[Exchange] Email and Calendar FAQ

Table of Contents


Migration Process

Using Exchange



Mobile Devices

Other Questions

Known Issues


Q: What is Exchange?

A: Exchange is a robust feature-rich messaging environment developed by Microsoft. Exchange provides e-mail, calendar, tasks and contacts.

Q: What are the benefits of Exchange?

A: Benefits of Exchange include:

  • Single application (Outlook) integration of e-mail, calendar, tasks and contacts.
  • Drag and drop integration of Outlook and other MS Office productivity applications.
  • Full-featured Web interface (very similar to Outlook).
  • Ability to set scheduled delivery of messages to individuals or lists.
  • Ability to recall or expire messages you send if they are unread by the recipient.
  • Real time updates for most mobile devices via Mobile Access and ActiveSync.
  • Any IMAP client will work (but enhanced features may not be supported).
  • BlackBerry integration:  layering BES on top of Exchange allows mobile users to receive mail almost instantly, as well as view their calendar, propose and accept/deny meeting requests, have access to online address lists, etc…

Q: Is there a Web client?

A: Yes, there is Web access at https://outlook.unc.edu. Using Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari you’ll get a full-featured Outlook client.

Q: What is the preferred e-mail client?

A: Outlook 2007, 2010, or 2011 for Mac is the preferred e-mail client.

Q: What is the difference between Exchange and Outlook?

A: Exchange is the messaging server. Outlook is the MS desktop e-mail client.

Q: I’m a Mac user. What client will I be using?

A: Any IMAP client such as Mac Mail (http://help.unc.edu/008568) or Thunderbird for Mac is compatible with Exchange. There is native support for Exchange in Outlook for Mac (http://help.unc.edu/CCM3_022096) or if you are running Snow Leopard, there is native support for Exchange in Mac Mail, iCal and Contacts.

Q: If I don’t like Outlook, will I still be able to use my old e-mail client?

A: You can still use any IMAP compliant client for e-mail only but at the cost of integration with the calendar. You will need to use Outlook or outlook.unc.edu for calendar functions.

Migration Process

Q: What is the migration process?

A: Each departmental unit will determine it’s own migration process. Your department’s unit coordinator will work with ITS to facilitate its processes and schedule for email migration. Coordinators will also work with ITS to resolve any challenges that arise.

Q: What if our department does not have unit-specific IT Support?

A: Contact Kathleen Kyzer by email at kathy_kyzer@unc.edu for further assistance.

Q: Will my email address change?

A: No. Although we recommend use of an “unc.edu” alias address, full <onyen>@email.unc.edu email addresses will still be supported.

Q: How are aliases handled?

A: For more information on aliases, visit http://help.unc.edu/764. The ‘Set E-mail Alias’ button allows a user to create an alias for ad.unc.edu accounts.

Q: I understand that there is a 2 GB quota.  What does the 2GB quota include, and what if my inbox is over 2 GB?

A: ITS will enforce the 2GB quota, which includes your calendar, inbox, sent mail, deleted items, RSS feeds and all folders associated with your e-mail account. For more information on the quota, visit http://help.unc.edu/754. For Exchange users who require more than 2GB, ITS provided an extended quota option. For more information please visit http://help.unc.edu/CCM3_025576.

Q: How can I check whether or not I am over quota for Webmail (IMAP)?

A:  Navigate to http://onyen.unc.edu and select Mailbox Properties.

Q: What happens if in the future my mailbox exceeds 2GB?

A: Quota statuses and the resulting messages are processed nightly. The quota messages are always sent with high importance and are not subject to storage quotas. The message will include a graphical representation of the storage quota and the amount used.

Users nearing and exceeding the 2 GB quota will receive the following warnings:

  • Warning: 1945 MB is the threshold: “You are approaching your mailbox quota. Please reduce your mailbox size. Delete any items you don’t need from your mailbox and empty your Deleted Items folder. If you do not decrease the size of your mailbox, your ability to send and receive e-mails will be compromised.  If you need assistance, please contact 962-HELP.”
  • Prohibition of Send: 2048 MB is the threshold. “You have exceeded the 2 GB quota.  As a result, your mailbox can no longer send messages. Please reduce your mailbox size immediately. Delete any items you don’t need from your mailbox and empty your Deleted Items folder.  If you need assistance, please contact 962-HELP.”
  • Prohibition of Send and Receive: 2355 MB is the threshold.
  • “You received a previous warning that your mailbox exceeded the 2 GB quota.  Since you did not take any action to reduce your mailbox, your mailbox can no longer send or receive messages. Please reduce your mailbox size immediately. Delete any items you do not need from your mailbox and empty your Deleted Items folder.  If you need assistance, please contact 962-HELP.” “Bounce” message that a sender receives when a target recipient is over quota to the point where receiving messages is prohibited (5.2.2: DSN mailbox full): “The recipient’s mailbox is full and cannot accept messages now. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please try resending this message later, or contact the recipient by another method.”

Q: Do I still use Webmail?

A:  No the existing Webmail service points to IMAP. Exchange provides a feature rich web client that can be found at https://outlook.unc.edu

Q: If I have questions or problems, what do I do?

A: Call 962-HELP or submit a request for help at http://help.unc.edu.

Q: What happens when an account is not included as part of the migration?

A: This clarifies what happens when an account (either a user or a resource) is not included in the migration.

There are many reasons why this can happen, such as, the account is incorrectly mapped, the account is disabled, or the account is not provisioned.  Regardless of why the account was excluded, that account will not have any data (calendar items, tasks, and contacts, if available.) If that user existed in isolation, the impact would be limited to that user.  But the value of calendaring is in the connection among people, i.e. it has a ‘state’ for each guest.  This differs from email, which is stateless.  After we define a few terms, I’ll discuss the implications.


Appointment – An item that appears on a user’s calendar; It could be a one-time event, or a recurring event.  Regardless, the only person associated with this event is the account owner. Like email, it is effectively stateless because only this user owns it.

Meeting – Is an appointment that has guests (also called attendees).  Said another way, an appointment becomes a meeting when it has an organizer with a valid Exchange mailbox account, and one or more guests with a valid Exchange mailbox account. Without guests, meetings are appointments. Further, each guest has a state.

State: Exchange tracks the responses for each of those guests.  This response tracking is called state.

Meeting organizer – the person who created or chairs the meeting; any changes or updates to the meeting (e.g., new location, time, agenda, additional attendees, etc.) must come from the organizer. Guest state is defined from the meeting organizer’s calendar – NOT from the guest’s calendar.

Live meeting – a live meeting has a meeting organizer and a guest list.  It can be changed or updated at by the meeting organizer, and those changes will appear on all guest’s calendars (this also include conference rooms).

Archived Meeting – A Sumatra concept; this is a live meeting that has completed and has been converted to an appointment by removing all of the attendees and locations from the meeting.  To maintain calendar fidelity, a copy of the appointment is placed in each user’s calendar.  However, if the meeting organizer decides to change (or cancel) meeting, no attendee will receive those changes or cancellation notices (because all attendees have been removed from the calendar item).  (Of course, since the meeting has completed you should not be modifying the meeting anyway!)

Validated Accounts – the user (or room) account is enabled in Active Directory, it has a mailbox (and is mail-enabled), and has calendar, task, and contact folders, and the service account that has been granted permissions to operate the Sumatra tool can “see” the mailbox.

If a user’s account does not migrate, the user’s calendar data will not be added into Exchange.

User’s Appointments: No one will miss the user’s appointments because those appointments are only on the user’s calendar.

Organized Meetings: If the user organized any meetings, those events will not be on anyone’s calendar, because that event was never created in Exchange, nor any meeting invitations generated.

Attended Meetings:  For meetings the user was invited to, the name will not appear in the guest list.  Again, because the user’s account was undefined or inaccessible, so the user was not added to the meeting (this avoids lots of undeliverable mail messages).

Exchange calendaring is a messaging protocol.  If there is no user to originate the meeting (and send out a meeting message), or to receive the meeting invitation (message), then the meeting between these people does not exist.

Q: How do I migrate my old e-mails to Exchange?

A: In order to migrate your UNC IMAP data to Exchange please click here.

Using Exchange

Q: Once I’m on the Exchange mail system, can I still access my old mail and folders?

A: Yes, you can still access your old mail through your IMAP mail client.  You can still use your old mail client or use http://webmail.unc.edu until October 2011.

Q: In Exchange what is the largest message size for incoming and outgoing mail?

A: There is a 50 MB limit for both incoming and outgoing mail. If the file is a zipped file, the unzipped file must be under 50 MB.

Q: What is the limit on the number of recipients for a message in Exchange?

A: The maximum number of recipients for a message is 5000.  However, it is not recommended to send a message to that many people at once.

Q: I see that the Outlook client allows me to ‘recall’ a message if I send a message accidentally. Can I really do that?

A: While the Outlook client allows you to recall a message if the recipients are also on Exchange and have not yet opened the message, the recipient will get a message stating that you recalled a specific message. Using ‘recall’ is not recommended.

Q: How do I recover my deleted email?

A: If messages have been deleted and emptied from the trash, the user can restore the messages within 14 days of deletion. For more information on this, visit http://help.unc.edu/008552.

Q: Can I forward Exchange e-mail to external mail domains such as Gmail and Yahoo?

A: No, A pending University policy prohibits faculty and staff from automatically forwarding e-mail to all but UNC e-mail systems.

Q: Will I still have access to my shared mailboxes?

A: Shared mailboxes are still available. Submit a Remedy web ticket or call 962-HELP requesting an Exchange shared mailbox.

Q: How do I access my shared mailboxes in Exchange?

A: Please click here.

Q: How do I configure a Shared Folder?

A: Please click here.

Q: How do I view message headers in Outlook?

A: Please click here.

Q: How to Set Free/Busy Options in Outlook?

A: Please click here

Q: What are Permission Levels in Outlook?

A: Please click here

Q: How do I setup my email signature in Outlook?

A: Please click on the version you are using for Outlook Web App, 2010, or 2013 .


Q: How do I “Create, view, or delete a calendar group”?

A: Please click here

Q: How do I “Allow someone else to manage your mail and calendar”?

A: Please click here


Q: Will my connection to the Exchange server be encrypted over public networks?

A: The ITS Exchange server requires transport layer security (TLS) for thick clients and for clients using Outlook Web Access. Be aware that mail server to mail server communications, such as Exchange to Google, etc…or to other UNC-CH departments, are typically not encrypted.

Q: Does Exchange scan attachments to check for bombs and viruses?

A: All mail goes through Iron-Port just like it does now. However, there is an additional layer of virus and spam scanning within Exchange. If this secondary layer catches a message, the message will be delivered to your ‘Junk E-mail’ folder.

Mobile Devices

Q: I have already configured my personal mobile device to point to Gmail with active sync. Can I also use Exchange with my mobile device?

A: Most mobile devices only support one active sync connection per device; however some newer mobile devices may support multiple Active Sync Connections and most devices support multiple IMAP connections. You can connect to your Email with Exchange via an IMAP connection.

Q: What is the preferred method for connection for Blackberry?

A: Blackberry Enterprise Service (BES) is the preferred method. By using BES, e-mail, calendar and contact information is synchronized. A BES plan from your provider and a one-time license purchase is required. The license may be purchased through Software Acquisition.

Q: What are some BlackBerry, Palm, and Smartphone issues?

A: Our recommendation is that as part of your migration process you blank out your calendars in your source system and re-synch completely on your target.

Why? Because the synchronization usually keeps track based on something called UIDs (or Universal Identification Numbers). You change your calendar server, you change your UIDs, and if you’re not careful your Smartphone will get data from BOTH systems (and this is a hassle).

While migration is going on we strongly recommend turning off your BlackBerry server. Why? The Vendor generates a lot of email as part of re-creating end-user calendars in Outlook. While the vendor’s insertion technology removes almost all of that email from end user’s in boxes, it cannot remove those messages delivered to your device via the BlackBerry Exchange Server. So depending on your migration option your BlackBerry users will either be flooded with a lot of email (no Event-Sink) or some email (Event-Sink).

Since your BlackBerrys, Palms, or Windows Mobile PCs is synched with a system that is obsolescing – you will need to clear the calendars when you shut down your Oracle Calendar / Meeting Maker / Sun Java Calendar / etc. server, then have your users re-synch after the migration is completed.


For clearing the calendar on the Blackberry – see the following webpage:


For clearing the calendar on a Palm OS, you might use the Purge function:

Windows Mobile (Pocket PC)

For Windows Mobile, you can:

Open ActiveSync

Double Click on Calendar.

Change the settings such that it syncs only 0 past and 0 future appointments.

SYNC – this will clear all calendar items on the IPAQ / most other Pocket PCs.

Note: Some earlier ActiveSync versions attempt to interpret the default Sumatra Category as a date field. If you have Windows Mobile PCs you should remove the keyword AFTER you have done your quality assurance testing on the migration. Sumatra also has a COM add-in for Outlook that will accomplish the same thing on a user-by-user basis.


Updated with info from Notify Technology.

Migration for NotifyLink Enterprise Server (NLES) Users with recent versions.

An administrator must:

1. Make sure the NLES server and device software are up to date.

2. Create the new mail and PIM servers

3. Open the user administration list and for each user to be moved, select the “Edit User” button.

4. On the “Edit User” page, switch the email and PIM servers to the new servers that were created.

5. This should all be done after the actual migration is complete on the server side. Notify Tech claims their software should handle the rest. It should re-prime accounts and issue full resynchronization commands. The device PIM stores will be automatically cleared and reloaded with the new account info.

Earlier versions of their software ran a more complicated, non-automatic process.

Other Questions

Q: Since migrating to Exchange, when I post to a listserv I am subscribed to, the post does not publish, nor do I receive a bounce back message or notification that the message wasn’t posted.

A: To post to a listserv you are subscribed to, you will need to ensure that you are subscribed with the same e-mail ID [or alias] that is published in the UNC Directory (http://www.unc.edu/dir). If your directory listing is different than your listserv ID, you will need to contact the listserv administrator to re-subscribe you, using the address listed in the UNC Directory.

Q: Is the POP3 e-mail protocol supported?

A: No, POP is not supported.

Q: I’m a Linux user, what are my options for an e-mail and calendar client?

A: Any IMAP compatible client will work for e-mail. For calendaring, you can use outlook.unc.edu. Many users have reported success with using Evolution, although it is not officially supported.

Known Issues

Q: Why do I receive a synchronization error about deleted items in Outlook 2010?

A: The issue occurs when Outlook 2010 is connected to an Exchange 2010 account.  The problem happens by deleting an item, then shortly after emptying your deleted items folder on Outlook 2010.  Outlook will not sync with the Exchange Server before the deleted items folder is emptied, so when it sends the command to the Exchange server to empty the deleted items folder, the items are not there to empty.

For further information on the issue please see the Microsoft thread, the thread includes some responses from Microsoft Full Time employees.


Q: Why has my auto-complete stopped working in Outlook 2010?

A: The auto-complete is a local desktop client issue and no way related to the server.  The auto-complete will not fill out an email address when typing the email address.  This issue occurs because the pst file associated with the email account which Outlook 2010 uses to connect to your account has been corrupted.  This file can be fixed by running a repair tool called “scanpst.exe”.  Please visit http://helpdeskgeek.com/office-tips/outlook-2010-autocomplete-not-working-or-resetting/ for more information about this issue and Repair PST File section for instructions on repairing the pst file.