Birch (Webmail.brocku.ca) User Guide

Birch (Webmail.brocku.ca) User Guide

Webmail (Birch) is an application that is used to easily access your e-mail from any web browser. To access Webmail, you can visit the following link: https://webmail.brocku.ca. For additional tips and answers, below are some FAQ that can help you reolve any issues you may be encountering.

Note: Users on the Microsoft Exchange server WILL NOT use Webmail as their online web client. If you are on the Microsoft Exchange server, you will use the Outlook Web Application which can be accessed by going to https://mailbox.brocku.ca. For more help on Microsoft Exchange, please click here.

 


About Webmail 

Webmail is a service for you to simply and securely read your Brock E-mail via the World Wide Web. You can log in to Webmail (Birch) with your Brock username and password from most modern web browsers connected to the Internet. Webmail is not a new e-mail account. Webmail uses your existing Brock e-mail account and you can use Webmail in addition to another e-mail client (i.e. Outlook).

Webmail is designed to give travelers a secure way of checking their Brock e-mail while away on trips, or give users the convenience of graphical e-mail capabilities for the occasions when they are away from their usual desktop computers. Webmail can also be used to replace your current e-mail package for users that only require basic e-mail functions.

Webmail gives you the ability to:

  • Look at any e-mail message that is currently on the server (i.e. not downloaded and removed using another e-mail client)
  • Send and reply to messages using your Brock e-mail address
  • Delete messages
  • Set up a basic calendar / schedule
  • Create a basic "To Do" list
  • Save e-mail addresses for future reference
  • Record Memos and notes

Using Brock Webmail

Brock Webmail can be accessed through a Web Browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox) at the address https://webmail.brocku.ca

At the login screen type in your Brock username and your password into the required fields. You have the option in the language field to select another language in which to use Webmail. Click the Log In button to continue.

When you have successfully logged onto the Webmail system, you will be presented with the main Webmail screen. On the left side of the window you have choices of:

  • Birch – the main screen that you first log on to
  • Mail – where you can read and write e-mails
  • Organizing – access to your Address Book, Calendar, Notes, Tasks and Bookmarks
  • Options – where you can change settings to personalize your e-mail and calendar functions
  • Log Out – where you can exit the Webmail (Birch) system

Clicking on the Mail link will navigate to a page that will present you with your e-mail Inbox and options to read, delete, create new messages and organize your e-mail. 

The Mail screen shows the messages in a users’ mail folder. The current folder is indicated in the top right corner of the mail screen next to Open Folder. When you start Webmail it will be showing your Inbox.

To read an e-mail : click on the “Subject” or “From” field of the e-mail.

To delete an e-mail : Place a check mark in the box to the left of the message, then click on the Delete link. This marks the message to be deleted and places a line through message to indicate that you want this message deleted. When you wish to remove the messages that have been marked, click on the Purge Deleted link in the top right corner.

To move an e-mail to another folder : Place a check mark to the left of the message, then select which folder to move it to ( next to the Move | Copy links at the top and centre of the window showing the list of messages) and then click on the Movelink.

To compose an e-mail : click on the New Message button and a new window will appear in which to create your new e-mail. Fill in the required fields for your e-mail such as To: , Subject and the Textbox (where you write the actual message). You may wish to include CC: (Carbon Copy), BCC: (Blind Carbon Copy) if your e-mail has multiple recipients.

You can add attachments to your message at the bottom of the message window under Attachments Object. Click on the Browse button and select the file you wish to attach. Click on the Open button and the attachment will now be part of your message. If you have additional attachments, you will notice that another File List and Browse button has appeared to add your attachments. Next to each file is a option box to select Attachment or Inline. Inline places the attachment directly as part of message. This is typically done for pictures that you wish to show up in the message. Attachment keeps your file separate from the message and the recipient of the message can save that attachment to open in another program. This is usually done for Word processing files or programs.

You can spell check your message by clicking on the Spell Check button above the Textbox in the middle of the screen.

You can choose to save a copy of your sent mail. Place a check mark in the “Save a copy in” box (located just above the textbox) and select the folder to save it in the associated pull down list.

When you are finished your message, click on the Send Message button.


Updating Your Personal Information

In many cases you may wish to change what information is sent with your e-mail. This may be your name (i.e. Bill instead of William, or including a title such as Doctor), your return e-mail address or add a signature to out going mail.

To make changes to your personal information, first click the Options link on the left side of the screen. Then click on the Mail sub menu listed under Options. You will then be presented with a screen with General Options, Message Options and Other Options. You will want to click on the Personal Information link listed under General Options.

On the personal information screen the most common settings to change are:

Your From : address: - this is what the recipient of your e-mail sees when getting a message from you. In most cases the from address can be in the form firstname.lastname@BrockU.CA

Your Reply-to : address - this should only be filled out if you want recipients of your e-mail to reply to your messages to an e-mail address that is different than the one in the Your From: address

Your signature : this information can include your name, phone number, title, etc.

There is a check box to automatically turn on the saving of sent mail and choosing which folder to save it to. It is recommended to turn on the box next to Save sent mail? You can choose to select a new folder to save your sent mail to, or leave it at the default.

Click on the Save Options button when you are done.


Performance

The response time of Webmail depends on the number of messages in your Inbox, the number of messages in a folder that you are viewing, the speed of your internet connection and the speed of your computer (roughly in that priority). A large number of messages in your Inbox will increase the time it takes for Webmail to display each page. It is recommended to organize your messages into separate folders after you have read and dealt with each message accordingly.


Login Issues

If you are experiencing problems logging into Webmail, try the following:

  • Check the Webmail status page which is located on the ITS homepage or by clicking the link below.
    Webmail Status Page

  • If Webmail is operating normally, be sure that you are logging into Webmail correctly. For students, if you use any other login besides your Brock ID (xx64xx) you will not be logged into Webmail. Using your student number will NOT work for this system. A common error occurs when a user enters their full e-mail address as a login (xx64xx@brocku.ca). Logging in this way will NOT work.

  • If you have been an inactive student for an extended period of time, there is a possibility that your e-mail account has expired. Badger e-mail is set to expire 16 months after the last course completes that you have registered for. It is the students responsibility to plan for this expiration accordingly. The only way Badger e-mail can be reactivated is if the student registers for a course. This reactivation is done automatically.

  • If you still cannot login to Webmail, there is a possibility that your Campus Active Directory password has expired. This password is used to authenticate users into a wide range of systems (WebCT, Sakai, BrockNet, Computer Labs, etc.) and is set to expire every 90 days. To check if the password has expired, try logging into the Portal (my.brocku.ca). If you are prompted to change your password, then your password has expired. Follow the instructions to change the password, and attempt to login to Webmail again.

For students, if you are prompted with an incorrect login or password, try following the Forgot your student password? link to reset it. If this does not work, then contact the Registrar's office at 905-688-5550 extension 3099 to get it reset.

For faculty/staff, you will be required to bring a valid piece of ID to the Help Desk to get your password reset.