@alumni.usc.edu Gmail Policy Update

Google recently announced new storage limits for Google Workspace for Education users. This change is impacting schools and universities worldwide. While USC will still provide the alumni email benefit, Google’s policy change will significantly limit the storage capability and available apps that we are able to offer our @alumni.usc.edu account holders.

This means that on March 1, 2023, each USC alumni account will be converted to a restricted 2GB Gmail-only account. While your @alumni.usc.edu account previously included access to other G-suite features such as Google Drive and Google Photos, these features will no longer be available after March 1.

If you are currently using one of these features to store data (files, photos, calendar, etc.), or if you are over the 2GB Gmail storage limit, you will be required to remove those items prior to March 1, 2023 or you will lose access to them.

What should you do?

In preparation for this upcoming change, users should review their current storage usage and delete or move files out of Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos.

Please complete the following steps before March 1:

    1. To confirm how much storage you’re using, go to https://drive.google.com/#quota.
    2. To review and delete large or unnecessary files in Drive, go to https://drive.google.com/drive/quota.
    3. To review and delete large or unnecessary files in shared drives, go to https://drive.google.com/drive/shared-drives.
    4. Consider deleting Drive content that you may have copied to a shared drive. If a file resides in 2 locations, it may be consuming twice the storage space.
    5. To search for and delete unnecessary or large emails, go to Manage files in your Google Drive storage and follow the instructions for Gmail.
    6. Additionally, we have found that the Google Takeout Tool may be helpful when migrating data off your account to another Google account: https://takeout.google.com

These steps are required and should be done as soon as possible (before the March 1 deadline) to avoid exceeding the new limits (<2 GB Gmail only). After March 1, any data still stored on Google Drive, Google Photos, etc., will be permanently deleted.

FAQs – Information and Resources

Is it possible to download my data or transfer it to another account?

With Google Takeout, users can download a copy of data contained in their Google account. The data is from core and additional services, such as Drive and YouTube, that are integrated with Takeout. For example, you can download Drive files from your @alumni.usc.edu Google account and upload them to another Google account.

Visit Google’s Support website for more information on how to download or transfer your data. Individual items stored on your account can also be downloaded.

If I’m not using my alumni account, can I have it deactivated?

We know that some alumni use their @alumni.usc.edu accounts as secondary addresses. If you are no longer using this account and would like us to remove it from the server, please let us know by completing this form. If you decide to de-activate your account, you can ensure that we stay in contact with you after graduation by providing us with a non-campus email address at which we can reach you.

I never activated 2-Step Verification and now I cannot log in. How can I access my account?

Since January 2022, USC has required all @alumni.usc.edu Gmail users to activate 2-Step Verification (2SV) in order to access their accounts—part of our ongoing effort to protect university-affiliated systems from cyber attacks and unauthorized access. We have made multiple attempts to contact users regarding this requirement. If you have not yet activated 2SV, you will not be able to log into your account. 

If you are logged into this Gmail account on your mobile device, you may still have access. However, please note, that you are still required to activate 2SV and must do so immediately to avoid losing access to your account. Even if you’ve previously added an email or phone number to your account, you must still request access and follow the steps below to ensure that your account is in compliance with 2SV. Users who receive a notice to ‘Contact Your System Administrator’ when they attempt to log in are likely out of compliance and will need to request access.

If you are out of compliance, you can request temporary access to your account by completing this form. Accounts will be reset on the below dates. Requests must be submitted by 8:00 a.m. (PT) on the morning of each reset to be included.

  • Tuesday, February 7
  • Thursday, February 9
  • Tuesday, February 14

How do I activate 2-Step Verification (2SV) for my account?

Once you are granted temporary access to your account, please follow the steps below to activate 2SV for your account and ensure that you are in compliance:

1.  From your desktop or a web browser (not the Gmail app), login to your @alumni.usc.edu account through Gmail (https://mail.google.com/mail)
2. Click on your profile icon in the top right corner, then select Manage your Google Account
3. In the navigation panel, select Security
4. Under “Signing into Google,” select 2-Step Verification
5. Follow the on-screen steps to add an alternate email and recovery phone number to your profile.

Once correctly enabled, a blue check mark with the word “On” will appear next to “2 Step Verification” under “Security – Signing into Google” and it will ask you test to the recovery method you added. 

Please note: Many people have more than one Gmail account – when attempting to login, be sure that your @alumni.usc.edu account is selected on the login page. If you do not see your alumni account username listed, please select “Use Another Account” from the login page or “Add Another Account’ from the navigation panel under the profile icon in the top right. When enabling 2 Step Verification, please ensure that you are on your Alumni Gmail profile, and not an alternate account. 

Trouble Logging In?

If you receive an error message when attempting to log in, please first confirm that you have entered the password and email address correctly. If so, please clear your browser’s cache and cookies (located in the browser settings). You may also try to log in using “incognito” or a private browsing tab to see if that solves the problem. In addition, you can try the recovery link. If the problem persists, please check out the Google Error Report Form

How can I see how much storage I am currently using?

Due to these changes, some users may need to remove unnecessary emails from their Gmail inbox to be in compliance with the 2GB storage limit. For more information, including how to view your current account storage and how to identify/remove large emails, visit Gmail’s website.