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Cornell University

Set Your Email Delivery Options

Faculty, staff, postdocs, students, alumni, and retirees can have email addressed to their Cornell address delivered or forwarded in a number of ways.

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Faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate and professional students, and retirees are initially set up with Microsoft 365 email accounts. By default, you access these accounts through an email client like Outlook, Apple Mail, or Outlook on the Web.

Undergraduates begin at Cornell with Google Workspace accounts (but have the option to use Microsoft Outlook). Alumni who graduated on or before December 2022 retain their Google Workspace accounts, and may optionally move to Office 365 email accounts. Alumni graduating in 2023 and beyond will only have access to Office 365 email accounts.

You also have the option of forwarding your messages to an external (non-Cornell) address. Cornell discourages you from doing this for a variety of reasons that will be explained in this article.

Regardless of where you want your mail delivered, tell people to use your address.

Will Messages to Me Be Delivered?

Major email services continuously change how they send and receive messages in order to close loopholes that are being exploited for criminal purposes. Because of these changes, if you set your Cornell email to be automatically forwarded to an account on a non-Cornell service, your Cornell email may unexpectedly:

  • Be refused by that email service (not delivered to your account)
  • Be flagged as "junk" or suspicious
  • Be quarantined

Read more about this issue (DMARC policies).

Are Messages Delivered to Me Secure?

Cornell has contracts with Microsoft and Google that provide security and privacy for your Cornell email. Non-Cornell email accounts do not offer the same security or privacy that your Cornell account does.

Faculty and staff are urged to refrain from forwarding their Cornell email to a non-Cornell account if what they communicate about is:

  • subject to the university's record retention policy, or
  • subject to other legal or university policy requirements related to institutional access, confidentiality, or recordkeeping, or
  • academic or business information typically maintained by Cornell, for example, official course-related communications

Never use ANY email account, Cornell-provided or otherwise, to transfer confidential data, such as financial information, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, employment records, or grades. Cornell Secure File Transfer is a university-approved, secure way to transfer confidential data.

Set Your Email Delivery Options

Before you decide to forward your Cornell email to a non-Cornell account, please be aware of policy changes by the major email service providers that may affect your email delivery.

The current best recommendation for everyone with Cornell email is to use their account to send and receive mail.

Faculty, Staff, Postdoc and Retirees




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