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How will the email migration affect me?

What's involved, how much time it will take, and what the impact is likely to be for users of the ACN email service.

ExOL disruption

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How does the migration process work?

It's a two-step process:

  1. In the background we copy over the bulk of your data, while you continue to work normally.
  2. On the night of your migration, we copy over what's changed since the first time.

Exchange Online email migration process

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Will I lose access to my email?

Yes, very briefly, but this will be out of normal office hours (17:00–09:00), and will only be for a matter of minutes rather than hours.

When will I lose access to my email?

We cannot say exactly when this will be, just that it will be at some point overnight – it depends where your mailbox is in the migration batch (there may be up to 300 mailboxes in one batch). Similarly, how long this will be depends on how much new data there is in your mailbox that needs to be copied to Exchange Online. For most people, there won't be much so the outage should brief.

Once your Exchange Online mailbox is live, you can access it via the web portal at on any of your devices until you have reconfigured your email apps to point to your new mailbox. Log in with your email address and UIS Password. Managed desktop PCs will be reconfigured automatically, and should be available for use from 09:00 the morning after your migration.

What will I have to do?

Instructions for all of these steps will be provided:

  1. Any time in advance of your mailbox migration:

    • UIS Password: After your mailbox has migrated, you will be using your UIS Password (the one you use for Raven) to log in to Exchange Online. For this to work, your UIS Password has to be associated (synced) with your University of Cambridge Microsoft account. You might be ready to go, but if not you will need to use the UIS Password Management app do this.
      See: How to check whether your UIS Password has been synced.

    • Locally saved email archives: If you have saved any email archives outside Outlook (which are not, therefore, stored on the Exchange On Premise email server) you will need to copy these archives back into Outlook if you want them to be migrated.

    • Contacts stored in auto-complete:
      Make sure you don’t lose track of any important email addresses! Your University contacts will be available in Exchange Online’s built-in University-wide address book after you have migrated, but if you have relied on Outlook’s auto-complete feature to 'remember' any of your important external contacts, you are advised to create contacts in your personal address book in Outlook so that they get migrated. Once you have migrated, you will need to clear Outlook’s cache and all the addresses in your auto-complete will be deleted.
  2. On the day of your migration you will need to prepare your mailbox:
    • Your Outbox and Drafts folders save data on your local device, not on the email server. To make sure the contents of these folders get copied to your new mailbox, copy anything in your Outbox and Drafts folders into your Inbox folder (or another sub-folder of your choice).
  3. On the morning after your mailbox migration you may need to do a bit of housekeeping to get your new Exchange Online mailbox as you want it to be. Your custom Rules, and any institutional shared resources that have also been migrated to Exchange Online will be copied over to your new mailbox, but you may need to re-create your email signatures and add back links to any shared mailboxes and calendars that are still in Exchange On Premise (e.g. that are owned by a different institution/Division). You will also need to clear Outlook's auto-complete local cache so that the auto-complete feature will work correctly – your Exchange Online mailbox will use the University-wide Global Address List, which includes entries for all University members, not just ACN staff.

  4. After your migration: if you also use an unmanaged personal device (phone, tablet, laptop or desktop Mac) you will need to update the settings in your email app so that it points to your new Exchange Online mailbox. It should only take you a couple of minutes if you’re already familiar with setting-up your device(s). Full instructions will be provided, and we are aiming to have on-site support available to help you with this.
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