University Email & Active Directory

Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty/Staff      

General Email | Migration News | Exchange 2010 | Exchange 2003

General Email

What is the University Email System?

The University E-mail System is designed to offer all USC faculty and staff email service and includes an easy-to-use web interface. The email system is Microsoft Exchange 2010.

What email clients will be supported?

The University Email System supports web based access via Outlook Web Access; most users with Windows workstations will choose to run the Outlook Client. The Outlook client will be configured to run RPC over HTTPS. Most Macintosh users will choose to run the Entourage client.  Entourage can be configured securely as a webDAV client.

How will I access the University Email System via the Web?

The URL for web based access is:

How do I connect a secure IMAP client to the University Email System?

What is my email addressin the University Email System?

The default email address is Some departments / colleges may have an additional email address based on their email domain name.

What are my University Email account limits?

  • Your mailbox can store up to 5 GB of data
  • Individual messages must be less than 32 MB.
  • System backups are maintained for the sake of disaster recovery; University Technology Services will not be responsible for restoring email messages.

How will I know if I have exceeded my space limit?

You will receive a message from the system that your mailbox has exceeded the size limit. You will continue to receive messages but will not be able to send until you free up space by deleting some messages.

Can I extend the size of my USC Mailbox? Will there be a fee?

You cannot get youro mailbox size increased. With a 5 GB mailbox, you should not need to increase the size. With proper mailbox management, 5 GB should be sufficient.

How do I forward my University Email from Outlook Web Access to another email account?

Is virus scanning enabled?

Yes. The University Email system is running Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange to scan all incoming and outgoing emails; this scan will block known viruses from your email messages.

NOTE: Email virus scanning does not replace the need for you to run virus protection software on your workstations, but supplements that protection. BE SURE your machine is fully patched and has up-to-date virus protection.

What things does the anti-virus system block?

The first thing it filters out, of course, are known viruses!
The anti-virus filter will not allow attachments with the following file extensions .386, .AD?, .APP, .ASP, .ASX, .BAS, .BAT, .BIN, .CEO, .CHM, .CMD, .CNF, .CPL, .CRT, .CSH, .DLL, .DOT, .EML, .EXE, .FXP, .HIV, .HLP, .HTA, .HTT, .INF, .INS, .ISP, .JS?, .JTD, .KSH, .LNK, .MAD, .MAF, .MAG, .MAM, .MAQ, .MAR, .MAS, .MAT, .MAV, .MAW, .MDA, .MDB, .MDE, .MDT, .MDW, .MDZ, .MHTML, .MSC, .MSI, .MSP, .MST, .OCX, .OFT, .OPS, .OVL, .PCD, .PIF, .PL, .PLX, .PPA, .PRF, .REG, .SCF, .SCR, .SCT, .SH?, .SYS, .TLB, .URL, .VB?, .VSD, .VSS, .VST, .VSW, .VXD, .WS?, .XNK

What is my USC Network Username and Password?

To determine your USC Network Username and set a password, if you do not know these values, or if you have forgotten your password or your password has expired (passwords expire at least every six months for your security), follow these steps:

  1. Login to VIP (
    (Forget your PIN ? Students should contact the Registrar's Office; faculty/staff should contact their departmental Human Resources representative)
  2. Select the "Technology" Link
  3. Select "Show Me Network Username"
  4. Your USC Network Username will be displayed and you will be prompted to choose a password. You will be asked to type it twice for verification. Your password must be a “strong” password. Rules on legal passwords will be displayed.
  5. Click on the "SET PASSWORD" button to set your password to what you have specified.
PLEASE NOTE that setting your password through VIP will change your password for all participating systems, including access to many departmental networks and labs on campus, as well as the Blackboard system.

If you are locked out of the University E-mail System because of multiple attempts to login with an incorrect password (this is a security feature), just log back into VIP and reset your password.

Please be aware that access to your University E-mail account will be revoked 1 year after your last semester at USC if you are an undergraduate; access will be revoked 2 years after your last semester at USC if you are a graduate student.

What is a strong password?

Your network password must be at least 8 characters in length. Your network password may not include any part of your name or username. Your USC network password must contain at least 3 of any of the following:

Numerical symbols
Special Characters
Upper Case Letters
Lower Case Letters

Please avoid passwords that contain:

  • Words found in a dictionary (English or other)
  • Names of family, pets, friends, co-workers, fantasy characters, etc.
  • Computer terms and names, commands, sites, companies, hardware, software.
  • Organization or department names or building locations.
  • Birthdays and other personal information such as addresses and phone numbers.
  • Word or number patterns like aaabbb, abc123, qwerty, zyxwvuts, 123321, etc.
  • Any of the above spelled backwards.
  • Any of the above preceded or followed by a digit (e.g., secret1, 1secret).
Passwords should never be written down or stored on-line. Try to create passwords that can be easily remembered. One way to do this is to create a password based on a song title, affirmation, or other phrase. For example, the phrase might be: "I love the Gamecocks because we are the best!" and the password could be: "I<3tGCbWrtb!" or "1LTgcbC0ZwRTB~" or some other variation.
NOTE: Do not use either of these examples as passwords!

How often do I have to change my password?

You will be required to change your password at least every 180 days.

What is Outlook Cached Mode?

Running Outlook in Cached mode is the recommended way to configure Outlook.  The performance increase out ways any disadvantages to running Outlook in On-Line mode.
Outlook configured in caching mode maintains a local copy of the entire mailbox which can be accessed offline.  In caching mode, Outlook does not maintain a constant connection to the Exchange server; instead, it connects on a polled basis.  
When enabling cached mode, please note these important changes:

    1. When you enable Cached mode for the first time, it will take several minutes to download your e-mail to your local machine to populate the cached copy.
    2. Cached mode will enable the Junk E-mail Handling Options.  To see these, go to Tools, Options, and then Junk E-mail.
    3. In cached mode, the address book is synchronized with the online address book once each morning.  A manual sync can be performed by selecting Tools, Send/Receive, and then Download Address Book.

The key advantages of using caching mode are as follows.

    1. Outlook can be used in offline mode; users can respond to e-mails although the computer may not be connected to the network.  When the computer re-connects to the network, Outlook will send any messages that were created
    2. Performance is improved.  Users who configure multiple shared folders or calendars with Outlook in non-caching mode often experience delays in connection when switching among folders or calendars.   When Outlook is configured in caching mode, users do not perceive these delays as a constant connection to the server is not maintained. 

The key disadvantages of using caching mode are as follows.

  1. An entire copy of the mailbox is stored on the local computer.   Anyone who has access to the computer and can login locally can view the contents of the mailbox without having to login to Exchange.  In addition, the copy is not encrypted by default.  The risk of maintaining a local copy of the mailbox can be mitigated by encrypting the hard drive or file system of the workstation.
  2. Outlook must re-synchronize each time it is connected to the network.  New messages may take a minute or two to download to Outlook once it has started up after a prolonged disconnect from the network.

I prefer to use my middle name or a nickname, but the Exchange Address Book displays my actual first name.  How can I correct this?

The Exchange address book displays your name exactly as it appears in the HR or the student system.  If you prefer that the address book display your middle name or a nickname, please go to VIP ( ) and update your directory data, found under the Personal functions menu.  Once you’ve logged into VIP, the steps are as follows:

  • Select Personal from the left-hand menu.
  • Select Online Directory Data and Alias.
  • Select Update Form.
  • In the box labeled ‘Preferred Name,’ enter the name you wish to display rather than your first name in the address book.  Do not include your last name.
  • Select Update.

Please note that this update does not take effect immediately.  The updates for address book data are run each night; the Exchange global address book should display your preferred name  by the next day.

I am a faculty or staff member; yet the Exchange Address Book displays my personal phone number.  How can I correct this?

If you are currently registered as a student or have been registered as a student within the last year, your email account reflects your student status; thus, the phone number displayed is the phone number you submitted when you registered.  If you would like for your office telephone number to be displayed, please go to VIP ( ) and update your student information with your office telephone number. 

I wish to send an email to a person whose name appears multiple times in the Address Book; how can I make sure I’m sending my message to the correct person?

As the Exchange address book contains entries for students, faculty, and staff, it is not uncommon to find multiple people with the same name.  To ensure that you are emailing the correct person,  double-click on the name you have selected to view the complete properties.  Address book entries for students only contain their name and phone number while the entries for faculty and staff members should display department name and  office location as well.   You can also check the actual email address to verify that you have selected the correct recipient.

Outlook auto completes addresses as soon as I begin typing.  I sent an email using one of these addresses, but I received a bounce message.

Outlook remembers the email addresses to which you have sent messages; however, the system has no means of detecting whether an email address is no longer valid.   For example, as many departments within USC are still migrating from Exchange, you may have emailed a colleague recently, using an address book entry that is both upper and lower case.  Let’s assume that colleague has now migrated to Exchange since your last message. 

If you attempt to send a message, using the auto completed upper lower case address which is no longer in the global address book, you will receive an undeliverable message reply from the system, typically known as a ‘bounce.’  Delete that address from your auto completion list by highlighting it and pressing delete, and search for the recipient’s name in the Exchange global address list to obtain the correct, updated email address.

How do I delete an incorrect auto completion address?

When you begin to type the person’s name or address, the auto completion list will display.  Scroll down to the incorrect entry using the up and down arrows.  Once the address is highlighted, simply press the delete key.

Why is my name not in the Exchange global address book?

You may be a student who has elected, under FERPA regulations, to maintain your directory information as private.  If you would like to change this status, please contact the Office of the Registrar.   If you are a faculty / staff member who wishes to be listed in the Global Address List (GAL), please contact the UTS Helpdesk (803-777-1800, to be added to the GAL.

Is spam management enabled?

Yes. The University Email System is running the SonicWall anti-spam appliance to screen incoming emails. Any message detected as likely spam is quarantined. You will receive a daily summary in your inbox that you have spam. The message will provide you a link to the quarantine. You should periodically check your quarantined messages to ensure that nothing was tagged as spam that you would prefer to receive. You can configure your preferences for tagging spam and for receiving notifications.

Is all spam quarantined?

No, messages that are recognized as “known” spam are, by default, deleted by the spam management system. You can change this setting via the Spam Management option on the Settings menu in the SonicWall spam management system.

How do I configure my spam management preferences?

The complete User Guide for the SonicWall spam management system can be found here.

How do I access my spam messages?

When SonicWall has quarantined one or more spam message(s), you will receive a message in your inbox with the following subject “Summary of junked e-mails blocked” with instructions on how to view just that message or the contents of your junk box within SonicWall.

Please note that you may have a “Junk E-mail” folder within your mailbox by default; it should be empty as all of your messages that are classified as likely spam are quarantined by the SonicWall spam management system.

Why do email messages from other people within the University get trapped in my junk mail?

Typically, internal email should not ever be trapped by a spam management filter as these only apply to email that is sent by external senders; however, not everyone at USC is using the University email system yet.  Thus, their mail is sent from systems external to the University Email system and are, therefore, subject to filtering for spam.   Once every department has migrated to the University Email system, this problem should no longer occur.

I still receive spam marked with “{SpamScore: ssss…} “in the subject line; why is this occurring and what can I do to correct this?

The reason that you may still be receiving messages in your inbox with “{SpamScore: ssss…}” in the subject line is that these messages are addressed to your alias. These messages are filtered by the spam management system which cannot quarantine the spam but simply adds the string  “{SpamScore:  ssss…}” to the subject line.  

One way to deal with these messages is to configure a rule within your e-mail client, such as Outlook or Outlook Web Access, to move these messages to a junk folder that you check periodically.

Can I connect my Blackberry to the University Email system?

Yes. The University has a Blackberry Enterprise Server. Please contact the UTS Help Desk at (803) 777-1800 to get pricing and procedures for connecting your Blackberry.

Can I connect my Droid to the University Email system?

After migration from Exchange 2003, you may have to reconfigure (delete and add) your account on your Droid.  If you get asked about accepting an Active Sync Policy, it is OK to accept that.  Make sure your device has been updated to the latest version of the operating software.
All Droids are not currently supported.  In testing, not all models work with Exchange 2010 Active Sync. Some users have had success connecting their Droid by installing the "Exchange by Touchdown" application ).  Your Droid may work as an imap client.

  • The HTC Eris Droid has been tested and does not work natively with Exchange 2010.
  • The Sprint HTC Hero 200 does not work naively with Exchange 2010, but does work with the Touchdown software.
  • The HTC Incredible (version 2.2) does work with Exchange 2010.
  • The Droid (version 2.2.2) does work with Exchange 2010.
  • The Droid X (Verizon) (version 2.2.1) does work with Exchange 2010.

I recently changed my password on VIP but I can’t log into my PDA account. 

What may be occurring is that If you have configured an iPhone or another PDA to synchronize with your email account, it  may be trying to login with your previous password.  Once 7 login attempts have occurred with the incorrect password, your account is locked out.  If this situation occurs then go to VIP ( and reset your password again to the new password.  Then, immediately,  update your iPhone or PDA to use the new password.   Your account should then be unlocked.

I am having difficulty configuring Outlook on my computer.

Please make sure that your name is published in the Exchange Global Address Book; your name must be visible in the address book before the Outlook configuration can complete. If you are not sure if you are in the global address list, please contact the UTS Help Desk at (803) 777-1800.

I’m encountering script errors when using Outlook Web Access?

Make sure that your internet browser allows pop-ups from Outlook Web Access; otherwise, some functions may return a script error or may default to the login screen.

I am trying to schedule a meeting with someone; when I check his availability, the system reports that no data is found.

The system can only provide availability information for users who have posted at least one appointment to their calendars.

I am unable to create a public folder.

Public folders are not supported on the University Email system; please note that attempting to create a public folder in Outlook Web Access may not report a meaningful error message, depending on the internet browser you are using.

My secure IMAP connection is being refused.

Verify that the IMAP port is set to 993 and that SSL is enabled for this connection. The correct IMAP server name is

Outlook appears to lock up when I’m trying to access a shared folder or calendar; sometimes I receive a message “Trying to connect to server.”

The performance of Outlook depends on multiple factors.  Users with large inboxes tend to experience more delays in Outlook than users with smaller inboxes.  Also, when using shared folders and shared calendars, switching between the folders and calendars can also result in delays.  One option to alleviate this issue is to configure Outlook in caching mode. 

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Migration News

What's new in Exchange 2010?

When setting up Sharing Permissions for Folders, will we still have to set up the Permissions for the Inbox and every folder below it separately?

Yes. There may be third party utilities that can make that easier, but essentially that does not change.

Where can we obtain the add-on piece for Entourage (Office 2008) for Macintosh? Will it be available for download on VIP?

Entourage can be downloaded from several locations, including It will soon be on VIP.

Will Mac users still experience the 10 minute timeout using Outlook Web Access?

The timeouts in Outlook Web Access are more a function of the Web browser being used. Right now, with Exchange 2003, only Internet Explorer is fully supported. With the move to Exchange 2010, more Web browsers, including Firefox and Safari, are supported. Therefore, Mac users should not experience the timeouts using Outlook Web Access.

What does the new Outlook Web Access look like? Does it look like the Student Live@edu email?

Yes, it looks almost exactly like the student Live@edu email.

Will we be able to create the new Exchange 2010 "Resource" account in ADUMS (Active Directory User Management System), or will that have to be done manually through a Help Desk ticket?

This is yet to be determined. It may eventually be included in ADUMS, but that may be a future enhancement. Until it can be incorporated into ADUMS, a ticket request should be submitted to the UTS Help Desk, 803-777-1800.

What do we need to do to get Exchange 2010 resource accounts set to automatically accept calendar appointments?

A ticket can be submitted to the UTS Help Desk to request a Resource account be converted from a regular Exchange 2010 mailbox account to an Exchange 2010 Resource account.

Can we get clarification on the new Exchange 2010 Resource account? Is the only difference that it can automatically accept calendar appointments?

Yes, for the most part. If you have a room resource, and don't have someone who logs into the room account and accepts calendar appointments manually, and you want the account to be able to automatically accept calendar appointments, then the resource account would need to be Converted to an Exchange "Resource" account.

Are all of the AD / Exchange accounts the same?

Today, every account in Active Directory is the same, whether it is for a real person, or for a conference room. They are all the same type of object in Active Directory. ADUMS (Active Directory User Management System) gives the ability to create non-people accounts, for things like Conference Rooms, or consultants who work at USC. With Exchange 2010, there will be a new type of Exchange account called a Resource account that will mainly be used for resources that need to automatically accept calendar appointments. It will still be based on the same type of Active Directory account.

Will Resource accounts still have to reset passwords?

Yes. All account passwords still expire every 180 days. Resource and guest accounts will still expire once a year, and need to be renewed. None of that changes with the migration to Exchange 2010.

Are there any additional or new features?

There are not very many new features with Exchange 2010, that as an end user you will notice, other than the larger mail box size. If you start using Outlook 2010, where you were using Outlook 2007, there are a few new features in Outlook. This link explains some of these new features:

Will Exchange 2010 work well for Blackberries and iPhones?


Are there any problems with migrating calendars?

A few tests have been done with calendar migrations, and no issues have been found. This migration is an Exchange to Exchange migration, so the file formats are similar.

Are you testing with archives? Are there any problems with PST files?

There has been minimal testing. A mailbox with a PST file associated with it has been migrated, and the PST file was still accessible after the mailbox was migrated. The pilot group of users will be testing this further.

Should the user be concerned with the archiving?

Automatic archiving can be set up, or manual archiving can be done. This may be a preference for the IT support staff of the specific department.

Will there be any third-party archiving solution, or will we be using the new Exchange 2010 archiving model?

The new archiving feature that is part of Exchange 2010 requires the Exchange Enterprise Client Access License (CAL). Right now, USC has the Standard Exchange CAL. If that changes, the archiving feature may be looked into.

Will the maximum message size change?

No, the maximum message size that can be sent in Exchange will stay at 32 MB. The actual limit is set to 40 MB to account for any message size expansion.

What about student email addresses? Will we see those in the Address Book, or is there a way to search for them?

No. Once everyone is fully migrated to Exchange 2010, we will look into what we can do to share the address book between the student e-mail system and the faculty/staff e-mail system. At that time, both systems will be Exchange 2010.

Will the migration be done department by department? Will the SLA customers go first?

Once the initial pilot/test group has been migrated, and we understand the extent or complexity of the migration, we will determine what the migration strategy will be. SLA customers may not necessarily be first. The network managers will help decide the migration priority for departments.

For departments that do not have an IT person, can we get assistance from UTS?

All departments under SLA (Service Level Agreement) will be fully supported for the Exchange migration.

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Exchange 2010

How do I forward my University Email from to another email account?

Please see theinstructions for forwarding email on our University Email instructions page.

How can I prevent Outlook Web Access from disconnecting me?

Outlook Web Access has two connection options, public and private. Your time out period is determined by your selection when logging on. Public will timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity. Private will timeout after 8 hours of inactivity. When using a public or shared computer in a lab or some other location where multiple people use the same computer, you should select the ‘This is a public or shared computer’ option under the Security heading displayed on the login screen for Outlook Web Access.

How can I use all of the functionality of Outlook Web Access when running Firefox as my browser?

Exchange 2010 Outlook Web Access supports Firefox natively. All features are supported.

How does Exchange 2010 Remote Security work with my mobile device?

Exchange 2010 includes remote security administration policies for mobile devices that are Exchange Active Sync compatible. Available security policies are based upon the mobile device manufacturer and can include remote wipe, enforce password, minimum password length, and inactivity time lockout.

Faculty and staff who have their University email, calendar and/or contacts on their personal or USC-issued mobile device may be prompted to accept a remote security administration policy on their mobile device after being upgraded to Exchange 2010. Please inform your users that UTS has no plans at this time to push security policies to any mobile device connected to the University’s Exchange 2010 system. Faculty and staff that choose to connect their personal mobile device to the University Exchange 2010 system will need to accept security prompts presented during the configuration process to continue receiving their University email, calendar and/or contacts on their mobile device.

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Exchange 2003

How do I forward my University email from to another email account?

To forward your email messages to a personal email account, you must establish a forward rule within Outlook Web Access.

  1. Login to Outlook Web Access with your network username.
  2. Select Rules on the menu in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Select new from the menu across the top of the window.
  4. Enter a name for your forward rule. *This step is optional.
  5. Under the heading Then, select the Forward it to button.
  6. Enter your personal email address to which your email will be forwarded.
  7. If you do not want to retain a copy in your University Email mailbox, uncheck the box labeled Keep a copy in my Inbox. Note that messages in student inboxes will be automatically deleted after 60 days.
  8. Click Save and Close to finish.

How can I prevent Outlook Web Access from disconnecting me?

Outlook Web Access is configured to disconnect users after 60 minutes of inactivity. Outlook Web Access works best with Internet Explorer. Using other browsers may result in your session timing sooner than 60 minutes. If you are not using a public or shared computer in a lab or some other location where multiple people use the same computer, you should select the ‘private computer’ option under the Security heading displayed on the login screen for Outlook Web Access.

How can I use all of the functionality of Outlook Web Access when running Firefox as my browser?

There is an extension for Firefox available at . To utilize the extension, you must have Microsoft Internet Explorer installed on your computer and you must have the Active-X plug-in for Internet Explorer.

I am encountering the following error message "0x800CCC0E - The connection has failed. Account: '', Server: '', Protocol: SMTP, Port: 25, Secure(SSL): No, Socket error: 10060, Error Number: 0x800CCC0E"

The correct port for SMTP is 2525. SSL also needs to be enabled for this connection.

I am encountering the following error message "0x800CCC0F - Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection. Possible causes for this include server problems, network problems, or a long period of inactivity. Account: '', Server: '', Protocol: SMTP, Port: 2525, Secure(SSL): Yes, Error Number: 0x800CCC0F"

Your client may not support the secure configuration or you may have a firewall between your connection and the server. Outlook Express is not a supported client for this configuration. Please review the list of tested email clients. If you are using Outlook 2003, be sure that you have Office SP2 correctly installed. If you are unsure if you already have SP2 applied check ‘Help’ | ‘About’ to confirm your version.

I am encountering the following error message "0x800CCC0E - "¦Unable to connect to the server"

Please verify that the client has the correct server name for both SMTP ( and IMAP (

I cannot configure Outlook Express as an IMAP client?

Outlook Express cannot be configured as a secure IMAP client for Exchange 2003; this is a known issue with Microsoft.

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