Oregon State University


Frequently Asked Questions About ONID

The Basics

ONID Username & Password

ONID Email

Related Email Questions

Q: How long can I keep my ONID account?

You will always receive a warning email before your ONID account is deactivated. These are the rules used to determine how long you can keep your ONID account:


  • One term after you were last eligible to register, your account is deactivated.
  • Two terms after you were last eligible to register, your account is removed.
  • For example, if you were eligible to register for Spring term, your ONID account would be deactivated Fall term and removed Winter term.
  • Exception: Students who have graduated will retain their ONID accounts for one (1) year after their graduation date.


  • Two months after your employee status is "terminated" your account is deactivated.
  • One term after your account is deactivated your account is removed.
  • For example, if you were terminated July 31, 2002, your ONID account would be deactivated on September 30, 2002 and removed Winter term 2003.

Any email forwarding you have defined on your ONID account will continue to work until the time your ONID account is removed. If you are not forwarding your ONID email, we recommend setting up email forwarding before your ONID account is deactivated.

You may also want to set up a different lifetime e-mail forwarding address.

Q: What about free web-based email solutions such as Hotmail?

You should use an OSU email account for OSU related (academic and administrative) email. Here are some reasons why:

  • Loss of OSU identity: When you send email from a free web-based email account, OSU recipients of that email have no way of knowing that you're from OSU.
  • Free Web-Based Email is Filtered By Some Users/Sites: Because many spammers routinely exploit free web-based email providers to send their spam, or forge the address of free web-based email providers into spam sent from elsewhere, many people routinely filter ALL email from free web-based email providers. Often this results in your messages from the free web-based email provider simply being silently discarded.
  • Free Web-Based Email Systems Are Favorite Targets For Spammers: Receipt of spam is a problem at many free web- based email sites, too. While we actively work to eliminate spam on ONID, there's nothing we can do to help you eliminate problems you may have with receiving spam on a free web-based email account.
  • Hidden costs: "Free" web-based email solutions such as Hotmail are actually supported by advertising and have various hidden costs. Email received on campus is far more efficient and cost-effective.

Q: What is Spam email?

Spam is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services. Email spam lists are often created by scanning Usenet postings, stealing Internet mailing lists, or searching the Web for addresses.

Q: What should I do when I receive Spam email?

Here are a few tips:

  • Never reply to Spam messages, even when they entice you to reply to "remove" you from their mailing lists. Often the instructions are either bogus, or a way to collect more addresses. Replying confirms to the spammers that your e-mail address is active, and you may receive even more junk mail.
  • Don't flame (send a rude message) or mail bomb the spammers address. Many spammers forge e-mail addresses to hide their real identity, so you may be flaming or bombing a nonexistent account or, worse, the account of an innocent person.
  • Don't buy anything through unsolicited advertising by e-mail, even if the product is something you want. Buying the product legitimizes the spam, and thus adds to the problem. Moreover, many of these offers are fraudulent.
  • Report the Spam to SpamCop by going to http://spamcop.net/anonsignup.shtml. You will have to register to use SpamCop, but the service is free.
  • Enable Spam Assassin for your ONID account. You can enable Spam Assassin by going to http://onid.oregonstate.edu, choosing "Login to ONID", and clicking on "Manage Mail" after you have authenticated.

Q: I just sent out a message and got some strange error messages. What does this mean?

If you try to send a message and there is a problem with the mail delivery, you will receive an error message back from the system describing why the mail could not be delivered. Most of these messages are straightforward.

Warning: message still undelivered after X hours Will keep trying until message is Z days old
The mail server to which you are sending mail is either down or not accepting mail for some reason. Your mail server will try to resend the message after a certain time has elapsed, X, which is usually after four hours and keep trying for a time period, Z, which is usually five days.

User is unknown
The person that you tried to reach does not have an account on the receiving mail server. Check that you have not made a typo in the "To:" field. If you have, you have to resend the message to the proper address.

Disk quota exceeded
The address to which you were trying to send mail has exceeded its disk quota. This mail will not be delivered since the user has no more space to store messages.

Misleading E-Mail Error Messages:

If you send e-mail to someone who is over quota on their inbox it will be returned to you with a "disc quota exceeded" error message.

When sending to more than one person on the same system the error messages can be very confusing if any of them are over quota. You may get a message stating that "the following addresses had permanent fatal errors" followed by all the intended recipients. It looks as though the e-mail has failed to reach everyone, but in fact it has been successfully delivered to everyone except those explicitly listed as having exceeding their disc quota.

In this case everyone except xxxxxxxx@onid.oregonstate.edu should have received your e-mail.

Q: How do I forward my ONID email to another email address?

ONID email forwarding can be set up, changed, or removed performing the following process.

  1. Go to http://onid.oregonstate.edu
  2. Click "Login to ONID" in the upper left corner.
  3. Once you've logged in, click on "Manage Mail",
  4. Type in the address that you want your email forwarded to, and click "Set Mail Forwarding."
    • A confirmation page is displayed to indicate that your forward has been successfully set. To test the forward, send e-mail to your ONID account and verify you receive it at the target address.

If you want to stop forwarding mail, click on the "Stop Forwarding Mail" button.

Q: What is the Out of Office Service?

The Out of Office Service is a way to let people that email you know that you are not checking your email and may not respond to their email for some time. If you have started the Out of Office Service, when someone sends you an email they will get an email back with the message you entered into the Out of Office Service.

The Out of Office Service keeps track of who it has sent your message to and will only send a response to the same email address once a week. The Out of Office Service will only respond to e-mail sent directly to you. Messages to mailing lists that you are subscribed to should not get an Out of Office response.

With the Out of Office Service started, you will still receive mail in your ONID account and any mail filters you have created will still apply, including Spam Assassin.

To start using the Out of Office Service,

  1. Go to http://onid.oregonstate.edu.
  2. Click on "Login to ONID", and login with your ONID username and password.
  3. After you have successfully logged in, click on "Manage Mail" on the left-hand menu.
  4. Enter your message text and click on the Set Out of Office Service button.

To stop the Out of Office Service, click on the Stop Out of Office Service button.

Here is a sample Out of Office message:

I'll be out of the office until Monday, February 10th. If you need immediate assistance, contact Joe Smith at smithj@example.com.

NOTE: Out of office service is not available if you forward your ONID e-mail to another e-mail address.

Q: How do I archive my email folders using Pine?

The instructions below will archive a mail folder from your ONID mailbox. The archived folder will be saved in MBOX format in your ONID home directory. You can then transfer the MBOX format file to another machine if you wish.

  1. SSH? to shell.onid.oregonstate.edu and run pine. See these instructions for help.
  2. Press (L) FOLDER LIST.
  3. Highlight Mail on imap.onid.oregonstate.edu/tls and press enter.
  4. Highlight the folder you would like to export.
  5. Press (E) Export and enter a filename to export the folder to, or press enter to use the default name (the name of the folder).

If you want to download the archived folder to another computer (maybe to save it to a floppy or CD), follow these directions for accessing your ONID home directory.

Q: Messages written in Japanese appear corrupted in Webmail. How can I view them?

Japanese messages can come in three different character set encodings: EUC-JP, Shift-JIS, and ISO-2022-JP. When you choose the Japanese language when logging into Webmail, it tells your web browser to use EUC-JP. If you are viewing Japanese messages encoded using EUC-JP, they should appear correctly in Webmail. If the message looks corrupted, it is most likely encoded in Shift-JIS or ISO-2022-JP.

To view one of these messages, open the message and click on "Message Source" in the heading above the message. A new window will open and you'll see the full headers of the message plus the message text (still looking corrupted). In the message headers you will see a header that looks like:

Content-Type: text/plain;

The character set encoding used for the message is listed in this header. Simply change the character set encoding in your web browser to match the message.

Q: How do I filter email into folders automatically?

ONID email filters can be created, modified, or removed by following these steps:

  1. Go to http://onid.oregonstate.edu
  2. Click on Login To ONID
  3. Login with your ONID credentials
  4. Click on Manage Mail
  5. In the Personal Mail Filters section, follow the on-screen instructions

Q: I want to customize my email filters in ways not provided by the web interface. How can I modify my email filters by hand?

If you want to modify your email filters directly, we have step-by-step instructions available. Doing this is not recommended for novice computer users, as the Sieve filtering language is complex.

Q: How do I mark a contact as my own in Webmail?

ONID email forwarding can be set up, changed, or removed performing the following process.

  1. Login to http://webmail.oregonstate.edu
  2. Select the Organizing folder, then Address Book.
  3. Select the New Contact button in the top navigation menu ,
  4. Add all of your contact information.
  5. Select the Add button
  6. Select the link on the right-hand side of the page labeled Mark this contact as your own

You should see a confirmation message stating "This contact has been marked as your own"


How can I change an ONID password if I've forgotten something?

What if I've forgotten what my ONID username is?

If you have forgotten what your ONID username is and need to retrieve it you can:

  1. Go to: http://oregonstate.edu/main/campus-online-directory
  2. In the Name Search box, enter your name. Example: Smith, John.
  3. If you have NOT requested that your information be withheld, you should see a listing with your information. One of the fields will be ONID Username.
    • If you do not see your information on this page and you are a Student please call the Registrar's Office at: 541-737-4331.
    • If you do not see your information on this page and you are an OSU Employee please call the OSU Computer Helpdesk at: 541-737-3474.


What if I don't know my OSU ID number?

If you need to use your OSU ID and are unable to find it, you can use the following items to attempt to retrieve it.

  1. If you are a current student or employee and remember what your ONID password is:
  2. If you are a current student or employee and DO NOT remember your ONID password or GAP.
    • Student: Call the Registrar's Office by phone at: 541-737-4331.
    • Employees: Call the OSU Computer Helpdesk by phone at: 541-737-3474.
    • The support person will be able to help you to use the forgot GAP form or reset your GAP if needed.
  3. Once you are logged into Online Services.
    • Click on: Personal Information.
    • Then click: Display OSU ID.


If you need to use your GAP, but have forgotten it, you can:

  1. Using the Forgot GAP option.
    • Go to: Online Services
    • Enter your OSU ID OR Social Security Number into the Username field. Then click the Forgot GAP button.
  2. If you don't know your OSU ID or Social Security Number, please use the number that corresponds with your affiliation:
    • OSU student/alumni: Call the Registrar's Office by phone at: 541-737-4331.
    • OSU employees: Call the OSU Computer Helpdesk at: 541-737-3474.


I am no longer affiliated with the university, but I need to access Online Services. How can I log in?

You can use the instructions listed on the following page to log into Online Services if you are no longer affiliated with the university, but need to access information related to either your student or employee account.


Contact Info

Copyright ©  2015 Oregon State University