IT ServicesStaff

Office 365

Office 365 Help

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Office 365 and what features are available to me?

The Microsoft Office 365 suite is a hosted, online version of the traditional installed version of Microsoft Office software. This online service is subscription-based and includes Office, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Microsoft Office Web Apps, the number and type of applications that are available changes regularly and the options you have available may not be all that are available or listed here.

If you require more information please refer to the following page: MS Office 365

Data Retention: With a 50GB mailbox can I just keep everything?

Although 50GB is virtually limitless to most people it is not appropriate to keep everything forever.  Staff and research students are advised to review the University Data Protection information.

One of the primary reasons for moving to cloud-based services such as Office365 for staff email is the individual mailbox quota – currently set to 50GB per user. That’s 25 times the maximum permissible quota on the in-house staff email system.

Obviously this allows you to store everything, for ever, right?


Except in very specific (legally defined) circumstances it is not good practice – and may be against the law – to store every email you receive forever. There are three sets of rules at play, which usually work well together but can in some respects work against each other:

· Data Protection Act (DPA)

· Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

· Statutory Retention – e.g. financial records, health records

Without going into too much detail (we have policies in place already which go into much finer detail) the general guidelines are:

If you are (or your role is) subject to specific controls imposed by the University’s business processes or external agreements such as with the NHS, Police, financial authorities or research partners then you should follow them. It is likely they will not permit you to store personal/sensitive data in your University mailbox in the first place.

If you find yourself in receipt of personal data by email (such as HR/health/disciplinary related matters) then you need to remember the following:

  • Personal data (in this context, held in emails) shall be kept only for as long as necessary (DPA)
  • Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Data Protection Act (DPA)
  • The individual to whom the data pertains has a right to demand the information should they deem it necessary (DPA)

o If you find yourself in receipt of potentially sensitive but non-personal data (financial transactions, research data) then you should additionally be aware that:

  • External organisations can request information on specific subjects and, subject to exemptions, the University is required to provide it (FOIA)

Adopting a simplistic approach, taken together the above guidelines mean that:

o It is not good practice to keep everything forever

o You may be held personally liable under the DPA (or other controls) if you do so

o You must be conversant (where relevant) with the basic principles of the DPA and aware of your responsibilities under both the DPA & FOIA

o You, or more accurately, your department, should adopt practices (if you have not already done so) which limit individual responsibility for data retention/data protection such as those found in the University’s Records Retention Schedule.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly: if you have information stored in emails which you think should not be – don’t keep it!

What limits apply to email in Office 365?

Information regarding limits (message sizes, maximum numbers of recipients, sending limits, mailbox sizes and so on) is provided by Microsoft in detail here:

Exchange Online Limits

[Note that the University's Office 365 plan is "Office 365 Education E1"]

It is worth noting that the following size limitations apply to email attachments:

  • Staff to Staff:
    • Within Office365 using Outlook: 150MB limit per message
    • Within Office365 using Outlook Web App: 112MB limit per message
    • Within Office365 using Mac Outlook or Apple Mail: 35MB limit per message
  • Emails to & from internet recipients regardless of the client: 25MB limit per message

Will I be able to purchase unlimited email storage, Office Online, or other subscriptions?

This is not currently part of the service. Should you feel other features of Office 365 would benefit your Department or School, please contact your local IT representative.

Will I be able to scan documents using the centralised printing service Scan-to-Email feature?

The largest item that can be scanned using Scan-to-Email is 25MB.

Please contact the IT Service Desk  to ask for your device to be set up to scan directly to a group Workspace.

What about Email security and data compliance?

Loughborough University have signed up to the Jisc Collections and Janet Ltd document packwhich has exclusive amendments and due diligence on around 100 pages of contractual documents for Microsoft Office 365. This provides reassurance in relation to security, resilience, legal and data compliance, and functionality. Specific details regarding privacy are available on the Office 365 Privacy Statement webpage.  IT Services guidance on email security remains the same and is available here

How reliable will Office 365 for Staff Email be?

Office 365 has a quarterly worldwide uptime of 99.96% with a financially backed guarantee of 99.9%, see  The most recently available uptime figure for the current Staff Email and Groupware service is 99.82%

Known Issues

When I send email from someone else, the sent item goes into MY sent items, not theirs.

If you are using the managed Windows 7 Service and Outlook 2010 this should not occur, please contact your local IT support or to report this issue.

If you are not using the managed Windows 7 Service you will need to follow the guidance below in order to ensure that sent items are stored in the others persons folder.

Slipstick Article

When using IMAP, additional folders called 'Working Set' are visible that cannot be deleted

This is a known issue that can occur when using IMAP and the folders can be safely ignored.

Issues with unsupported clients, such as Mac OS X Mail

There are a number of current issues using Mac OS X Mail and other unsupported clients with Office 365. While the use of these clients is not supported by IT Services, this external list of current known issues may be useful to some users: