Frequently Asked Questions - Alumni Email Service

Alumni Email Service

Alumni Email Service FAQ

What is included with Berkeley’s Alumni Email Service?

Berkeley currently allows alumni to renew the active Google account they had as a former student, employee, or participant in a prior Alumni Email Service.  These accounts will be limited in July 2024 to only allow 5 GB of total storage (including all Gmail, Drive & Photos). More information about the limitations to the Google accounts provided to alumni can be found at Alumni Email Changes.

Is my Google account guaranteed for life?

No. Campus is committed to maintaining ways for alumni to stay engaged with Berkeley. We will continue to evaluate whether this service is an effective way of achieving that goal. The Alumni Email Service is provided as a privilege and is subject to additional changes.

Will the Alumni Email Service cost money and can I buy more storage?

No. Email services for alumni are currently funded by UC Berkeley as a privilege and limited benefit to alumni. There are no charges to alumni for using the alumni email service. All UC Berkeley Google accounts provided to alumni will be limited to 5 GB of total storage.

Alumni can not purchase additional storage or use storage purchased directly from Google with their UC Berkeley Google accounts.

Who is eligible to renew their Google account as an Alumni?

  1. Alumni who have an active email account and an active CalNet ID and passphrase; and/or

  2. Recent graduates (whose grace period ended after September 2023) who are alumni or attendees of full-time UC Berkeley undergraduate or graduate degree programs with more than 12 completed course hours.

What address do I use to login when I renew?

  1. Enter the email address provided in the To: field of this message to login to Google
  2. Enter your CalNet ID and Passphrase when presented with the CalNet Authentication Service page.
    1. The part before the @ symbol in the To: field of this message is your CalNet ID
    2. You can Reset Passphrase(link is external) if you can no longer remember it.
  3. Check the Email(link is external) section of your Google profile to see all of your alternate email addresses.

I keep seeing "html not found" or "404" when I go to the link provided.

This is a common error when you're already signed into a personal gmail account. Instead of logging out of your personal account, you can open an Incognito Window on Google Chrome or Private Window in Safari/Microsoft Edge/FireFox to access the form:

You should then be asked to login with a Google account in which you'll use your account (not or any other alias). Then you should be prompted to authenticate with CalNet ID and passphrase to proceed to where you can submit your alumni email renewal form.

Why is my Google account more limited than a free consumer Google account?

  1. Control costs: Berkeley needs to manage the additional costs associated with the new storage pricing model offered to Google Workspace Education customers.

  2. Manage risks and threats: Berkeley needs to manage the security and reputational risks and threats posed by unattended and possibly compromised alumni email accounts.

Can Alumni who don’t have an active Google account still get one?

No. Only alumni with existing, active Google accounts are eligible to renew their service.

Can Alumni who don’t have an active CalNet ID and passphrase renew an Google account?

No. Only alumni with an active CalNet ID and passphrase can renew an Google account.

What can I use my Google account for and what should I avoid?

Many alumni value continued access to their email address as a way to identify themselves as Berkeley graduates. Communicating between alumni and using it for job searches are two common ways alumni use their accounts.

Things to avoid:
  1. Sending unsolicited email (SPAM) - even in relatively small numbers, sending SPAM can get your account blocked by Google.  If your account is blocked, your account will be reviewed for abuse and can be subject to restrictions or revocation.

  2. Using as a login to other services - Signing up for and using your address for other consumer services should be avoided.  These include, but are not limited to, personal banking/financial accounts and personal subscriptions like Amazon or Netflix.

Please refer to the Alumni Email Service Level Agreement for the exhaustive list of alumni responsibilities including adherence to policies and prohibited conduct

Will I be required to use 2-Step verification to login to my Google account?

Yes.  If you already have CalNet 2-Step verification using DUO, you will be required to continue using it.  Alumni who don’t yet have CalNet 2-Step will be contacted in late summer 2024 or early Fall 2024 with instructions on how to set up CalNet 2-Step.

I no longer need my Google account. What steps should I take?

Please review Leaving UC Berkeley to take the necessary steps to ensure you have retained any personal information you require and that you have properly transferred any data to others as appropriate.  If you take no action, your account will be disabled and eventually deleted.

I've deleted lots of email but I can't get my storage usage to come down!

If you have deleted thousands of email and it seems like your Google Storage usage is not coming down, this could be due to a few things:

  • First, confirm that email is where the majority of your storage usage is being used. As you are logged into your Berkeley Google account, click to check how much storage is being used by your email vs. your Google Drive files. 
  • When you delete thousands of emails at one time, Google will warn you that it may not delete them all at once and that it will be done in stages and may take longer. Sometimes we see this process fail and folks have to delete these emails more than once. Look for this message pop-up as you are deleting:

Popup message from Google letting you know it will take longer to delete all email

  • You also need to empty your Trash. It may take several attempts to permanently delete the data in your Trash. Note that deleting a large number of data may cause an error. It is recommended to permanently delete your data in smaller batches if you have a significant number of them in your Trash. To permanently delete individual data from Trash, click trash from the sidebar and click the link Empty Trash Now:

Empty Trash Now link

  • Once emptied, storage usage should decrease in about 24 hours. However, if you have deleted a significant amount of data, it may take two or more days for Google to accurately report your new storage usage.

I’ve deleted everything in my account and it still shows high usage, and I’ve waited several days for my usage stats to update, but it hasn’t. What can I do?

Rarely, a connected app stores data in a “hidden” location within your Google Drive. You can check for these apps by visiting . If you see anything that looks like it might be holding data you can use the dropdown “OPTIONS” menu on the right to “Delete hidden app data”. Make sure you don’t need the data before choosing this option. After doing so, you should see your storage decrease within a few hours.

I’ve moved all my content or deleted it from my UC Berkeley account, but my usage still shows the older, higher number. What’s wrong?

Sometimes it can take up to 72 hours for Google to update your storage usage statistics. If it still hasn’t updated in a couple of days, please let us know and we will investigate.

I’m trying to use Takeout/Transfer and it says it’s not available for my account/institution

Google can get confused when you’re logged into two accounts in the same browser profile. Try initiating the transfer using this URL instead - which allows you to select your Berkeley account.

I’m trying to use Google Takeout Transfer and it’s taking a really long time, failing, or not moving all of my content.

Unfortunately, if you are moving more than a small amount of data, it has a higher chance of failure. Since Google doesn't directly support Takeout Transfer, we recommend using VaultMe instead. It is guaranteed to work and has a dedicated support team. You can learn more about VaultMe here -  

How can I move my content to my personal Google Drive myself?

If you want to try moving your content yourself, we recommend using Google Drive for Desktop. This video explains the process. Keep in mind that you will still need to download all native Google files (docs, sheets, slides, etc) manually via Google Drive in the browser so that they are converted to usable Microsoft Office documents. Native Google Drive files cannot be downloaded via Drive for Desktop.

I’m trying to change ownership from my UC Berkeley alumni account to my personal Gmail account, but it says I don’t have permission to transfer ownership outside of the organization. How can I transfer ownership of my files to my personal account?

This is a limitation imposed by Google, so we cannot change this setting. Instead, you need to use Google Takeout, Google Takeout Transfer, or to transfer your content to your personal account. You can also manually download your content and then upload it to your personal account.

Current Students and Recent Graduates FAQs

Current Students and Recent Graduates FAQ

What do I need to do to keep my Google account when I graduate?

Current students must wait until they complete their studies or graduate before renewing their Google account as an alum.  They will be notified as their account enters it's grace period.

All new graduates  must complete the following steps before the end of their grace period to avoid any disruptions:

  1. Renew your alumni email account.

  2. Reduce your use of Google Storage to below 5GB.

Existing alumni and graduates whose grace period ended before April 15, 2024 should follow instructions provided at Alumni Email Changes

What will happen if I don’t renew my Google account as an Alumni?

Alumni with email services before September, 2023 who were asked to renew by April 15, 2024

Alumni can still renew after April 15, but they will not be able to create or add new files and will lose the ability to send or receive email outside of until they renew.  Email sent to alumni who have not renewed will be returned or "bounced" back to the sender with a warning message.

New Alumni who are still in their grace period as a former student

New alumni have until the the end of their grace period to renew their Google accounts.  Failure to renew as a new alumni prior to the end of your grace period will result in your account being disabled and scheduled for deletion.

Existing Employees who also happen to be alumni

While an employee, you can not renew email services as an alum because Google accounts of existing employees are subject to different policies and have different features and quotas than Alumni.  Existing employees who are alumni will be able to renew email services as an alum during the grace period provided them when they separate from the university. 

What will happen if I don’t reduce my Google account storage before the end of my grace period?

The Google accounts for eligible alumni who do not reduce their Google account storage to below 5 GB before the end of their grace period will lose the following capabilities: 

  • Gmail: You will be unable to send or receive messages outside of UC Berkeley. Messages sent to you from outside of UC Berkeley are returned to the sender.

  • Google Drive: You will be unable to sync or upload new files. You will be unable to create new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard. Until you reduce the amount of storage you use, neither you nor anyone else can edit or copy your affected files. Syncs stop between your computer's Google Drive folder and My Drive.

  • Google Photos: You will be unable to back up any photos or videos.