Gmail to Office 365 Migration for Student Email FAQ

Attention Ferris Students! Did you know that your email account was switched from Google to Office 365 over the holiday break? You can still access your Google account, but ALL messages being sent to your Ferris email address now go to your new Office 365 account (and not to your Google account). Please make sure you are checking your Office 365 account for important messages from Ferris (including your advisor, professors, financial aid, waitlists, etc.).

  • This project has been in motion for six years.  The University conducted a full-scale review of e-mail solutions from Google and Microsoft.  Faculty, Staff, and Students were involved in the testing.  After both systems were evaluated, the Microsoft solution was selected for implementation.  Faculty and staff moved to the Microsoft platform in 2013 while Student accounts had to remain on Gmail until network application and infrastructure changes were completed.  IT Services and our vendors have completed the required changes and we are ready to complete this important project to unify the entire University on a single email and collaboration platform.

  • Yes. The Microsoft Office 365 applications run on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and on mobile devices running iOS and Android. The web interface is easy to navigate, built to promote collaboration, meets accessibility requirements. 

  • This will provide the opportunity to enhance communication and collaboration.  With all accounts in one system, we will have a unified address book/directory, this will eliminate student accounts being tagged as ‘external’, and there will be native access to all Microsoft Office 365 applications for students, faculty, and staff.  The University is also pursuing the integration of Office 365 apps within the Blackboard Learn environment.  The convergence of services and applications will create an enhanced learning, communication, and collaboration platform.

  • *Update - All student email accounts will be created and licensed on December 18, 2018. If there is a technical reason that prevents from creating accounts on this day, January 7, 2019 will be the alternate date. Access to the Gmail accounts will be available until May 10, 2019. At this point, access to Gmail accounts will disabled.

    IT Services is currently preparing the infrastructure for this transition.  In May, IT Services will consolidate active directory accounts in preparation to create email accounts in the Microsoft Office 365 system.  Our goal is to transition Student email accounts to Microsoft Office 365 during winter break (December 2018).  The process to create accounts in the Microsoft environment is non-destructive and will not delete or remove data in the Google system.  We are working with student employees, testing processes, and have published an FAQ to ensure a smooth transition.  This process will not require anyone to download software or stop using Google services.  Official accounts will exist in the Microsoft Office 365 system; however, students can maintain private Gmail accounts and use Google services.

  • Students will experience positive impact across the Microsoft Office 365 suite of applications.  Collaboration and security will both be enhanced by this deployment. From a security perspective, Office 365 provides enhanced spam, phishing, and virus mitigation solutions.  To protect students from phishing and malware attacks, password changes will occur annually and mail auto-forwarding is disabled. These changes are designed to protect the student’s account and their proprietary information.  From a communication and collaboration perspective, Office 365 will provide a unified address book making connections to faculty and staff seamless within each Office 365 application.

  • This project directly applies to the following core values of Ferris State University: Collaboration, Excellence, Learning, and Opportunity.  We are committed to improving the student experience at Ferris and while the process of change creates uncertainty; ITS is dedicated to ensuring this project is completed successfully. 



    No download of software required.

    Can use any major browser to access all Microsoft Office 365 applications.

    Can use Microsoft apps from the Google Play store and Apple App Store to access your account.

    No requirement to login via MyFSU (no double login prompt).

    Access to install Office 365 on five devices (if you want to install the full software).


    No, you will continue to receive email at ‘[email protected]’, it will just be delivered to our environment within Microsoft. 

  • Access to your Gmail account will be interrupted during the process in which the Office 365 accounts are being created. There will also be a delay in receiving new email once your Office 365 account is created. This delay could be anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours. Access to your Gmail account will still be done through MyFSU like normal.

  • Click the "Email" link within MyFSU to go to the Office 365 sign-in page. You can also simply go to and enter your email address <[email protected]> and Ferris passphrase. You will be taken to the Office 365 landing page where you can access your mail, contacts, calendar, and the other available Office 365 web applications.
    To get to your mail, click Outlook.

  • Students will be required to backup, save, and/or migrate the data they wish to have within Office 365. IT Services will NOT be migrating data for students and will NOT be responsible for any data that does not get moved by the student. Start cleaning up inbox, calendar, contacts, and Google Drive to reduce amount of data that will need to move. Moving email into folders will help with the migration so that you can work from individual folders at a time.

  • For Mail and Drive content, Google provides a Transfer tool that will transfer the mail and drive content to a personal Google account (not your account). Using the transfer tool will automatically transfer all of your mail and all of your drive documents. The transfer tool will not transfer contacts, calendar, or any other Google related content. For information about the Google Transfer tool, click here. To transfer contacts and calendar items, see the information below. A guide on how to use the transfer tool will be posted soon.

    For Contacts and Calendar items, Google allows you the ability to export these items and import them into another account, either Google or Office 365. A guide on how to export these items will be posted soon.

  • Migrating your email – There are 3 alternatives to migrate your Google mail. These alternatives have not been tested and/or validated.

    1. You can use Google’s Takeout tool to export all of your Google mail into a zipped archive. From the zipped archive you can then import the mail into a personal Google account.

    2. You can follow the steps here to connect your Google Account into your Office 365 account and then move your mail into newly created folders inside of Office 365. After May 10, the connection to your Google account will be broken.

    3. You can get into your Google account and forward any needed emails to yourself by clicking on the message and clicking forward and entering your Ferris email address ([email protected]). This will deliver the email to your Office 365 Inbox.

    Migrating your Google Drive Documents – You can use Google’s Takeout tool to export all of your Google Drive Documents. Using this tool will save the documents as MS Office document file types (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Steps on how to use Google Takeout will be posted soon.

    Migrating your other Google content – You can use Google’s Takeout tool to export all of your Google content, with the exception of Music, Movies, TV Shows, etc. Migrating all of your content will allow you to access the files within whatever application allows the files to be opened.

    Migrating E-Mails from Gmail to Office 365 Mail Using the Desktop Application.

  • To take advantage of the Office 365 security features, auto-forwarding of email to another account is not available for faculty, staff, or students. By not allowing auto-forwarding, we are protecting the University from cyber threats and attacks that aim to steal and use confidential user information in malicious ways.

  • In order to view your emails on a mobile device, we recommend downloading the official Microsoft Outlook app from your app store (iOS App Store for iPhone and Google Play Store for Android) and adding your account ("username" and passphrase) to the app. Click here for detailed instructions.
  • Proxy addresses and/or alternative names are not allowed for student Office 365 accounts. Student email addresses will match exactly what they used previously with their Gmail account.

  • Unfortunately, All Google Play Services (Music, Movies, TV Shows, etc) cannot be transferred to another account. This is a limitation by Google and not restricted as part of the move to Office 365. Music and Books purchased through Google Play store can be downloaded to a personal device.

    • Date: 11/13/2018, Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Location: UCB 209
    • Date: 11/13/2018, Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Location: 211 (Remote Link will be provided)
    • Date: 11/14/2018, Time: 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM, Location: Remote Only for Grand Rapids (Remote link will be sent at a later date)
    • Date: 11/15/2018, Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Location: UCB 211 (Remote Link will be provided)
    • Date: 11/16/2018, Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Location: UCB 211
    • Date: 11/20/2018, Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Location: UCB 209
    • Date: 11/20/2018, Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Location UCB 211


  • Your preferred name will eventually transfer from Gmail to Office 365, however your name may not transfer immediately. 

    1. In the desktop client for Outlook, click Address Book.

    2. Click More Columns and type in the last name of the person you are looking for.

    3. If you want to narrow your search to a certain category, click the type of address book you would like to search.
  • These guides are provided courtesy of Microsoft.

    How to Turn Off Focused Inbox