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This page contains information on how graduating students can back up email, files, and other data on college resources.  After graduation, ITS deletes data and accounts.  

Accounts are deleted one month after graduation

Swarthmore network accounts for the graduating class are deleted around June 30th every year (one month from commencement).

What do I need to do prior to June 30th?

Back up files stored on Swarthmore servers:

  • Transfer or save all files you may want to keep from Google Drive ( to another location.
  • Moodle accounts will be deleted. All posts, discussion board posts and attachments you added to Moodle will be permanently deleted from Moodle courses and organizations. If you wish to save any materials on Moodle please copy them to a personal storage device or cloud location.
  • Student files on the video editing workstations in Beardsley will be deleted shortly after final exams. Save a copy to a personal storage device, DVD, or cloud location.

Save files from Google Drive:

If you have documents that need to remain with a department or student group after your leave, copy or move them to your departmental or organization folder in Google Drive. These files will be available to your colleagues even after your Swarthmore account is deleted.

If you are migrating from Swarthmore to a personal Google account, transferring your Google Docs is easy. Just select all the documents you want to migrate, go to the Share menu, and grant your personal Google account Edit access to the files.

Next, log into your personal Google account. The files you just shared should appear under "Shared with Me". Select all the documents, right-click (or control-click)on them and choose Make A Copy. This will copy the files permanently to your other Google account.

(Alternate Method) Select all the documents you want to transfer, go to the More Actions drop down, and click on Download. This will compress all the documents into a zip file and download it to your hard drive. Afterward, you can go to your external Google account and hit the New > Folder Upload button in the top left corner, and re-upload all the documents you just downloaded.

Migrate Email:

  • Obtain another email account. If you do not have another email address already, you can sign up for a free Gmail account.
  • In addition, we suggest setting up a permanent Swarthmore Alumni alias account which provides an easy way to distribute your email address as your future addresses change. For more information, visit the Alumni website.
  • Notify people about your new email address before your Swarthmore email account is disabled. To make the transition easier, you have a few options in Gmail. You can set up an auto-reply (vacation responder) that includes information about your new email address. You can also set up mail forwarding to your new email account until the account is disabled.
  • How do I set up an Automatic Reply (Away) Message?
    Pull down the gear icon [Settings] to Settings. Scroll down in the General section. Under "Vacation responder" there is a check box for "Vacation responder on". When you check the box you are presented with a text box to compose your message as well as a first day to start sending the auto reply message.  Click Save Changes at the bottom of screen to confirm your changes.
  • How do I set up automatic email forwarding?
    Pull down the gear icon [Settings] to Settings. Go to Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab > click Add a forwarding address.  Enter the address you want to forward mail to > click Next.  We recommend keeping the default of "Keep's mails copy in the Inbox".  A confirmation email will be sent to your forwarding email address.  You need to accept the forwarding from the confirmation email before it will begin.
  • To forward your mail to a new email address, you may need to "Allow Less secure Apps."   Instructions to change that setting are here:  Allowing Less Secure Apps in Gmail 

Archive your Gmail Inbox

There are two ways to back up your existing Swarthmore email. You can download it to local mailboxes on your computer using a mail client (we recommend Thunderbird, but any local client will work), or you can import your Inbox into an personal Gmail account using Mail Fetcher.   Mail Fetcher only imports your Inbox label.  If you want more than your Inbox, like Sent mail, you will need to move the contents of your other labels into your Inbox).

Archive Mail Troubleshooting Tip

If you encounter trouble archiving your email using the directions below, you can download your mail using Google Takeout.  Follow this download your data link for directions.  Before downloading, make sure to deselect everything, and then check Mail.  Google Takeout also requires Allowing Less Secure Apps in Gmail.

To set up Thunderbird and archive your mail to your personal computer:

Before you begin, turn on the "Allow Less Secure Apps" setting on your Swarthmore Gmail.  Instructions to change that setting are here:  Allowing Less Secure Apps in Gmail 

Download and install Thunderbird     Make sure your version is up to date.   As of May 1st, 2020, Thunderbird is version 68.

  1. In Gmail, check that POP is enabled for all mail.
    • Open Gmail Gmail.
    • In the top right, click Settings Settingsand thenSettings.
    • Under the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, check Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded).
  2. In Thunderbird, open Tools-->Account Settings from the pull-down menu.
  3. Click Add Mail Account from Account Actions.
  4. Enter Your Name, your Swarthmore Email Address, and your password, click Next or Continue.
  5. Choose the radial button for POP3 (keep mail on your computer).   This is very important if you want to keep your mail.
  6. Select the Manual Config button.
  7. Under Incoming: Make sure POP3 is selected. - confirm POP3 and SMTP settings.
  8. Choose Done. Your Swarthmore mail will begin to download to the local hard drive.   Gmail will limit the downloads to 250 messages every connection.   Leave Thunderbird open in the background to download your whole mailbox. It may take a few days to import all of your Swarthmore mail.

Export emails to another Gmail account

Before you begin, change the "Allow Less Secure Apps" setting on your Swarthmore Gmail.  Instructions to change that setting are here:  Allowing Less Secure Apps in Gmail 

  1. Open the Gmail account you want to import to.
  2. At the top right, click the gear  [Settings] .
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select the Accounts tab.
  5. In the "Check mail from other accounts" section, click Add a mail account.
  6. Enter your full Swarthmore email address, then click Next.
  7. Click Next again to "Import emails from my other account (POP3)"
  8. Make sure your whole address is listed under Username.  Enter your Swarthmore password.  Change the POP Server pull-down to, Port 995

    Now you have a few options to choose from. Here are our recommended settings:

    • Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server - Leave unchecked. This setting is controlled in the POP settings of your other account.
    • Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail - Keep checked.
    • Label incoming messages - Check the box if you’d like to easily see which emails in your inbox came from this account. Recommended.
    • Archive incoming messages - Leave unchecked. Only check if you don’t want to mix the imported messages from the other account with your inbox.
  9. Click Add Account.   You can skip the "send mail as" step because your account will be going away shortly.  

If you get an error message while getting set up, click the Show error details link to find out more about what’s not working. 

Gmail will check your other account for new emails periodically.  It may take a few days to import all of your Swarthmore mail.    You can see when the other account was last checked from the "Accounts" tab.

To export contacts from your Swarthmore Gmail

  • Under the Google Apps menu at the top right, choose Contacts.
  • Select Export...
  • Choose whether to export all contacts or only one group.

To transfer contacts between Google Accounts, use the Google CSV format. This is the recommended way to back up your Google Contacts.

  • Click Export.
  • Select a location to save your file, and click Save.

To import contacts to your external Gmail account

  • Sign in to Gmail.
  • Under the Google Apps menu at the top right, choose Contacts.
  • Click Import....
  • Click Choose File.
  • Select the file you'd like to upload.
  • Click Import.

What else do I need to think about after leaving campus?

SafeConnect (Mac and Windows):

The program needed to register on the campus network can be removed after graduation.

  • On Windows, both programs can be removed through the Programs and Features option under control panel.
  • Mac users can can run the "Uninstall SafeConnect" program in Applications to remove SafeConnect.

Data on Other Servers

ITS maintains many services that may store student data such as RStudio Server and JupyterHub.  In addition, Swarthmore provides access to cloud services such as MATLAB Online, Microsoft OneDrive, and EndNote Web.  Download any needed data before graduation.

If you have files saved in Adobe Document Cloud, you will also need to download those files before your Swarthmore account is deactivated.

  1. Go to and sign in with your Swarthmore email address.
  2. Select the file(s) you wish to download and then click Download. Follow the prompts to save the file(s) your local computer or network drive.

Access to mySwarthmore After Graduation

  • Alumni do not have access to mySwarthmore with PINs or passwords after graduation. Save any information in mySwat you may not otherwise have access to, but know that you can also contact the Registrar for transcripts or the Student Employment Office for employment records as Alumni.
  • Access transcripts from the registrar

What if I have a question that wasn’t answered in this guide?

If you need additional support, please contact the ITS Help Desk as soon as possible. Accounts will be removed around June 30th and we will not be able to recover information after that time.

The Help Desk is currently serving our community remotely. We will be answering calls and emails to the Help Desk and Media Services. If we are not able to help you remotely, we will work with you to schedule an on-campus appointment. Below is a list of all of the ways you can contact ITS or find information remotely:

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