Frequently Asked Questions about Deactivation
- I really like my account! Can I keep it? Please?
- Unfortunately, for both technical and legal reasons, we cannot
provide continuing accounts for people who have left MIT and no longer
have an affiliation with it.
- I'm a student taking a Leave of Absence or on Medical Leave,
will my account still be deactivated?
- Our information
comes from the Registrar's Office, so if you are not a registered
student, your account will be flagged for deactivation (and probably
is, if you received the notification). You should have your advisor,
departmental administrator, S^3 dean, or other suitable person send
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting that your account be sponsored
until you return and giving us your anticipated date of return.
This must be done manually - we have no other source of
information about medical leaves or leaves of absence.
- What if I'm still working with my professor on my thesis
- Just have your professor send an email message to
email@example.com asking to sponsor your account as a guest of theirs.
There is no charge for sponsoring a guest account, but they have to be
willing to take responsibility for you having the account.
- I still need access to some of the MIT Libraries resources,
can I keep my account for that?
- If you are currently working
with a professor, you can have them sponsor you as mentioned above.
Note that alumni can still visit the MIT Libraries and access some
electronic resources on-site, without an Athena account.
Services for MIT Alumni/ae" for more information.
- Will you send me the contents of my account on CD or
- No, we do not have the resources or the time to do
this. We recommend you backup any important files in your account
using secure file transer software (e.g. Fetch, SecureFX).
Alternatively, you can connect a USB flash drive to most Athena
machines and you can also burn CDs/DVDs with the contents of your
account. For more information, please
see this article.
- What about my e-mail? Can I back it up?
- Your best option for backing up your e-mail stored on the IMAP or
Exchange servers is to use an IMAP e-mail program (e.g. Outlook, Apple
Mail, Thunderbird) on your personal computer and copy all your mail to
local folders. For more information, please
see this article.
We are unable to provide assistance migrating your e-mail to another
commercial service, such as Gmail.
- Will I still be able to access my e-mail with WebMail or
- I am a voucher employee (or a contractor), and I'm still
working in the same office. Why is my account being deactivated?
- Voucher employee accounts are created with a fixed duration, but
they can easily be extended. Just have whoever you're working for
send email to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know that you're still
- I'm not working with anyone at MIT any more, but I'd be willing
to pay for my account.
- Sorry, no, we can't take bribes either.
- What if I come back later this year? Will all my files be gone?
- For about a year after deactivation, your account is not purged
from the system. If you return to MIT, then your account can be
quickly reactivated, and all your files will still be there.
- What about my email? Will my email be lost?
- Your account will be removed from the mail servers a month after
it is converted from "suspended" to "deactivated". So, it will be
purged two months after the initial suspension, on or around March
23. If you return to MIT after that point, you will be set up with a
- If my account is reactivated, what will the password be?
- It'll be the same as it was before the account was deactivated.
- My email is currently being forwarded to another address.
Will that continue?
- Forwarding will continue for one month after deactivation, while
your account is "suspended". After that, when the account is fully
deactivated, mail which is addressed to your account will be bounced
back to the sender, regardless of whether you are currently forwarding
your mail or not. One reason that we notify account holders several
months prior to deactivation is so that they can contact their email
correspondents to let them know about a change of address.
- I heard that as an alum, my account would be for life.
- You are probably thinking of "Email Forwarding for Life", which
is provided by MIT's Alumni Network Services. This is an email
forwarding address at alum.mit.edu. To sign up for Email Forwarding
for Life, register at http://alum.mit.edu.
- How do I know which machines are in my name, and if they're going
to be deactivated?
- Only machines which are specifically listed as student-owned will
be affected by deactivation. If you are a student, and you signed up
for one or more host names with the RCCs, then those are the machines
that will be deactivated.
To see which machines you own, log in to Athena and do this:
athena% athrun rescomp ghbo
If some of the machines are in common areas (for example, a
workstation in your hall lounge), you can transfer the ownership to
another MIT student living in that dorm. Simply fill out a "Help
Request" at http://rcc.mit.edu and state that you want the hostname
transfered to another student.
- What about my MIT Dropbox account?
- After your account is deactivated, you will no longer be able to
use Touchstone to log into your MIT Dropbox for Business account, and
some time after that, your MIT Dropbox folder will be shut down.
Shared folders that other people have access to will still be
available to them in their own Dropbox accounts. If you want us to
transfer the contents of your MIT Dropbox folder to another MIT
Dropbox user, please let us know you would like us to do so.
- What is the difference between suspension and deactivation?
- Suspension prevents you from logging into your account;
deactivation gets rid of the account (and automatically removes the
mailbox a month later). We start by suspending the account, so that
if there is a mistake, it can be easily fixed without your mail
bouncing or your web pages being removed; after a month of suspension,
we convert the account into full deactivation.