Frequently Asked Questions

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The reply-to field is set when an account is created or updated, and the default setting is what we call the formal alias ( to ensure that we have consistency in our email addresses for staff and faculty and to protect user names from getting out into the public domain. Unfortunately, there's no way to override this; any change you make cannot be stored as a new default for this field.

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This situation can arise when there are a large number of people using one email system, as is the case at HSU, where staff, students, and faculty all have addresses. It's obviously something that needs to be avoided, as email may contain confidential information.

When you start typing a name into the To: field in GMail, the system offers up a list of choices; that choice gets smaller as you enter more letters of your addressee's name. You'll also see that different versions of email addresses appear in <> after the person's "plain text" name. If you see two different variations of the "initials+number" name format after identical plain text names, that's a good indication that there are two people of the same name in the HSU mailing list. Staff and faculty, but not students, are automatically provided with a formal email alias in the format, which can often help to distinguish them.

The most reliable way to make sure your mail goes to the correct individual is to check their initials+number in the HSU Staff & Faculty Online Directory. Enter your intended recipient's name in the search box and a list will be displayed of all current staff and faculty members with that name, along with their email address, telephone number, department, location, and title. Use this email address to identify your target recipient in GMail. If a duplicate name doesn't show up here, that means the duplicate name displayed by GMail belongs to a student.

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When you send an email to yourself at one of your aliases (ex., you may have noticed that it doesn't show up in your inbox. You probably also worry that other people are sending you mail and you aren't receiving it.  Well, things aren't as bad as they seem!

Google has designed their system so that messages YOU send (or cc) to one of your aliases will only show up in your Sent folder. Don't worry though! This does not affect when OTHER people send to your aliases.

There are a couple of ways to get around this. Pick whichever works for you:

  1. If you need to send yourself an email, send it to either your or your address. Those ones will come through.
  2. If you really want to use one of your other aliases, you can, you just need to set it up as a custom "From" address first. 
    1. Sign in to your Google Apps email.
    2. Click the gear icon in the upper-right and select Gmail settings, and select the Accounts tab.
    3. Under Send mail as, click Add another email address.
    4. In the Email address field, enter your name and alternate email address (e.g.
    5. Click Next Step >> and then click Send Verification. Gmail will send a verification message to your other email address to confirm that you own it.
    6. (Locate the message from Gmail. Open it and and either click the link contained in the message or enter the confirmation code in the Accounts section of your Google Apps email settings.
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Unfortunately, this is just a result of how Google handles mail. If you originate a message, Google won't deliver you an additional copy whether you are cc'd, on the mailing list you sent to, etc. This is Google's way of trying to keep you from getting duplicate messages.

You do have a copy in your sent folder, and you can add additional labels to that message so that it shows as being filed in the correct place.

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  1.  Log into your Gmail account through myHumboldt
  2.  Click Settings at the top of the page.
  3.  Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  4.  Click Remove Address next to the Forwarding Address.
  5.  Click OK on the Message from webpage dialog box.
  6.  Click Save Changes.
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Google Apps uses "cookies" to indicate that you are logged in. Occasionally, clicking on "logout" does not successfully delete the "cookie" that indicates that you are logged in, and returning to the Google Apps page restores your previous session. To solve this problem, click Logout, close all browser windows, and restart your browser.

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Follow Google's instructions to have an auto-reply sent to any messages you receive:

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Yes, but it's a little tricky at first.

The easiest way is to use a different browser for each account (e.g., Firefox and Internet Explorer), but that's not always possible.

Here's how to configure your account so it will work for you:

  1. In your Humboldt account, click Settings
  2. Click the Accounts tab
  3. Click Google Account Settings (in the last section, titled Change account settings)
  4. Where it says "Multiple Sign-in", click Edit
  5. Turn it on and check the box next to each line to confirm you understand the implications
  6. Click Save
  7. Sign out of HSU email & close your  browser
  8. Open your browser and log back in to HSU email
  9. Click pull-down arrow next to your email address (in the top right-hand corner), and select Sign in to another account
  10. Log in to your personal account
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Google Apps Labels are similar to folders you may have used in other mail systems. The biggest difference is that you can have a message with multiple labels rather than being forced into only one folder. 

Learn how to use Labels

Turn on the Nested Labels Lab, which makes everything a WHOLE lot better!

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You can access Gmail and Google Apps through myHumboldt. There are a few situations that may cause this problem. 

If you have just changed your HSU password and you're ending up on the bare Google Apps login page rather than the myHumboldt login page, you may be able to fix this by simply restarting your browser. If that doesn't resolve the issue, your best option is to clear your browser cache and cookies, enabling the whole process to make a clean start.

If you're seeing one of the below error messages, follow the advice given to resolve your issue:

  1. "Authentication Failed" - This is usually caused by entering your HSU User Name and/or password incorrectly.  Double-check that you are using the correct login and try again. Try logging into myHumboldt to see if your password works there. If that works, but you still see this error, call or email the Technology Help Desk ( or (707) 826-4357)
  2. "Invalid IdP URL" (shows a picture of the dragon-like creature, technically a griffin) - This error typically appears if you have the login page bookmarked. You should update/edit your bookmark to point to If you are using IE 8 and the right bookmark, you may need to reset your browser settings: Click Tools -> Internet Options -> Advanced. Click Reset. Do NOT check Delete Personal Settings. Click Reset. Close Browser
  3. "Invalid Email" - This error happens because you don't have an email account on Google Apps. If you no longer qualify for an account, this may not be in error. If you believe that you should have an email account, contact the Technology Help Desk ( or (707) 826-4357)
  4. "Message did not meet security requirements" - (or Cookies must be allowed). This happens for one of two reasons.
    1. If you are using Safari on a Mac, this is typically caused by an expired certificate in your KeyChain. To get to your KeyChain, go to GoUtilities > KeyChain Access. Click the login keychain on the left-hand side and look for any certificates with a red X. Click on the expired certificate and press the delete button on your keyboard.
    2. If you aren't a Safari/Mac user, check your clock time. If it does not match the server time, you'll receive this error. Correct your clock time. 
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Click on the new window icon located on the top right of the screen. It will open a new window for you, allowing you to see your email messages.

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Messages remain in the Trash for 30 days. After that, Google Mail permanently deletes them.

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Messages remain in your archive forever, unless you choose to delete them.

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If you either delete or archive a message, it’s removed from your inbox. If you delete a message, it’s placed in the Trash and then permanently removed from your Google Apps account after 30 days. On the other hand, if you archive a message, it’s moved to All Mail (your archive), where you can easily find it in the future, using Google’s search functionality.

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Yes - to help prevent viruses, Gmail won’t accept file attachments that are executable files. There’s also a 25MB size limitation for attachments. Please note that you may not be able to send larger attachments to contacts that use other email services with smaller attachment limits.

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Yes!  Google Apps Sync for Outlook allows you to continue using Outlook to access your mail and calendar. First go to to download and install Google AppSync for Outlook, then refer to the instructions on Google or work with your ITC to get the synchronization up and running.