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D2L Mail

Desire2Learn (D2L) has its own mail system which you can use to communicate with your instructors and fellow students in your online classes. This mail system is internal to D2L and is completely separate from your PSU Gmail account. For instructions on how to use your PSU email account, visit PSU Gmail.

Be aware of your instructor's preference of communication for your course. Some instructors use D2L Mail exclusively while others do not check D2L Mail at all. Knowing which mail system to use for your course will help you effectively communicate with your instructor.

Accessing D2L Mail

To access D2L Mail:

  1. Log into D2L at and open your course.
  2. Select the Message Alerts drop-down menu near the top right of the D2L navbar.
  3. New messages will be displayed on this drop-down menu. You can either select the mail and access it directly or select Go to D2L Mail to access your inbox.
  4. The D2L Mail page will appear. This page allows you to view and organize your received messages, send new messages, and set up additional features like signatures and forwarding.

Reading D2L Mail

Once you have opened the D2L Mail page, D2L will display your inbox by default. All new incoming messages are stored in your inbox.

To view a particular message:

  1. Select the message you wish to view.
  2. Read the message that appears in the Message Preview section, located in the bottom half of the page.

To display the message in a cleaner format that is suitable for printing:

  1. Select Print on the top right of the Message Preview section.
  2. Select the new Print button that appears in the Message Preview section, located in the bottom half of the page.

Aside from the inbox, there are a number of other folders that store D2L Mail, including the Sent Mail folder and Trash, as well as any additional personal folders you have created (for more information, see the Managing Folders and Messages section below). To view the contents of these folders, select the name of the folder in the Folder List on the left of the page.

Sending Messages

There are two ways to send messages in D2L Mail: composing a new message, and replying to a message you received.

Note: Do not try to send D2L Mail messages to normal email addresses or other email accounts. The message will be sent, but you will not receive any replies. Use your PSU email account at to send normal email.

To compose a new message:

  1. Select Compose.
  2. Write your message in the composition window that opens.
  3. Enter the Odin username(s) of the person/people you want to send messages to in the To field. (For more information, see the Finding Usernames section below)
  4. Enter a short but descriptive subject of your message in the Subject field.
  5. Enter your message in the Message field.
  6. If you want to attach a file to your message:
    1. Select the Choose File button, then browse for your file and select Open.
    2. If you need to add multiple attachments, select the Add button. A new Choose File button will appear.
    3. Repeat steps a-b until all files are attached.
  7. When your message is ready to send, select the Send button in the bottom right of the window.

To reply to a message you received:

  1. Select the message you want to reply to.
  2. Select the Reply button within the Message Preview section of the page.
  3. Compose your message as described above.

Finding Usernames

To find the username of someone you want to send a message to, you can use the Classlist tool in D2L. From the D2L Home page, open one of your courses, then follow these steps:

  1. Select the People drop-down menu
  2. Select Classlist.
  3. The list of all people in that class (instructors as well as students) will appear along with their usernames. If you want to send them mail directly from here, just select their name to bring up a new message composition window.

Sorting/Filtering D2L Mail

You can sort your messages in different ways to filter out messages that you aren't currently interested in. Generally, your D2L mailboxes are global, meaning that messages sent from students/instructors in different classes will all be shown together. To show only messages sent by people in a particular class, select that class in the Filter By drop-down menu.

Once you select that class, you will only be able to see messages sent by (or to) people in that class. To return to the default and display all messages again, simply choose All Messages in the drop-down menu instead.

Managing Folders and Messages in D2L Mail

You can create additional folders in D2L and use them to store messages and contacts for the long term.

To create a new folder:

  1. Select Folder Management, near the Compose button. A list of your current folders will appear.
  2. Select New Folder to create a new folder.
  3. Choose the type of folder you want to create. Message folders will store messages, Contact folders will store groups of contacts.
  4. Give the folder a name and if desired, a parent folder.
  5. Select Save to create the folder.
  6. When the folder is created, either:
    1. Select New to begin creating a new one, or
    2. Select Message List to return to your mail folder.

Now that the folder is created, to move messages into it:

  1. Select the messages by checking the box next to them.
  2. Select the drop-down menu that says "-- Move To --" and select your new folder.
  3. The messages will be moved to the selected folder.

You can also use this method to move messages to the Trash folder (or you can select them and then select the trash bin icon to quickly delete them).

D2L Mail Forwarding

Enabling forwarding on D2L Mail will cause it to send a copy of your incoming D2L Mail messages to an external email account (such as your PSU Gmail). This is for notification purposes only.

Note: While you can send email out of D2L Mail, you cannot send email from external email accounts into D2L. If you are enabling forwarding, it should only be for the purpose of notifying you when you've received new messages, so that you can log into D2L and respond to them.

To enable forwarding:

  1. Select Settings on the top right of the page.
  2. Scroll down on the page, and in the section labeled Forwarding Settings, check the "Forward incoming messages to an alternate email account" checkbox.
  3. Enter your email address in the Email Address field.
  4. Select the "Forward and mark unread in the Inbox folder" option.
  5. Select the Save button.

Further Resources

If you were unable to resolve your question by viewing this tutorial, contact the Helpdesk.