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Upcoming Change to Staff Email and Office 365

Related services: Microsoft Outlook

At the direction of the university's IT Governance Council, CIT is preparing to make a change to handling of Office 365 email. Mail will be routed directly to Office 365 and no longer pass through Cornell's infrastructure.

The change has already been made for CIT, and will be applied to other Cornell units in the coming months. In the first wave of staff to experience this change, most reported their email service was the same or better. A small share of individuals reported seeing an increase of junk mail to their Inbox. Anyone experiencing this should check their settings as described below under "Preparing for the change: Junk."

What will change

Instead of using Who I Am to specify mail forwarding, it will be set in Office 365. This change includes people forwarding to Cmail.

Spam and junk mail filtering will be done by Microsoft's systems, rather than Cornell's. Effects of this are:

  • The Junk mail folder will collect more spam once this change happens, as it accumulates messages that previously would have gone into a separate quarantine that wasn't part of Office 365. Some individuals may see some spam delivered to their inbox.
  • It will no longer be possible to opt out of spam filtering.

Preparing for the change: Forwarding

For anyone forwarding Cornell email at the time of the change, including to Cmail, that forwarding will be copied into Microsoft’s settings, where they will be managed from then on.  We strongly suggest staff review their current forwarding settings for accuracy and to ensure forwarding is still necessary.

The Microsoft settings will not be available until the change occurs. After it does, they may be managed by following Microsoft's instructions for setting email forwarding in Office 365.

Preparing for the change: Junk

Make sure the setting in Office 365 to automatically filter junk email and put it in the Junk folder is checked. In recent years, some setup documentation on has recommended unchecking that option, so it might need to be changed.

Review the Junk mail setting in Office 365.

Note: Make sure “Automatically filter junk mail” is checked.

Microsoft has said that reporting junk mail helps it improve its filtering. Units that wish to provide their staff with the ability to report junk email directly to Microsoft from Outlook for Windows can install the Junk Email Reporting Add-In.

This capability is available by default in Outlook on the Web ( in the main menu bar, under Junk.

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