Office 365 Migration Project


Top Questions

Is everyone being migrated?

Phase 1 of the migration will target account on UTORexchange - these migrations will take place from January to March 2018.

Phase 2 will target accounts on UTORmail and will take place after May 2018.

UTSC e-mail accounts ( will not be affected.

When will I be upgraded to Office 365?

IITS will be in contact with Department admins/chairs about scheduling a migration time. There will be email messaging prior to your individual migration date.

What will happen to my UTSC e-mail?

There will be no changes to your UTSC email – you will be able to send and receive messages normally.

Will my e-mail address change?

No, your email address will not change, however some users may wish to change their email Display Name if they have a preferred name.  This can be changed post-migration.

How will the upgrade work? How long will it take? Will I be able to work in my email and calendar while it's going on?

You will be notified prior to your migration date about which day your mail is scheduled to migrate to Office 365. In the messaging, we’ll include a pre-migration checklist of things you can do ahead of time to help with the migration.

On Migration Day, your email will be unavailable after 5pm until 9am the following morning. During this time, you will be unable to access your mail inbox or your calendars.

IITS will assist you with configuring any email clients or mobile devices the next morning. In the meantime, you can access your Office 365 mail from

I've been upgraded but my colleagues haven't. Can we still email each other, schedule meetings, etc.?

Yes, you will be able to send and receive email and schedule meetings with all of your colleagues, even if they have not been migrated yet.

People on Office 365 will not be able to share/delegate their calendars with colleagues that have not been migrated, and vice versa.  We will attempt to migrate colleagues together (when possible) to reduce this impact as much as possible.

What about new employees? Will they get to start with Office 365 email and other products right away or will they get Exchange and then be upgraded?

New employees at UTSC will be provisioned an Office 365 email account by default. Please be aware that individuals on Office 365 will not be able to share their calendar with individuals who have not been migrated yet. If this will be an issue, please contact IITS to arrange for a temporary work-around.

I will be out of town on my upgrade date. Do I need to do anything with my computer before I leave?

Please be aware of the Pre-Migration checklist that will be sent in our communications. While your account will still be migrated, we will leave contact information at your work computer, so you can request assistance when you return to campus.

Even if you are away from campus, you will still be unable to access email/calendars (remotely) during your migration day.

Where is the service hosted?

The Office 365 service is hosted in Toronto and Quebec City, Canada in Microsoft’s data centers.

Is Office 365 compatible with my email client? Is my email client supported by IITS?


What will happen to my UTSC e-mail?

There will be no changes to your UTSC email – you will be able to send and receive messages normally.

Will my e-mail address change?

No, the email addresses will not change. email addresses will not be affected by this change.

What will happen to my locally saved e-mail?

E-mail saved locally will not be affected by the Office 365 migration.

What Email client should I use to connect to Office 365?

If connecting to Office 365 Web Version, any popular browser (Chome, Firefox, Safari) is acceptable, as long as it is updated to the most recent version.

IITS recommends using Outlook 2016 as a primary software email client on personal devices. The software is available through the Microsoft Campus License Agreement.

For personal devcies, Office 2016 will be available for download on up to 5 devices via the Office 365 web portal.

I forward my e-mail from UTORexchange/UTORmail. Can I continue to do this after migrating to Office 365?

After your account is migrated, you will have to setup any email forwarding on your O365 account if you wish to forward your email to another account.  Existing forwards already setup on UTORexchange/UTORmail will not be migrated. Forwarding should be practiced with care.  The University of Toronto cannot guarantee that messages will successfully be received if forwarded to third party service providers (such as Gmail, Hotmail, or any non-UofT address). Factors beyond our control, including external spam filters and mail routing problems may prevent message delivery.

What will happen to my alias(es)?

Aliases that are hosted on UTSC mail will not be affected by the migration.

What about my PST files/archives. Will they migrate? Will I still be able to use them?

PST files are loaded by Outlook on your local PC. That functionality will not change. If you have PST files or archives before the upgrade, you will still be able to access them after the upgrade.

With that said, PST file use is discouraged by Microsoft. PST files can become corrupted, and they are difficult to back up while Outlook is running since Outlook holds the file open. Many people have used PST files in the past due to mailbox size limits, however in Office 365, mailbox sizes are now large enough (currently 50GB) that this should no longer be a concern for the vast majority of users. Moving content from a PST into the Office 365 mailbox is a simple matter of copying/pasting or dragging/dropping, so many users may choose to copy the contents of their PST files into their mailbox and then remove the PST file.

Mobile Devices

What is the name of the Apple/Android application I need to download from the Google Play/Apple Store?

The app is called Microsoft Outlook.

Can I install the application ahead of my upgrade?

You can download the app prior to migration, but you won't be able to configure it until after your upgrade. The app won't save settings unless it is able to establish a connection.

Will I be able to keep using my native ActiveSync email application once the upgrade begins?

ActiveSync will continue to work after the upgrade, but the recommended and supported method of accessing mail after the upgrade is to use the Outlook app. It generally handles things like calendaring better than the native apps, provides a consistent experience across all supported platforms, and Microsoft is continuing to add additional Office 365-specific, and useful, features to it.

Why should I use the Outlook mobile app instead of the mail app I've been using?

The Outlook mobile app is made by Microsoft and provides support for Office 365 features that other clients do not, such as integration with OneDrive. As Microsoft continues to add features to Office 365, those features are likely to show up first in the Outlook app. The Outlook app also looks the same and has the same features on both iPhone and Android, making it easier to support and easier to switch platforms.

Are there any features that the Outlook mobile app doesn't currently support?

While the Outlook app supports the vast majority of the features used by most people, there are a few features that it does not support:

  • Outlook local contact groups
  • Shared mailboxes
  • Notes
  • Tasks
Can I add other accounts to the Outlook app?

Yes, the Outlook app supports other mail accounts in addition to Office 365. If you prefer to have all your mail accounts in one place, you can add them all to the Outlook app and access them there. However, please note that Help Desk support will only be provided for UofT email accounts.


Why do I need to migrate to Office 365?

The University of Toronto is replacing the legacy UTORexchange and UTORmail services with Office 365. Faculty and Staff will be able to use the rich set of leading-edge communications and collaboration services that students have been using since 2011.

What will be migrated? email and calendars (both individual and shared/departmental), departmental resources, tasks and notes will all be automatically migrated.

What features will I have that I don’t currently have available?

The following new features will be available:

  • 50GB mailbox (larger e-mail quota)
  • Option to use online Office WebApps (useful when your device is unavailable but you have access to the Internet)
  • OneDrive cloud storage (for file transfer and storage)
  • Skype for Business services for instant messaging, audio and video conferencing from desktop and mobile devices
  • 99.9% service uptime guarantee
  • Enhanced malware and spam protection in addition to those provided by the University
Are Office applications going to be stored off-site requiring us to only use Office WebApps in the cloud?

No. There is no requirement to use the online suite of Office products. Local networks will continue to operate as will the capacity to save documents to local machines. Online Office is not intended to replace desktop Office. The University’s Microsoft Campus Agreement licenses ALL faculty and staff to obtain the Office ProPlus suite at no local charge for University-owned equipment. Microsoft Office ProPlus will be available for free to faculty and staff using Office 365 and can be installed on up to 5 personal computers or other devices.

Will there be guidelines on what type of documents can be stored in Office 365?

Yes.  When placing documents in electronic media, one must always be considerate of the risks associated with loss or misdirection. For example, it would be unwise to send credit card numbers or passport information via unencrypted e-mail because of the risk of exposing personal and sensitive information. The University recognizes that there are varying degrees of confidentiality and sensitivity in information handled by faculty and staff.  The University will provide guidance and use cases to assist community members in appropriately utilizing the variety of available tools and services for e-communication and collaboration.  Additionally, the University will work with the community to identify and develop alternative tools for the delivery of sensitive and confidential information that may not be appropriate for cloud services such as Office 365.

Can I use other clients to connect to Office 365?

Older versions of Outlook for Windows (2007 or 2010) will not work with the Office 365 service. It is recommended to use Outlook 2016 as a primary client for email and calendaring.  If you wish to use the web version, all popular web browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) are supported as long as they are updated to the most recent version.

What do I need to do to be ready for the Office 365 service roll-out?

To prepare for your migration to Office 365, we recommend doing the following:

  1. Clear out junk mail and trash folders
  2. If you are on a Windows computer, make an archive copy of your PST file. Instructions on how to do that are on the Help Desk Knowledge Base:
  3. If you are not currently using Outlook 2016, upgrade your software. Instructions on how to do that are on the Help Desk Knowledge Base
Is there an expectation that faculty and staff will use Office 365 for cloud-based file storage?

No. Departmental networks and servers, as well as the central data centres will continue to operate. Community members will be under no obligation to utilize the cloud storage available through the Office 365 OneDrive. Should community members decide to use OneDrive in Office 365, they should consult the use-case guidelines that will be provided by the University.  Note that facilities and processes employed by Microsoft to secure, protect and preserve data are at least as strong and likely better than anything we can provide internally.  It is still important to consider where cloud storage is appropriate before using.

Are Office 365 communication tools exposed to surveillance?

In our digital world, most forms of communication are potentially exposed to electronic surveillance regardless of where they are hosted. Microsoft has stated that they do not provide back doors to their servers to governmental agencies.

Will the University be subjected to Microsoft’s upgrade schedule?

Microsoft offers a fairly lengthy upgrade period; the most recent example is 24+ months.  If on a rare occasion an upgrade requires an outage, the University will have adequate time to negotiate an appropriate outage period in consultation with the community.   We anticipate, from experience, that most upgrades to the system will not require an outage and will not affect concurrent use of service.

How is Office 365 security controlled?

Office 365 physical and logical security is managed by Microsoft and their service and data centre staff. U of T manages the authentication and login credentials. Microsoft does not get user IDs and passwords. We have administrator access to our instance of Office365. The University is the service provider to the community. Microsoft is hosting the service. We control our data.