Migrating Rice (Cyrus) Webmail to Rice Gmail

This article provides information and guidance in support of OIT-managed email service migrations from Rice Webmail (Cyrus) to Rice Gmail. Please review the information below to help make your transition to Rice Gmail as seamless as possible. Please direct any questions to the OIT Helpdesk at 713-348-4357 or helpdesk@rice.edu.

Article Contents

OIT Recommendation
OIT recommends using the vendor's supported clients, which include the Google Chrome browser and the Gmail apps for Android and iOS devices.

What you need to know 

  • Messages will be automatically moved: The emails in your Rice (Cyrus) Webmail mailbox will be copied to your Rice Gmail mailbox ahead of the migration cut-over. A final sync of your mailbox will be completed after migration to Rice Gmail. Large email messages over 25 megabytes (MB) are the exception, see more information below. 

  • Same email addresses: Your email address and aliases will not change. What is changing is the delivery location (mail home) for your emails from Rice (Cyrus) Webmail to Rice Gmail. 

  • Select your mail client: After the migration, you can use a web browser to use Rice Gmail.  For the best customer experience, OIT recommends using the vendor’s supported clients which include the Google Chrome Browser and the Gmail apps for Android and iOS devices. If you prefer, you can configure other mail clients, such as Apple Mail or Outlook, to point to Rice Gmail. 

  • Only Email: This migration only affects your email mailbox. Your Google Calendar will remain active and unaffected but with improved integration with Rice Gmail. 

How to prepare for the migration 

Please complete the following actions to help streamline your migration experience. 

Review large messages 

Emails over 25 MB will not be migrated due to Gmail size restrictions.  Approximately 2 weeks before the time of your scheduled migration:
  • A folder named "Msg_over_25MB” will appear in your Rice (Cyrus) Webmail inbox. Review the folder to identify the large messages that will not migrate to Rice Gmail. In Rice (Cyrus) Webmail, select Show All Mailboxes and Msg_over_25MB to view the large messages that will not migrate to Rice Gmail.

    screenshot showing over 25MB folder in Cyrus Webmail.

  • You will also receive a pre-migration email that contains a link to a Rice Box folder shared only with you. The folder will contain archives of the large messages in email formats MBOX (for Mac users) and PST(for Windows users). Download the contents of the folder at your earliest convenience.  

Mailbox Rules

Your existing Rice (Cyrus) Webmail mailbox rules (a.k.a. Smartsieve) will be exported and made available to you in case you wish to reapply them as Gmail filters or actions. Your personal Smartsieve rules will appear as .txt files in your Rice Box folder (referenced above).If you are not already familiar with these terms, it is unlikely that your account is using Smartsieve, and you can proceed to the next section.

Export Contacts

Your contacts will not be migrated. Please make sure to export your contacts before the migration date to ensure that there is no loss of information. Select the applicable article(s) below to learn how to export your contacts from Cyrus Webmail and import into Rice Gmail.

Rice Gmail Contact Directory

The Rice Gmail Contact Directory has contact information for all Rice users. After your account is migrated to Rice Gmail, login to your Rice Gmail account and visit this link to use the Contact Directory to send emails to other Rice users.

Review the Email Migration FAQs

Review the information at the end of this article to learn more about the email migration process and how to begin using your new Rice Gmail account.

  • Important Reminders:  
    • Mail rules using WebSieve do not migrate to Gmail.
    • Mail flags do not migrate to Gmail.

What Will Happen on Migration Day

On your migration day, new emails will begin to flow into your Rice Gmail mailbox instead of your old Rice (Cyrus) mailbox. From this time on, use Gmail (https://mail.google.com) as your primary email mailbox, logging in with netid@rice.edu.

OIT recommends using the vendor’s supported clients to access Rice Gmail. Select the appropriate link below to download the browser or appropriate Gmail application.

image of Chrome browser icon
Download the Chrome browser

image of Gmail icon from Google Play store

Download the Gmail app from the Google Play store.

image of Gmail icon from Apple App store
Download the Gmail app from the App Store.

Your old Rice (Cyrus) Webmail mailbox (https://webmail.rice.edu) will be available to access with a browser for one week in order to give you time to verify the result of the migration. Keep in mind that no new emails will arrive in this mailbox anymore. 


After migration is completed 

Within 24 hours of the migration, OIT will perform a final copy from your old Cyrus mailbox to your new Rice Gmail mailbox to make sure that no newly arrived emails are missed. If you are using an email client other than your browser to access email, now is the time to reconfigure that mail client. Go to Remove Legacy Mail Configurations (rice.edu) for instructions on how to remove the Cyrus mail account from your email client. 

When you are done removing the Cyrus email account, go to one of the following links to add Rice Gmail to your email client: 


What's Different in Rice Gmail

This chart shows how the features and characteristics of the legacy Rice (Cyrus) Webmail compared with Rice Gmail.

Rice (Cyrus) Webmail

Rice Gmail


Gmail uses labels (versus Folders) to categorize/organize email.

  • Multiple labels can be applied to a single email.

  • Labels are searchable.

Specify Availability & Status 

This feature is not supported.

Gmail has the capability to set a status such as Automatic, Do not disturb, or Away.

Schedule an email to send

This feature is not supported.

Gmail is capable of scheduling a date and time to send an email. 

Automatic Email Deletion

Email is permanently deleted after 30 days. https://kb.rice.edu/98363

Gmail Automatic Email Deletion

Email is permanently deleted after 30 days.

WebSieve Auto Response and Forwarding

WebSieve will no longer be used to set up mail forwarding or an automatic email/vacation response.

Once migrated to Gmail, use Gmail’s Vacation Responder to set up an automatic email response

Automatic forwarding of Rice Email will not be supported in Rice's cloud email environments.


Rice Webmail will no longer be used once migration to Gmail is complete.

Gmail can be accessed via the web using the Chrome Browser, via a 3rd party email clients, as well as smart device applications for iOS and Android. 

Attachment size limit 100MB

  • You can send attachments up to 25 MB in size. If you have more than one attachment, they can't add up to more than 25 MB.

  • If your file is greater than 25 MB, Gmail automatically adds a Google Drive link to the email instead of including it as an attachment. Learn more about Google Drive attachment-sharing settings

View Email Offline

This feature is not supported.

Setup Offline Email Viewing (view Gmail without an internet connection)

Using the Chrome Browser only, Gmail can be configured to read, respond to, and search Gmail messages while offline when an internet connection is not available. Do NOT clear Chrome Browser cache when viewing Gmail offline.

  • Offline viewing is only supported in the Chrome Browser and must be configured on each device where offline viewing is needed.


These are not migrated. 

Gmail Contacts 

In some cases, contacts can be imported.  

Filtering Rules

These are not migrated. 

Gmail Filters

Gmail Filters are the equivalent of Rules in other 3rd party email clients.

Message Flags

These are not migrated. 

You can create labels that store your emails. Add as many labels as you want to an email.

Note: Labels are different from folders. If you delete a message, it will be erased from every label that it’s attached to and your entire inbox.


These are not migrated.

 To the top

  Email Migration FAQs

What mail client should I use?

Google has designed the Gmail interface to take full advantage of all features of the Gmail service. Therefore, Rice OIT highly recommends that users use the Gmail interface as their mail client. This means using the https://mail.google.com on desktops/laptops, and the Gmail and Google Calendar apps for mobile devices. Use of a third-party client (such as MS Outlook or Apple Mail) is possible, but OIT has extremely limited options to customize or adjust the experience. Therefore, the use of third-party mail clients will not be officially supported by OIT.

Where can I find out more information about how to use the Gmail interface?

Please visit this link to learn more about the Gmail interface.

Will my email aliases still work?

All of your Rice-provided email aliases will continue to work.

I do not want my trash to be automatically deleted. Is there a way to change the Google trash deletion policy to be more than 30 days?

  • Google’s stated trash deletion policy is to permanently delete mail after it has been in the Trash for 30 days. If users have mail that they do not want to lose, they must not put it in the Trash. Mail that is not in the Trash folder will not be deleted. If users want to remove a message from their Inbox but do not want to delete it, they can archive the message. View Google's deletion policy.

    Note: Once an email is expunged from the Trash folder, it is gone permanently.

Is there a way to archive messages? 

Need technical support? Contact the OIT Help Desk.


OIT Help Desk


Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

(excluding university holidays)

Contact Methods

Phone: 713-348-4357 or on-campus extension: xHELP or x4357

Online form: https://oit.rice.edu/request-help 

Email: helpdesk@rice.edu

Remote support: BeyondTrust (Bomgar) 



KeywordsGmail, Cyrus mail, webmail, email migration   Doc ID136360
OwnerNicole D.GroupRice U
Created2024-03-27 14:46:33Updated2024-04-01 15:46:22
SitesRice University
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