another email system to LionMail, the time and date stamp of the moment you forwarded the message to LionMail will appear. If the email message was moved by CUIT to LionMail on a scheduled migration date, the original time and date should appear in the email headers. You can also click and drag an email from another email system to LionMail using an imap client such as Thunderbird. If you are an Outlook user, you can add a sent date column to sort emails by their sent dates: right-click on one of the columns and select View Settings. Click on Columns. On the window that pops up, select Sent under Available columns then click Add. Click OK.

Q: How can I use the chat feature in LionMail?
A: In the LionMail web interface the chat area is located in the lower left hand corner of the screen. Click on an existing contact or enter a contact in the chat search box to start your conversation. It’s that easy!


Q: Why am I unable to find messages that I send?

A: You may be clicking on the Archive button on the lower left side of the compose box. To disable that button, click on the Gear the upper right corner of your LionMail screen and choose Settings. In the General tab, select the radio button for Hide Send Archive Button in. Scroll down and click Save Changes.


Q: Will people be able to schedule meetings and share calendars once LionMail is implemented?
A: Yes.

Q: Can I import my CourseWorks class schedule into LionMail Calendar?
A: Yes. See the step-by-step instructions in the Help section.

Q: As a LionMail user, I received a “New Time Proposed” response from an Outlook user. When I used Outlook in the past, I was able to accept the new time and reschedule with a single click, but I'm not sure how to do that on LionMail. 
A: Unfortunately, LionMail doesn’t have a way to automate this process. As the owner of the event, you can use the LionMail Calendar to reschedule if the proposed time works.

Q: I added a vacation day as an all-day event on my LionMail calendar, but people say they didn't see lit isted as such even though my calendar is shared with them. Why not?
A: Anytime you create an all-day event, such as a vacation day, in your calendar, you must modify the "show me as" option to "busy" rather than "available" which enables anyone who shares your calendar to see it.



Q: I have a lot of duplicate contacts. Is there a way to consolidate them?
A: If you have duplicate contacts, there are two ways to consolidate them:
1. Merge Your Contacts Manually
 To merge two or more contacts manually:
  • Select the contacts you'd like to merge from your Contacts List.
  • Click the “More” drop-down menu and select “Merge contacts.”
  • Make any edits if there are any changes you’d like to make.
  • Click “Save” at the top of the page.
2. Automatically Find and Merge Your Contacts
The system can find and merge your contacts automatically, as well as duplicate data within contacts. To find and fix all of your duplicate contacts at once:
  • Open Contacts.
  • Click the “More” drop-down menu and select “Find and merge duplicates.”
  • The names of all contacts with duplicate data will be displayed. If an entry has only one contact, then the contact itself has duplicate data (e.g., repeated phone numbers, emails, etc.). If an entry has two or more contacts, be sure to check whether these are duplicate contacts and not different contacts with similar names. To expand each contact, click on the details next to each one and uncheck any contacts that you don't want to fix.
  • When you're ready, click “Merge” at the top of the list.
 If you would like to undo any of the changes you've made, click the “More” drop-down menu and select “Restore contacts.”

Data Security and Privacy

Q: How secure is data on Google servers? Will Google safeguard the privacy of our email and data?
A: The contract between Columbia and Google ensures that the security of data will be at least as good as it is today. Columbia, not Google, owns all of the data that passes through LionMail accounts.

Q: How do we manage users who have non-disclosure (e.g. FERPA) restrictions?
A: Columbia will maintain current standards and policies.

Q: Will Google use my personal data for commercial gain, or share it with third parties?
A: Unlike with personal Gmail accounts, Google can use your personal data only to make your experience better (e.g., to suggest related recipients when you send an email).  The following link contains Google's official statement about Google Apps for Education customers,

Q: Where will the servers that store my email be located?
A: All LionMail data will be stored on servers in the United States.
Q. Why do I need to agree to the standard Google terms of service when I first log in to my LionMail account?
A. The core LionMail services (Mail, Calendar and Contacts) are all covered by the contract between Columbia and Google. The additional terms of service will affect services that may be available for your LionMail account at a later date. These services would be available while logged in to your LionMail account but would be governed by the normal consumer terms of service.


Q: Will the LionMail system pose any problems to students with disabilities?
A: We do not anticipate any problems for students with disabilities. The infrastructures behind LionMail and LionMail Calendar are fully compatible with client software such as Outlook, Thunderbird and Apple Mail; these clients can in turn be used with common screen-reader software. We therefore expect the transition to LionMail and LionMail Calendar to be smooth for students with disabilities.