DCPS Email Upgrade FAQ 

If you have any questions that are not addressed by this FAQ, please contact IT ServUs at 202-442-5715 or servus.helpdesk@dc.gov.

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What is the email upgrade project?

OCTO is “migrating” all DCPS email accounts from one outdated server to a new server, Microsoft’s Exchange 2007. 

This will allow DCPS email users to access enhanced Outlook features and increase mailbox size. 

It will also allow OCTO to better address email problems reported by DCPS email users.

What are the benefits of the Exchange 2007 upgrade?

There are a number of benefits, here are a couple: 

  • Larger mailboxes! Most users will receive a 1GB mailbox
  • Improved Outlook Web Access
  • Improved Outlook performance 
  • Better Outlook 2011 Support
  • Centralized Global Address List

When will my email account be upgraded?

OCTO is upgrading schools by Instructional Superintendent Cluster beginning August 3, 2012 at midnight. Refer to the migration schedule. 

Individuals will be notified by email 48 hours before their upgrade is scheduled to begin. 

Users will not be able to access their email in any way for a period of 24 hours after the scheduled start of the upgrade.

What do I need to do prior to the email upgrade?

You can help the upgrade go more smoothly by doing the following:

  • Empty your “Deleted” folder
  • Delete emails with large attachments to decrease the overall size of your mailbox

How do I access my email via the web (i.e. Internet Explorer) following the email upgrade?

To access your email via the Web after the upgrade, you will need to visit: http://mail.dc.gov

  • Logon name: HQ\username (please contact IT ServUs if you do not know your username)
  • Password: your usual dc.gov password

Outlook Web Access has new features! Download the Outlook Web Access Quick Reference Guide.



I only access my email through the Web (i.e. Internet Explorer). What do I need to know?

Not much! You will simply need to know that you can no longer access your email via http://outlook.dcps.dc.gov after the upgrade. You will need to bookmark http://mail.dc.gov to access your email from now on. You’ll also need to remember to put “HQ\” (not case sensitive) before your username when logging in. Via http://mail.dc.gov, you can access your email from anywhere in the world


I’m a PC user. How can I tell what version of Outlook I have on my work computer?

Go to the Start menu. The version is listed besides the Outlook icon.

Will I need to update my Outlook Profile or Outlook Settings before or after the upgrade?

After. You can either use the Outlook Setup Instructions, or contact IT ServUs to have a technician walk you the setup process if you are unable to do so yourself. 

You will be able to use Outlook Web Access via mail.dc.gov following the upgrade even if your Outlook profile has not yet been configured.

How will I know when my mailbox is scheduled to be upgraded?

You will receive several notification emails, stating the exact date and time when your school’s email accounts will be upgraded.

Will I be able to use my DCPS email account while OCTO is upgrading my account?

The day and night of the migration, you will not be able to use your DCPS mailbox. The outage is not anticpated to exceed a period of 24 hours.

I receive email on my iPhone, iPad and/or Android device. What do I need to know?

Please follow the instructions for receiving email via your iPhone or Android following the email upgrade.

I use a Blackberry to access my email. What do I need to know?

Nothing! Your Blackberry will automatically configure to begin receiving emails once your account has been upgraded. You do not need to take action.

I’ve been using my dc.gov Gmail account. What do I need to know?

OCTO will no longer provide support for Gmail following the email upgrade. 

You will have access to your account for 60 days afterwards but will not be able to send or receive email to this account. 

After 60 days, dc.gov Gmail will be shut down. Emails, Contacts and Appointments that are stored in Gmail will not be migrated to Exchange.  

Please refer to the Gmail Migration instructions: How to download your dc.gov Gmail to a .pst file 

IT ServUs can also assist you with this process.

This does not affect your personal Gmail account in any way.


I use Google Docs and Google sites. Will these be shut down, too?

No. Access to Google Docs and Google sites will remain the same.

I have access to a secondary mailbox and/or I have access to another individual’s mailbox as a delegate. What do I need to know?

Once the upgrade occurs, you will lose access to any additional mailboxes you have access to. 

Follow the instructions to re-add the mailbox to your Outlook. 

IT ServUs can also assist you with this process. When calling, please be sure to provide the name of the secondary account to the technician.

If you have permissions to another individual’s mailbox (i.e., an office manager with access to a Principal’s email address), you must call IT ServUs to have these permissions restored.

I’m a Mac user. What do I need to know?

Mac users that are using Office 2008 with Entourage need to contact IT ServUs to have Office 2011 installed. Entourage 2008 is not compatible with Exchange 2007.  

Those users that already have Office 2011 installed can use the Outlook Setup Instructions to setup Outlook 2011.

I’m a Mac user. How do I know what version of Outlook I’m using?

Mac users that are using Office 2008 with Entourage need to contact IT ServUs to have Office 2011 installed. Entourage 2008 is not compatible with Exchange 2007. Those users that already have Office 2011 installed can use the attached Outlook Setup Instructions to setup Outlook 2011. Images of the icons are below.

Who can I call if I’m having trouble?

IT ServUs is standing by to assist! You can reach them at 202-442-5715 or servus.helpdesk@dc.gov. Please note that we expect very high call volume during this time. Please do your best to follow the provided instructions before calling.

I visited http://dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/email and followed all of the instructions that apply to me, but I am still having trouble. Who can I contact for help?

IT ServUs is standing by! You can call them at 202-442-5715 or email them at servus.helpdesk@dc.gov 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Due to the anticipated high call volume during the upgrade and the school openings period, your wait time may be longer than normal. 

We encourage you to self-serve via the online instructions to the greatest extent possible.

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