UF Exchange Migration to Outlook Online

UFIT is shutting down UF Exchange on premise email system. All email accounts will be moved to Microsoft 365 (aka Gatormail/Office 365/Outlook Online) which is Microsoft’s cloud based email system similar to Gmail. Students have been using Gatormail for the past two years and UF leadership decided it is now time to move everyone else. Faculty, staff and student accounts will be moved on July 28th.  This move should be seamless because we will continue to use a Microsoft email service – just a much better one in the cloud.  

How will the migration proceed:

UF IT will sync your UF Exchange email account with your corresponding Gatormail account, when the sync is complete – usually by the migration deadline of July 28th, UFIT will “flip the switch” and you will then be required to login to your Gatormail account to continue using email. From the experiences of other departments in CLAS who are now using Gatormail, the move was generally seamless. If something goes terribly wrong with your account during the move, UFIT will revert to UF Exchange until a solution for a successful move can be determined. You will not lose any emails in this process. 

Here are a few FAQs about the migration process:https://www.mail.ufl.edu/migration/faqs/

How to check your email after the move:

Gatormail (aka Outlook Online)

Everyone will be able to access their Gatormail online using any common browser like Chrome, Firefox, Chromium, and Safari. Use the GATORMAIL link on mail.ufl.edu to check emails after the move. If you try logging into UF Exchange after your email account was migrated to Gatormail, you will get an error which should also provide the correct link to GATORMAIL. The Gatormail URL is https://outlook.com/ufl.eduSimply sign in using “Gatorlink ID”@ufl.edu. “Gatorlink ID@ufl.edu” is your one and only real email. Your @chem.ufl.edu email address is an alias of your one and only real UF email therefore, only login with “Gatorlink ID”@ufl.edu. Your @Chem.ufl.edu alias to your one and only real UF email account will be recognized by senders and receivers.  The move to GATORMAIL will also retain your mailbox rules. GATORMAIL is a significant improvement in function and experience compared to UF Exchange. For example, automatic saving finally works, no more disappearing draft emails – Wow! For the record, I’ve been using UF Exchange Online (OWA) for at least 4 years now and this is as close to Gmail as Microsoft has ever come – minus the Gmail labels, search, etc…you get the idea 😩. 

Desktop/Laptop Clients

What are your best options?

For Windows: Outlook 2016 and above.

For Macs: Outlook 2016 for Mac (preferred), MacMail and, all other clients at your own risk.

For Linux: GATORMAIL, or other IMAP email clients like Thunderbird. CrossOver (running Microsoft Office) and, all other clients at your own risk.

UF is a Microsoft Shop therefore using Microsoft products will provide consistent and familiar experience across their Office products regardless of the operating system (OS) being used. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Most of you with Windoze computers should be using Outlook 2016 or later by now. Here is how to check your version: https://bit.ly/2YcBEsa. If you are not using Outlook 2016 or later, please upgrade to the latest version of Outlook. The IT Shop has been using Office 2016 (or later) in our standard build for all Windows 10 computers so if you have a managed computer from us you should be set.  You can download the latest version of Office to any of your devices (limit 5) by logging into office.com with your “Gatorlink ID”@ufl.edu, next select Work/School Account, then login using the familiar Gatorlink authentication page. You will be directed to the Microsoft Office 365 portal which gives you access to all Microsoft products you are licensed to use. Click the “Install Office” link at the top right and that will download and install Office with little interaction from you after you run the downloaded file. Feel free to explore the other products using the “All Apps link” while you are there. You may be pleasantly surprised. 

For Macs ditto on the process above, here is how Microsoft say you should do it: https://bit.ly/2N8LZyZ 

The Mac OS versions required to use Gatormail are below. If you don’t want to use Outlook, your next best option is the online version, GATORMAIL

MacOS 10.14: Mojave- 2018.

MacOS 10.13: High Sierra- 2017.

MacOS 10.12: Sierra- 2016.

OS X 10.11: El Capitan- 2015.

OS X 10.10: Yosemite-2014.

To configure MacMail for Gatormail, the UF Helpdesk steps are here: https://helpdesk.ufl.edu/o365-email-configuration/. While IMAP clients will still work with Gatormail, Microsoft and UF will eventually turn it off therefore, consider IMAP on life support – as it has been for the past few years. We should get a heads up when the proverbial plug is pulled but we don’t know when that will happen. 

For Linux users, I must admit you’re still being treated like a problem child by Microsoft and I wish it were not so. The UFIT recommendation is to use GATORMAIL via a web browser – which really isn’t as bad as it sounds. However, installing (https://mzl.la/30Phgzb) and configuring (https://helpdesk.ufl.edu/o365-email-configuration/) Thunderbird gives you a more traditional software application option. You could also run Office natively using CrossOver ($59.99) https://www.codeweavers.com/products. Crossover works on Mac/Linux/ChromeOS. We have not tested CrossOver but it seems to be a popular option for running Microsoft apps without the typical virtual machine overhead or OS dual boot configurations.

Mobile Clients

For Android and IOS – your options are again, the Outlook App from Play or App Store. The configuration steps are here: https://helpdesk.ufl.edu/o365-email-configuration/ Configuration steps for for the IOS Mail App are also here – https://helpdesk.ufl.edu/ios-mail-app-setup/

You will be required to logout and delete the existing UF email account from your mobile device before setting up the Outlook app. Your mail is being synced to your mobile device therefore you will not lose emails. Proceed by downloading the latest version of Outlook available from your respective device app store. If you are already using the latest app, then you will need to logout and log back into the app to complete the setup.

There are known issues documented here: https://it.clas.ufl.edu/kb/migration-to-o365-known-issues/ 

Please email the IT Shop at support@chem.ufl.edu if there are questions/concerns not addressed in this email or not found from the UFIT links provided.