University Mail Storage Reduction: Advice needed

I’m not sure if this is the appropriate forum and apologies if not. I am an alumna of a university that uses Google Workspace for email. In November, all alumni & retiree accounts will be reduced to 1 GB of storage (including Drive). I know I can forward my university mail to a free personal gmail account with more storage, but I would like to be able to send mail with the email address.

Is there a way to configure a free gmail account (or iCloud or other service) so that I can have my outgoing mail show as

Would setting a reply-to be good enough or do you need the from to actually show your edu address? If the former, that’s something every client should allow you to do right away.

Thank you, Simon, for your reply. I was thinking that I would like to set the “from” to show my edu address, but wasn’t sure if I could do that if I forward my edu email to a personal gmail account. If that’s not possible, I suppose I’ll need to set the “reply to” field. I also use Apple Mail to manage all of my email accounts, but I’ll need to manage the storage on the google workspace side. Thank you for your reply!

In principle, you can set the from to whatever you want. And indeed some clients (dedicated clients almost always, web-based rarely) will allow you to set the from to whatever you choose.

The problem with that is that it can lead to problems later on. Remember that spammers will often spoof their from to make their email appear legit. Therefore, many SMTP servers will note where incoming mail is originating from and indeed some will consider email to be spam whenever the from doesn’t match what they’re expecting based on the originating server (MX record).

Would it be acceptable to just use that account for current conversations and keep your mail archive elsewhere?

For example, use your favorite mail app (e.g. Apple Mail or Thunderbird) to drag/drop all your older messages from the university GMail account to another account or to “On my Mac” folders. This should keep the amount of accumulated messages well below the threshold, so you can continue to use the account for your daily mail.

You can probably even configure rules to automate this when starting your mail app (e.g. move anything whose date is more than 3 months in the past).

True. But (depending on your mail app), you may be able to configure it so your outbound mail goes out through the Google server (which is correct for your university mail address), even if you read the message from a different account (the forwarding destination).

It’s been a while since I tried to setup something like this, but I’m pretty sure Thunderbird can do it. I don’t know about Apple Mail.

Additionally, if you’re forwarding from one Google account to another (e.g. university account to a personal account), then it will probably use the same server either way. And Google will let you configure the web interface for multiple “from” addresses. Just select the one you want when composing messages.

1 Like

For Apple Mail:
In System Preferences, select Intenet Accounts. To add an account that uses a Google Workspace, choose Google, and when asked to log in, log in to your university account. Follow the prompts and select that it should be used for mail. Now, when you send mail via the Apple Mail app, your university email address will be one of the possible email addresses.

You can make it your default address for sending email via the Composing tab in the Apple Mail app.


That will most definitely work (assuming the client supports it—Apple Mail does). But ultimately, even just for sending the same limitations likely apply: once you’ve sent mail to the tune of 1 GB (attachments usually count towards that), you’re going to hit that quota and get in trouble.

So therefore the suggestion @Shamino makes to offload to another SMTP account makes sense to me and actually appears necessary. Again, Apple Mail for example, will allow you to drag sent mail from a folder on one account to a sent mail folder (or any other folder actually) on another account. Same goes of course for inbox or any folders you set up for archiving. So if you have another SMTP account with a very large quota (or none at all :wink:), you simply need a client that lets you easily move messages and then you should be all set. Obviously, you’ll probably need to set some kind of routine reminder just so you make sure to shift messages out of your edu Gmail before you hit that 1 GB quota.


Ah, I didn’t think of the spammer spoofing. That’s something to keep in mind. Thank you!

1 Like

Thanks very much David and Alan. I do currently use Apple Mail for all of my email accounts, so my university account is already configured. I just need to figure out how to reduce my storage down to 1 GB. David, your idea of drag/drop into an On My Mac folder is a good one. I didn’t realize that doing so would actually reduce my storage on the google server, so that may be a great solution. My current storage (after downloading and deleting Drive files) is 9.85 GB. So, I can test this by dragging older emails to an On My Mac folder and see if that reduces the storage on google. Thank you!

Warning! I just found I lost a massive amount of content and attachments due to an old Catalina Mail bug that is still around in Monterey but still unacknowledged by Apple. The loss appears to have been related to a move of a lot of messages to an On My Mac folder, but little is known of the exact cause. I did the move using the latest OS around January or February, and just confirmed the loss last week when I needed the attachments. Fortunately I had used Mail Archiver X to back up all my mail last year before finally being brave enough to leave Mojave.

:flushed: Oh wow. I had no idea. I have lots of folders in the “On My Mac” area in Apple Mail. Thanks for the warning! And thanks for mentioning Mail Archiver X. I’ll look into that. I also found a Google help page that states, “Gmail messages that are archived via IMAP sync will still count against your storage quota.” So, I gather that I would still need to delete or somehow archive mail on the Google server, anyway. So, just drag/drop email to On My Mac wouldn’t reduce my storage.

Yes it is possible to do this with gmail, I actually have it set up exactly that way for my university account.

In Settings, open all settings, then click the Accounts tab. The section you want is “Send mail as…”

You can configure it to send mail from that account through the university SMTP server (assuming they have authenticated STMP, but since it’s Google Workspace, they do).

Also you can choose the option to “Always reply from the same account” in that same section, so if someone emails you through the uni account, you can set the google workspace uni account to forward, and when you reply from your personal gmail account, it will use the sender as your uni email address.

Have been using that setup for years.


Thank you, Angus, for sharing your advice. Glad to know that this works for you. I’ll plan to forward my uni email to a new gmail account and then set the “Send mail as…” to my uni account. Thanks everyone for your help and advice today!

1 Like

To prevent filling up your university gmail account with sent messages, I would change the setting for sent mail on that account. You can set the university account to use your personal gmail account to store sent mail. Then you don’t have to manually file it away.

This way, you should have the following setup:

  • University incoming email > arrives in personal gmail account
  • Sending email with university email from address > files sent message in personal gmail account

Thanks very much! I was wondering if I would have to manage the sent mail manually. I will give this a try! Thanks everyone for sharing solutions!