• Are keyboard shortcuts available for Bates Gmail?

    Yes, Bates Gmail includes a full set of keyboard shortcuts. First, you must enable keyboard shortcuts:

    In the upper-right corner of your Mail window, click the gear icon and choose Mail settings. Under Keyboard shortcuts, select keyboard shortcuts on. Click Save Settings.
    Then, to see the shortcuts, press SHIFT+? while viewing your list of messages in the main Mail window.

  • Are there any other system requirements?

    No. Because Google Apps runs in a web browser, you just need to use a supported browser.

  • Can I have Bates Gmail and another Gmail account open at the same time?

    Yes.  If you enable multiple sign-in, you can have both your Bates Gmail and your other Gmail account open in different tabs or web browser windows.  Additional information on using two Google accounts can be found at Google Help.

  • Can I log in from the Gmail page?

    Yes. To log in from Google, you should enter your full Bates email as the username and then press sign in. DO NOT enter your Bates password.

    This will bring you to the Bates Federated Authentication Service page, where you can enter your Bates username (not full email address) and Bates network password.

  • How do I set up an away/vacation message?
    Go to your Mail Settings: Click on the gear icon  Select mail settings from the drop-down menu. In the General Settings menu, scroll down to Vacation responder.

    -Enter in the Subject and Message that you would like your away message to have.  If you do not set a subject, it will default to the subjects of the messages you receive.

    -Set the dates that you would like the Vacation Responder to be on for.  An end date is not required.

    -If you want to limit who receives the away message, check Only send a response to people in my Contacts or Only send a response to people at Bates College.

    -Click on Save Changes.

    You can set an end date when you set up the away message.  If you do not set an end date, the next time you log into your Bates Gmail account, you will see a Vacation Settings banner at the top of the page.  Click on End Now to turn off the away message.
  • How do I spell-check my emails before sending?

    Though Google does have a "Check Spelling" feature, we recommend the built-in spell check in the Chrome and Firefox browsers. Spell check is enabled by default in these browsers, and misspelled words are automatically underlined in red.  The advantage of this built-in spell check is that you can add words to the dictionary, and it is checked automatically as you are typing.

  • How much storage space do I have in my Bates Gmail account?

    Each user will have 25 GB of storage.

  • How often does the Trash get emptied?

    Messages in the Trash have a 30 day expiration date.  They can be removed from the Trash using the Move To function (your inbox is one of the Move To options if you do not want to label the message).  After 30 days, messages are deleted and cannot be recovered.

    To permanently delete individual messages before the 30 day period is over, select them and click on Delete forever.  To delete all messages in the Trash click on Empty Trash now.

  • What if I already have a personal Gmail account?

    Your Bates provided account is a separate account that does not affect existing Gmail accounts.  You can continue to use your personal Gmail accounts.

    The advantage of the Bates account is 25 gigabytes of storage, in an ad-free environment that maintains your Bates identity through your email address.  Behind the scenes, Google delegates control of Bates Google Apps and user accounts to Bates system administrators.  There will be some difference in the look, feel and availability of some of the Google applications.

  • What languages does Google Apps support?

    The interface for both Google Gmail and Google Calendar are available in over 50 languages. For a list of the available languages and instructions on how to set a different language, refer to the Gmail Help Center.

  • What web browsers can I use with Google Apps?

    Google Apps supports the following browsers.  The latest versions of Chrome and Firefox are the recommended browsers for GoogleApps@Bates.

  • Who do I contact if I have questions about Bates Gmail?

    If you have questions about Bates Gmail you should contact Help Desk Services.  You can call them at 207-786-8222 or send them email at

  • Why are my Bates Google accounts slightly different from similar services that are provided by Google publicly?

    The difference is mostly in the look and feel of these applications. Also, Google delegates control of Apps and user accounts to Bates.  Bates has not enabled all applications and features, and Google does not always make the same features available to Apps customers that are available to general Google accounts.

  • Will I still be able to use my desktop mail program (Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Outlook, etc.)?

    Yes. You will need to change some account settings for it to work properly, but it will all work the same way once you’ve updated your settings. Please make sure your account has the most recent version! Download the latest version of Thunderbird here. Bates Gmail IMAP configuration settings are:

      • mail server name:
      • account name: Bates College
      • incoming username: (be sure to include your complete email address!)
      • incoming security settings: SSL/TLS Port 993, Authentication (Password)
      • outgoing mail server:
      • outgoing username: (be sure to include your complete email address!)
      • outgoing security settings: SSL/TLS, Port 465, Authentication (Password)
  • Will I still be able to use Webmail?

    No, the Bates Gmail interface will replace our existing Webmail service.

  • Will my Bates email address remain the same?

    Yes.  Your Bates email address will remain the same.

  • Will my Email Rules/Filters copy over to Bates Gmail?

    No, you’ll need to recreate your rules using the Filters feature in Bates Gmail. If your desktop client allows you to export your filters/rules, you can enable a Lab to import filters.

    Filters let you manage the flow of incoming messages using keywords, sender, recipients, and more. Using filters, you can automatically label, archive, delete, star, or forward your mail, and even keep it out of your Spam folder. For details, refer to the Google Help Center.


  • How do I access Google Help for Gmail?

    To access the Google Help for Gmail, click on the lower gear in the upper right corner and then click on Help.  This link will bring you to the main Google Help menu for work or school.  Help for Using Gmail is the top item in the left column.  You can also type topics in the search box at the top of the screen.

  • How do I create a signature file?

    To create a basic signature, click on the gear icon in the top upper right corner and then click on Settings.  Scroll down and enter your signature in the large signature box.
    The icons above the signature box allow you to customize your signature. When you’re done, click on Save Changes at the bottom of the Settings page.

  • How do I insert a picture into Gmail?

    You can't insert or paste a picture directly into Gmail, but there is a workaround.

    Create a google doc, insert your picture or create your entire email message. Select All (Ctrl-A) and Copy (Ctrl-C), then open a new email and Paste (Ctrl-V) into the email. Make sure to format your Google doc for text wrap or alignment before you copy and paste it into your email.

    Recently, Google introduced a new Lab feature, called "Inserting Images".  Enable this lab feature in Gmail settings, and you'll be able to insert images via a graphical interface while composing a new email.

  • Is it possible to Undo sending an email?

    It is possible to undo the sending of an email if you enable the Undo Send lab option. Details on enabling this lab can be found here.
    The default time to decide to undo sending a message is 10 seconds. However, it can be increased to a maximum of 30 seconds by changing the settings in your general mail settings.

  • What are “labs”?

    Labs are experimental features in Google that are opt-in.  You can view available labs and enable labs by clicking on the gear on the top right of the Google App you are in, and choosing Labs.
    Labs are not guaranteed to work perfectly (though many of us use them without experiencing any problems.)  Comments and information on the use of Labs can be found at Google Help.

  • What are Stars and how do I use them?

    Stars are a way to highlight messages. Assign stars to special conversations or messages in your Inbox, or use them as a visual reminder that you need to follow up on a message or conversation later. To quickly see all messages with a star, click Starred at the left of your Mail window.

  • What is All Mail and how does it work with my Inbox?

    All Mail is a storage space for all the email you’ve ever sent or received but have not deleted.  All Mail includes your Inbox, Archives and any files with labels.  Additional information on All Mail can be found at Google Help.


  • Can I apply more than one label to a single email message?

    Yes, you can apply any number of labels to a message: Select the message in your Inbox, or open it, and select one or more labels in the Labels drop-down list at the top of your Mail window.

  • Can I change the label on one or more messages?

    Yes. To change a label on a single message, select the message, and then, in Labels drop-down list at the top of your Mail window, uncheck the label currently applied to it. Then select another label and click Apply.

    To change a label on all messages that have that label, click the label in your Labels list at the left of the Mail window. At the top of the list that appears, click Select all. Then, in Labels drop-down list, uncheck the label you want to remove, and select the new label you want to apply. Click Apply.

  • Can I create sub-labels to recreate/maintain the folder hierarchy I set up in Thunderbird?

    Yes, you can create “nested labels” in Bates Gmail so you can build a label hierarchy, just like you can with folders. When creating a new label, just choose another label under which to nest it.

    Note that labels allow you to categorize messages in multiple ways, so you’ll probably find that you don’t really need a lot of nested labels. For example, you could apply the labels “Short Term,” “Alumni,” and “Lewiston” all to the same message. You can then find the message by clicking any of those three labels in your Labels list. All three labels appear at the top of the message, so you can always see how you’ve classified it.

  • Can I delete a label from a single message or all message that have that label?

    Yes. To delete a label from a single message, select the message, and then, in Labels drop-down list at the top your Mail window, uncheck the label. Click Apply.

    To delete a label from all messages that have that label, in the Labels drop-down list, select Manage labels. (You can also click Edit labels at the bottom of your Labels list at the left of the Mail window.) In the list that appears, find the label, and then click Remove.

  • Can I mark a message as “unread” in my inbox after I read it?

    Yes, in your Inbox, select the message. Then, in the More actions drop-down list, select Mark as unread.

  • Can I move message out of the Trash?

    Yes. Find the message in the Trash and select it. Then, in the Move to drop-down list at the top of the Mail window, select Inbox.

  • Can I sort messages in my Inbox to move unread messages to the top?

    Yes, Put your mouse pointer over the Inbox Label and click the down arrow. Select Inbox Type: Unread

  • Can I use the Bates campus wide distribution lists with Gmail?

    Yes, the Bates campus wide distribution lists, like, will be available through Bates Gmail.

  • Does Bates Gmail have a “tasks” feature that lets me add messages to a list for follow up?

    Yes, the Google Tasks gadget is available in Bates Gmail and Calendar.
    Just click the Tasks link in the pane on the left to open the Tasks gadget. Use the gadget to create one or more task lists. To add an email message to a tasks list, open the message and then click More actions > Add to Tasks. The subject of the message appears at the top of your tasks list, with a link to the message content.

  • How are attachments viewed in Bates Gmail?

    There are two ways to view a Gmail attachment. One option is to view the attachment within Gmail, without having to download it. The other option is the download the attachment, in its original format, to your computer. Detailed instructions on these options can be found here.

  • How do I add a color to a label?

    After you create a label, find it in your Labels list at the left of your Mail window. Put your mouse pointer over it, and then click the down arrow that appears. Choose a color from the list.

  • How do I create my own email distribution list?

    You can create a personal mailing list (called a contact group in Bates Gmail) by using the contacts picker, which includes the email addresses of all current Bates account holders.
    To access the contacts picker when composing an email message: Click the To: link.
    If you need to create a global mailing list that other employees can use, please contact the Help Desk. Once you’ve selected the contacts, name the group. When you compose your e-mail message, send it to the group name.

  • How do I move a message from my Inbox to a label?

    If you’ve already created the label, select the message in you Inbox or open it, and then select a label in the Move to drop-down list at the top of your Mail window. If you haven’t yet created the label you want, select Create new instead.

    If you want to move a message to multiple labels at once, select the message in your Inbox or open it, and then select the labels in the Labels drop-down list at the top of your Mail window. Then click on the Label to move it.

  • How do I organize my messages since there are no folders in Google Apps Email?

    Instead of folders, Bates Gmail has a “labels” feature. Labels are similar to folders, but are more powerful and flexible, because you can add multiple labels to a message to categorize it in several ways.

    For details, see the Google Help Center.

    When your existing email is migrated to Bates Gmail, any folders you have created will become labels. Any labels you create in using the web client will appear as folders in desktop email software such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail or Outlook.

  • How do I prevent messages from specific senders from being tagged as spam?

    There are a couple of ways of handling messages that are mislabeled as spam.  If individual messages are identified as spam, you can unmark the message by selecting the message and clicking the Not Spam button that appears at the top and bottom of your current view.  The email will then be moved into your inbox.

    If messages that you receive from specific persons or groups outside our domain continually get tagged as spam, you can prevent this from happening by adding their email addresses to your Contacts list.  Gmail will then deliver the message to your inbox unless Google knows, with high confidence, that they are spam. Additional information on Spam can be found at the Google Help site.  Information on Creating Contacts can be found here.

  • How do I use Gmail search to find my messages?

    To search for messages, type a word that the messages contain.

    Note, however, that search matches “whole words” only - that is, it doesn’t recognize partial or similar matches. For example, if you search for “benefits”, Search won’t find “benefit” or “benef”.

    Also, Search doesn’t recognize special search characters, such as square brackets, parentheses, currency symbols, the ampersand, the pound sign, and asterisks.

    By default, search doesn’t look in your Trash or Spam folders. To search those folders also, click Show search options next to the Search field, and then, in the Search drop-down list, select Mail & Spam & Trash.

    You can find more information about using Search in the Google Apps Help Center.

  • How long do messages remain in my Spam folder?

    Messages remain in the Spam folder for 30 days. After that, Google permanently deletes them.

  • How long do messages stay in my archive?

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

  • How long do messages stay in the Trash?

    Messages remain in the Trash for 30 days. After that, Bates Gmail permanently deletes them.

  • If I archive or trash a message, and then someone replies to it later, will it show up in my Inbox?

    Yes, if someone replies to a message you archived or trashed, that message appears in your Inbox as a conversation, with all previous content. If you applied a label to the archived message, the label will appear in your Inbox.

    If the message was permanently deleted from the Trash, you’ll see an option at the bottom of the message to view the deleted messages in the conversation. However, the message won’t have the original label you applied to it.

  • If I label a message and archive it, but later remove the label, what happens to the message?

    The message remains in your All Mail archive, but without the label. You can easily find it again later using Google search.

  • If I set up a filter to add a label to specific incoming messages, but then later delete the label, is the filter also deleted?

    No, even if applying the label was the only action for the filter, your filter is not deleted. You can edit the filter to specify a different label or another action.

  • Is there a limit to the amount of email I can send?

    In order to prevent spam, Google will temporarily disable accounts which send a lot of email in a short time. It's important to be aware of these limits when doing a mail merge. Here are the limits, from Google's help pages:

    -500 messages per day (i.e., you can hit 'Send' a maximum of 500 times)

    -500 unique recipients per message

    -2000 total emails per day (for example, you could send one message to a group of 500 people four times)

    In addition to these limitations, Google will temporarily disable your account if you send a message to more than 500 recipients or if you send a large number of undeliverable messages.

  • Is there a limit to the number of labels I can create?

    There is no limit on labels; however, the web interface will slow down if you have more than 100 labels.

  • Is there a size or type limitation for file attachments in Bates Gmail?

    Yes, to help prevent viruses, Bates Gmail won't accept file attachments that are executable files (such as those with an .exe extension). Messages with an executable attachment will bounce back to the sender. For details, see the Google Help Center. There is a 25MB size limitation for attachments.

  • Is there a way to search or select all messages without labels?

    No, you can’t search specifically for all messages that don’t have a label.

  • Should I delete or archive messages in the Sent folder?

    There’s no need to delete or archive messages in the Sent folder. Messages remain in this folder forever, unless you delete them. But, because you have 25GB of storage space, you can keep messages in this folder to refer to them later, if needed.

    Also, note that messages in the Sent folder are actually archived in All Mail, so even if you archive these messages, they stay in the Sent folder. Deleting messages in the Sent folder will delete the associated conversations, so it is not recommended.

  • What are conversations?

    Gmail organizes mail into Conversations, or groups of messages, based on the subject line and content of the email. Conversations give you the context of the email by displaying previous related messages.

    For more information, click here.

    A Conversation may contain messages between a large group of people, as well as private conversations between a smaller group than the original message. When you Reply All to a message within a conversation, the people in that specific message will be the ones who receive your reply. You can determine who will receive your response by looking at the To: and CC: box on top of the email you are composing.

    When you reply to any message within a conversation, nobody will see any text they have not seen before! Only if you add additional people to the To, CC, or BCC box will new content be introduced to those recipients.

  • What is the difference between deleting and archiving email messages? When should I delete and when should I archive?

    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 powerful search feature.

  • When setting up an email filter, can I apply more than one label for the action?

    You can apply only one label per email filter. However, if you want to add multiple labels to a filtered message, you can do the following: Create multiple filters with the same criteria, except specify a different label for each filter. If you receive a message that meets the criteria for the filters, Bates Gmail will apply the multiple labels to that message.

  • Where can I find information about performing advanced searches?

    A list of the advanced search operators is available in the Google Apps Help Center.


  • How will the recent changes to Google’s privacy policies affect my Bates email and other information?

    As of this writing, the changes to Google privacy policies do not apply to the education domains.

  • What if I delete something?

    If you delete an email or file, it is kept in the trash folder for thirty (30) days. After 30 days, it is gone for good and cannot be retrieved. Bates will no longer retain 30-day tape backups of email.

  • Who has access to my email?

    The Bates CUP states that “The College does not monitor contents of files as a matter of course, but does monitor network and other computer usage. The College may become aware of violations of the law or College policy.” This will not change.

  • Who owns my email?

    Google does not own Bates email or other data. Bates retains full rights to the data and all users are subject to the Bates College Computer Use Policy (CUP).

  • Will Google use my data for nefarious purposes?

    It’s commonly understood that Google “mines” user data for aggregate analysis that it then sells to other companies as a source of revenue. Because Google Apps for Education is ad-free for students, faculty, and staff, no email or other data is processed by Google’s advertising systems, which is the source of their data analysis operation.

  • Will I see ads?

    The default setting for Google Apps for Education does not allow Google to show you ads.