Email FAQs

How can I get a G Suite account?

If you need an account for a SIL field assignment, read our "creating email accounts for field assigned personal" (on the SIL Gateway). If you are a member of or assigned to Wycliffe USA, contact the Wycliffe USA Help Desk for a account. Otherwise, you are probably looking for an account from the Global Alliance team and can submit a ticket request by email.

Is there a preferred type of connection when using an email client?

Yes. As long as you have a steady, reasonable internet connection, use G Suite Sync for Microsoft Office (if you are using Outlook) or IMAP. Read our more detailed information (including a comparison)

Only if you are in the field with a bad internet connection do we recommend POP3. Google introduces special problems with POP3 that you should avoid if possible.

Can I switch from a POP3 connection in my email client to IMAP or GSSMO?

SIL Google Admin has prepared a document that a technician needs to work from for a move from POP3 to IMAP or GSSMO. As this process demonstrates, it is advisable you enlist the help of some competent, tech-savvy person to assist you. Contact SIL Google Admin if you need our help. In addition to supplying your name and email address, provide a US/Canadian phone number or a Skype Id to help us connect with you.

Do I have a backup copy of my Google email?

No. Also, we recommend that you do not store messages in the Trash. It is emptied every 30 days. Caution: If you delete the contents of your All Mail label (when using the Web interface), ALL of your mail will be deleted.

On the other hand, GTIS offers a backup service for G Suite accounts using a solution called Backupify. This subscription is provided upon request using this request form. Refer to our Backupify FAQ document for more information.

Can I retain my consumer Gmail account?


Can I log into more than one G Suite/Gmail account at the same time?


Option #1: Use a different browser to log into a different account. This is easy and lets you switch between accounts by switching screens. You have full access to each account's contacts, calendar, Google Drive. Disadvantages include needing to log into each account each time, familiarity of using each browser and the extra memory the second browser consumes.

Option #2 (better): Add additional accounts to the first login, providing easy access to these other Inboxes in other tabs within the same browser. You only need to provide login credentials for the additional accounts once. Refer to Google's "Sign in to multiple accounts at once".

What is Inbox by Gmail?

The nice features introduced with Inbox by Gmail have now been incorporated into the standard Gmail web interface. Google has decommissioned Inbox by Gmail.

Am I still able to use my email program to access my email?

Yes, as long as you used a supported email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Windows 10 Mail)..

What email client should I use?

We encourage you to try using Google's Gmail webmail inter ( Being familiar with this interface will certainly be useful for those time when a web browser will be the only tool you have available to access your account.

Otherwise, as long as you use one of the SIL-supported email clients, GTIS does not list clients in any order of preference. While all clients work well, each has features and/or a look-and-feel that you may like better than another. Since all but Microsoft Outlook are free, you may install more than one and perform your own analysis to determine which email client to settle on.

    • Apple Mail: free, pre.-installed on Macs, supported by Apple, access to the corporate directory
    • Gmail app: mobile devices, automatic syncing of email, contacts, and calendar with the online account
    • Microsoft Outlook: Not free, full featured, powerful, GSSMO plug-in provides full (MAPI) syncing of email, contacts, calendar, etc., support from Microsoft, access to corporate directory (with GSSMO)
    • Thunderbird: Apple/Linux/Windows, free, easy to use, easy configuration, does not require "allows less secure apps" configuration, automatic updates, Add-ons for calendar and contact syncing with online account
    • Webmail: any browser, all content stored online, access to corporate directory
    • Windows 10 Mail: free, pre-installed in Windows 10, support from Microsoft, interface is new/different, configuration settings hard to find

My email program keeps prompting for my username and password. What's wrong?

Your email client may have been working happily for a long time and then suddenly begin asking for your username and password. Though you use the same credentials when logging in online, your email program simply refuses to accept the same information. In most cases, the issue is not that the username and password you are using are incorrect.

Google decided that some apps and devices use less secure sign-in technology which makes your account move vulnerable. Their list of less secure apps unfortunately includes most of the email clients we support and which you may have been using for years. With the one exception of Thunderbird, the only option for all other email clients is to override Google's setting by allowing less secure apps. Simply go to this page and turn on this setting.

Thunderbird users have a separate, better choice: In Thunderbird, simply go the Account Settings window, select Server Settings for your Google account, and change the Authentication method from Normal Password to OAuth2. Click OK to save your settings.

How do I set up a vacation message?

In Google Mail, you can set up your vacation responder, which is similar to the Out of Office feature in Outlook. For details, see the Gmail Help Center.

Please explain the use of filters and rules.

Read about Folders, Filters, and a forum discussion of Rules and this slideshare instruction.

Example: In Gmail, you can create a rule to make all incoming mail from a mailing list go to a certain folder.

  1. Create a label for the folder name. Remember, Google Mail has labels, not folders. See How Do I Organize My Messages?
  2. Create a filter. Click the Search arrow. Enter the criteria for your filter, and then click Create filter with this search. Specify the actions you want; in this case, select Apply the label.

You can also add a filter by selecting the gear icon > Settings> Filters, and then Create new. This action also displays the Search dialog box. In order to to make it a filter, click Create filter with this search.

Can I use my Outlook Distribution Lists in Google?

Users can choose to continue using Outlook and their distribution lists BUT these distribution lists are not synchronized with the online account. Note: The maximum number of recipients is 99 per message.

Tip: Users can recreate distribution lists by creating new contact groups in Google Contacts.

Can I drag and drop messages between Google accounts?

  • Yes, when using an email client such as Outlook and Thunderbird
  • No when using the Google Mail Web interface; it does not display multiple accounts simultaneously

What can I do when I have trouble sending attachments?

If you have trouble uploading or opening attachments, see the Attachments support section. Note that some file types are blocked, such as executable (.exe) files.

Can I mark a composed message as important prior to sending it?

No. We suggest that you use the Subject line to indicate the level of importance.

Is there a limit to how many recipients I can send a message to at one time?

Yes. When using an email client, such as Outlook or Thunderbird, the limit is 99, as explained in this Google support page. If you need to send the same message to more than 99 recipients, such as in a news update to partners, we suggest:

  • Use the Google Mail Web interface (which has a limit of 500 recipients), or
  • Divide your message into sets of 99 (or less), and then send it multiple times, or
  • Use a mailing service such as MailChimp.

Can I access my Google Mail and Calendar offline?

Yes, if you use the Chrome browser. See this support page for Mail. See this support page for Calendar. NOTE: When in offline mode, the calendar is read-only, unlike Google Mail Offline which allows a user to reply, create, and delete messages offline.

Is there a way to save an email message as a file as in Outlook?

Yes. Open the message. In the message heading, click the More arrow and then select Print. In the Print dialog box, under Destination, select Change. In the Select a destination dialog box, select Save as PDF or Send to OneNote. When using Chrome, you can also select Save to Google Drive.

Read a more detailed description.

Is there a way to reply within the text of an email message (inline) when using the Google Mail Web interface?

Yes, you can reply by inserting your response directly below a question or comment in the original text. Open the message and then click Reply. If you do not see the original text, click the ellipses (...). Type your reply. Read the full explanation.

Google incorrectly identified something as Spam that I really wanted to see. What can I do to make sure I don’t lose messages that Google incorrectly identifies as Spam?

If you find a message wrongly classified as spam, you can unmark the message. Select the message, and click the Not Spam button that appears at the top and bottom of your current view. Unmarking a message will automatically move it to your inbox. Read more. This procedure teaches Google that a message is not Spam.

Using the Google Mail Web interface, you can create a filter that will send messages identified as Spam to the Inbox rather than bypassing it and going directly to the Spam folder. The desired result is not always immediate, but rather may require repeated action. Remember, if you do this, you have forfeited our spam protection.

What is a Phishing email and how do I protect against this?

Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to trick individuals into sharing personal and sensitive information. The attempt typically involves a crafted email with hyperlinks to a website intentionally created to collect information from unsuspecting victims. An attacker may be sending out a generic phishing email to a large number of individuals in order to compromise unwary recipients, or he or she may be targeting you or your organization specifically known as ‘spear phishing’ due to the focused nature of the attempt

To pull off a successful spear phishing campaign, the attacker will research details about you and our organization to find valid names (including from our ministry partners) and other phrases to use such as project and organization names. The attacker may have even compromised the account of someone you communicate with so they can craft emails from their account.

Here are tips on what to watch for and how to respond.

1. Think before you click

a. Always be careful before clicking on any content in an email, including links and attachments.

b. In some cases a single click is all that is required for your machine to be compromised.

c. Take note of any irregularities in the sender. Double check the domain name, recipient list, subject line, message, etc.

d. Inspect the destination of a hyperlink. You can do this by hovering over the link with your mouse or a long-press on a mobile device. When you hover over a link, you can preview the destination.

2. Keep and eye on shared documents. Invitations to view shared documents are a common attack strategy. Beware any such emails. On Google Apps, legitimate sharing messages will come from either, or the email of the person sharing the document.

3. Know your URLs. Never enter your Google account credentials on anything other than the actual Google login page. Look closely at the URL bar. For Google, this would be

4. Report anything that looks Phishy. Click the Report Phishing (when available) or Report Spam options in Google Mail (online) to alert Google of the email so they can identify and block related emails for other recipients.

5. Unsure if Phishy? If the email appears to be directly targeting your organization in some way, or you’re just not sure if it is safe, here are a few tips to follow:

I. If the purported sender is someone you know, contact him or her directly to verify if he or she sent the email. Contact this person through a method other than email. If his or her email account has been compromised, an impostor can simply reply in the affirmative to any email response you send.

II. Forward a copy of the email to your organization’s security team or IT help desk so they can help assess and respond to the situation.

6. Did you fall for it? If you believe you may have fallen victim and provided your account credentials or other sensitive information through a phishing site, please report it immediately. Your support or incident response team will walk you through the steps you should take, including changing your password and looking for suspicious activity on your account.

7. Arm yourself with these tools: Don’t reuse your Google account (or any other important account) password on other sites. 2-Step Verification on Google accounts makes it harder for an attacker to access your account, but it doesn’t prevent them from using that password to access other accounts where the same password may be used. Having trouble keeping track of more than one password? You’re not alone. Use a password manager (we like KeePass)!

Will I be able to access Google mail with my slow Internet access?

Yes. If using the webmail interface, Google may automatically switch you to their basic HTML mode. Some functionality is lost but offers a small performance boost.

If you use an email client, it is advised to use a POP3 connection. Note that we strongly recommend using an IMAP connection but realize that POP3 may be the only option that works is very remote places. (See our discussion about why.) We suggest you take a look at our Village Setup discussion, which presents a way to avoid downloading large emails, saving both time and cost plus decreases the likelihood of an unstable internet connection aborting your email send/receive. Additionally, you may need to increase the "connection timeout" settings in your email client.

I often get sent messages in my Inbox, especially Out of Office messages.

1. Are you sending messages from the Google Web interface, or only from your email client? Per this article, email sent from the Google Web interface is likely to show up in your POP client's Inbox.

2. Are you using Recent mode? This is a known issue in Recent mode and you must create a Google filter to resolve it.

What is Recent Mode?

Recent Mode is a synchronizing method when using Post Office Protocol (POP) for a Google Mail account on more than one device or client. Read about Recent Mode

Why "Recent"? That is because Recent Mode shows only your last 30 days of emails. This means that you will not see email already downloaded to another device if you don't check your email at least every 30 days.

How can I restore an archived message back into my Inbox or another "folder"?

  1. Find the message in "All Mail"
  2. Select the message
  3. Click the Move to Inbox button at the top of your screen. If you actually want to move the message to a different "folder" (aka Label), use the icon to the right of the Move to Inbox button, pull down the list, and select where you wish the message to be moved to.

Watch a video demonstration

How do I change my sender name in Gmail?

With a few easy steps, you can change your name for sent messages into anything you want. We don't suggest anything crazy but this is an opportunity to personalize your email.

  1. Click on the Settings gear at the top of your Gmail inbox, then click Settings
  2. Click the Accounts tab, then find the Send mail as: section
  3. Select the edit info link directly across from the sender name you'd like to change
  4. Enter in your new sender name in the text box below your current sender name
  5. Save Changes

What is the difference between Vacation Message and Canned Responses?

While very easy and handy, Gmail's Vacation Message (found at the bottom of the General page for Gmail Settings) has one significant limitation: once it is enabled, it will act like an auto-reply the first time someone emails you but will not if the same person emails you again. Google figures that the person was told once and doesn't want to annoy the sender every time.

Canned responses, on the other hand, offers two benefits: 1) those that you set up can be used repeatedly in normal email correspondence and 2) when used in a filter, will reply every time to a sender, reinforcing your message.

To enable and use canned responses as an auto response:

Step 1. From the your Google Apps web client, click on the Gear and choose “Settings” and then “Labs” from the menu line. Find the option for “Canned Responses” (you can search for it) and click “Enable” to turn this option on.

Step 2. Select “Compose” (above the Inbox folder”) to open a new message form and fill in the subject and message text you want people to get in the auto response message. Then in the bottom right corner, click on the drop-down arrow for more options and choose “canned response” and then “new canned response”. Then in the pop-up box, enter a name for this response.

Step 3. To create the auto response, go back to the “Settings” menu and choose “Filters” and “Create a new filter”. In the “From” box, enter either an asterisk (*) for everyone or a person’s email address (so that only messages sent from this address will get the auto response). Select “Create filter with this search”. You may have to acknowledge a "confirm" message. You should now be able to see the option for “Send canned response”. Select that option and choose the canned response name for the message you want to send out and then click “Create filter”.

For more detailed, step-by-step instructions, click here.

Some emails don't word-wrap correctly when viewed online in my Google account. Why?

Normally all email text will automatically wrap to the next line when you make the browser window narrower and to the previous line when made wider. Text in some emails you receive may not wrap to the next line, causing you to either make the browser window wider or use the horizontal scrollbar to read the right part of a line of text.

There are two reasons this happens:

  • The email contains an image (perhaps a banner at the top) that is too wide. Google will only reduce the width with word-wrapping until it reaches the width of the widest image/banner. Beyond this point, using the horizontal scrollbar will be necessary. The resolution is to simply insert narrower images/banners.
  • Google has it's default minimum width (pretty low) that it will impose on an email, whether it has any images or not. This will very rarely be an issue since it's so narrow.

Why are only newer emails now showing in Microsoft Outlook? Why is older email missing?

This can happen if you are using Microsoft Outlook with the Google Sync plug-in (GSSMO), By default, GSSMO only downloads the most recent 1G of email. You can be increase this by clicking the Google Sync icon in your System Tray and choosing "Set mailbox size limit..." from the popup menu. Be aware that setting a higher limit can result in slow performance (because it is synchronizing more) and, once raised, cannot be lowered. This could be done again, but that may not be recommended.

Once the limit is increased, Google Sync will once again download older content.

Frankly, the better solution is to cleaning out some of your older/obsolete email messages to keep your storage size under 1G. In particular, empty your Trash folder and clean out older email from your Sent folder. Finally, also check for emails with large attachments which can be saved to your hard disk and then the emails deleted..

Whether you change the mailbox size limit or not, you can always see all of your mail via the web site,

How do I change my Sender name in G Suite (Gmail)?

With a few steps you can change your name for sent messages into anything you want. Don't change it to anything crazy though.

    1. Click on the Settings gear at the top of your Gmail inbox, then click Settings.
    2. Click the Accounts tab, then find the Send mail as: section
    3. Select the edit info link directly across from the sender name you'd like to change,
    4. Enter in your new sender name in the text box below your current sender name
    5. Save Changes.

Watch this short video on YouTube.

I use Outlook and am getting a "Could not complete the operation because the service provider does not support it." error when trying to send an email. Why?

This error occurs when the Outlook profile includes an account using G Suite Sync and another account using IMAP. When replying or forwarding mail from the secondary account you get this error message. While the problem is probably not caused by Google, they have provided a work around that appears to work.

How do I use the email confidential mode?

You can send messages and attachments with Gmail's confidential mode to help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. You can use confidential mode to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time. Recipients of the confidential message will not have options to forward, copy, print, and download the message.

This ability is only available using the webmail (browser) interface.

To see a brief simulation and learn more about this feature when using a computer or mobile device (Android, iPhone or iPad), and the differences if you are the sender or recipient of a confidential email, visit

Note: Although confidential mode helps prevent the recipients from accidentally sharing your email, it doesn't prevent recipients from taking screenshots or photos of your messages or attachments. Recipients who have malicious programs on their computer may still be able to copy or download your messages or attachments.

My account is being closed (decommissioned). What should I be doing?

Whether you have had this account for a few months or for decades, this is going to affect you and those who have been communicating with you. There are a number of steps you should take to reduce the inconvenience you will experience. It will take you more time than you think to be ready for your account's closure so start now.

Once an account is closed, it will become inaccessible from either a browser or an email client. Any email sent to your account will be returned to the sender with a “user unknown” error. Unfortunately the system cannot forward mail from deactivated addresses. You should let your contacts know well in advance.

One way to help get the information out to contacts is for account owners to enable the “vacation” message in their email long before the account is deactivated. This will automatically send an email back to anyone who emails that address right up until the account is fully deactivated. Be aware that, despite your informing others about your account being closed, there are always a portion who "just don't get the word" and will either drop out of sight or contact you by another means and ask about bounced email.

Here are steps you should follow:

  1. Choose/create an email account if you have not done so already. You may want to use one of the big (and free!) providers like Gmail, Yahoo! or; the benefit of these is that you can keep these accounts no matter where you move geographically.
  2. Inform your contacts of your new email address (by bcc email to everyone at once and then a vacation (“out of office”) message on the account being closed.
  3. Update your email address in your online accounts if needed (banking, medical, social media, Amazon, others). This is very important, don’t leave this until the last minute!
  4. Update your email address online for any personal software you use.
  5. Update your email address in any mailing lists (including Google Groups) you wish to continue to receive.
  6. Update your email address in your mobile device.
  7. Last but very important, decide what to do with the content in your account.
    1. If you have another account from SIL, refer to our Migration scenario: SIL Account to SIL Account document, accessible when logged in with a SIL account.
    2. If you have an "outside" account, refer our Migration scenario: SIL Account to non-SIL Account document, accessible when logged in with a SIL account.

If you don't remember the password for the account being closed, you may already be set up to use our self-service password reset tool. If not, local mail administrators or SIL Google Admin can help.