Carnegie Mellon University

Google Mail FAQ

This FAQ addresses questions about using Google Mail at CMU.

How do I log in?

Use your Andrew userID and password to access your Google Mail on the web and apps that support single sign-on (SSO). Apps that don't support SSO require a separate G Suite password. 

Log in - Error Message

If you see one of the error messages below when you log into G Suite, clear your browser cache and cookies, check that the time on your system clock is correct, then log in at

Chrome: This webpage has a redirect loop.
Firefox: Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete. 

Password Incorrect - Error Message

If you can not authenticate when you log in with an email client, and receive the error message "password incorrect", follow Google's instructions "Allow less secure apps to access your account".

Is two-step verification available for G Suite @ CMU accounts?

No, G Suite @ CMU uses Single Sign-On (SSO); 2-step verification cannot be used.

Can I log into other web services using my G Suite @ CMU account? (e.g., YouTube, Pinterest, and so on)

Your G Suite @ CMU account is NOT a commercial Google account and cannot be used to log in to other web services.

What if I already have a personal Google Mail account?

Your G Suite @ CMU email is separate and is not associated with any personal Gmail accounts.

How do I switch between Gmail Accounts?

If you have more than one Google Account, you can sign in to multiple accounts at once. That way, you can switch between accounts without signing out and back in again.

  1. Sign in to Google.
  2. Click the portrait/initial icon (top right), then click Add account (bottom left).
  3. Do one of the following:
    • In the new tab, select the account to open.
    • Click Use another account and log in with the other account.
  4. Click on your profile image again.
  5. Select the account you would like to sign in as.
  6. Open a second tab in your browser.
  7. Click on your profile image again.
  8. Choose the alternate account you would like to sign in as.
  9. Move back and forth between tabs to navigate between accounts.

Alternatively, you can also use a different browser (i.e. Chrome/Firefox/Safari) for each account.

Can I simultaneously access two separate Google accounts with my Drive app?

No. Your Drive app can be configured to access more than one account, but not at the same time.

What happens to my account when I leave the university?

Your Andrew email account will expire 90 days after graduation. Export your emailcalendar data and Google Mail contacts.

Your account has changed/two existing accounts - Error Message

These messages mean there is an account conflict. This occurs when a personal Google account (consumer) is created using or for the email address. Follow the appropriate steps to resolve the address in conflict. 

My Android phone requires me to re-authenticate multiple times a day.

To address this issue, remove the account from your phone and re-add it following the mobile device steps.

Do I need to use the web to check email, or can I use the email software on my computer?

You can also use Outlook or Apple Mail to read your G Suite @ CMU email.

Do I need a separate password for my email client or mobile device app?

Mobile apps that do not support single sign-on (SSO) require a separate G Suite password. 

How do I send mail from my alias?

Follow the steps to send from your CMUname.

I use Exchange, can I schedule a meeting with someone on Google?

See the Tips for Scheduling between Google/Exchange document.

Can I share my calendar with my personal Google account?

See Google's Calendar Sharing Options document for more information. Please note, you can share only free/busy information, but no event details, with someone outside the Carnegie Mellon domain.

Does Google know my Andrew account password?

No. When you access G Suite through a web browser or SSO supported app your password is authenticated on our servers and is not sent to Google. If you use a mobile app that does not support SSO a separate password is needed. See the configuration steps for details.

Does my G Suite @ CMU email display advertisements, like my personal Gmail account?

No, ads are disabled for G Suite @ CMU.

Where is my Google data stored?

Google data is stored in a vast number of geographically distributed data centers that are owned/managed by Google. These centers adhere to, at least, industry standard systems and procedures that ensure security and confidentiality and protect against threats, hazards and unauthorized access.

How is on-site security handled in these locations?

Each Google data center maintains an on-site security operation responsible for all physical data center security functions 24/7. The on-site security operation personnel monitor Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras and all alarm systems. On-site security operation personnel perform internal and external patrols of the data center regularly. Google employs a centralized access management system to control personnel access to Google production servers, and provides access to a limited number of authorized personnel.

Are there any restrictions for using Google?

Per contract, the university may not use Google for High Risk Activities, for data that is controlled for export under Export Control Laws, or in ways that reverse engineers, resells, or creates similar services through the use of Google.

Is my data encrypted?

Google automatically encrypts browser sessions with SSL. Google does not automatically encrypt data in storage.  Users should encrypt documents that contain sensitive information (e.g. Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office both offer encryption features) or redact the sensitive portions of the document prior to uploading to Google.

How does Google handle security breaches?

Google complies with applicable laws and notifies customers directly in the most expedient time possible.  Depending on the situation, Google may automatically suspend the offending use and inform the university’s administrator.

Does Google comply with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) obligations?

Google is considered a “School Official” and will comply with the requirements and obligations of School Officials under FERPA.

What is our agreement with Google in terms of intellectual property rights?

Our agreement with Google does not grant either party any rights, implied or otherwise, to the other’s content or any of the other’s intellectual property. As a Google customer, we (university/end user) own all intellectual Property Rights in customer data; conversely, Google owns all intellectual property rights in the services.

What happens to our data if we terminate our agreement with Google?

Google provides customer access and the ability to export their data for a reasonable period of time. After this time, Google will destroy/overwrite the data.

How does Google manage decommissioned discs/disc erase?

When discs that contain customer data experience performance issues or errors they are decommissioned by Google. Every decommissioned disk is subject to a series of data destruction processes before leaving Google premises. Discs are erased in a multi-step process and verified complete by at least two independent validators.

What does Google do to avoid service interruptions?

Google’s infrastructure systems have been designed to eliminate single points of failure and minimize the impact of anticipated environmental risks.  For example, Google’s data center power systems are designed to be redundant and maintainable 24/7.

Will I still be able to look up student email addresses?

Yes, students will continue to have an email address. You can search these using the CMU directory or through the Global Address Book in your email client.