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Please contact us via SmartDesk, Email  or by phone +41 44 632 77 77

Service Information

Use of the e-mail/mailbox service at ETH Zurich.

The ETH Zurich mailbox is intended for business communication. While the use of your mailbox for private purposes is generally permitted, it is not recommended. You can find these and other rules and regulations here: 

What is my ETH mailbox intended for? 

The ETH Zurich mailbox is intended for business communication. 

Can I also use the ETH mailbox for private email communication? 

The use of your mailbox for private purposes is generally permitted, but not recommended. Business and private emails are treated equally. 

What internal directives/guidelines regulate the use and archiving of emails? 

The ETH Zurich Acceptable Use Policy for Information and Communications Technology (BOT, RSETHZ 203.21) regulates the use and archiving of emails as well as access to the mail archive.

Is ETH Zurich allowed to view the content of ETH members' private emails during non-personal checks of email traffic? 

No, ETH Zurich is not permitted to view the content of ETH members' private emails during checks of email traffic that are not related to a specific person. If emails are not stored in the "private-do-not-archive" folder provided, if no distinction is labelled between private and business emails and if the private nature of an email is not recognisable and cannot be assumed on the basis of the addressee, ETH Zurich may assume that the email is business-related. In case of doubt, the nature of the email will be clarified with the ETH member. 

Where are my emails stored? 

Emails are stored in your mailbox. After 60 days, all read emails will be copied to the mail archive with the exception of emails in the "private-do-not-archive" folder and "deleted items". 

Do emails with a business case / dossier have to be stored?

ETH Zurich’s email systems are not business record management systems; all files, information and documentation relevant to a business case must be kept in electronic form along with the business case. To simplify management and data storage, emails relevant to a business case can also be kept in dedicated mailboxes.

Outlook Web Access (OWA)

Your eth email can be accessed directly through a web browser.

  • Go to
  • Enter your ETH username with at the end (for example
  • Enter your ETH password for e-mail (Active Directory)

Limits / Thresholds

Mailbox size5 GB1 GB
max. Mail size20 MB20 MB
Sending limit / 24 h500 Mails / 24 h500 Mails / 24 h

Send on behalf

Sender SpoofingNoNo
max. Aliasses1010
Manage Mail Forward

Self Service\Manage Forward

Self Service\Manage Forward

Support for your Mailbox
  1. lokal IT
  2. Servicedesk (Tel. 27777)

Servicedesk (Tel. 27777)

We recommend not to enter more than100 recipients per e-mail.

Temporary increase of the sending limit

Temporary increase of the sending limit

A temporary adjustment of the sending limit can be requested via the Service Desk.
The request must be made at least one working day before the planned dispatch and should contain the following information:
- To how many recipients (approx.) will the e-mail be sent?
- Which sender address will be used? (Send-As)
- In what time frame is the increase needed? (possibly a few days)

Mailbox quotas

When the mailbox quota is reached, there are three different thresholds. The standard values for employees and students are as follows:
ThresholdEmployees (standard)StudentsMessage to mailboxRestricted functionality
IssueWarningQuota4.5 GB (80% of the quota)820 MB (80% of the quota)Every night, a system-generated e-mail informs the user that the quota has been reached. This continues until the data volume falls below the quota or the next higher threshold is reached.None
ProhibitSendQuota5 GB (100% of the quota)1 GB (100% of the quota)Every night, a system-generated e-mail informs the user that the quota has been reached and that the mailbox functionality is restricted. This continues until the data volume falls below the quota or the next-higher threshold is reached.The mailbox cannot send any e-mails until the data volume falls below the quota.
ProhibitSendReceiveQuota7 GB (Quota plus 2 GB)1.2 GB (Quota plus 200MB)Every night, a system-generated e-mail informs the user that the quota has been reached and the mailbox is restricted. This continues until the data volume falls below the quota.The mailbox cannot send or receive (!) any e-mails until the data volume falls below the quota.

Quotas of more than 10 GB

For mailboxes larger than 10 GB, the various quota values are no longer assigned automatically but on an individual basis after consultation with the mail admins and communicated to the mailbox owner accordingly.
As a matter of principle, quotas of more than 10
GB are not advisable if the mailbox is managed with an offline client. Offline clients download all e-mails from the server to the local computer.The advantage is that all mail data are available even if there is no connection to the mail server.The disadvantage is that most clients cannot reliably handle large local mailbox databases (> 10 GB) and/or perform poorly with such large databases. In the case of mailbox sizes of over 10 GB, it is advisable to use online mail clients only (e.g. web browser). Please do not forget that the "Drafts", "Sent Items" and "Deleted Items" are also included in the quota calculation. Everything you save but have not yet sent in Outlook, Outlook Web Access and some other mail clients is stored in the "Drafts" folder. Most clients save a copy of your sent e-mails to the "Sent Items" folder.


List of supported mail clients:

  • Outlook for Windows (Outlook 2013 and higher)
  • Outlook for Mac (Outlook 2011 and higher)
  • Apple Mail
  • Thunderbird for Mac and Windows (Thunderbird Version 45 and higher)
  • Windows Mail (Windows 8.1 / Windows 10 and higher)

Basic requirements for support

Please note that we can only consider client versions from this list which are generally supported by the manufacturers and also in interaction with our mail server. We also reserve the right to exclude mail clients from contact with the mail server infrastructure that have massive security gaps, place an excessive load on the mail infrastructure, or do not comply with the guidelines of the Usage Regulations for Telematics at ETH Zurich (BOT).

  • The mail client requires an official manufacturer who can also guarantee support in the event of problems with the product.
  • The mail client in general and the version in particular must be officially supported by the manufacturer together with our mail server.
  • Independent of the mail client, the underlying operating system must also have a version officially supported by the manufacturer and a patch level that is as up-to-date as possible.
  • Android devices can only be supported with "best effort" due to the extreme variety of OS and mail client versions.
  • Windows Phones are supported with "best effort" only due to the limited distribution.
  • There is currently no way to connect Blackberry devices to our mail server.
  • Access to the mail server with the Outlook App for iOS and Android is currently blocked.

Email Forward

To forward all incoming emails on your ETH account to another address, you can define a forward on To do this, click on "Self-Service" and then "Manage forward". There you can enter the e-mail address to which you want to forward in the "Recipient" field. Attention: If you do not activate the option "Save and forward e-mails:", the e-mails will be forwarded without being saved in the ETH mailbox.

Connection endpoints of mail protocols

ProtocolConnection to Mailserver
  • Internet Explorer
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari (; 587 (STARTTLS)

Username: “<username>” (; Port 993 (SSL/TLS)

Username: “<username>”
Domain: (only if necessary)
Username: “<username>”

Basis-DN: DC=d,DC=ethz,DC=ch
Port: 636
Bind-DN: <username>
Search filter: (&(showinaddressbook=*)(mail=*))

LDAP is only available in the ETHZ network (ETHZ IPs)!
Outside ETHZ, a VPN is required.

  • Outlook (Mac)

  • Apple Mail

  • (Evolution; only very limited support)

  • (Lightning; only very limited support); Port 443

Mailbox – terms and rules


Physical storage space for e-mails. Your e-mails are stored here. 

E-mail address 

Refers to associated mailbox. An e-mail addressed with your e-mail address arrives in your mailbox. This is the official e-mail address which is published and normally appears as sender address in your own e-mails. 


Alternative e-mail address which likewise refers to the associated mailbox. An e-mail which is addressed to your e-mail address with an alias also reaches your e-mailbox.

Changes to the e-mail address and alias can be requested from the Service Desk.


The part of the address after the @. 

Name section of an e-mail address

The part of the address before the @.


  1. An e-mail address must be unambiguous worldwide. This also applies to e-mail addresses in the domain and means that the name section <name> must be unambiguous vis-àvis all addresses.
  2. This name area also includes the ETH usernames, i.e. the name section may not be the same as an existing ETH username unless it is your own.
  3. E-mail addresses in the form familyname@* lead to problems, particularly inside a big organisational unit.


    • In view of these considerations, the following rules apply to <name>
    • Only lower case letters without umlauts, numbers and hyphens are allowed. Periods in particular are not allowed.
    • Valid examples are: dmeier, meier15, da-me
    • The length must be at least three characters, maximum 30 characters.
    • Not allowed: dm
    • Your own and other family names are not allowed.
    • Not allowed: meier, mueller, kuebler
    • ETH usernames apart from your own are not allowed.

Validity duration of the e-mail addresses

The responsible ETH organisational unit determines the validity duration of the e-mail addresses.


  1. Aliases are frequently used for functions: assistenz@domain, vorsteher@domain etc. In the domain there is only one “Assistenz” or “Vorsteher” respectively. This is naturally no longer the case in the domain and must be taken into consideration in the case of the corresponding aliases, e.g. with the following names:
  2. Aliases as alternative ways of writing your own name are actually unnecessary with the above rules for the name section, since it can be selected in a way that no uncertainty arises regarding the way it is written: Daniel Meyer à or
  3. Most mail programmes present the so-called “display name” as sender (and not the e-mail name). The display name can be chosen freely and normally includes the full name and if necessary the company or organisational unit of the sender. The display names accordingly do not have to be unambiguous, e.g. “Meier, Daniel (ID).”
  4. Other addresses as aliases from another domain hosted by us are desirable for the availability of old addresses.


    • Due to the above considerations and on account of the limited possibilities for automatic control, the following rules arise for the name section of aliases:
    • aliases (in the domain) have to be at least 10 characters long.
    • The same rules apply to the name section of the e-mail address for aliases (as for <name>, see above).
    • Aliases in other domains (e.g. for old e-mail addresses) are possible without the two restrictions above).
    • No more than a total of eight aliases in total may be used. This applies in general to the number of aliases on our server.
    • Please note In total, precisely one e-mail address per mailbox (e-mail or alias) may be shorter than ten characters. Hence alternatively a shorter alias can be selected in place of the e-mail address. The same considerations and rules apply to distribution lists as to aliases.


An e-mail address which is configured for one mailbox and refers to another mailbox. An e-mail which reaches your mailbox via your (main) e-mail address or an alias is forwarded to the mailbox to which the forward address refers. 

Display name 

The name displayed In addition to the e-mail address. Most mail programmes show this display name instead of or together with the sender address. The display name has the format LASTNAME  FIRSTNAME for all personal mailboxes.


Person Daniela Meier, Dept. Supervisor D-ABCD
E-mail address:
name section of the e-mail address: danielam
domain: display name: Meier  Daniela
aliases:,,,,, ...

Daniela Meier's e-mail address is The associated mailbox is on the server of the information services. She is the supervisor of the department ABCD. As supervisor, she also wishes to be available with the addresses and These two addresses are aliases. Before ABCD department switched to the addresses, her address was She also uses this address as alias. The department supervisor changes after two years.
Daniela Meier deletes the corresponding aliases before entering the new department supervisor Peter Müller with the email address in her place. Daniela Meier receives an offer at MIT and leaves the ETH. Her new e-mail address is now Since she provided various publications with her e-mail address, she would like to divert all mails to this address to the new MIT address. As soon as the MIT address is online, she places a forward to the MIT address on her ETH mailbox.

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