Skip navigation

Apps at UMass Amherst F.A.Q.

On This Page:

  1. What is Apps at UMass Amherst?
  2. Why should I use Apps at UMass Amherst?
  3. What’s the difference between Apps at UMass Amherst and my regular Google account?
  4. I have a separate personal Google account that I have been using for years. Why should I move everything over to my Apps at UMass Amherst account?
  5. Do I have to use Apps at UMass Amherst?
  6. I do not have have a smart phone, can I use Apps at UMass Amherst?
  7. What apps are included in the Apps at UMass Amherst suite?
  8. How do I log in?
  9. What browser should I use Apps at UMass Amherst with?
  10. Do faculty, staff, and graduate students have access to Google Mail?
  11. I have questions. Where do I go for help?
  12. What is my Apps at UMass Amherst quota?
  13. I want to share documents with colleagues, but they don’t take the time to sign up. Is there a quick way to sign up?
  14. Is Google Drive replacing UDrive?
  15. How is Google Drive different from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides?
  16. I would like a separate departmental account. Is that possible with Apps at UMass Amherst?
  17. How can I create a group in Apps at UMass Amherst?
  18. What policies apply to Apps at UMass Amherst?
  19. Can I store sensitive University data on Apps at UMass Amherst?
  20. What should I know about security and privacy?
  21. How do I ensure the security of my data when using a shared or public computer (e.g., kiosk)?
  22. Is the data that I put on Apps at UMass Amherst available to the public?
  23. Can I make suggestions about apps to be included in Apps at UMass Amherst?
  24. I am a legacy Google Apps user, where do I go to log in?

Frequently asked questions about Apps at UMass Amherst are answered below.

What is Apps at UMass Amherst?

Apps at UMass Amherst is a customized version of Google’s popular online productivity and collaboration tools designed especially for educational institutions. This set of applications (or 'apps') provides you with:

  • 30 GB of combined Google Mail and Drive storage (Google Mail is currently available for undergraduates only).
  • Google Calendar to schedule meetings, create events, and share calendars with others.
  • Google Drive to store, share, and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online, in real time.
  • Google Sites to easily create Web sites and share them with small groups or the world.
  • And much more. Restrictions apply (see below).

Why should I use Apps at UMass Amherst?

Apps at UMass Amherst comes with several key benefits:

  • Collaborate and edit documents in real time. Create Google Docs (similar to Microsoft Word), Sheets (similar to Microsoft Excel), Slides (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint), Drawings, and Forms and then share and edit them on the go from any device at any time. Note: Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets are not the exact equivalent to the Microsoft Office Suite. Depending on your needs, Google Documents may not be a substitute for MS Office.
  • Keep organized and easily share your calendar. Schedule meetings, set reminders, create events, and share your calendar(s) using Google Calendar.
  • Easily locate members of the University community to share files or events. Simply type in a student’s or colleague’s name and Google will auto-complete their information.
  • Keep your University work separate. Apps at UMass Amherst provides you with space to store and manage your work files, allowing you to keep your work and personal documents separate.
  • Twice the storage. At 30 GB and growing, Apps at UMass Amherst provides twice as much storage space as its consumer counterpart.
  • Approved storage for some University data. Under the University’s contract with Google, you can store some sensitive University data (e.g., class rosters and other student education records) on Apps at UMass Amherst. You may not store this data on consumer Google Apps services. Types of University data you can and cannot store on Apps at UMass Amherst
  • Added privacy & security protection for you and your data. Unlike consumer Google services, Apps at UMass Amherst does not show advertisements and Google will not use your data for marketing purposes. In case of a security breach, you and your data are protected under the University’s contract with Google. Because consumer Google accounts do not provide the same level of protection, we recommend that you use Apps at UMass Amherst, and not a consumer Google account, for University-related work. Restrictions apply (see above).

What’s the difference between Apps at UMass Amherst and my regular Google account?

Unlike your regular Google account, Apps at UMass Amherst does not show any advertisements and Google does not use your data for analysis or marketing campaigns. Apps at UMass Amherst also includes many critical security features specifically designed to keep your data secure and in your control. It allows you to control your data, including who you share it with and how you share it.

I have a separate personal Google account that I have been using for years. Why should I move everything over to my Apps at UMass Amherst account?

You don’t have to move your personal documents and calendars over to Apps at UMass Amherst, but it is an option. See how to easily Transfer Personal Google Docs & Calendars to Apps at UMass Amherst. You can also share documents from your personal account to your Apps at UMass Amherst account.

You can choose to keep your personal (consumer) Google account separate from your UMass Amherst Google account to easily distinguish between personal and work/school. This option does involve logging out of one account before accessing the other account. To avoid logging out and back in, you can have them both open, but in different browsers (e.g., if you are logged into your personal account in Chrome, open Firefox and log in to Apps at UMass Amherst).

Do I have to use Apps at UMass Amherst?

The service is entirely optional for faculty, staff, and graduate students. Undergraduates must use UMass Amherst Google Mail (part of Apps at UMass Amherst) for their University email. 

If you are currently using a consumer Google account for University-related work, we strongly recommend that you check the University’s data storage guidelines and switch to Apps at UMass Amherst if appropriate.

I do not have have a smart phone, can I use Apps at UMass Amherst?

Yes, Apps at UMass Amherst can be used on computers as well as mobile devices. The “Apps” in Apps at UMass Amherst stands for “Applications” (Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Sites, etc.), not to be confused with “Apps” that are used on mobile devices only. To access Apps at UMass Amherst, go to apps.umass.edu and log in with your OIT Account NetID and password. You will be sent to your Calendar. Learn the basics of Apps at UMass Amherst with our Google Apps Quick Guide.

What apps are included in the Apps at UMass Amherst suite?

Apps at UMass Amherst features Google Mail, Drive, Calendar, and Sites, as well as a host of other applications. Please remember:

  • Google Mail is only available to undergraduate students at this time.
  • Google Groups is currently unavailable.
  • For the full list of apps, in the Apps at UMass Amherst navigation bar, go to More > Even More. This list is subject to change to reflect the latest apps in the Google Apps for Education suite. 
  • For security reasons, Apps at UMass Amherst does not include Picasa Web Albums and Google+, among others.
  • If you are interested in a particular app that is not part of the standard set, please contact the OIT Help Center especially if it has a cost associated with it. OIT will be evaluating and adding apps to Apps at UMass Amherst on an ongoing basis. In some cases, we may add your suggested app to our list, in other cases, we may recommend that you purchase it under your personal Google account (so you don't lose it when you leave the University). 

How do I log in?

Go to apps.umass.edu and log in with your OIT Account NetID and password.
Note: Make sure you log out of any personal Google accounts before you log in. If you want to easily use your Apps at UMass Amherst account at the same time as your personal account, you can sign in to Apps at UMass Amherst in a different browser (e.g., if you are logged into your personal account in Chrome, open Firefox and log in to Apps at UMass Amherst). You will see the Apps at UMass Amherst logo in the top left corner of the page when you successfully log into Apps at UMass Amherst.

Faculty, staff, and graduate students: When you log in you will by default be brought to your calendar. If you would like to go directly to Drive, you can go to docs.umass.edu and then log in with your OIT Account NetID and password.

Undergraduates: Learn more about the different ways you can access UMass Amherst Google Mail

What browser should I use Apps at UMass Amherst with?

We recommend using Mozilla Firefox, but Chrome also is a viable option. We do not recommend using Internet Explorer.

Do faculty, staff, and graduate students have access to Google Mail?

Not at this time. UMass Amherst Google Mail is currently available only to undergraduate students. A separate version of Apps at UMass Amherst, featuring Google Drive, Calendar, and Sites, but not Google Mail, has been available to all faculty, staff, and graduate students since August 13, 2013. OIT will provide updates on email options for faculty, staff, and graduate students in the coming months.

I have questions. Where do I go for help?

For questions, please check our Google Apps Quick Guide and Troubleshooting Tips or visit the Google Apps Support Site. We encourage instructors and staff to explore Google Apps in their work, but we are currently not offering formal assistance for the instructional or business use of Apps at UMass Amherst. 

Please remember that in Fall 2013, OIT staff can only answer questions about the use of Google Mail (as applicable), Calendar, and Drive by individuals. Support for other apps will be available in the future. 

What is my Apps at UMass Amherst quota?

Your quota is 30 GB for Google Mail and Drive combined. If you are a faculty or staff member, or graduate student, you have a 30 GB storage quota for your Google Drive. To check your quota, in the top right corner of any Apps at UMass Amherst page, click your email address (NetID@umass.edu), then Account. At the bottom of the Accounts page, your total and available quota appear under Storage

I want to share documents with colleagues, but they don’t take the time to sign up. Is there a quick way to sign up?

All UMass Amherst faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students have an Apps at UMass Amherst account already set up for them. All they have to do is go to apps.umass.edu and log in with their OIT Account NetID and password. Once logged in, they will see what you have shared with them in their Drive.

Another sharing option is to make the document available to anyone with the link. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides: Share and collaborate

Is Google Drive replacing UDrive?

No. Google Drive and UDrive are both available to the campus community. UDrive provides local storage and may be the preferred storage option for certain types of University data. See our Requirements for Storing University Data for more information.

How is Google Drive different from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides?

Google Docs is the editor for Google documents, Google Sheets is the spreadsheets editor, and Google Slides is the presentations editor. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, along with Drawings and Forms, are online documents that live in the cloud and provide real-time collaboration features. Note: The term "Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides" often refers to all the Google online document editors, including Drawings and Forms.

Google Drive is the storage 'shell' that enables you to access all your files, including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, and Forms, as well as local files that you sync to the cloud. If you used Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides prior to April, 2012, Google Drive replaces the Google Documents List (or Google Docs).

I would like a separate departmental account. Is that possible with Apps at UMass Amherst?

Yes. Faculty and Staff can request a Subsidiary OIT Account to use with Apps at UMass Amherst. Note: Subsidiary accounts will not have access to Google Mail at this time.

How can I create a group in Apps at UMass Amherst?

To create a personal group or mailing list, you can use Google Contacts. Note: For security reasons, Google Groups is currently disabled in Apps at UMass Amherst. We are working on making Groups available.

What policies apply to Apps at UMass Amherst?

The use of Apps at UMass Amherst is covered by OIT's Acceptable Use Policy and Email Communications Policy as well as Google’s Privacy Policy.

Can I store sensitive University data on Apps at UMass Amherst?

UMass Amherst has negotiated a contract with Google to adhere to security best practices and has authorized Google to act as an agent of the University. The contract allows some sensitive University data, including student education records (e.g., class rosters), to be stored on Apps at UMass Amherst. See our Requirements for Storing University Data.

Note: Separate, more stringent restrictions apply to sharing sensitive University data. Permission to store a certain type of data on Apps at UMass Amherst does not mean you can share, distribute, or disclose this data using this service.

What should I know about security and privacy?

The use of Apps at UMass Amherst is covered by the Google Privacy Policy. The University cannot guarantee that Google provides the same levels of security and privacy provided on University-maintained servers. OIT will provide Google with your name and NetID you will for use with your Apps at UMass Amherst account.

You are responsible for your own personal information. The University encourages you to use caution when sharing any personal information, including your phone number, location, and class schedule. When storing data, especially University data, be sure to refer to our Requirements for Storing University Data first.

Your name and UMass Amherst email address will be visible to all users with whom you share documents or calendars. Please use caution when sharing documents, especially with users outside the University. View Google's statement on Security and Privacy.

How do I ensure the security of my data when using a shared or public computer (e.g., kiosk)?

When using Apps at UMass Amherst on a shared or public computer, click your email (NetID@umass.edu), then Sign out (top right) when you are finished using your account. Just closing the Web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox) will not end your session. If you don’t sign out, the next user will have full access to your Apps at UMass Amherst account.

We also recommend that students sign out of Google Mail on a regular basis. To do so, at the bottom of your Google Inbox, in the lower right corner, click Details. A new page will open, listing all activity for your account. Click Sign out all other sessions.

Is the data that I put on Apps at UMass Amherst available to the public?

Apps at UMass Amherst services are not publicly available by default. Users can grant access to people outside of the UMass Amherst community. You can protect your information by only granting access to trusted individuals. Email is private, but the other apps can be shared with others. Please exercise caution when sharing information with others, especially University data.

Can I make suggestions about apps to be included in Apps at UMass Amherst?

Yes. Contact the OIT Help Center if there is an app that could benefit the campus community. OIT is constantly evaluating and adding apps to the Apps at UMass Amherst suite.

I am a legacy Google Apps user. Where do I log in?

Legacy Google Apps users can log in at umass.edu/apps. If you want to switch to Apps at UMass Amherst, the new version of Google Apps, please contact postmaster@oit.umass.edu for next steps.