Important Information on Email Services for Retirees and Emeritus Faculty

Retirees and Emeritus Faculty are offered two mutually-exclusive options: continuing email service, or "EFFL." Please be aware that choosing EFFL will delete your O365 account immediately 

Do not follow through with OIT's "Email Forwarding For Life" instructions unless you have already backed up your GT email AND ALSO do not intend to keep using your GT email account. 

Please be extra-careful with this; OIT's documentation repeatedly conflates "EFFL" (which destroys your mailbox) with the much less-documented "continuing service" (which maintains your mailbox). Some users may prefer to make a clean break with GT email, but we still recommend you 

How to maintain a GT email account as a Retiree

  1.   Once your Retirement paperwork is filed with OHR, you will begin to see automated emails that say your account is expiring. You must FORWARD these (do NOT include any other addresses or CC's) to, along with an attestation that you are a Retiree in good standing, and that you are still using this resource for GT business.
  2.  You have only 30 days in which to complete that attestation. We recommend that you do so as soon as you see the first expiration notice, and vigilantly watch for replies. Do not assume that everything is in order. 
  3. Even with the request to maintain your mailbox, we strongly recommend backing up all of your O365 data, as extensions are not guaranteed.  

How to download a copy of your GT mailbox

For users who intend to stop their GT email service and delete their mailbox, this must be done before creating your EFFL service.

For those who intend to continue using GT email after Retirement, this should be done regularly, as GT services are not guaranteed for Retiree use. Restoration of accidentally-deleted data is likewise not guaranteed. We recommend you make regular backups of your own data, in case of future policy changes or accidental deletions. 

Recommended backup method: Mozilla Thunderbird

Thunderbird is a freely-available and extremely stable email client, built for the public good, by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation. We recommend using Thunderbird because the program is freely available, the files it produces via this method are readable in not only Thunderbird, but also, in a worst-case scenario, by a plain text editor. This has the best chance of being compatible with future computers, programs, and operating systems. Please see this page to set up Thunderbird for GT's two-factor authentication.

Once Thunderbird is connected to GT's email servers, you have several ways of saving your email messages.

  1.  Recommended: set up a mailbox rule to automatically save a copy of all email to a designated Local Folder
  2.  Use the Archive feature to automatically archive messages by date, into a structure of your choice (by year, by month, or into a single folder). 
  3.  Manually select, copy, and paste messages or groups of messages into Local Folders

Additional proprietary methods

These methods rely on proprietary programs, whose formats may change over time, or require access to restricted software like Microsoft Outlook. They are provided for completeness and for short-term convenience, but not recommended as a primary backup strategy. 

  1. Exporting Mac Mail boxes as Mbox files
  2. Exporting email, calendar, and contacts as Outlook-only "PST" files


How to close out your GT email account and instead forward all email to a non-GT destination of your choice

  1. We recommend first making a backup of your GT data, as detailed above.
  2. If you don't already have an outside email account, set one up. Some users prefer to use a free account at GMail or Apple, while others prefer to pay for a domain and email hosting, either with a Google business account, or through a commercial host like DreamHost. Contact your departmental IT Support if you have questions on what options are a good fit for your individual needs.
  3. Log in to GT's Passport site, at
  4. Email Forwarding for Life can NOT forward your departmental GT alias (i.e. -- it can only forward aliases in the domain. If you had been using a departmental email address, you will need to stop using that address, and instead select a new alias (ex:
  5. Once you have an alias, navigate to the left-hand sidebar, and choose Email Preferences, and scroll to the Email Destination section.
  6. Select the option for "an external email address" and supply the external address you will be using.
  7. Click "Update Email Destination." 

Please be aware that OIT's O365 continuing services for Emeritus and Retiree personnel are not guaranteed, and have been recently reduced. They may be reduced further in the future. Users are encouraged to plan accordingly. 

GT email boxes are extended to Retirees and Emeritus faculty on a year-to-year basis, at OIT's sole discretion.

Please be aware that departmental personnel, including Chairs, Deans, and IT Support staff, have no influence on OIT's autonomous policy decisions on whether to allow you to keep using your GT mailbox. Previous unsuccessful arguments include: departmental or Institute benefit, ongoing GT work, distinguished status, years of service, and fundamental norms of respect and courtesy in the academic tradition. 

We have absolutely no ability to intervene on your behalf, should anything happen to your GT email account or the data within it. Please keep this in mind and make sure to keep vigilant backups and respond quickly to the yearly expiration notices. 

OIT's policy is that you MUST respond, once every year, to an automated message requiring an attestation of your ongoing use of the account for GT business.

Failure to do so will result in your account being deleted. Data restoration is not an option in this circumstance. 

OIT has recently curtailed their offerings to both Retirees and distinguished Emeritus faculty from full, unchanged O365 access to a reduced O365 license.

What this means for Retiree and Emeritus personnel:

  1.  If you had installed copies of Microsoft Office software under the full GT license, you may find that it stops working. We highly recommend upgrading to an unrestricted program, such as LibreOffice, OpenOffice, Google Docs, Pages, etc. Click here to learn more about unrestricted software options, and IAC recommendations for a better workflow!
  2. Your total storage quota (including OneDrive, Sharepoint, and email) has been reduced, which may lead to messages about being over-quota. If you are storing more data than the reduced license allows, you will need to delete some documents and/or messages. 
  3. Web-based copies of Office apps are still available for use, but again, this is not a comfortable workflow for most users, and we recommend switching completely to software that's freely available, instead of continuing to work with Microsoft Office. 
  4. The recent reduction in service, and all future service offerings are necessarily based on Microsoft's licensing scheme, which is extremely fluid. Every two to three years, the licensing terms, costs, and terminology changes, which will impact the precise level of service that OIT chooses to extend to Retirees and Professors Emeritus. We are unable to predict, for example, whether you will be offered the right to install Office programs, whether those programs will be taken away, whether you will get 100GB or 500GB or 10GB of storage space, and how long those terms will last. This is a consequence of being a customer of a cloud service, and therefore having almost no control over what Microsoft will choose to sell Georgia Tech in the future. Retirees and Emeritus faculty should be wary of relying exclusively on such an inherently unpredictable service, and maintain multiple alternatives in your toolkit.