Have a question about LISTSERV? Start with the LISTSERV FAQ below.

LISTSERV is a communication platform used by WVU to facilitate email exchanges with large groups of people inside and outside of the University. It provides exceptional flexibility in configuration, security and management options.
  1. Open your email program and type in the To: field.
  2. In the body of the message, type SUBSCRIBE, the name of the LISTSERV List and your first name and last name. For example, if the list is called ITS_INFO, and your name is John Doe, you would type SUBSCRIBE ITS_INFO john doe
  3. Delete the signature line from the body of the message if it is automatically included.
  4. You will receive an email back from the LISTSERV asking you to confirm your subscription. Click on the confirmation link or reply to the message with OK as the only text in your message.

Note: Some LISTSERV lists may be "closed," meaning that only the list owner(s) can add new subscribers. If you try to subscribe to a closed list using the instructions above, you will receive an email notification. You may receive an email that prompts you to approve the email message you sent to the list owner(s). If you receive this email, follow the instructions (either reply with OK  or click the link to approve).

Once your message has been forwarded to the list owner(s), you will receive a confirmation email. This process does not subscribe you to the LISTSERV list. The list owner still needs to add you to the list before you will begin to receive messages from the LISTSERV list.

If you know the contact information for an owner of the list, it may be easiest to contact them directly. If you do not know the identity of an owner, you can contact the ITS Service Desk.

To unsubscribe yourself:

  1. Go to
  2. Log into the system using the password you set and click Subscriber’s Corner.
  3. Click the link labeled [Settings] for the list from which you wish to unsubscribe.
  4. Click the Unsubscribe button at the bottom of the settings page.

An alternative is to send an email message to the LISTSERV server with an unsubscribe command. Address the message to, leave the subject line blank, and use no signature. The body of the message should be the single line "unsub [listname]". Do not include the square brackets around the listname. For this technique to work, the message must come from the address under which you are subscribed to the list.

If you are not successful unsubscribing yourself, you can ask the list owner to unsubscribe you. If you do not know who the list owner is, send an email to, where listname is the name of the WVU LISTSERV list. Be clear in the email message and its subject line regarding unsubscribing. You will receive a reply message asking you to confirm the message. After you do so, the list owner will receive and process your request.

  • Do you know of others subscribed to the list who have received postings during times that you have not? Sometimes the volume of traffic on a given list can simply subside.

  • If you have never received messages from the list, or have ceased to receive posts, it may be that you are not subscribed to it. If you know who oversees the list, you may wish to contact the individual or department directly to inquire about your status.

  • If the list in question is WVU E-News, it could be for one of the following reasons:

    • To receive this list directly, individuals must be classified as being faculty or full-time staff members. If you are not in one of these roles, you may request that someone receiving posts to this list forward to them to you either manually or by creating a rules to do so. Much of the information included on this list is also posted on

    • New employees should allow up to one month to be subscribed to this list. The amount of time it takes to be added is based on when the email address is added to the WVU directory and which list maintenance cycle this event coincides with. Subscribers to this list are generally updated twice a month.

    • If you are a faculty or full-time staff member who has been at WVU for more than a month and are not receiving E-News posts, you may want to verify your entry in the WVU online directory. If it does not have your correct email address listed, please contact Employee Data Services at to have them evaluate your entry.

  • It may be that messages are being intercepted within your account. Follow these steps to investigate:

    • Look in your “Junk E-mail” and Clutter folders to see if any list postings appear there. 

    • Check for and remove possible conflicting entries in your Junk List and Block List. Click Tools, select Junk Mail Handling and evaluate any entries under the “Junk List” and “Block List” tabs.

    • Add the “” domain to the safe sender list in Outlook Web App.

  • Have any configuration changes may have been made to your subscription? It’s possible that either the subscriber or list owner changed the account settings to “NOMail” or “DIGest” modes. The first mode suspends delivery of postings until this setting is removed. It is intended for subscribers who may being going on vacation and wish to suspend delivery temporarily. The latter setting will accumulate postings until a threshold time or quantity is met and will then deliver them in consolidated form.

Have you sent a message to this list successfully before? If so, review this section:

  • Are you sending from the same email address you previously used?
  • Are you certain the list address is spelled correctly?
  • Is it possible that your role in this list may have changed to one that cannot post?
  • Have you reviewed the specific error information provided in the rejection message the system sent you?
  • Can you review a prior, successfully-sent message to confirm things being done the same way as in the past?

Is this your first time posting to this list? If so, follow this section:

  • Confirm that the address you are attempting to send to is the name of the list followed by
  • Confirm you have the correct level of permissions to post to the list.
  • Confirm that the address under which you are subscribed is the one authorized to post to the list, and messages you are sending appear to be from that address.
    • If you are sending from an Office 365 account, try sending a message to an outside account to which you have access, and confirm that the "From" address appears to be identical to the address under which you are subscribed. 
    • Office 365 accounts can have alias addresses through which you can receive messages, but only one outgoing address. If the outgoing address is different from the one under which you are subscribed, LISTSERV will reject the message as it does not recognize the address as being an approved sender.
    • If you find that the address your account is sending out messages differs from the one under which you are subscribed, contact the owner of the list to request it be changed to match it. 

Some lists are structured to be "Announcement Only," where they will only accept postings from specifically-authorized individuals. If you are a list owner and find you are unable to post, make sure that if you are also a subscriber that the "No Post" option is not set for you.

  • Are you sending from an email address that the system will recognize as having a role capable of posting to the list?

If you have been set up to post from either an invalid address, or another email address, the system may reject postings as it does not recognize the address from which you are sending as being authorized. You may wish to check with the list owner to confirm all is as needed.

  • Is the message being sent from an Office 365 account with an "outbound alias" making it appear that it's being sent from an address as opposed to an address?

Some users who have been at WVU for a number of years have a setting on their accounts that makes messages appear to be from addresses when sending to addresses outside of the GroupWise. Although many do not recall this being in place, it is easy to test by sending a message to an address outside of the GroupWise system (e.g., to a Gmail account), and looking to see if the "From" field has an address.

If this is found to be the case, the subscriber's address on the list can be changed to the version in the list, or the ITS Service Desk can ask LAN Services to remove the alias from the account if the individual is sure it is no longer needed.

If after reviewing this information your problem persists, submit a ticket to the ITS Service Desk for assistance. It may be helpful to include the specific information from the email that indicted your post was rejected in the description of your ticket.

List Owners FAQ:

  1. Click Log In in the upper right corner of the page.

  2. Since this is your first time logging into LISTSERV, click on get a new LISTSERV password.

  3. Enter the address for your WVU email account.

  4. Enter a secure password of at least 8 characters. You will not be able to see what you're typing.

  5. Enter the same password in the second box.

  6. Click on Register Password.

  7. After you click Register Password, you will receive a Confirmation Sent message that instructs you to activate your password.

  8. Check your email. When you receive an email asking you to confirm your password, click on the enclosed link to verify your email and password. You must click on the confirmation link within 48 hours of starting this process.

  9. When you click on the link from your confirmation email, you will receive a confirmation message in your web browser.

You can now return to the login screen and log in to your LISTSERV account.

  1. Go to

  2. Click on the Log In link in the upper right corner of the page.

  3. Type in your email address and the password that you recently created.

  4. Click on the Log In button. You’re now on your way to managing your list!

    Important: If you are on a shared computer or one with public access, you should log out when you are finished. Otherwise, LISTSERV will reopen without a login/password which would allow anyone visiting the LISTSERV page in the same browser access to your lists.

Note: LISTSERV uses your email address as it appears on your outgoing email messages to external email systems, instead of a username.

You will need to consider the information listed below before requesting a new LISTSERV. Once you have determined which options are best suited for your LISTSERV, visit the Mailing List Requests service page to submit your request.

  • List name
    The name should be brief and descriptive of the organization or associated topic. The name should only contain "WVU" if it involves recipients outside of the university and it should also provide enough detail to be easily discernable from other lists. Use abbreviations when possible and keep in mind that your name cannot contain spaces, only underscores or dashes.

       Good example: HRE_MA_STUDENTS (uses abbreviations and is descriptive)
       Bad example: STUDENT_MAILING_LIST (does not indicate topic or purpose of list)

  • List description
    The description should be one or two sentences that give a basic overview of the purpose of the list.

  • Role assignments
    A name and email address is required for anyone being assigned a role. At least one non-quiet owner is required. View the LISTSERV Roles article for more information. 

  • Will the list be moderated?
    While many lists are not moderated, you have the option to assign a moderator role which will require all messages to receive approval before being released to subscribers.

  • Where will replies be sent?
    You may specify whether a reply will be addressed to the entire list or to the individual who posted the message.

  • Should an archive of the list be kept?
    While most lists are not archived, it is possible to have the system keep a copy of all list postings. This can sometimes be useful for reference or if a newer subscriber wishes to look at the postings that occurred prior to their joining.

  • List visibility
    Determine whether to allow anyone browsing the LISTSERV system to see the name of the list. Most lists are not set to be visible.

  • Who can review the subscriber list?
    Determine who has the ability to potentially view the list of all subscribers. This is generally set to owners, but may be set to include all subscribers as well.

  • Subscribers
    The list can be pre-populated with an initial list of intended subscribers at the time it is requested. If you wish to have this done, please attach a file to your request with a list of email address and corresponding names. Place entries one to a line with the email addresses followed by a blank space and then their actual name.
       Example of two subscriber entries: Grover Pomegranate Sally Student

Note: List owners have the ability to change configurations of various attributes at any point after the list is initially created. If you wish to change configuration settings on your new list, it may be best to wait to populate the list yourself as the changed attributes may not be inherited by the list members.

Individual Subscribers

  1. Go to and log in.
  2. While in the List Management Dashboard, choose the list you want to manage from the drop down menu.
  3. Click the List Management menu and choose Subscriber Management.
  4. To add a single subscriber, enter their email address followed by a space and their name in the Email address and Name: field of the Add New Subscriber box.
    Example: Geddy Lee
  5. Click the Add to ... button.

Multiple Subscribers

You can use the Bulk function to add multiple subscribers. Before starting, you will need to create a text document file (.txt) and store it on your local hard drive. This file will contain one subscriber per line, and each line will have their e-mail address, followed by a space, and then their name. The names are not required, but can be helpful for future subscriber editing.

Example .txt file entry: Geddy Lee Alex Lifeson Neal Peart

With the file named and saved, follow the steps below to add the subscribers to your list.

  1. Go to and log in.
  2. While in the List Management Dashboard, choose the list from the drop down menu that you want to manage.
  3. Click on the List Management menu and choose Subscriber Management.
  4. Select the Bulk Operations tab.
  5. With the Add option selected, click Choose File and select the file you created and stored on your hard drive.
  6. Click the Import button.

An owner of multiple LISTSERV lists can use the Subscriber's Corner panel in the LISTSERV management interface to remove a subscriber from selected lists. This feature is useful for when someone retires or leaves a position.

Edit or remove subscribers from a list:

  1. Go to and log in.
  2. While in the List Management Dashboard, choose the list from the drop down menu that you want to manage.
  3. Click on the List Management menu, choose List Reports and then select Subscriber Reports.
  4. To edit a subscriber, locate their entry, click their name, make the needed changes and then click Update. To delete one or more subscribers, place a check to the left of their entry and then click Delete Selected Subscribers.

Remove subscribers from multiple lists:

  1. Go to and log in with your owner's credentials.
  2. From the Listserv menu at the top, select Subscriber's Corner.
  3. In the Show for Subscriber box Under Search Options, type in the subscriber's email address and click the Search button to the right. Note that you may need to try different permutations of the subscriber's email address. Ideally, you should be looking for their SMTP email address.
  4. If the email address is found, you'll see text in the My Lists tab that says "User X is Subscribed to Y Lists." Below that will be a listing of your LISTSERV lists in which the user is subscribed.
  5. A check box to the left of the list name allows you to select which list to process. (You can also click the check all link to process all of the lists).
  6. At the very bottom of the listing is a pull-down, where you can select Unsubscribe. Optionally, you can also select a Send email notification of changes check box.
  7. Click the Submit command button in the lower-right to unsubscribe the user from your selected LISTSERV lists.

Owners of LISTSERV lists have the ability to add or remove owners by following the directions below. If changes are needed to a list and the list owners are no longer part of WVU, please submit a ticket for assistance.

  1. Go to and log in.
  2. While in the List Management Dashboard, choose the list from the drop-down list of lists that you manage.
  3. Click on the List Management menu, select List Configuration, and then choose List Configuration Wizard.
  4. Click the List Maintenance tab, scroll down to the Owner= area, and add or remove owners as needed. To change Moderators, Editors, etc., make the needed changes in the appropriate fields on this page.
    Note: Be sure to have one person per line, with their email address first, followed by a space, and then their name. For example, Geddy Lee
  5. Click the Save button when your changes are complete.


Owners manage lists, which generally entails adding, editing, and deleting subscribers. This role can also regulate which subscribers have the ability to post messages.

Every list must have at least one owner. Lists for a student organizations must have at least one full-time employee as a list owner in addition to any student owners.

Owners can be "non-quiet" or "quiet." Non-quiet owners receive all error reports, such as delivery errors for unreachable email addresses. Quiet owners have all the power of non-quiet owners, but don’t receive error reports. Lists must have at least one non-quiet owner.


If you have a list where discussion amongst members (subscribers) needs oversight before being published, you need to have at least one moderator. Moderators review incoming messages and decide if they should be posted to the list. Depending on the size of the list, and the activity of members, moderating posts can take a lot of time.


If you chose to create an Announcement List, you may want one or more people to create and post content to your list for your subscribers. These users are the only ones with permission to post messages to your list.


Subscribers receive posts from a list. In cases where the list is not an Announcement List, they can also post messages. This is an important distinction because owners, moderators, and editors are not necessarily subscribers. If your list owners, moderators, or editors wish to receive email posts from the list, they need to be added as subscribers.

These reports are only sent to non-quiet owners, and generally are due to either a mistake in the entry of a subscriber's email address, or if for some reason the intended recipient's account was unreachable.

Owners should seek to check the subscriber's information for errors when they receive a report such as this. Once a reason has been found for the error in attempting to send to the subscriber and it has been corrected, it is normal for the Owner to continue to see the same information on daily reports for an additional four days.


Article ID: 53309
Fri 5/4/18 1:53 PM
Wed 5/22/19 9:35 AM