MU students struggle with transition to Outlook Live e-mail

Thursday, August 27, 2009 | 7:12 p.m. CDT; updated 11:49 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

COLUMBIA — Two weeks into the start of the school year, students and MU officials are still experiencing problems with the transition to a new e-mail system.

Outlook Live solutions

What if I am having trouble changing my temporary password to one I can remember?
When you log in to Outlook Live, click the “options” button in the right-hand corner. On the next screen, there is a link titled “Change your password.”

How can I keep e-mails from going to junk mail?
The Division of Information Technology is working with Microsoft to make sure all e-mails from the university server is not marked as junk, but in the meantime you can flag a sender as “not junk.”

How can I link my other existing e-mail accounts to Outlook Live?
Go to to learn how to synchronize e-mail accounts. Make sure to keep a copy of the original e-mail in your Outlook Live account. 

What if the temporary password I received from the university does not allow me to log in to Outlook Live?
Make sure you are waiting two hours after you create your new account before you sign in. Also, be sure that when you are logging in with your temporary password, you are using “” in your pawprint instead of “” Also make sure you are logging into the Outlook Live site and not Webmail. 


Students should be sure to upgrade their Internet browser to the most recent version.  Microsoft recommends Firefox 3.5.2 and Internet Explorer version 7 or 8 for full feature functionality. Older versions of these internet browsers will not support certain aspects of Outlook Live, such as the ability to change your password, and options for junk e-mails, deleted items and voice mail.

Students are encouraged to call the help desk at 573-882-5000 with further problems with the issues listed or any other problems with Outlook Live. 

Over the summer, MU switched its e-mail system from Microsoft Outlook Web Access to Microsoft Office Outlook Live. Terry Robb, the university's director of the Division of Information Technology, said the change was necessary for increasing memory and saving money.

Students now have 10 gigabytes of space, compared with the 40 megabytes allowed on the old e-mail system, according to the IT Web site. Robb said the new system also is free to use.

But the transition to the new e-mail system has gone anything but smoothly. Complaints from students included the inability to link their new e-mail to an existing e-mail account and mail automatically going into their junk-mail folder.

Creating an Outlook Live account has proved difficult for some students. When students began to set up their account, they were given a temporary password to link their old e-mail accounts to their new ones. This password doesn’t always work, which junior Tom Eytchison has experienced. A week into school, Eytchison had yet to set up his new account.  

“When I try to create my username, (MU) gives me a new password, but when I try to put my password in it says it isn’t registered, even though I just created it,” Eytchison said. “It definitely isn’t dumb-proof.”

Eytchison eventually received help from Tiger Tech to solve his e-mail issues.

Junior Lauren Morrison tried to activate her account and encountered problems.

“It took two days for (Outlook Live) to recognize my username and password,” she said.

Once students creates their usernames and passwords for Outlook Live, new e-mails are automatically rerouted to that account. As a result, Morrison did not receive any new e-mails for the two days her account was frozen.    

Sophomore Megan Hinkle couldn’t even get as far as creating a new account.  

“The link on the Webmail page said something about the link not being trusted, and I would have to override Firefox to accept it," Hinkle said. "I was afraid that it could cause a virus.”

Other problems students said they experienced included not being able to change their passwords and being unable to mark "safe senders" to keep e-mails from going into the junk-mail folder.

Robb said that many students were struggling with the move and thatthe information technology division has been “publicizing the heck out of our help desk” and providing a step-by-step list for students on how to set up their new e-mail accounts.

“Some students are not familiar with how IT systems work, and they may be having technical step-by-step problems,” Robb said.

Kevin Bailey, director of customer service and support, said the division has 4,000 students left to switch to Outlook Live. The division has an unofficial deadline of October to get the remaining students over to the new system. 

Students having problems with the new system are encouraged to call the help desk at 882-5000 or to go to


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