Gmail at Emerson College

Logging Into Gmail

At Emerson College, we use Gmail for our mail provider. Anyone with an Emerson College account can log into with Duo in any web browser to access their email.

For basic instructions on using Gmail, see Google's Gmail Training and Help guide.

For those better acquainted with Microsoft Outlook, see Google's Switch from Microsoft Outlook to Gmail guide.

As described in our Google Drive and Shared Drives guide, Google Workspace accounts at Emerson are limited to 100GB.

Adding Emerson Gmail on Mobile

Adding Gmail on your phone is easy!

For Apple iPhone devices, see Gmail For iOS, iOS Mail, or Outlook For iOS depending on your preference.

For Android, see Gmail For Android or Outlook For Android depending on your preference.

Using Email Clients for Laptop or Desktop

We highly recommend that all users log in using the browser-based and mobile clients above.

For Mac users, we do support the use of Apple Mail. See Google's guide for setting up Gmail with a third-party email client.

Sign in to Multiple Google Accounts

Many users have personal Gmail accounts in addition to their Emerson Gmail. To log into multiple accounts in the same browser, see Google's Sign in to multiple accounts at once guide.

Google Groups

A Google Group is an email address that, when sent to, delivers the message to multiple recipients' inboxes. Distribution groups have no centralized location for mail, but managers of the group can reply to messages as the group’s email address rather than as themselves. Google Groups can be secured to restrict or allow specific individuals, the entire College, or the entire Internet to send to them.

Note: IT will create and centrally manage Distribution Groups, rather than allowing users to create their own at If you would like one created, you can request the email address by emailing Please include the email address (i.e.,, the display name (i.e., My New Google Group), who can send to it, and who will manage the group.

To modify recipients of a group you manage, IT will grant you access at We store distribution groups in our database called Active Directory and sync with Google. That is why we manage members of groups through this tool and NOT through Google Groups.

Emerson uses Google Groups to send to large populations, such as all students, all faculty, etc. See our Sending to Mass Mail Lists guide for more information.

Shared Mailboxes

A Shared Mailbox is an email address that multiple people can log into and manage. Delegates of a Shared Mailbox can access the email by first logging into their Emerson Gmail, then by clicking the Gmail user icon in the top right and selecting their delegated mailbox from the dropdown.

To request a Shared Mailbox (as opposed to a Google Group, described above), please email with the following information:

  • The email address you are requesting (
  • The display name (i.e., My Shared Mailbox)
  • The users who need to be delegates

Please note that after 6 months of inactivity, we automatically remove delegates of shared mailboxes.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is the primary scheduling application used at Emerson. To access your Google Calendar, first log into your Emerson Gmail, then click the 9 dots to the left of your user icon and click Calendar.

By default, all Emerson Google Calendars display Free/Busy details to the public.

To learn how to use Google Calendar, including how to create, share, and open shared Calendars, see Google Calendar training and help.

Blocking, Approving, and Filtering Email

To block an email sender or an entire domain, see Google's Block or unsubscribe from emails guide.

The below rules for email filtering do not apply to email that is classified or labeled by our email filtering system (Abnormal Security), including all Graymail and some Spam. The filtering instructions only apply to email that is labeled by Gmail.

To manage your Graymail, please see the section on Graymail.

Ensure that a sender never goes to Spam

  • Click the Search Options icon all the way on the right of the search bar.
  • Type in the domain or email address you want to approve in the From and click Create Filter.
  • Click Never Send it to Spam and click Create Filter.

Automatically archive or delete a sender

  • Click the Search Options icon all the way on the right of the search bar.
  • Type in the domain or email address you want to reject or automatically filter in the From and click Create Filter. Alternatively, enter other criteria, such as the subject line or words that the message has or doesn't have. Be sure to be specific as to not accidentally filter wanted email.
  • Check Delete It or Skip the Inbox (Archive It). If you archive it, you can also add a label (which can show as a folder in the left-navigation of Gmail. To do this, check Apply the Label and choose or create a label.
  • If you want to automatically delete or archive/categorize messages you have already received that fit your criteria, check the bottom that says Also apply filter to X matching message. Click Create filter.

If you ever want to modify your filters (to change or add criteria), click the Settings Gear in the top right of Gmail, click See All Settings, click the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab, and click Edit next to the filter. From here you can add other criteria, like "has the words."

To further create filters, see Google's Create rules to filter your emails guide.

Spam and Phishing

Email that Google suspects as Spam will go to your Spam folder. Locate the folder in the left navigation to check messages. These will delete after 30 days. If you locate a message that should not be in Spam, click the message and click Not Spam at the top to return the message to your Inbox and to train Google's filters.

If you receive a spam message to your Inbox (such as a cold solicitation or an email you weren't expecting), simply click Mark as Spam at the top of Gmail to train Google's filters. You will often be given an opportunity to unsubscribe from the mailing list as well, if the message originated from a mailing list.

If you receive a phishing or malicious message (i.e., an email attempting to send you to a malicious website or aiming to steal your password or personal information), forward the message to so we can review if it is impacting any other users. Please also click Mark as Spam to train the filters.

For more information about identifying phishing messages, see our How to Recognize Phishing Emails guide.


At Emerson, we use an email security product called Abnormal Security, which scans for malicious or unwanted mail after it has been delivered to Gmail. For email that Gmail did not detect as spam, Abnormal may:

  • Place in a label (or folder) called Graymail, which you can find on the left navigation in Gmail under Manage Labels. Messages sent to Graymail tend to be promotions and from unwanted mail lists.
  • Send to Trash if it determines the message is explicitly malicious.

Much like your Spam folder, we recommend checking the Graymail somewhat frequently so you do not miss any wanted email.

I found messages I want in my Graymail! How do I get those approved so that doesn't happen?

Simply click and drag the message into the Inbox. Alternatively, you can right-click the message and click Move and move the message to your Inbox. By doing this, you will train Abnormal to not designate those messages or messages of that type as Graymail for you. After a brief time, there should be very few wanted messages in your Graymail!

If you find that email from trusted domains or partners of the College are going to Graymail, please email us at and we can ensure those messages always go to the Inbox.

I clicked the "X" next to the Graymail label and now I don't know where the message is. What happened?

Removing the Graymail label will send the message to your Gmail Archive. To find it, you can search for it or you can click All Mail on the left and find it there. Removing the label will not train Abnormal, so please either drag the message to the Inbox or right-click > Move it to the Inbox.

I don't want to forget to check Graymail. How can I make it more prominent?

Hover over the Graymail label and click the three vertical dots to the right. Click Edit and then change the label name from Graymail to .Graymail (with a dot), and this will sort it to the top of your labels. Additionally, if you click those three vertical dots again and highlight Label Color, you can change the color of the label to make it more prominent.

Some of my email is going to Promotions/Forums/Updates/Social. How do I turn that off?

To disable Promotions bundling, follow Gmail's guide. Then, you can focus on the messages that go to Graymail and correct those as necessary.

I don't see Graymail. Where is it?

If you have never received a message that got sorted as Graymail by Abnormal, you will not have a Graymail label. Check back in a few days and you will likely see it!

Does Graymail delete after a certain timeframe?

No, unlike Spam and Trash which deletes 30 days after receipt, Graymail will stay in that label unless you resort or delete it.

I saw a message appear in my Inbox and then disappear. What happened?

The message delivered to your Inbox, and then several seconds later, Abnormal recognized is as Graymail and sent it to that label, where you will find it safe and sound.

Can I create filters that will prevent email from going to Graymail?

No, those will not work. Instead. drag the message from Graymail to the Inbox to train the filter, as described above.

Send Encrypted/Confidential Email

Google supports a feature called Confidential Mode. Sending email with Confidential Mode requires the recipient to authenticate to access the email, keeping it secure. See Google's Protect Gmail messages with confidential mode guide for more.

Please note: When you send in Confidential Mode, the recipient must access the message with a Google account. The recipient does not require a Gmail account to receive the message, but they do require one to open it (to unencrypt it). Anyone can sign up for a free Google account. Also, if the recipient wants to associate their non-Gmail email account with their Google account, they can do that as well.

Mail Merge

Google natively supports mail merging. However, this requires a Google Workspace for Education Plus license, which we can provide by request to

Once licensed, see Google's Create a mail merge with Gmail & Google Sheets guide.


Users are permitted to forward their email to another account. To do this, please see Google's Automatically forward Gmail messages to another account guide.

Please note that while this is permitted, we cannot guarantee delivery to your outside account if you choose to forward. Please also see the Email section of the Electronic Resources Acceptable Use Policy.

Accessing Gmail from Other Countries

You may find that Gmail is unavailable in certain regions of the world. In these cases, we have several options.

Emerson offers a VPN for all community members. We automatically grant international students "full tunnel" VPN access, which directs all of their network traffic through Emerson's Boston network. If you're an international student, no need to request full tunnel access—you already have it! Other users who need this for travel purposes can request it by emailing

Be Aware!

  • Some countries legally prohibit the use of VPN services, and in these circumstances, Emerson users must obey local law and not use this option.
  • This option is for Emerson-related work only, given the limited bandwidth. Users found abusing this privilege may have their VPN access revoked.

Alternatively, you can set up your Emerson email to forward to a personal email address, and then turn it off when you return from those areas.

Sending to Mass Email Lists

We have a number of Google Groups designed to make it easy to send to all students, faculty, staff, and many other populations. See our Sending to Mass Email Lists for instructions and descriptions of groups, including how to be granted access, how to recall messages, etiquette, and more.

Exporting Gmail Data

Often, departing students may choose to import their Emerson email or Google Drive data into an outside or personal Gmail account. To do this, see our Exporting Google Drive and Gmail (for departing students) guide.

Staff and Faculty may follow the same procedure for personal data only.

Canvas and Google Collaborations

To integrate Canvas and Google, see our Canvas and Google Collaborations article.

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