Email FAQs

× Medical School Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Please visit our Medical School Email Changes page for information specific to the recently announced email changes.

Select the New email button

Enter name in the To: field. Outlook will make suggestions based upon your contacts and recent emailing.

If you do not see the right name, click on Check Names button. This will open the directory to search through (WashU and BJC both). Click on the name to insert in the To: field.

Note: This article does not apply to Outlook running on the Apple Mac.
Symptom: When performing a simple search in the Outlook client, expected emails do not show up in the search results.

Possible Causes:
1. Outlook client was recently reset, Outlook client upgraded, or computer upgraded

Your computer will need time to perform a full-text index of your email. If you have quite a bit of email, it may take 24 hours before indexing is complete. In Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013, follow these steps to verify that indexing is complete:

  1. In Outlook, click in the Search box.
  2. Click the Search tab, click Search Tools, and then click Indexing Status.
  3. When the Indexing Status dialog appears, you should see the following:
    Outlook has finished indexing all of your items.
    0 items remaining to be indexed.

2. The full text index is corrupt and must be rebuilt.

Close Outlook, delete the local email cache .ost file and re-open Outlook.
Please contact your local help desk support for assistance with deleting this file.
It is located at %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

The information above and additional information can be found in the “Troubleshooting Outlook search issues” article.

Focused Inbox is a new feature that gives you 2 separate views of your Inbox:

  • Focused – shows your most important messages
  • Other – shows all other messages

This feature is available in Outlook mobile clients and Outlook for the web. This feature replaces the Clutter feature that you may have been using.

For more information on Focused Inbox, including screenshots showing how to use the tool or turn it on and off, please see this support article from Microsoft.

The following file types are blocked in Office 365, for both sending and receiving email, to protect members of the University:

.rar Self-extracting archive file created with the WinRAR


.dll 32-bit Windows executable file with dynamic link library extension
.exe Self-extracting executable program file
.jar Java archive file
exe Un-installation executable file
.exe Program shortcut file
.obj Compiled source code file or 3D object file or sequence file
.exe 32-bit Windows executable file
.vxd Microsoft Vizio XML drawing file
.os2 OS/2 operating system file
.w16 16-bit Windows executable file
.dos Disk-operating system file
.com European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research standard anti-virus test file
.pif Windows program information file
.exe Windows executable program file
.vbs VB Script
.scr Microsoft Silverlight Script

For WUSTL Students, your FERPA privacy settings in WebSTAC determine whether or not your email address is visible to the University community in Office 365. If you wish to change your FERPA privacy settings, take the following steps:

  • Login to WUSTL WebSTAC
  • Under the Student Information tab at the top, click FERPA Rights and Record Privacy
  • Update your FERPA privacy settings as desired
  • If you wish to have your email address visible in Office 365,you must set the following FERPA privacy attributes to Yes:
    • Release my name
    • Release my Email address
    • Release other directory information about me
  • Click Save

Note: changes to your FERPA privacy settings will be reflected in Office 365 the following day.

To access a shared mailbox via OWA:

  • Login to Office 365 using your WUSTL Key
  • Click on your user icon at the top-right of the page and select Open another mailbox
  • Search for the name or address of the shared mailbox you want to access
  • Click Open
  • A new tab will open and you will be using OWA functions as the shared mailbox

Distribution Groups that you own can be managed via Outlook Web Access

using the following instructions:

  • Login to Office 365 using your WUSTL Key
  • Select the Gear icon near the top-right
  • Select View all Outlook Settings
  • In the General settings, select Distribution groups
  • Wait for your distribution group info to be displayed in the main window – it may take up to 30 seconds
  • Under the Distribution groups that I own section, double-click on the distribution group that you want to modify
  • In the Distribution Group window that opens, select Membership
  • To add members:
    • Select the + button that is above the membership list
    • Search for and find the person you want to add
    • Select the + button next to their name
    • Select Save
  • To remove members:
    • Scroll through the membership list to find the person you want to remove
    • Click once on their name
    • Select the button that is above the membership list
    • Select Save
  • Select Save to save the additions/removals that you have performed

Employees who leave the University generally have their email address and account deactivated at the time that their employment ends. Exceptions are sometimes made for emeritus and retirees who maintain a close connection to the University.

Students who leave the University having completed a degree program and earned a diploma are considered alumni, and get to keep their email address and email account as long as they care to use it.

Students who leave the University without completing a degree program have their email address deactivated 91 days after losing their current student status.

Clutter is an email sorting tool in Office 365 that identifies email message that you are likely to ignore and automatically moves them into a “Clutter” folder.

For detailed information on how Clutter works, click here.

Setup Instructions can be found here.

Note: Medical School Students, Faculty, and Staff – Utilize the Office Web App for personal computers and the Outlook App on Mobile Devices

  • Login to OWA using your WUSTL Key at
  • Near the top-right, click the small Gear icon and select View all Outlook settings
  • In the Mail section, select Automatic replies
  • Toggle Automatic replies on to on and configure the time-frame and out of office message you wish to use
  • Click Save

  • Login to OWA using your WUSTL Key at
  • On the left-side menu under Folders, select More – your folders will then be displayed

  • In order to request the creation of a new shared mailbox in Office 365, please contact support.
  • Requests for new shared mailboxes that have an addresses must be approved by Public Affairs. In order to expedite PA review, please include answers to the following questions in your request:
    • What is the purpose for the address?
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • How will the address be advertised/published?

  • Faculty and Staff:
    • Login to HRMS
    • From the Main Menu, select Employee Self Service –Personal Information – Personal Information Summary
    • Enter your birth year when prompted
    • Click on the Change Preferred First Name button
    • Enter in your new preferred first name and then click Save
    • Wait 24 hours for the change to be reflected in Office 365
  • Students:
    • Login to WebSTAC
    • In the left-side menu, select User Profile
    • Enter in your new preferred first name in the Preferred First Name field and then click the small Save button next to the field
    • Wait 24 hours for the change to be reflected in Office 365
  • Alumni:
    • First, contact Alumni and Development to ask that they update your name in the Alumni database
    • Next, contact WashU IT support (314-935-8200, or and request that an Office 365 display name change be entered so that your name displays as desired in Office 365

  • When you delete an item from your mailbox in Office 365, it is moved to the Deleted Items folder. Items in that folder stay there for 1 year (365 days) from the date of deletion. You will see this folder in your list of folders and may move items out of it as needed.
  • After 1 year, or if you delete them from the Deleted Items folder, they are moved to the Recoverable Items folder. The Recoverable Items folder will be invisible you, but mail items can be recovered by your area’s e-mail administrator by request. Items in this folder remain for 30 days before permanent deletion.
  • Once a mail item then leaves the Recoverable Items folder, it is completely gone and cannot be recovered.

  • At Washington University, Office 365 consists of the cloud based e-mail, calendar, and messaging/collaboration services.
  • Microsoft Office is a productivity suite (for example: Word,PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote) that is installed on desktop or laptop computers.

  • Since Office 365 is a web-based email and calendar solution, you are not required to have Microsoft Office installed on your computer to use Office 365.

  • Your primary address in Office 365 will be your address.
  • Note – you can continue to receive e-mail sent to address (for example:,,,,,

  • Each email is limited to 100 MB maximum
  • If sending messages through Outlook for the web, each individual attachment has a 10 MB maximum, and messages are limited to a 25MB maximum

  • In Office 365, your mail will not be archived automatically.
  • Any existing archives you may have had from a previous university email system will still appear through an Outlook desktop client. You may move items between the archive folders and your main mailbox. If you no longer use an archive attached to your mailbox and want it removed, please contact support for assistance.

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