WiscMail is UW-Madison’s central email service. It provides email to all faculty, staff and students via the My UW-Madison portal on the Web or through a local email client. WiscMail has valuable features, including IMAP folders, secure login, Web access, virus scanning, spam filtering and much more.

WiscMail features

WiscMail offers the convenience and security of IMAP. Read more about the differences between POP and IMAP.

Store your email on a WiscMail server (IMAP)

WiscMail supports the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), allowing you to store messages and attachments on the server. You can save and organize important messages in online folders and access your IMAP folders and messages from any email client configured for WiscMail or from WiscMail on the Web. WiscMail provides IMAP services for a complete set of popular email clients.

Download your mail to your computer (POP)

WiscMail also supports the Post Office Protocol (POP), which downloads your messages to the email client on your computer. POP mail has a major drawback. If you use more than one computer (one at work and another at home, for example), there is virtually no synchronization among the computers you use to read your mail. POP is used mostly by older email systems, and POP users are encouraged to reconfigure their email clients to take advantage of IMAP features. WiscMail will continue to support email clients configured for POP access, however. WiscMail provides POP services to a complete set of popular email clients.

WiscMail on the Web

Web-based email is available via the My UW-Madison portal or directly from the WiscMail web mail appliction.


The WiscMail system employs more than 20 servers that perform such specialized operations as virus detection, spam filtering, mail delivery and storage.


WiscMail uses SSL encryption for authentication, ensuring the protection of your password.

Virus scanning

WiscMail scans all inbound and outbound mail for viruses. The system will discard any attachment found to be virus-infected and will send a warning notice to the intended receiver.

Your email address

Your primary email address follows the format:
NetID@wisc.edu (NetID = username)
Some users may also have alternate email addresses in one of these formats:

  • NetID@wiscmail.wisc.edu
  • NetID@students.wisc.edu
  • NetID@facstaff.wisc.edu

Messages sent to an alternate address will go directly to your primary WiscMail account, unless you have your mail forwarded to another address.

Message Filtering

Message filtering allow you to automate the management of incoming messages. Soem examples include: Junk Mail / Vacation filtering.

Junk Mail Filter

WiscMail scans all messages it receives and then rates them on the likelihood that they are spam. Junk Mail filters automatically move spam messages to a special folder on the server called “Junk Mail.” All messages in the Junk Mail folder are automatically deleted after 15 days of age. The Junk Mail filter is enabled by default for all users; however, you may customize the service to best suit your needs.

Vacation Filter

The Automatic Vacation Message are automatically generated replies sent when someone sends a message to the account between a specified start and end date.

Other custom filters can be used to automate the management of routine tasks. All filters can be managed using WiscMail’s adminsitration application.


LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) allows your email program to automatically search UW servers for the email address of the recipient of the message you are composing. Here are instructions for setting up access to the LDAP server.