Student Move to Microsoft 365 Outlook & OneDrive

Student email, calendar and file storage/sharing services are moving from Google Suite (Gmail and Google Drive) to Microsoft 365 (Outlook & OneDrive).

About the Project

TU students already have Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, OneDrive and PowerPoint. This project adds Outlook email/calendaring to their existing accounts and will focus on student use of Outlook for email and OneDrive for storage in addition to decommissioning the university's use of Google Suite.

Key Benefits: why it's being done

  • Enhanced Support: OTS’ Student Computing Services (SCS) will be able to provide students with an increased level of support.
  • Improved Security: increases TU’s ability to protect accounts from cybercrimes.
  • Simplified and streamlined collaboration: Using the same product means easier scheduling and collaboration among students and faculty.

    High-level Project timeline

    • Fall 2021-summer 2022: high-level project socialization with academic and campus leadership.
    • Fall 2022: planning, testing and communications. Students can use OneDrive now.
    • Jan.-April: early migrations for students who've opted in. Ongoing communications.
    • After the spring 2023 term ends: all remaining student email and files will be migrated by OTS from Google to Microsoft 365 Outlook and OneDrive. When migration is complete, students will use Outlook for email and calendars, and OneDrive for file storage/sharing.

What you need to know

  • Students already have Word, OneDrive, Excel and other Microsoft applications. Access through "apps" in m365.towson.edu and learn more about how to use them.
  • Outlook is TU's email service. It's already used by TU faculty/staff and it's an app within Microsoft 365. Send and receive email messages, manage calendars, store contact info, plus track tasks.
  • OneDrive is a cloud storage app within Microsoft 365 that protects files and allows you to share them from anywhere, on any device. Get up to 5 TB of storage with your TU account. TU faculty, staff and students already have OneDrive.
  • Email addresses won't change.
  • Items to be migrated by OTS include email accounts, folders and messages, plus calendar items, contacts and Google Drive files. This means old Gmail messages can be accessed within Outlook.
  • Google docs, sheets, and slides will convert over to the Microsoft application equivalents. 

About the migration

How it will work

OTS will migrate student accounts in phases from Google to Microsoft 365 based on the timeline below. Students can select an early opt-in migration date or be migrated after the spring 2023 term ends. OTS, Student Computing Services and the Microsoft 365 project team will communicate specifics to students through TU Today and direct emails. Your email address won’t change. 

  1. You’ll get a heads-up email in your Gmail account with specifics before the migration date.  
  2. Continue to use Gmail/Gsuite throughout the migration. You can still access and work on files in Google until the actual migration date.  
  3. You might see prep work happening in your account.  
  4. Don’t touch files in the new "GDrive" folder of your OneDrive until notified migration is complete. At this point, any changes will be overwritten and updates will be lost. 
  5. OTS will move your email, calendar and files.  
  6. You’ll get a confirmation email from scs@towson.edu in your new Outlook email inbox and your personal email (if on file) when migration is complete. If there are any files that need your attention post-migration, you’ll get a separate email. 
  7. You’re all set! Use Outlook for email and OneDrive for files. Here are options for accessing:
  • All apps: myTU - Email tile>login through the Outlook option, or Microsoft 365 tile for OneDrive, Outlook and all apps.
  • All apps (including Outlook and OneDrive): M365.towson.edu 
  • OneDrive only: OneDrive.towson.edu
  • Outlook only: Outlook.towson.edu

Timeline

When/Tentative Planned Date (*Subject to Change) Who/accounts being migrated
Jan. 10 OTS student employees. 
Jan. 24 Other TU student employees who opt-in for this early migration date. 
Jan. 30 Spring term begins
Feb. 8 New accounts created will be in Microsoft (no new Google accounts)
Feb. 10 Students who opt-in for this first early migration date by Feb. 5. Sign up now. New accounts created Jan. 13 - Feb. 10 will also be migrated.
March 3 Students who opt-in for this second early migration date by Feb. 26. Sign up now.
March 17 Students who last attended in 2022 and aren’t taking classes in 2023 
March 18-26 Spring break 
April 7 Students who opt-in for this third early migration date by April 2. Sign up now.
May 23 Spring term ends
May 26-28  Remaining current/active students enrolled for Winter or Spring 2023. Once migration is complete, TU Google accounts won’t be accessible.

How this affects Students

  • Starting in spring/summer 2023, Outlook will be your email service and OneDrive will be your storage service.
  • Incoming students should use OneDrive and Microsoft 365 apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, etc.) and avoid use of the G Suite Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides.
  • TU-provided Gmail and storage will no longer be available once your files and messages have been moved to Microsoft 365. All student accounts will be moved after the spring term ends.

Accounts and features FAQs

Yes. OneDrive is currently available to all enrolled TU students and can be accessed through:

  • myTU (Microsoft 365 tile)
  • M365.towson.edu
  • OneDrive.towson.edu

See TU's Microsoft 365 webpage for more info on using OneDrive.

Not until you've been migrated, but you can opt-in to get early access. Already made the move? Access Outlook through:

  • myTU (Email tile>login through the Outlook option, or Microsoft 365 tile for OneDrive, Outlook and all apps)
  • M365.towson.edu (Outlook, OneDrive and all apps)
  • Outlook.towson.edu

See TU's Microsoft 365 webpage for more info on using Outlook.

If you signed up for an account using your TU email address, you should be fine since your email isn't changing. If you clicked the option to sign up with Google, you'll need to login into that account and change it prior to migration.

No, not as part of this project. TU currently uses Webex for meetings and chats. But if your TU organization or department needs a functionality provided by Microsoft Teams that Webex doesn’t offer, you can include it in a submission to the university’s technology planning process. 

To connect with the technology planning conversation in your college, faculty should contact their CCLT Coordinator. Student organizations can contact the Academic Technology Engagement Program (ATEP) to discuss technology needs.

Yes. Each account gets 5 TB of storage. Contact SCS if you need more help.

Early opt-in and timing FAQs

Opting-in gives you early access to Outlook, plus additional time to explore Microsoft features and get help if needed. Plus, you can choose the pre-determined date that’s most convenient for you. If no date is chosen, you'll be migrated at the end of the spring 2023 term.

Once your account is migrated, you won’t be able to get back into your TU Gmail account. There is a limited access window during which Student Computing Services can help retrieve files from your account. Contact SCS for help. 

Migration FAQs

It’s always wise to regularly back up important and extra-large files, but there aren’t any required steps for you to take. You’ll be notified by OTS/SCS with a heads up that your account will be migrated and OTS will handle all aspects of migrating emails, contacts and files.

No. You’ll be able to get into your TU email at any time. Continue using Gmail until you get the confirmation message from SCS that your migration is complete, then you'll start using Outlook from that point on.

No, but the form spreadsheet and data will be migrated. Use Microsoft Forms to create forms after your migration. 

After moving to Microsoft FAQs

Download the individual apps including Outlook and OneDrive, or using a browser, login through m365.towson.edu or myTU.

Yes, to better protect students, there will be text at the top of emails coming from external sources to remind you to use caution when interacting with the email. Faculty and staff already have this in place.

No. No additional subscription is needed unless you want to create an additional private Microsoft 365 account. Learn more.

Yes, you can access your Microsoft account for 18 months after the spring term ends.

Visit the Microsoft 365 Self-Help Resources webpage. Student Computing Services can help before, during and after the migration.

How this affects Faculty and Staff

Because students will be using the same email and file storing/sharing service, faculty and staff will be able to schedule student meetings in Outlook and continue to share documents directly with them using OneDrive. Need help with setting up things like file sharing with a class? Contact the OTS Faculty/Staff Help Center or submit a TechHelp service request. 

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