Students Staff

Email and Office 365

Sign in to Webmail


Webmail lets you access your email from a web browser. Sign in with your Essex ID and password.

Email and calendar services at the University are provided via Microsoft Office 365. Here you'll find information about:

  • your email account
  • mailing lists, groups, mailshots, role mailboxes
  • spam and email security
  • calendars
  • Office 365

If you need to send large files, we recommend that you use our free ZendTo file sharing service, not email.

Help and information

Getting started with email

  • About and features

    We provide all staff and students with a Microsoft Office 365 email account that gives you:

    • a personal email address.
    • 50 GB of space to store your emails (the largest file you can send or receive is 25 MB).
    • access to emails, mailing lists, calendars, contacts, cloud storage, software and much more.
    • anywhere, anytime access and on any device

  • Webmail

    Webmail lets you access your email with a web browser both on and off campus. You don't need to set anything up, just sign in with your Essex ID and password.

  • Set up a smartphone, tablet or computer

    Smartphone and tablet set up instructions

    Get email on the move.

    Windows, Mac and other software set up instructions

  • Changing your email address

    If you're a member of staff or postgraduate research student you can change your email address.

Using email

We provide a number of ways for you to email groups of people, large or small, and can provide role mailboxes as a single point of contact for teams who are dealing with customer enquiries.

The table below shows what type of groups, lists and mailboxes are available, and what you should use them for.

Type Best for Actions
Role mailbox
  • A team of people who want to use a common email address as a single point of contact.
  • Sharing the responsibility of monitoring and responding to customer enquiries.
  • When personal email accounts aren't appropriate for serving a specific role at the University.
Delegated group
  • Mailing lists for Essex users only whereby you control the membership
  • Controlling access to an existing resource, for example a fileshare.
  • Controlling access to a role mailbox.
HR groups HR groups have (HR) at the end of their name. Membership to these groups is mandatory because of your role. You can't request to leave or join a HR group.
Subscription list
  • Mailing lists that let people join, leave and re-join whenever they want.
  • Sending regular email to University and non-University email addresses.
Mailshot list
  • Sending email to an ad-hoc list of up to 10,000 recipients including non-University email addresses.
  • Generating unique, temporary mailing lists on the fly.

Please note that new accounts (groups, lists, role mailboxes, etc.), or changes made to existing accounts, can take up to 48 hours to fully filter down through all systems before they are ready for actual use.

Learn more about mailing lists and groups

  • Subscription list

    About subscription lists

    Membership of a subscription list is a matter of personal choice, and you can join, leave, and re-join whenever you want. Subscription lists can either be open, closed or opt-out.

    • Open lists: anyone can join.
    • Closed lists: anyone can request to join, however it is up to the list owner to approve or reject the request.
    • Opt-out lists: similar to a mandatory list, however you are allowed to leave and re-join whenever you want. You can only join an opt-out list if you're a member of the relative mandatory list.

    Examples of subscription lists

  • Mandatory lists

    About mandatory lists

    Membership of a mandatory list is a consequence of your role(s) at the University of Essex, which is managed automatically by our Human Resources systems. This means you can't:

    • leave a mandatory list
    • join other mandatory lists
    • request a new mandatory list

    Examples of mandatory lists

  • Role mailboxes

    About role mailboxes

    Role mailboxes make it easy for a groups or teams of people to monitor and send email from a common email address. They are a great way to handle customer enquiries because several people can share the responsibility of monitoring and responding to queries.

    A role mailbox is a special account whose name is limited to 8 characters. This account name is then usually the email address for the role mailbox. However, if you require an email address longer than 8 characters, you can specify this in the optional long email address field. If specified, the role mailbox will access emails sent to both the short and long email address but any email sent from the account will appear to come from the long email address (if specified).

    Role mailboxes are set up on request by IT Services, and mailbox owners can control who has access to the mailbox via an online form.

    Please note that role mailboxes do not have separate passwords and cannot be used to log in to other systems.

    Examples of role mailboxes


  • Feature comparison table

    The table below shows the various features and limitations for each type of group, list or mailbox.

    Role mailbox Delegated group Subscription list Mailshot list
    Has an email address
    Recommended as a single point of contact for team queries
    Can receive email
    Has one or more owners
    Can send email
    Can send email to arbitrary recipients
    Has its own mailbox
    Is visible in the Outlook address book
    Can be used to control access to University resources
    Can only contain University email addresses
    Can contain non-University email addresses
    Can be accessed via Outlook (or Webmail)
    Does the Outlook address book show recipients?

Report a suspicious email

If you've received an email you feel may be harmful or malicious, please forward it to our spam report service for investigation.

Further information

  • Clutter

    Clutter is a feature in Office 365 that helps you move low priority messages out of your inbox so that you can easily scan for important messages.

    Clutter analyses your emails, and based on your past behaviour, determines the messages that you're most likely to ignore. It then moves those messages to a folder called Clutter so that you can review them later.

    By default we turn Clutter off. If you'd like to start using it see Microsoft's help article.

  • Email phishing advice

    Phishing is a popular scam where fraudsters try to steal your identity, usually through email.

    Fraudsters will ask for personal information, or direct you to websites or phone numbers to call so they can trick you into giving them your personal details.

    Phishing emails are designed to look like they are genuine messages from a company or institution like a University or bank, or someone you trust. They may appear to come from a legitimate email address or someone in your address book.

    A phishing email might ask you to:

    • Reply with personal information
    • Click a link and log in to a website or fill in a form
    • Make a phone call

    What to look out for

    1. Does it use your full name? Phishing emails typically use terms like 'Dear Customer' as they do not have your personal details. However more sophisticated scams may use your real name.
    2. Does the link look suspicious? Phishers often mask links to make them appear genuine. If you're asked to click a link to a website, hover your mouse over the link to see where it's really linked to. If the tooltip doesn't match the link in the email, don't click on it.
    3. Is it an urgent warning? Messages like "If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed" convey a sense of urgency so that you'll respond immediately without thinking.
    4. Are there spelling mistakes or does it seem badly written? Genuine emails will not be littered with poor grammar and spelling mistakes.
    5. When was it sent? It's unlikely a legitimate company will contact you about something important out of office hours or at the weekend.
    6. Check if the reply-to address is the same as the senders address? If not, then don't reply!
    7. Are you being asked to verify your account or password? Remember, legitimate organisations will never ask you for your password via email.

    Reporting a phishing scam

    If you think you've received a phishing email, stay calm. Don't reply to it, just delete it. There's no risk in receiving a phishing email. You can report it by forwarding it to

Sharing a calendar

More information

  • Automatic calendar service

    The automatic calendar service automatically puts your timetabled events in your Outlook calendar.


    • Manage a single calendar - your timetabled events appear alongside your personal events so there's no need to check your timetable separately.
    • Stay up to date without doing anything - you will no longer have to manually keep your calendar up to date, for example copying your timetabled events to your calendar at the start of every term.
    • Avoid clashes - see when your colleagues or peers are available when arranging meetings.
    • Mobile access - check your calendar on the move by syncing your calendar to your smartphone or tablet.

    How it works

    The synchronisation of data from the central timetable database to your calendar is not real-time. Data is exported overnight from the central timetable database to your calendar.

    This means that any changes to timetabled events made during the day won't appear in your calendar until the following day. The same applies to students.

    If you need to make a same day change you should continue to follow existing procedures for notifying students.

Microsoft Office 365 offers a range of cloud-based tools and services to help you communicate and collaborate.

What's available

  • Free Microsoft Office for your personal computer

    As part of your subscription to Office 365, you're entitled to download the latest version of Microsoft Office for your home computer or mobile device, all free of charge.

  • Skype for Business - messaging and video calling


    • Instant message – send real-time text messages and files to people or groups.
    • Conference – save time and travel, set up virtual meetings using video and audio with up to 250 people.
    • Present – share what's on your computer screen with others or allow them to take control.
    • Presence – let others at the University know when you're available to talk, and when you're not.
    • Skype for Business mobile app – available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

    Skype for Business for staff computers

    If you would like to use Skype for Business on your office computer please contact the IT Helpdesk with your S number and we will arrange installation.

    To use the conferencing features you will need to have headphones, a microphone (or headset), plus a webcam if you prefer. Contact our IT Purchasing team if you would like to buy these, or loan a Skype kit from our audio and visual team.

  • OneDrive for Business - cloud storage space

    OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud storage service.



    • Store – securely store up to 1 TB of files in the cloud.
    • Sync – sync files across devices and access them anywhere, even when you're offline.
    • Search – find the files you need in seconds with simple search tools.
    • Share – share your files with other Essex users and control who can see and edit each file.
    • Work online – use online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote to create and edit documents in a web browser.
    • Recover and restore – easily recover deleted documents or restore previous versions.
    • OneDrive mobile app – available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

  • Yammer - social networking

    Yammer is the University's private social network. Think of Facebook but for University staff and students only.


    Sign in with your Essex ID and password and then click the Yammer tile.


    • Social – connect and promote informal discussion with people across the University. You can share, like and use hashtags. #cool
    • Groups – bring people, conversations, and data together so you can get work done anytime, anywhere.
    • Email alternative – cut down on unnecessary email by posting or private messaging instead.
    • Search – search Yammer to find people, groups and posts working on similar things as you.
    • Yammer mobile app – the Yammer mobile app allows you to participate from virtually everywhere so you never have to miss a beat.

    Yammer acceptable usage policy

    We encourage you to use this community to help with your work or study, develop working relationships, connect with like-minded individuals, and reach out for help where you need it. However, there are a few simple house rules we ask you to follow.

  • Sway - interactive reports and presentations

    Sway is a tool to quickly and simply create interactive presentations, reports, newsletters and stories (known as Sways) that your audience will love.


    Sign in with your Essex ID and password.


    • Easy to share – it's super easy to share a Sway with other Essex users, and you can change privacy settings for more control.
    • Tell a story – bring your Sway to life with interactive content. Include a video to talk about your idea or add an interactive chart to let others dive into the details.
    • Professional design in minutes – you don't need to worry about formatting, Sway's built-in design engine takes care of it. If the first design isn't right for you, Remix! it to see others or customize it to make it your own.