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D2L Basics

A guide which shows you some of the basics of D2L and how to use its functions.

Important Note About Email

The D2L email system is separate from your official student email, which is accessed through myLoneStar. To email people or departments who aren't in your classes, you should use the non-D2L email account.

Email Basics

On the main page for your class, you will receive notifications at the top of the screen and updates on the right of the screen.

1. Using Your D2L Email

As a student at Lone Star College, you have two email inboxes, which will have similar addresses:

  • (your username) - This is your main student email. It runs on Microsoft Outlook, and can send and receive emails to and from almost any email address.
  • (your username) - This email is used exclusively in D2L, and is the subject of this module. D2L is used to send messages to classmates and professors, and can only send messages to other D2L email addresses.

From the class splash screen in this image, you may receive email notifications using the icon in the toolbar [1] and in the updates section on the right side of the page [2]. As seen here, the email notification button shows an orange icon atop it, meaning that unread messages are in the email inbox. The updates section specifies 3 unread emails.

Click the link in the updates section [2] to be taken to your email inbox.

D2L email looks and functions similarly to other email clients, including the ability to compose new emails and select emails they have received. For this example, we will choose Compose to start a new message.

2. Your Inbox

In most ways, your D2L inbox is exactly the same as most other popular email services. New emails that you have received are indicated by the bolded text of their subject lines and a small letter icon in the middle of the screen.

  • On the left under Folder List, emails are divided into their usual organizational categories.
    • Inbox - emails you have received. The number of unread messages in this folder are indicated in parentheses.
    • Sent Mail - emails you have sent to other students or professors.
    • Drafts - emails that you have started but not finished.
    • Trash - sent or received emails that you have deleted.
    • Address Book - an automatically-populated directory of email addresses of students and professors you share classes with. This section will be expanded upon in a later slide.

The next two slides will cover two ways to proceed from this screen: composing a new email [1] or opening a message in one of your folders [2]. For the next slide, we will compose a new email [1].

This popup window will let you compose an email to be sent. To find classmates or professors, click Address Book.

3. Composing An Email

When you click Compose on your email inbox, you will see a pop-up window similar to the one shown in this image.

Sending an email with D2L is done in largely the same way as with most popular email services. Attachments may be uploaded by clicking the Upload [3] button or by dragging and dropping the file from Windows Explorer or your desktop into the dotted rectangle. When finished, you may hit the Send [1] button or save it as a draft to be worked on later by clicking Save as Draft, right next to Send.

To make things more helpful, D2L automatically populates your address book with the email addresses of your classmates and professors. Click Address Book [2] to see it for yourself!


When adding an address to an email using address book, scroll to the person or people you want to send it to, click the check box(es), and select the To option above the checkboxes before selecting Add Recipients.

4. Using Address Book

The address book is a great resource to use to contact classmates and professors whose email addresses you may not know (remember that you can only send emails in D2L to other D2L addresses). To attach addresses, follow these three steps.

  1. Click the checkbox [1] beside the name of the person you wish to email.
  2. Hit the word To [2]. The screen may be unresponsive for a few seconds as it changes.
  3. After verifying that the address you wish to email is listed in the To box under Recipients, press Add Recipients [3].

You will be returned to the Compose New Message window when the address book popup closes. Once at the former, you should now see the name and email address of the person you wish to email in the To box.

NOTE: The address book box has been expanded to make it more visible for this screenshot. To do this, click the expand icon on the bottom right of the popup window [4] and drag the box to the desired shape and size.

When you select an email, it will appear in a popup, which allows you to perform basic functions like Reply, Forward and Close.

5. Reading Emails

At the main email screen, when you click on an individual email, its contents will appear in a popup window, as shown in this image. Basic functions are included in this window: Close, Reply, Reply All and Forward. Clicking Reply, Reply All or Forward will open a Compose New Window prompt in another popup.

NOTE: Still have questions? Feel free to contact us at the University Park library, or to contact OTS with any further inquiries or for help with programs that may not be working correctly.