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UW Deskmail Email Retirement

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Deskmail (aka UW Email, Alpine, Pine) — the UW’s legacy email system — will be retired for the entire university on December 31, 2018.

Current employees and departments need to plan to migrate from Deskmail to one of UW’s other email services — UW Exchange Online (Microsoft Office 365) or UW Gmail (Google G Suite).

Former staff, retirees, former students, and alumni who no longer have an active relationship with the UW need to migrate their UW email account and de minimis personal email messages to a personal email service by July 31, 2018.

  • More information for former staff and retirees can be found here.
  • More information for former students and alumni can be found here.

Why is UW-IT retiring Deskmail?

The Deskmail email system was developed at the UW more than three decades ago and was quite successful for its time. However, email technology has evolved dramatically in recent years. Deskmail cannot keep pace with the more robust email and collaboration tools available from leading providers such as Microsoft and Google. Additionally, it has become increasingly cost prohibitive for the University to continue to maintain and upgrade the extensive on-premise infrastructure required to operate the Deskmail service.

What can I use instead?

UW students, staff and instructors can choose between two world-class cloud-based email systems: UW Exchange Online (Microsoft Office 365) and UW Gmail (Google G Suite). For more information on how the services compare, click here.

Timeline for retirement

The Deskmail (aka UW Email, Alpine, Pine) email system will be retired for the entire university on December 31, 2018.
EMP Timeline Deskmail Only

Click for larger image

[Note: “Data Storage” refers to individual or shared UW NetID accounts with an associated Deskmail mailbox, who forward their email to an alternate email service such as UW Exchange Online, UW Gmail, or a personal email address.]

Important milestones

  • December 7, 2017:  Official announcement of Email Modernization Program, including Deskmail retirement and Alumni/Retiree email service retirement.
  • December 13, 2017: Deskmail service retirement notification to affected subscribers.
  • December 14, 2017: “Data Storage” mailbox users instructed to manually deactivate their Deskmail account.
  • January 2018: No new Deskmail accounts will be provisioned as of this date; ability to change email forwarding to Deskmail blocked.
  • April 30, 2018: Access disabled and any remaining “Data Storage” mailboxes deactivated. “Data Storage” users must complete mail migration (as desired) and manual account deactivation prior to this date.
  • December 31, 2018: Access disabled and any remaining Deskmail mailboxes deactivated. Departments and users must complete mail migration prior to this date.

Important: Changing UW email forwarding from UW Deskmail to any other UW email service or personal email address initiates a two-week countdown for expiring and permanently deleting your UW Deskmail account. Once you change forwarding away from UW Deskmail, you cannot change it back.

Timeline for UW Deskmail account expiration and permanent deletion after a change of forwarding from UW Deskmail:

Day 1: Change UW email forwarding away from Deskmail

Day 2: You will receive email notice of automated expiration

Day 14: Deskmail account is deactivated (you lose access to account)

Day 27-28: Deskmail mailbox files and account permanently deleted

Day 35: Last backup of Deskmail mailbox files permanently deleted

Migration Options

Individual Mailbox Migration

Individual Deskmail users can choose from several options to migrate their mail:

  • Migrate yourself:
    • The Deskmail Copy Tool is available to copy email messages from Deskmail to UW Gmail. You can access this tool through the UW NetID Manage Portal after you change email forwarding to UW Gmail (the tool is provided at no additional cost).
    • Instructions for how to manually migrate mail from Deskmail to UW Exchange Online are available here.
  • Supported email migration (current UW employees, staff, student, and faculty only):
    • Migration to either UW Exchange Online or UW Gmail is available via Comparex, a 3rd party vendor.  This service is $25 per email account and requires a UW budget number. For more information on Comparex supported email migration, click here.

Whole Department/Business Unit Bulk Mailbox Migration

Bulk mailbox migration support using Comparex is available for units, departments, or colleges moving from Deskmail to either UW Exchange Online or UW Gmail. Please email with the subject line “Comparex bulk email migration” so our team can consult with you on your needs and timing, as well as offer recommendations for supporting your users through the transition. Additionally, refer to the Deskmail Bulk Migration Toolkit for numerous planning and communication resources departments and units may use “as is” or adapt to their purposes.