Note: Below you will find answers to common questions regarding email at USC.
- How do I change the USC password for my email account?
- What is the USC Email retention policy? How long can I keep mail on the server?
- Who is eligible to receive a USC email account? When do I get my account? How long does the account last?
- Who is eligible to receive a Gmail (Google Apps at USC) account?
- What are the methods by which I can access my email account?
- What is my email quota on my email account?
- Do messages in the Trash or other folders count toward the quota usage?
- What happens if I go over quota?
- Are Secure IMAP and/or POP (i.e., with SSL/TLS) supported?
ITS prefers that you change your password using our password-change website. This ensures that your password will be changed on all servers.
In compliance with the USC Email Retention Policy, ITS will automatically delete all email stored on its email servers after one year. If you wish to keep copies of your email beyond this period, you are encouraged either to forward the email to a personal, non-USC account or to save copies of your email to local folders on your own computer.
Note for students with Google Apps at USC accounts: Email that is in your USC email account (saved messages and attachments, etc.) resides on ITS servers and continues to be subject to USC's email retention policy. Email that is stored in your Google Apps at USC account is not stored on ITS servers and is not subject to the university's email retention policy.
Please see the Accounts FAQ for accounts-related questions.
Google Apps at USC accounts, with USC-branded Gmail, are available only to active USC students.
You may access your email account either via USC Web Mail at https://email.usc.edu or by using any desktop email client that supports either the IMAP or POP protocol. ITS provides documentation on supported desktop email clients. Unsupported and PDA email clients should work if you use either POP or IMAP, authenticated SMTP, and set their incoming and outgoing mail servers to email.usc.edu.
The email quota is 75 megabytes for students and 4 gigabytes for faculty and staff. When you are in your USC Web Mail Inbox, the amount of your quota that you have used is displayed in megabytes at the bottom of the window to the left of the total limit. For more information, please refer to the Email Quotas page.
Note to Students with Google Apps at USC accounts: Email that you store in your Google Apps at USC account is subject to Google's storage quota. If you have a Google Apps at USC account but continue to use USC email, your email will remain subject to the university's storage quota. If you begin to forward email to your Google Apps at USC account when you are near quota in your USC account, you may receive quota warnings from ITS. Your email will continue to be forwarded to your Google Apps at USC account. To stop receiving the quota warnings from ITS, you will need to delete stored messages in your USC email account through the USC Web Main program.
All messages in your USC Web Mail account count toward your quota, regardless of which folder they are in. You can see a breakdown of where the space is taken up and have the option to empty the trash by clicking on the Folders list.
Determining how much of your quota is taken up by messages on a desktop email client can be more complicated. If you are using the IMAP protocol, you will have a direct link to the email server at all times and can distinguish between mail stored on the USC email servers and mail stored on your computer's hard drive. All folders under the email.usc.edu IMAP tree (Inbox, Sent, Trash, etc.) are folders that affect your quota space on the server.
Mail stored on your hard drive will be displayed in a separate tree with its own folders (Inbox, Sent, Trash, etc.) and is exempt from your USC Web Mail quota. The tree that represents your hard drive will usually be called Local Folders, Personal Folders, Outlook Folders, or On My Mac. ITS recommends that you copy and archive important or older mail to these hard drive (local) folders because they do not count toward your email quota and are not subject to the 365-day retention policy.
POP always stores your messages on your hard drive. It is impossible to tell how much of your quota is used up just by looking at the folder size of a POP account. The account settings for your email program will determine how much mail is left on the email server. Because POP is fairly inflexible, POP users typically run into problems because either all their email is permanently stored on the server, which means email quota may be reached suddenly, or all their email is removed from the server, which means that copies of email messages are unavailable on the USC Web Mail system.
For more information on the differences between IMAP and POP, please see the IMAP versus POP page.
When you use up your email quota, all subsequent messages sent to you will be bounced back to the sender. You will receive email again and your account will function normally as soon as you delete enough messages for your account to fall under the relevant 75MB or 150MB quota.
Yes, the email system has this capability. HTTPS, IMAPS, POP, and SMTP over SSL are currently enabled.