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Office of Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions about Lotus Notes and Web Mail

How do I access my e-mail?

  1. Open your LOTUS NOTES client. 
  2. Enter your PASSWORD, when prompted. Then, click OK
  3. You will see the Welcome Page. If you wish, you can personalize your page by clicking the 1 icon marked CLICK HERE TO CREATE A NEW WELCOME PAGE. Follow the on-screen instructions to select the desired layout and click FINISH
  4. Click the MAIL icon in the NAVIGATION PANE on the left. Your inbox will be displayed. 
  5. Double-click the sender's name to open a message.

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How do I enable an out-of-office notification?

When you are away from the office, it may be important for people to know that you are out and cannot respond to their e-mail messages quickly. You can enable the Out of Office agent to automatically respond to incoming e-mail messages, stating the reason you are away, and when you will return. The agent runs from the server nightly at the time you specify (usually 1 a.m.), so you don't need to leave your computer running while you are gone.

To enable the agent:

  1. Above the message list, click More > Out of Office.
  2. Set the DATES. Then, type in your CUSTOM MESSAGE.
  3. Click Enable and Close button. 
  4. You will be given a confirmation that the agent was enabled. Click OK to close the confirmation. Then, click OK again to close the Out of Office dialog box.

While you are gone, the agent sends only one message to each person who sends you e-mail, no matter how many messages the person sends you. When you are due to come back, the agent sends you a memo reminding you to disable it. Back to List


How do I create a folder?

  1. From your inbox, click the FOLDER button. 
  2. Select CREATE FOLDER. A dialog box will appear. 
  3. In the FOLDER NAME field, type the name of the folder you are creating. 
  4. Click OK to finish. 
  5. Inside the NAVIGATION PANE, you will notice the FOLDERS directory and see the folder you just created. 
  6. Repeat the steps above to create more folders.

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How do I attach a file to a memo?

You can attach all types of files to a document, such as executables, graphic files, compressed files, even Notes databases (files with the NSF extension). When you attach a file, you are attaching a copy of the file, so the original is not affected.

  1. With the document in EDIT mode, click where you want the file attachment to appear (for example, at the end of the document). 
  2. Click FILE and ATTACH
  3. (Optional) To prevent Notes from compressing the file, deselect COMPRESS. Compressing an attachment makes the attachment smaller in size. 
  4. Select the drive and directory where the files is stored. Then, select the file. (You can select multiple files by pressing the CTRL key while clicking the file names.) Click CREATE.
    • Tip: A quick way to add attachments to documents is to click the PAPER CLIP toolbar button to attach files.

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How do I access my e-mail via the Web?

  1. Log in to the Web portal. 
  2. Click the EMAIL link in the top right corner. 
  3. Enter your AU USER NAME and PASSWORD if requested
  4. (Optional): You can log into your webmail directly by going to "" and using your AU USER NAME and PASSWORD
  5. You will start in your Mail Inbox tab. If you wish, you can change where you start in iNotes by clicking PREFERENCES and then selecting your choice under DISPLAY OPTIONS
  6. Double-click to open a message.

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How do I change my Lotus Notes Password?

  1. To change your Notes password, Windows users should click FILE, SECURITY, and USER SECURITY. Mac OS X users should click LOTUS NOTES, SECURITY, and USER SECURITY
  3. Enter a NEW PASSWORD in the ENTER NEW PASSWORD. Then, enter it again in the RE-ENTER NEW PASSWORD field.
    • Note: Your Lotus Notes password is not synchronized to be the same as your other AU passwords. It also is not required to be changed on regular intervals.
  4. Click OK.
    • Tip: Since your password is stored in your Notes ID file, please do not forget to update any backup copies of your Notes ID with your new password.

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How can I log in to Sametime instant messaging?

  1. Click File > Sametime > Log in to Sametime.
  2. In the Host server field, enter the name of your default host server (
  3. In the User name field, enter your portal user name; if that doesn't work, enter your FirstName LastName.
  4. In the Password field, enter your portal password.
  5. Select Remember password.
  6. Select Automatically log in.
  7. In the Log in status field, click the arrow to select the availability status (such as "Available") that you want to display whenever you log in.
  8. In the Status message field, type the message you want to display for your availability status when you log in or click the arrow to select a different message from the list.
  9. Click Log In.

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I have a new computer and Lotus Notes has been installed, but not configured. What do I need in order to set up Notes?

In order to set up Lotus Notes, you'll need to request from the IT Help Desk:

  • Notes ID file 
  • Default password for the Notes ID file 
  • Mail server name

  1. Your ID file and password will be e-mailed to you, or placed on your G: drive. Copy the ID file ( to the Desktop on your computer. This is the location you will tell Notes to browse to, when the time comes. 
  2. Start Lotus Notes. It may open with a Lotus Notes login box with another person's name, if your computer had been configured for someone else. 
  3. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of that person's name, and select OTHER
  4. In the CHOOSE USER ID TO SWITCH TO box, navigate to the Desktop, select your ID FILE (, and click OPEN
  5. Type the DEFAULT PASSWORD as provided to you and click OK
  6. You have logged in to Lotus Notes, but the client may not know where to look for your mail file and your Welcome Screen will likely be empty. 
  7. From the menu bar, click FILEOPEN, LOTUS NOTES APPLICATION
  8. For SERVER, click the drop-down arrow and find your mail server name as provided. In the DATABASE box, scroll down to the appropriate folder (either FAC_STAFF or STUDENTS and double-click the folder to open it. 
  9. Scroll down until you find the mail file with your name, and then double click to open the mail file. Notes may take a moment to load the file, and then you should be looking at your Inbox.

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I am receiving a "Server not responding" error within the Lotus Notes client. What does it mean and how can I fix it?

This error message can appear for several reasons. First, it can indicate that your mail server is down. You can visit to confirm whether there is an issue with your mail server. If you are not able to access any Internet sites, there is likely a problem with your network connection or Internet service provider.

This error can also indicate that your location is not properly selected within the Lotus Notes client. Make sure that the location is set to OFFICE or ONLINE in the lower right corner of the Lotus Notes window. If the location is set to "Island", "Home", "Internet", or "Travel", click the location to change it to OFFICE or ONLINE.

If the location is already set to "Office," your Internet connection is working, and no problem is reported on the Status website, contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550,, or AskAmericanUHelp to check the status of your mail server.

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I am receiving a "Server is not a known TCPIP host" error within the Lotus Notes client. What does it mean and how can I fix it?

This error is sometimes encountered when you use Lotus Notes from off-campus through an outside Internet service provider. To correct the problem, you will need to create a connection document to translate the Notes Domain Server Name (for example, AUMail1/AmericanU) to the Internet Server Name (for example, by following the steps below. Please note: you will need to know your mail server to complete the following steps. You can verify your mail server by logging into the Web portal. Then, click TECHNOLOGY and MY CONTEXT AND INCOMING MAIL SERVER.

  1. Open Lotus Notes. 
  2. Click Tools > Client Reconfiguration Wizard.
  3. Select Domino server under Additional Services and in the drop-down list for connection type, select Local Area Network
  4. In the Domino Server field, enter your notes server in format "AUMail1/AmericanU"
  5. Click Next
  6. Click the checkbox to select TCP/IP
  7. For the SERVER ADDRESS field, enter your server name in the format
  8. Click the NEXT button. Then, you should be able to access your e-mail.

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