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E-mail Services

E-mail accounts are provided to all members of the campus community.

Campus e-mail can be accessed in the public labs on campus or anywhere you have access to a web browser. Login to the BearMail web client at using your CCA. It can also be accessed by using any traditional e-mail client that supports IMAP.

File attachment size is limited to 15MB on the campus server. See the first FAQ for more information about attachments. For large attachments you may wish to link to the file in either your www2 personal space or the campus CMS.

Alumni e-mail accounts are available. Please visit for more information. Please note the Alumni Relations Office handles all alumni e-mail support issues.

E-mail Clients

Computing & Technology Services supports only the following email clients and only on SUNY Potsdam owned computers/devices: (Mac OS X), Thunderbird (Windows), and iOS devices. For, Thunderbird, and iPhone/iPod Touch, see the instructions to the right.

For other clients see the link to the right called "General Email Client Settings."


  • Attachments: When sending an attachment, it is always best to send it as a .zip file. If you send an attachment that is close to the maximum attachment size, by the time it is encoded in MIME format for transmission, its size can increase up to 30%. This is why many attachments that are close to our maximum size fail.
  • Return Receipt: Some email clients support a feature called "return receipt". When a supported email client receives the email sent, an automatic reply is emailed back to the sender indicating the message was received. Many web based email clients and several traditional email clients do not support this! Further, the clients that do have this as an option require that it be enabled as it is "off" by default. Return receipts are not a reliable means to determine that a message was received and should not be trusted!
  • Periods (.) In Folders: Do not make folder names with periods in them. Most email servers read a . as the start of a new directory. It's best to use just letters and numbers for email Folder names and forgo the use of symbols and punctuation characters.
  • E-mail Is Not An Instantaneous Service: While many times e-mail is delivered within seconds or minutes of being sent, large amounts of email being delivered at once, spammer attacks, or other factors will cause a delay in delivery that can be as much as a hour in severe situations. In other words, the Mailman can only sort mail so fast into the mailboxes. You can check the number of messages in our local queue via our Network Blog. This is only applicable for SUNY Potsdam e-mail waiting to be delivered, if you've sent a message to someone that doesn't have an address, delivery is out of our control.
  • Multiple Accounts: If you use email client software that supports multiple email accounts such as or Thunderbird and you plan to make use of both your non-SUNY Potsdam address and your SUNY Potsdam address you might want to configure a message rule for each account so that mail will be delivered in separate mailboxes to easily tell which account they came from. You should consult the documentation for your email client software on how to do this.
  • Email Clients Off-Campus (Home, Hotel, etc.): As long as your email client is configured per our instructions (see the right side menu), you should be able to send and receive email with your email client (OS X Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) when off-campus. However, there are many internet service providers (ISPs) that block sending of email using SUNY Potsdam's server and that insist you use theirs. This may require you to reconfigure your email client to their specifications which 1) may not be secure for sensitive email and 2) no longer work when you return to campus. If you have configured a VPN connection you may have luck connecting this way, however some draconian ISPs don't even allow this. Should you run into trouble your only recourse at this point would be to use our web-based email, BearMail, for your needs.
  • Large Chucks or all InBox Email Missing: Typically when we have a report that a good portion of email, or all of it, is missing from the InBox it is because the user has setup a phone, iPod, or another computer to receive their email. Always, they have setup the device to receive email using a POP connection which removes email from our server and puts it on the device. Once this downloads to your personal device there is no way for us to "put it back." Instructions for properly setting up your device to use the IMAP protocol can be found in the links to the right.
  • Why is the BearMail stamp 42 cents? That's not right anymore: In these tough economic times, CTS has decided to hold-the-line against rising costs. Our stamp will stay at 42 cents as a symbol of defiance in the face of inflation.