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Frequently asked questions

Settings and Functions

You can search the name of the recipient by clicking the ‘Address Book’ button:

  1. Select ‘Global Address Book’ for a full list of users in the PolyU Staff Email Service.
  2. Enter part of the name of the recipient and then click the ‘Go’ button.
  3. A list of matching names will be shown for your selection.

There is another quick way to search for a recipient. In the ‘To’, ‘Cc’ or ‘Bcc’ field, type part of the name of the recipient and press Ctrl + K. A list of matching users from the address book will be shown for your selection. If there is only ONE matching user, the name will be automatically shown in the respective field.

The ‘Bcc’ field is by default hidden. To un-hide it, select ‘Options’ from the menu and click the ‘Bcc’ button.

To protect your email data, follow the best practices below:

  1. If you have to be away from your computer, always press the Win Key + L to lock your workstation so that others cannot access your emails without your Windows password.
  2. Use password to protect your Outlook Offline message files (in .pst format).
  3. Right click the Offline message folder under ‘Mail Folders’ and select ‘Properties’ from the pop-up menu.
  4. Under the ‘General’ tab, click the ‘Advanced’ button.
  5. Click the ‘Change Password’ button and enter your password.
  6. Remember to back up the Outlook Offline message files periodically. By default, these files are located in ‘D:\Staff Email Data’.

The email sent from “xxx@polyu.edu.hk” may go to junk mail. This is caused by the Outlook client’s junk email handling feature. It may wrongly suspect the email contents containing “spam like” objects.

In order to avoid Outlook client to classify the email as “junk email”, it is necessary to trust any messages send from “polyu.edu.hk” domain. To add the domain “polyu.edu.hk” to safe senders list, please refer to PolyU Staff Email Service - Prevent PolyU's email from going to junk mail

Some users have reported that their Outlook Cached data file (in .ost file format) shows errors when starting Outlook. It is found that some errors are caused by improper closing of the Outlook client. To avoid crashing of data file, always close your Outlook client properly before shutting down the Windows or turning off your computer.

The "missing" mails may be due to one of the followings:

1. Check your "Junk E-Mail" folder

Check whether the messages have been dropped to your “Junk E-mail” folder because they have been classified as suspected junk mails. If so, you can drag them back to your Inbox. You can also right click on the message and select "Junk E-Mail" -> "Add Sender to Safe Senders List" to add the sender as a trusted source.


2. Size of the message

Each message sent to the Staff Email Service has the following size limitation:

  • Each attachment size cannot be larger than 18MB
  • Total size of each message (including attachments) cannot be larger than 25MB

If the message is oversized, it cannot be delivered to your Staff Email account.

3. Message management by 'Rule'

Please check whether there is any ‘Rule’ in your Outlook client to move incoming messages to different sub-folders under certain criteria. You can use the “Search All Mail Items” function to search and locate the “missing” messages.


The default setting of Outlook is to send the reminder 18 hours before the scheduled appointment. To change this setting:

  1. Create a New Appointment  (Ctrl-Shift-A) or New Meeting Request (Ctrl-Shift-Q)
  2. Click the Reminder drop list and select the desired reminder time. Usually, “30 minutes” is the common practice.

Once it is set, all new appointments and/or meeting requests will adopt the new setting as the default. However, this setting does not apply to “All Day Event” which will always use “18 hours” as the default reminder time. You have to change it every time.

You can change the reminder time of a meeting appointment after you  accept a meeting request. You can do so simply by double clicking the accepted meeting request and changing it in the Reminder drop list as stated above.  

Meeting Attendees should not choose “Don’t Send a Response” if you are invited to a meeting, unless you are specifically asked not to respond by the meeting organizer – Use of the “Don’t Send a Response” option does not update the tracking of your acceptance in the meeting organizer’s invitation. Instead, choose “Send the response now” or choose “Edit the response before sending” if you wish to inform the organizer of important information.

Outlook does not have the auto-completion feature. However, Outlook will remember your previously contacted recipients and will automatically list them out when you start typing the name in the To/cc/Bcc field.


You can enter part of the recipient’s name and press Ctrl+K (or press the Check Names button in the ribbon bar) to check the complete name of the recipient. It will either show:

  1. The complete name of the recipient if there is only one matching name; or

  2.  A dialog box listing all the possible matching recipients for choosing.

In Outlook, there is a cached copy of the master address book, named Offline Global Address List, which is updated daily. However, to ensure that you can always access the most updated address book, you can switch to the online copy of the master address book, named Global Address List, as the default address book. To do so:

  1. SelectToolsAddress Book (Ctrl+Shift+B) 
  1. In the Address Book dialog box, select Tools > Options from the menu
  1. Select "Global Address List" from the "Show this address list first:" drop list
  2. Press the "Add" button and select "Global Address List" from the Add Address List dialog box
  3. Press the "Add" button again and then the "Close" button
  1. Select and Remove "Offline Global Address List" from the list

Yes. You can use several different POP3 and IMAP4 email programs to connect to Staff Email. The features supported by each email program vary. Here are connection details:

  • Email : < NetID >@polyu.edu.hk
  • POP incoming server : outlook.office365.com:995 (SSL encryption)
  • IMAP incoming server : outlook.office365.com:993 (SSL encryption)
  • SMTP outgoing server : smtp.office365.com:587 (TLS encryption)

For information about the features offered by specific POP3 and IMAP4 email programs, please refer to the documentation provided by each program - http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/cc875899.aspx.

Yes, you can use the push e-mail function with most devices using Apple iOS, Android, and also Windows Phone and Blackberry. You can have all e-mails sent to your new Staff Email mailbox automatically pushed to your mobile device or you can do the updating manually.

Access and Mailbox Quota

You can access the new Staff Email Service in several ways:

  1. Access using Internet browser (Internet Explorer 8 or above, Firefox 3.x or above, Chrome and Safari)
  2. Use MS Outlook 2013/2010/2007 to set up a cache mailbox (.ost format)
  3. Use any e-mail client which supports POP3/IMAP protocol to download the messages from the account
  4. Use mobile devices which support the use of Active Sync, e.g. device using Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone, etc.

If the Staff Email Login page cannot be shown and the PolyU Connect Login page is shown instead, please refer to PolyU Staff Email Service Showing Login Page

E-mail address: <Preferred Address Name>@polyu.edu.hk, e.g. ernest.yu@polyu.edu.hk

Default login username: in Outlook WebApp - NetID, in Outlook client - <NetID>@polyu.edu.hk

The mailbox size is 50 GB and there will be no regular e-mail purging exercise. However, colleagues are advised to do regular housekeeping activities to remove unwanted messages. You can also offload "old" messages to a local Personal Storage Table file (i.e. .pst file) to leave more room for your online mailbox. A warning message will be sent to you if your mailbox is almost full.

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