Email retrieval services

Free email services such as GMX or GoogleMail offer email retrieval services that collect emails from other mailboxes and merge them into an account.

Problem: Storing access data

In order to use a retrieval service, you must store your access data on the respective email provider’s system. That includes the password, of course.

This creates three problems:

  • In accordance with the LRZ [1] and TUM [2] user guidelines, you are not permitted to divulge your password – not even through an automatic system.
  • The free email service now has your access data. In a time when the existence of programs such as PRISM and TEMPORA has been revealed, we can assume foreign governments can access this data as well. That means confidential research results and personal data from your work emails would be accessible.
  • The confidentiality of any emails you receive will be lost, since they are being stored at a provider whose service is not suitable for work communication. People who send emails to your TUM address do no expect them to be stored at providers such as Google and GMX.


We therefore ask you take the following into account:

Keep private and work emails separate

  • Private and work emails should be strictly separated. Use the TUM webmailer at to retrieve work emails.
  • Email addresses from your TUM school, department or other unit that cannot be retrieved directly via this webmailer can either be forwarded to a TUM email address or retrieved via the addresses of the respective unit.

Do not forward emails to free email services

  • By forwarding work emails to a free email service, you can solve the problem of sharing your account data, but not the issue of losing the confidentiality of your emails. Please do not consider this solution for work emails. For additional information, refer to the article on forwarding work-emails to private mailboxes.