U-M Google Updates

More Comprehensive Sent Gmail Retention


By default, certain emails (sent via Google Calendar, Drive, or other G Suite products) do not appear in the sender’s Sent Gmail folder. Google recently announced the option to enable comprehensive mail storage to include these emails in your Sent folder. This new feature allows UMICH users to more easily track, organize, and archive all their work-related communications across core G Suite services.

The Collaboration Services team enabled the comprehensive mail storage option in the UMICH domain on November 4. You will now begin to see the emails sent from Calendar, Drive, and other G Suite products in your Sent Gmail folder. Previously sent emails, however, are not included.

U-M Google October Monthly Summary


The monthly U-M Google Summaries inform the university community of Google releases for Core Apps as well as the Non-Core Apps (those that are not part of the G Suite for Education agreement). We communicate important information on Core Apps throughout the month. Core and Non-Core Apps are listed on the G Suite website.

Core Apps:

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides now have a new look on Android devices. While there are no functionality changes, users will notice visual improvements, including a restyled document list, highly-legible typefaces, consistent controls, and updated iconography. These changes are a continued part of Google’s larger Material redesign of their services.

You can now personalize caption text size and position while presenting in Google Slides. These features can help make captions easier to read or you could make your text smaller to maximize the number of words on the screen at once.

Google has added new features that give you more options to easily customize your charts in Google Sheets. Now you can click directly on data labels, chart titles, or legends and drag to reposition them. You can also easily delete these elements using the delete or backspace keys.

GIF showing how to change chart elements in Google Sheets

When you go to change your profile picture in Gmail you’ll be redirected to the About me section of your Google profile settings to set it. Currently, profile pictures set in Gmail are only displayed in Gmail. This means your profile picture in Gmail may be different than your Google account profile photo, which can make it difficult to know which picture will be displayed where. This change simplifies things by allowing you to set a single profile picture in one place and then displaying that single photo across all Google apps. If your Gmail and profile photos are currently different, you’ll see a pop-up when you visit your About me settings which will prompt you to select one of the images or choose an entirely new photo.

Screenshot of new Google profile picture setting

Hangouts Meet will be getting a new look on the web interface. While there are no functionality changes, users will notice visual improvements, including updated fonts and highly-legible typefaces, consistent controls, and updated iconography and colors. These changes are a continued part of Google’s larger Material redesign of their services.

You can now quickly create new files directly from your browser with “.new” domains for several Google services. For example, you can type “Cal.new” into your browser to create a new Google Calendar event. The .new domains are Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, Cal, and Keep. 

  • Gmail “Canned Responses” are now called “Templates”

Google has recently renamed the “Canned Responses” feature in Gmail to “Templates” to more accurately describe the functionality of what this feature does. Now when you go to use a previously created Canned Response, you will notice the name changed to Templates. For more information on Gmail’s Templates, visit Google’s help center.

Previously Communicated:

Note: Keep in mind that even when Non-Core Apps are found in a Core App (like Add-ons in Gmail and Google Drive), they are not covered by the G Suite for Education agreement.

Increase in Google Account Verification Prompts


Back in May 2018, Google introduced a more secure sign-in flow on Chrome. Google updated this flow on October 18 so that the “Verify it’s you” prompt appears more frequently. Although it is an extra step to access your U-M Google account, Google made this change to increase the security of your account. This was done for all G Suite domains, not just ours. In response, we developed documentation on Logging into Google at U-M and put a link to it on the Getting Started page of the U-M Google website. Here is a screenshot of the verification prompt:

If your uniqname@umich.edu email address is listed, then it is safe to click Continue. If another email address is listed, do not click Continue and contact the ITS Service Center.

A Friendly Reminder: Check Your SPAM Label Periodically


When was the last time you checked your spam label in Gmail? Once in a while, a legitimate email can be marked as spam instead of appearing in the Inbox. We recommend you check your spam label periodically for legitimate emails that may appear there by mistake. If you do find a message that has been accidentally marked as spam, you can select it and click Not Spam in the top toolbar to help ensure that future messages from this sender are not flagged as spam. Additionally, adding colleagues to your Google Contacts can help with mail delivery.

Reminder: use MCommunity for your out of office notifications


This is a reminder to only use MCommunity for your out of office notifications and not U-M Google Mail’s vacation responder.

The MCommunity Directory and U-M Google Mail both offer out of office/away/vacation message features. However, we strongly recommend the use of MCommunity because it has been specifically designed to work within the U-M computing environment. Using Gmail’s native feature has been known to cause issues with recipients of out of office messages.

The most common known error caused by the use of Gmail’s vacation responder is that messages are sent to the envelope-from address on the message, which for MCommunity groups is re-written to be groupname-errors@umich.edu. We have no control over this behavior as it is originating from Google. We are unable to stop the -errors@umich.edu messages generating from members of an MCommunity group that use U-M Google Mail vacation responder.

For more information on how to set your away message in MCommunity, see ITS’s documentation page.