E-mail software

You can read and send e-mail in a number of ways. Many organisations and e-mail services offer both a browser-based application and a stand-alone e-mail client to be installed on the computer (such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla ThunderbirdMac Mail, or text-based Alpine). Smartphones and tablets often have their own preinstalled apps that work just as well as the software that you download from the Internet.

You can read e-mails at the University of Helsinki either with an e-mail application or in a browser using the Outlook Web App (OWA). For more information on OWA, see chapter 2.2.

As e-mail programs all operate based on the same principle, you can send and receive e-mail basically with any e-mail program.

This chapter discusses the use of stand-alone e-mail clients. The advantages of a stand-alone program include:

  • you can read your e-mails even when you are not connected to the Internet
  • you do not need to log in every time you use e-mail
  • reading and writing e-mails is usually easier and quicker, especially on a mobile device
  • smart handling of mail is easier – you can, for example, automatically filter incoming mail into different folders
  • you can use several e-mail accounts; in other words, you can use one and the same program to handle e-mail for raimo.keski-vaanto@helsinki.fi and raikku@åmail.com, for example.

How to set up an e-mail application

As a student at the University of Helsinki, you can install Microsoft Office Pro Plus on your device free of charge. The software package includes the Outlook e-mail application. (For more information on how to install Office on your devices, see chapter 2.2.) All examples in this chapter are based on Outlook.  However, almost all the instructions can be applied to other e-mail programs as well.

E-mail applications and settings vary according to the operating system, its version and the model of the device. Use the basic instructions at the university’s Helpdesk site to get started with the settings.

E-mail account

Once you have installed your e-mail client, save the information related to your email address to the program, i.e. add an e-mail account. This is done in different ways in different applications (see the IT Center’s Helpdesk site for instructions).


The e-mail account is the place where your e-mail and calendar settings are stored. In addition, you need to have access rights to an e-mail service, i.e. you must have an e-mail address and an inbox that you can use. The students at the University of Helsinki are automatically given an e-mail address, usually in the form of firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi. For more information on e-mail at the University of Helsinki, refer to chapter 2.

Always remember to follow the terms of use when processing e-mail!