LionMail @ Columbia

Log in to LionMail

Also known as Columbia Gmail.

LionMail is Columbia's state-of-the-art email, contacts and calendaring system, powered by Google. It provides a secure and convenient way to send and receive mail from any location using just a web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. The supported browsers are the current and the previous release of your preferred browser. Please remember that the Gmail web interface is CUIT's only fully supported method for reading LionMail.

All Columbia University Morningside students, faculty and staff have LionMail, though some administrative departments have opted to use Outlook Exchange. CUIMC students, faculty and staff use the CUIMC email system. CUIMC affiliates do not use LionMail.


  • LionMail Drive for file storage and collaboration, including Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Mail and Drive storage (Not unlimited)
    • Quotas are forthcoming and chargebacks for overuse are possible
  • Log in with your UNI and password
  • Email address is [email protected]
  • Easy access with the modern LionMail web client, or, with extra configuration, use your mobile device or desktop mail client
  • Access to the Columbia directory from within LionMail (LDAP)
  • Tag messages with multiple labels and choose from multiple importance markers
  • Sharable calendars for coordinating with your friends, teams, and colleagues


For faculty, at no time can you require LionMail Drive for your students.

Please follow our general LionMail accessibility guidelines for making your Google Documents accessible to people with disabilities. The Google Administrator Guide to Accessibility provides further information on accessibility and Google Apps, including Google Drive.

If you encounter any difficulties or have questions about using assistive technologies or creating accessible documents with Google Drive, please contact CUIT by calling 212-854-1919 or sending an email to [email protected].

This information applies to students, faculty, and staff on the LionMail system.

Log out of other Google accounts

Although it is possible to be logged in to a personal Google account and LionMail at the same time, you should log out of all personal Google accounts the first time you log in to LionMail.

Log in to LionMail
  1. Go to
  2. Enter your UNI in the UNI field
  3. Enter your UNI password in the password field
  4. First Time Log In Only: You will be presented with the screen below. To use LionMail, you must choose I Accept. Continue to my account. 


If you have access to multiple email addresses, you can easily switch from your primary address to another without having to log out.

A new email alias or Google Group will take about 1 hour before your new email alias becomes active.

First, you will need to add and verify the alternate email address:
  1. Sign in to your LionMail.
  2. Click on the gear icon in the upper-right hand corner of the screen and select 'See All Settings'.
  3. Click on the Accounts tab.
  4. Under Send mail as, click Add another email address.
  5. In the pop-up window, enter the name (usually your own, but can also be the name of a department or club) and alternate email address.
  6. Click Next Step >> and then click Send Verification. LionMail will send a verification message to your other email address to confirm your ownership.
  7. Locate the message in your alternate email account and open it. Either click the confirmation link contained in the message or enter the confirmation code in the Accounts section of your Google Apps and email settings.

If you don't receive the confirmation email, submit a ticket to the CUIT Service Desk for assistance.

Note: To edit the name, configuration, reply-to address or to delete an existing email address, return to Settings > Accounts, and click edit or delete next to the email address that you would like to alter.

Sending mail from your alternate email address:
  1. Click Compose in LionMail to open a new message.
  2. Click on your email address in the From field to display all addresses you can send-as, and click the one you would like to send from. You can also do this if you are replying to or forwarding a message.

Vendors may change mailing parameters at any time. If you need more information about mailing limits or other parameters not defined here, refer to Google’s documentation for sending limits and receiving limits.

Message Size

  • The maximum received message size is 50 MB.
  • The maximum sent message size is 25 MB.

Note: To send file attachments larger than 25 MB, use Google Drive or other file-sharing services

Note:  If you require to send an email to a large audience, please request a listserv

Email Receiving Limits

  • Maximum of 60 messages/minute, 3,600 messages/hour, or 86,400 messages/day.
  • Maximum number of 500 attachments on a single message.

Email Sending Limits

After exceeding any of the following limits you will be unable to send email for a period of 24 hours. You will still be able to access your Google Workspace Email and will continue to receive new email, but you will not be able to send.

  • A maximum of 2,000 sent messages per day.
  • A maximum of 10,000 auto-forwarded messages per day (this is different from the maximum sent messages per day limit).
  • The maximum number of recipients (To, Cc and Bcc fields) is 10,000 per day.
  • The maximum number of external recipients (To, Cc and Bcc fields) is 3,000 per day.
  • The maximum number of unique recipients (To, Cc and Bcc fields) is 3,000 per day with a maximum of 2,000 unique external recipients per day.
  • Recipients per message (To, Cc and Bcc fields) 2,000 with a maximum of 500 external recipients.
  • The maximum number of recipients when using SMTP or Gmail API is 100.

Message sent from alternate addresses or aliases, delegated access, and the vacation Gmail vacation responder all count toward these limits.

Attachment Types

Google does not permit sending or receiving executable files (such as files with names that end in ".exe"). This includes executables that have been compressed (zipped) into files such as .zip, .tar, and .tgz. Also refer to the complete list of file types blocked in Gmail.

What is the Dual Affiliation Email Form?

Dual Affiliation Email Form is an online survey-creating tool for: 

  • Academic
  • Administrative
  • Research purposes

Why would someone complete the Dual Affiliation Email Form?

  • You require any LionMail services but aren’t eligible by default.
  • You do not currently have a LionMail account.
  • You are affiliated with CUIMC. 

How to access the Dual Affiliation Email Form?

Be detailed as possible since the Office of the General Counsel Review team will review the survey.

No, you will not be able to use your Columbia address as the alternate email address for your personal Gmail account. However, you will still be able to use your Columbia address as your password recovery email address.

Many members of the community use vendors like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or others to send email from a Columbia University address. Vendor products often include a feature allowing mail sent by them on your behalf to superficially look as if it were sent from Columbia, sometimes called “spoofing.” Spoofing is the same technique cybercriminals often use when they pretend to be someone at Columbia in order to gain your trust. 

This is not a good idea.

Because our email system monitors and manages perceived spoofing to reduce the risk of phishing, account compromise, and other cybercrime, if you or a vendor you work with are using email spoofing, your mailing may be either filtered out by Columbia's Microsoft 365 or LionMail, or delivered, but placed in the recipient’s spam or junk folder.

For this and other reasons, sending email from the domain is only a successful option for Columbia's email service providers, Microsoft and Google.

In order to use third-party mailers and improve deliverability you have the following options:

  • Use the vendor’s sending address. 
    Whoever the vendor is, they can always send messages legitimately from one of their own addresses. Although the message won’t look like it comes from Columbia, it will be likely to have a smooth delivery, and there are some cases where it’s the best option. Where this might not work well is if the third-party sender is a well-known spammer, which would likely cause our spam filters to restrict mail flow.
  • Create a Columbia subdomain address and send from that.
    Columbia subdomains, such as " *", can be linked to the vendor who is sending the message. Once this is done, the vendor will be seen as a legitimate sender no matter where the message is sent in the world.

Yes. The limit is 15 simultaneous connections. This limit comes into play if you use more than one device (computers, smartphones, other mobile devices) to connect to LionMail at the same time.

You can invite up to 200 people to an event.

If you need to invite more people, you can invite people using Google Groups. With Groups, you can invite groups that have up to 100,000 people.

We strongly recommend using a web browser to use LionMail. We have determined that using a web browser provides the best end-user experience. If you still choose to use an email client, CUIT and Google recommend Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail. Thunderbird is not recommended or supported by CUIT. For more information about client setup, click here.

Since our LionMail environment is tied to your UNI for authentication, we cannot offer LionMail accounts that multiple UNIs can share. You can request a Grouper mailing list that can have multiple recipients. This Grouper mailing list can be configured in your LionMail as a "send from" address.

Google Pay is not available at this time due to FERPA restrictions. FERPA is the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act which prevents Columbia from enabling the service.

No. Like other educational institutions that use Google Workspace, Columbia University will be impacted by Google's Storage Policy change, providing schools and universities with a baseline of 100 TB of pooled storage shared across all users. CUIT is working with Google to implement tools to help reduce our storage. It is probable for usage quotas and chargebacks to be implemented. CUIT recommends not using excessive space or storing items in LionMail drive that are no longer needed.

For your security, everything inside a synced Google Chrome profile is private and inaccessible to CUIT to read or restore; therefore, CUIT cannot restore this data.

Please use the following link for more information about LionMail quotas

To prevent the pop-up notice from appearing every time you log in to your LionMail account in Google Chrome, choose one of the following resolutions:

  • Turn on sync if you want to sync your Chrome profile across multiple devices.
  • This pop-up will no longer appear when Chrome sync is turned on, and you are signed in to Chrome.
  • Learn how to turn on Chrome profile sync here.
  • Turn off Chrome sync if you don't want to sync your Chrome profile across multiple devices.
  • This pop-up will no longer appear when Chrome sync is turned off, and you are signed in to Chrome.
  • Learn how to turn off Chrome profile sync here.
  • If you don't want to sign in to a Chrome profile, the only way to do this is to use Guest mode every time you browse. However, you will need to sign in every time you use Chrome.
  • Learn how to use Guest mode in Google Chrome here.

Important: Columbia University does NOT view or manage your bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, or any other information stored in your Chrome profile. The information in the pop-up is misleading.

For your security, everything inside a synced Google Chrome profile is private and inaccessible to CUIT to read or restore; therefore, CUIT cannot restore this data.

You are able to check other GMail accounts within LionMail, but you cannot setup to send mail from your other GMail account from LionMail. You also cannot send from your email address from your personal GMail account.

1. Open LionMail
2. Click on your LionMail account icon, located on the right side of the screen
3. Click on *Manage your Google Account*
4. Click on *Transfer your Content*
5. Enter the email address of the Google Account where you want to copy your content.
6. Select *Get code*.
7. On your Google Account, check your Gmail inbox for a confirmation email from Google. In the email, select *Get confirmation code*. A new tab will open with a code.
8. On your LionMail account, go back to the "Transfer your content" page. Enter the code, then choose *Verify*.
9. Choose the content you'd like to copy, then select *Start transfer*.

Details about the copy process

The copy process usually happens within a few hours, but it can take up to a week.
Copied files might appear in batches on your Google Account during the copy process.
When your files are finished copying, you'll get an email at your Gmail address.

To download your data off from Google please visit manage your information on Google support site.

The contract between Columbia and Google ensures the security of data. Columbia, not Google, owns all of the data that passes through LionMail accounts.

Columbia maintains the standards and policies that it always has regarding non-disclosure restrictions.

Unlike with personal Gmail accounts, Google can use your personal data only to make your experience better (e.g., to suggest related recipients when you send an email). Google has an official statement about Google Apps for Education customers,

All LionMail data will be stored on servers in the United States.

The core LionMail services (Mail, Calendar and Contacts) are all covered by the contract between Columbia and Google. The additional terms of service will affect services that may be available for your LionMail account at a later date. These services would be available while logged in to your LionMail account but would be governed by the normal consumer terms of service.

Google Sites is not enabled for LionMail at Columbia University. If you try to log into a Google Sites page, you will see the message: "We are sorry, but you do not have access to Google Sites. Please contact your Organization Administrator for access." To access a page on Google Sites created outside of Columbia University, please use an incognito mode window, or sign out of Google Chrome.