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Topics Map > •Email, Collaboration & Storage > -Rice Mail, Webmail, CyrusMail

Migrating Cyrus Mail (Webmail) to Google Mail

With the availability of cloud services, OIT has begun the process of depreciating Cyrus mail (often called Webmail). Those using Cyrus mail will be scheduled to undergo a migration to Gmail. Details on what to expect, including instructions and FAQs are below. For the best customer experience, OIT recommends using the Google Chrome Browser to access Mail, Calendar and other Google app(s). This ensures a consistent experience on any device that you use.

Before the Migration - Actions required 
During Migration 
After the Migration
What's New in Gmail
Email Migration FAQs

 Before the Migration - Actions required

Step 1: Enroll in Duo

If you already are using Duo authentication, go to Step 2. 

Step 2:  Greater than 25MB message size  

Google does NOT accept messages greater than 25MB.  Review these email messages and decide what to do with these large messages, especially handling the attachments that are greater than 25 MB, you may:

  • Save the attachments to Google Drive, Box, or personal computer location and delete the attachment,
  • Delete the messages from your account
  • Or, elect not to migrate those messages to Gmail

Step 3: Export Contacts

Step 4: Review Email Migration FAQs

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

Login to Webmail to check for 25MB messages  

Warning do not select all mail.
 The Webmail Inbox is only one page.  Do NOT use the "Select All" function to delete email. This will delete your entire Inbox.

The Rice Webmail interface is mobile friendly, allows you to drag and drop messages, and the default settings hide all deleted messages. The display is much easier to use, with actions and options included in drop down menus on the right top corner, rather than displayed in text across the top of the window.  The default for forwarded messages is to include the original text as an attachment, but In Body Text is also an option displayed when the forward feature is selected.

Step 1:  Login to using your netid and netid password.

Screenshot of the login box where you enter username and password.

Step 2 & Step 3 will need to be repeated for the "Inbox" and all "Mail Folders"

Step 2:  Select "Inbox" to identify messages with 25MB or larger. 

Four example messages in an Inbox that show: From, Subject, Date and Size for each message.
Note: when you initially login, color text boxes will appear on the bottom right of your window to indicate the name of the Webmail server and confirmation of your login.

Step 3:  Sort by message size to show the the largest messages by selecting the "Size" column. 

Screenshot of Inbox showing the Size field highlighted.

Click "Size" until the "largest size" is at top.  Identify messages 25 MB or greater. 
If you are unfamiliar with file sizes: 1 megabyte (MB) is equal to 1,000 kilobytes (KB). If a file size is listed in KB, you don't need to worry about it. Only look for files with MB as unit size.
For messages that greater than 25 MB, you can select one of the following:  

a.      save the attachments to Google drive, Box or personal computer location,

b.      delete the messages from your account,

c.       or, elect not to migrate those messages to Gmail.

Screenshot of Inbox with messages sorted by size with largest at top.
Repeat Step 2 & Step 3 for all Mail Folders.
Step 5: Log Out

During Migration

  • You may begin by accessing your email in Google using the instructions below
  • If you POP your mail, be sure that your mail is at the designated local storage.

After the Migration 

Access to Mail & Calendar - Google Workspace for Education  

For the best customer experience, OIT recommends using the Google Chrome Browser to access Mail, Calendar, and other Google app(s). This ensures a consistent experience on any device that you use.

If you exported contacts from your mail client prior to migration, use these steps to import them into Gmail:
After your migration is complete, you can remove your old Cyrus Mail account from your mail client.  

Configure Mobile Devices for Google Workspace for Education:  

For the best customer experience, OIT recommends using the vendor’s natively supported clients which include the Google Chrome Browser and the respective Google app(s) for use with Android and iOS devices. To configure iOS and Android devices, download the Gmail app from the app store and log in with your Rice NetID.



 What's Different in Gmail

This chart shows how the features and characteristics of the legacy Campus Central Mail System (also known as Cyrus Mail) compare with Gmail.
Table describing Gmail functions

Central Mail System (Cyrus Mail)



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.

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 in 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.



 Email Migration FAQs

Your mailbox may take several days to migrate depending on your volume of email. Once the migration has begun:
  • You can continue to send and receive mail as you normally do with no change to your mail clients or experience.
  • Mail is accessible via your traditional client or you may log in to Gmail to use the Gmail interface.
  • Only take action to send and receive emails during the transition period.
  • It is recommended that you not perform any of the following email management/organizational activities. These user actions will not be replicated in Gmail if they are performed during the migration.
    • Moving / reorganizing mail
    • Renaming folders
    • Deleting mail
    • Setting flags / priority
  • During migration, each message undergoes a security scan. If a message is identified as malicious, the email message and corresponding attachment(s) will not be migrated.

What actions are not synchronized once the migration starts?

  • Don’t update or modify email folders. Any changes will not be reflected once the migration is complete.
  • Read/Unread flags – When a message is migrated from the Central Mail system to Gmail, it is copied with its current read state. If a message is marked as “read” later on the Central Mail system, it will remain marked as “unread” on Gmail until you read the message on Gmail.
  • Folders and Labels - When a message is migrated from the Central Mail system to Gmail, it is copied with the folder label that it had on the Central Mail system. If you move a message on the Central Mail system after it is copied to Gmail, that action will not be replicated in Gmail. The message will remain in its prior folder location on Gmail. Moving mail from/into sub-folders during the migration process could result in duplicated messages if the migration process transfers the originating folder prior to the message move and transfers the destination folder after the message move. View Google's detailed documentation on Labels
  • Mail deletions – If you delete a message on the Central Mail system before that particular message is queued for copying to the Google account, then the message will not be copied. If you delete a message on the Central Mail system after that particular message is queued for copying to Gmail, then the message will still be copied over and you will need to delete it again in Gmail.

Can the migration occur over a weekend?

  • OIT is migrating accounts based on predefined scheduled batches. Batches contain a large number of accounts, so we will begin your department all at the same time. We typically start migrations at the end of the business day on a Friday. Mailboxes within the batch that have extremely large mailstores will take longer than one weekend.

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 website 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.
  • I have questions about how to use the Gmail interface.

  • I do not like the Gmail interface. How can I customize it to make it better?

  • I really want to use a third-party mail client, such as Apple Mail or MS Outlook. How can I set that up?

    • For the best customer experience, OIT recommends using the vendor’s natively supported clients which include the Google Chrome Browser and the respective Google app(s) for use with Android and iOS devices. Rice OIT can only offer limited support for Gmail users using third-party clients, and Rice OIT cannot offer any guarantees on the stability of the Gmail/Google Calendar services when third-party clients are used.
    • There are a few things to keep in mind when using third-party mail clients.
      • You may experience delays or technical issues when synchronizing email and calendar invitations.
      • Google throttles its mail servers, so downloading a large mail store into a new mail client setup will take a long time. Beyond that, the pros and cons are mostly determined by the idiosyncrasies of each third-party client.
      • Be advised that each third-party client has a different feature set. These features are subject to change as the client may be updated and as Google’s mail service may be updated.
      • Gmail does currently support IMAP for mail; however, this is subject to change. Google provides documentation for configuring third-party mail clients
      • Third-party mail client vendors provide additional documentation on how to configure Gmail:

I really want to use Microsoft Outlook and I need it to synchronize Calendar and Contacts too.

I have some email forwarding set up, will that continue to work?

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

Will my email aliases still work?

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

Can I choose not to migrate my old emails, and just start getting new ones in Gmail?

  • Yes. If you want to start fresh and bring no existing email over to Gmail, you may choose to do so. 

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? 

Sometimes I see this warning banner at the top of an email. Should I be concerned?

Google email warning: this email claims to be from but replies go to an email address at another domain.

Gmail may sometimes suggest you should be careful with a particular message. Or it may prompt your recipients to be careful with the emails you sent them.

If the message is from a Rice email address, then no, you don't need to be concerned. This is an automated message from Google that displays when a message is sent via a person’s email alias that is not their published alias. Many Rice users have multiple email aliases and sometimes send mail from an alias that is not published in the Rice Directory. 

As with any suspicious email, you should examine the mail headers for indications that this message is fraudulent or spam.



See Also:

Keywords:Rice webmail migration to personal google mail account using microsoft outlook migrate mail move cyrus mail cyrusmail imap migrating large mail messages 25 MB or 25MB   Doc ID:111906
Owner:Diane Y.Group:Rice University
Created:2021-06-22 16:35 CSTUpdated:2022-10-24 16:13 CST
Sites:Rice University
Feedback:  9   9