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Groupwise to Outlook Migration FAQ's

Q:  What can I do to prepare my GroupWise account?

A:  Please

  • Delete unneeded email messages or folders from your account
  • In particular, look for messages with really large attachments.  Click the arrow next to the Find box and select “Items with Attachments” to quickly display only those messages with attachments. We can help you save the attachment to the server if you want to keep the document.
  • Don’t empty your GroupWise trash.  1) This lets us recover files if needed up to the last minute before the migration, and 2) emptying the trash during the day impacts system performance.
  • Contact Technology Services (2-9292) if you have any questions or concerns.


Q:  Will my email address change?

A:  No, it won‘t change.


Q:  Will my login ID and password change?

A:   Your login ID will not change.  The GroupWise password will not transfer to the new system.  You will be given a temporary password, and will be required to change it the first time you log in.

Outlook Exchange requires you to create a password that is at least eight characters long, and uses at least 3 of these 4 elements:  1) lower case, 2) upper case, 3) numbers and 4) characters.  See the Password Tips section at the end of this FAQ for suggestions on how to create easy-to-remember, secure passwords.


Q:  Can I use my phone or tablet to connect to my email and calendar?

A:  Yes, any smart phone or tablet which supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync will connect to your email, calendar, contacts and tasks.    We will be posting detailed instructions here before we begin the migration.  If you have any questions or problems, let us know what you have, and we help.  It is possible to connect using Apple devices (IPhone, iPad, etc.), most Android smart phones, and additional devices as well.  Again, contact Technology Services (2-9292) with your phone specs and we’ll be happy to help.


Q:  Will I need special software to access Outlook Exchange?

A:  Most of us will not need special software.  Outlook Exchange has an excellent web interface, and we will be using web access not only for home access, but also for building access.

A few users may want to use some features only available on the client software, such as managing another person’s calendar and email.  For those users, we will install Outlook client software on your college-owned workstation or laptop.  This equipment needs to be running Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2007, or better.  If you are still using a Windows XP machine, please contact Technology Services (2-9292).  We need to upgrade your equipment before we can migrate your email account.


Q:    What will migrate to the new system?

A:  All of your saved mail, all of your mail folders, all of your calendar information, and all your address books will migrate to the new system.  The settings that establish share rights will not migrate.


Q:  Can’t I continue to share my calendar and address book on the new system?

A: Yes, there is a “share” feature but unfortunately you can’t migrate over the settings to your address book and calendars.  You will need to re-create the calendar permissions, and will need to resend shared address books. 


Q:  Can I view multiple calendars in the new system?

A:  Yes, Exchange will let you do this.  In fact, it has more features than GroupWise.  It will allow you to open several calendars at once in a single window, or alternately, view other calendars one-at-a-time.


Password Tips

The Exchange email system requires a password with a minimum of 8 characters, but can be up to 16 characters in length.  Studies have shown that using a phrase as your password makes it easier to remember, and more secure.  Your password must contain three of the four character types listed here:

  1. Upper case letters
  2. Lower case letters
  3. Numbers
  4. Special characters (?!#%  etc.)

The best passwords or passphrases are things that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Here’s some Dos and Don’ts for making good passwords:


  • Make a short two or three word phrase between 8 and 16 characters long as your password.  You are more likely to remember it than a single word or jumble of random letters and numbers, and longer passwords are more secure.
  • Remove spaces between the words in your pass phrase, as most systems don’t recognize spaces as valid characters.
  • Mix words in your pass phrase that wouldn’t normally go together, to make it more difficult to guess.  “BrownBeagles?” isn’t as secure as “BlueZebra!”as a pass phrase.
  • Add length with numbers at the beginning or end of your phrase.  “BlueZebra!2013” is even more secure
  • Deliberately misspell a word or use a common abbreviation in your pass phrase. “BluZebra!2013” for example.


  • Use any part of your name, or the names of family, friends, co-workers, or others associated with you that would be easy to guess.  Avoid using their birthdates as well.
  • Use any part of addresses or locations associated with you, like your home address, work address, or address of any place you are known to visit regularly.
  • Use words of things around your office space.  If you have Detroit Red Wings memorabilia all over your office, then “#1RedWingsFan” would be a bad password to have.

Follow these tips and you can easily create easy to remember, but difficult to guess passwords to keep your data safe.

Links to Microsoft Outlook How-To Documents:

The following links provide additional details on how to perform basic tasks in the new Microsoft Outlook email client.  All links are available on the Microsoft Office support web site.

GroupWise Information

You can check you GroupWise email two different ways.

The most common way is the use the GroupWise software on your office computer. If you would like to install this software on your home computer, there are CDs available from the helpdesk.

You can also check your email using WebAccess. This method allows you to check you email from any computer connected to the Internet

Here are some helpful GroupWise links:

BlackBerry Information

How to view your GroupWise email on your Mobile Phone or Blackberry Device (PDF)

Policy for Blackberry support for units within the Law College (PDF)

General Information

Junk Mail Handling (PDF)

Auto Replying (PDF)

Advanced Send Options: Return Notification in GroupWise Appointments (PDF)


How to not forward SPAM from your MSU email account (PDF)

How to Change the Default Text Size in GroupWise Messages You Send (PDF)

Accessing Your Email Through The Web (PDF)

Novell's GroupWise Cool Solutions

GroupWise Quick Start Guide - 30 pages (PDF)

GroupWise Client Manual - 362 pages (PDF)

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