OWA 2007 User Guide

We have organized the OWA FAQs below by topic. Click on the category name below to go directly to the list of FAQs for that category.

Top 10 OWA User FAQs

OWA Email Basics

OWA Address Book

OWA Calendars

OWA Attachments

OWA Security

TOP OWA 2007 USER FAQs back to top

How can I enable or disable OWA for a specific mailbox?
Using Exchange Management Shell, OWA access can quickly be enabled or disabled for users. To enable OWA access for a specific user type: Set-CASMailbox -Id This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it OWAenabled -$true To disable OWA access type: Set-CASMailbox -Id This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it OWAenabled -$false

Remember to replace This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the user's email address.
When creating a Personal Distribution List (PDL) the following error occurs: The list you are trying to save exceeds the maximum size limit for distribution lists allowed by your organization. Reduce the number of members and try to save again.
Personal Distribution lists have a default of approximately 100 - 130 members. To avoid exceeding the limit, take a look at the three potential workaround:
  • Create more than one PDL
  • On the server, create the Distribution Group in Active Directory for large lists
  • On the server, increase the PDL size limit using Exchange Management Shell:
    Set-TransportConfig -MaxRecipientEnvelopeLimit unlimited
After enabling RSA SecurID two-factor authentication, users get multiple login prompts and cannot login to OWA, how can I fix this?

Additional login prompts are often the result of incorrect authentication settings. For RSA SecurID two-factor authentication interoperation with a Client Access Server (CAS), the owa virtual directory must have Integrated Windows Authentication enabled and Anonymous Access disabled.

To verify these setting on the CAS,

  1. Launch the IIS Manager (Start/Run/inetmgr).
  2. Navigate to Web Sites\ Default Web Site\owa.
  3. Right-click on owa and select Properties.
  4. Select the Directory Security tab.
  5. Under Authentication and Access control click Edit.
  6. Uncheck the Enable Anonymous Access option.
  7. Check the Integrated Windows Authentication option.
  8. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
  9. Restart the IIS service (Start/Run/iisreset /noforce).
If further login issues occur, we recommend contacting the RSA support team.
How can I ensure user accounts are locked out of OWA after multiple incorrect password attempts?

The Account lockout duration, Account lockout threshold and Reset account lockout counter after settings are configured in the Default Domain Policy. These settings define what will happen if a user attempts to logon to the domain using the incorrect password multiple times. Attempting to logon to OWA with an incorrect password will also increase the bad password count (badPwdCount), which will eventually lock a user out of the domain until it is reset.

Important consideration: Attackers can also use this strategy to lock users out of the network as long as they obtain valid usernames. The default settings of these Default Domain attributes are as follows:


Value DefaultRecommended
Account lockout durationSpecifies the number of minutes a locked out account will remain unavailable before a user can attempt to log back in
Note that such a configuration will likely increase the number of calls that the help desk receives to unlock accounts locked by mistake.

Windows Server 2008 - Not Defined

Windows Server 2003 - Not Defined

Windows Server 2008 - 15 minutes

Windows Server 2003 - 0

Account lockout threshold This setting determines the number of failed logon attempts before a lockout occurs.

Windows Server 2008 - 0

Windows Server 2003 - 0

Windows Server 2008 - 50 invalid logon attempts

Windows Server 2003- 20 invalid logon attempts

Reset account lockout counter afterThis is the length of time before the Account lockout threshold setting resets to zero.

Windows Server 2008 - Not Defined

Windows Server 2003 - Not Defined

Windows Server 2008 - 15 minutes

Windows Server 2003 - 30 minutes

How can I configure the OWA login page so that users do not have to enter the default domain name?
OWA 2007 provides the option to pre-configure the Default Domain in the Exchange Management Console (EMC) so users do not need to enter it. With this configuration, users only need to enter the logon name and password to authenticate via the Exchange Forms Based Authentication form. To predefine the default domain,
  1. Open the EMC and navigate to Server Configuration\Client Access and click on the Client Access server.
  2. Right-click on the OWA folder and select Properties.
  3. Move to the Authentication tab
  4. Under the Use forms-based authentication option, select User name only.
  5. Enter the domain name in the logon domain field.
  6. Press Apply and OK to save the changes.
  7. Reset IIS by running iisreset /noforce from the run command prompt.
Accessing an attachment using Microsoft WebReady Document Viewing gives an error indicating that the document cannot be converted because it is larger than the maximum size limit. How can I change the size limit?
When a user clicks on the Open as Web Page link to view a supported file attachment which exceeds the default WebReady Document Viewing file size limit, Outlook Web Access will display the following error:
The document cannot be converted by the WebReady Document viewing service because it is larger than the maximum size limit set by the administrator for your organization.
To alter the WebReady Document Viewing file size limit,
  1. On the Client Access Server (CAS), open the registry editor (regedt32.exe)
  2. Navigate to HKEY_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchange OWA
  3. Right-click on MSExchange OWA and create a new Key called WebReadyDocumentViewing
  4. Under WebReadyDocumentViewing , create a DWORD with value MaximumDocumentInputSize
  5. Set a value to the desired size e.g. 10240 kb = 10MB
  6. Under WebReadyDocumentViewing , create a DWORD with value MaximumDocumentOutputSize
  7. Set a value to the desired size e.g. 10240 kb =10MB
  8. Restart the World Wide Web Publishing Service for the changes to take effect

For additional information view the external links below: How to Configure WebReady Document Viewing

How to Manage Maximum Message Size in Outlook Web Access

Why do appointments created in OWA not appear in the calendar when using desktop Outlook? Delegates can see the appointment.
Some users may have cached Exchange mode enabled. In this configuration, Outlook works from a local copy of the user's mailbox which is refreshed periodically. This would explain why they can see appointments in their calendars from OWA but not from Outlook. For more information about the cached Exchange mode, refer to Microsoft's article:


Setting Up Outlook 2003 Cached Exchange Mode Accounts

If you are interested I giving users access to shared calendars from within OWA, like they do in Outlook, there is a company called Messageware that offers shared calendaring in OWA.

How can I paste / embed images in to OWA messages?

Pasting images into messages is not an OWA feature. There are two workarounds to getting images into your message:

  1. You can paste HTML links to images, but this means that the image needs to be stored on a public server. An example of this would be when you copy an image from a website and then paste it into an OWA message
  2. You can embed images using Outlook, which actually stores images as attachments, making them available for recipients using OWA to see.

There is a Microsoft knowledgebase article, available below, which explains how to paste an image into the OWA signature. The workaround does not always seem to work and is not supported by Microsoft as an official solution.

How to get an image into the signature file in OWA

I found my documents in the local browser cache! How can I increase attachment security?

When you open an attachment, rather than view it with WebReady Document Viewing or save it to a specified location, the attachment will always be saved to the temporary internet files folder on the local computer. This happens unknowingly to the user creating a real danger on computers where unauthorized people could get hold of confidential documents.

There are a few ways Administrators can secure attachments for all:

Disable access to all attachments
Although not practical, it is the safest way to make sure that attachments are never left behind.

Allow access only to files supported by WebReady Document Viewing
Although limited to 4 file types (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF), this option is more convenient than the first.

Force WebReady Document Viewing and Force Save for all other file types
This is a good option if your company is okay with users saving files to local machine and possibly forgetting to permanently delete them.

Get third part help
Messageware ( offers a product called AttachView which gives Administrators a wide variety of configuration options for securing attachments. Because AttachView support viewing over 300 file types as safe HTML pages, they really make it feasible to turn off the open and save attachment options for users while they are not in the office or on corporate devices.

Free Fix for Microsoft Update Q911829

Many companies who have Microsoft Exchange with the update Q911829 (released in March and April, 2006) installed and are using Outlook Web Access have been experiencing a problem addressing messages. In some environments, when the spacebar is pressed after addressing a message the address dialog box re-appears and in some cases, while typing the message body, entering a space suddenly activates the addressing dialog box.

There is a free fix available from Messageware, a company that specializes in OWA enhancement software. This patch is now available to companies and Exchange administrators who are running any version of Exchange or OWA. It can be downloaded at


OWA EMAIL BASICS back to top

When creating a Personal Distribution List (PDL) the following error occurs: The list you are trying to save exceeds the maximum size limit for distribution lists allowed by your organization. Reduce the number of members and try to save again.
Personal Distribution lists have a default of approximately 100 - 130 members. To avoid exceeding the limit, take a look at the three potential workaround:
  • Create more than one PDL
  • On the server, create the Distribution Group in Active Directory for large lists
  • On the server, increase the PDL size limit using Exchange Management Shell:
    Set-TransportConfig -MaxRecipientEnvelopeLimit unlimited
How can I see my mailbox size and how much space I have?

Hover over your mailbox name to see the mailbox size and used portion. If the quota is reached, you must free up some space to send more email.

Hover over mailbox name to see mailbox size and used portion
Why is OWA defaulting to the Light version even though I did not check the option on the logon page?
If you are using OWA 2007, check to see if you accidently have the Accessibility mode enabled which always uses the OWA light version. To check,
  1. Login to OWA and click on the Options link at the top right side of the page.
  2. Select General Settings.
  3. Under the Accessibility heading verify if the accessibility option is checked.
If this option is not checked, consider the following:
  • Are other people in the company having the same problem or is it only happening on your computer?
  • What browser are you using? Remember that only Internet Explorer 6.0+ uses the Premium OWA version.
Why are all my emails transferred from my OWA inbox to my Outlook inbox when I opened Outlook? My OWA inbox is empty after using Outlook.

Your Administrator seems to have setup the POP3 or IMAP service on the server. These services hold emails on the server until you connect using Outlook. All emails are then pulled down to your desktop leaving your Inbox empty.


OWA connects to the mailbox on the server showing you all of your new emails since the last time you connected using Outlook.


If you do not want your emails to be downloaded each time, ask your helpdesk if you can set up an Outlook connection directly to the Microsoft Exchange Server, not using POP3 or IMAP. Note that you can only set up this type of connection while you are in office.


For more information on POP3 read:,,sid43_gci212805,00.html


For more information on email accounts see:

How can I turn on the reading pane in OWA?

The reading pane can be turned on using the menu option from the folder that you are in. Here is what the menu looks like:

OWA Preview pane


You can choose to view messages on the right side or at the bottom. In this example, the reading pane is showing on the right.

How can I change the OWA language?
When you first login to OWA you are prompted to select a language and a time zone. You can change these settings after accepting you initial settings by going to Options -> Regional Settings. You can change your language and time zone settings from there. Remember to save your changes for them to apply.
My fonts toolbar is missing in my new message compose form, how can I get it back?

In the new message, check the top-left hand corner to see if you have "Plain text" selected. The "Plain text" option gives you just that - plain text, no fonts, color or highlight options. To get the fonts menu back, just change the drop-down menu to HTML.


Plain text and HTML message format options


To change the default message format either to "Plain text" or to HTML (default), go the OWA Options page and from the Messaging section scroll down to the Message Format section.

How do I add an automatic signature to my OWA messages?
In OWA you can create a personal signature that can be added either manually or automatically to your email messages. To create a signature,
  1. In OWA, click on the Options button at the top left hand side of your Inbox.
  2. Choose the Messaging heading on the left menu (default).
  3. Scroll down until you see the heading E-mail Signature.
  4. Type in your signature.
  5. To include your signature in each email, select Automatically include on outgoing messages.
  6. Press the Save button at the top of the page to save your settings.

Automatically include signature on outgoing messages


What is the difference between Reply, Reply to All and Forward?

The reply and forward buttons are ways to respond to messages. The reply button allows you to send an email back to the person who sent the email. The forward button allows you to send the email to someone who was not in the TO, or CC lines of the email.

For example, if you get an email from John who included Jim and Nancy in the CC line:

  • Use Reply (Reply Button) if you want to write back to John about the email.
  • Use Reply to All (Reply to all button) if you want to write back to John and let Jim and Nancy see your response.
  • Use Forward (Forward button) if you want to send John's email to Amanda, to let her know what John written.

What is the BCC line for?
BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy which lets you send a copy of your email to someone without letting people in to TO and CC fields know that this person is also receiving this email. You may choose to put an email address in the BCC field if:
  • you do not want others to know the email address
  • you do not want others to know that you are letting this person know of the communication
  • you are sending a public email and do not want people to get each other's email address
  • you are working with a third party and do not want the parties to contact each other
How can I troubleshoot not being able to login to OWA?
There could be many reasons why you are not able to login to OWA. Here is a list of things to check:
  1. Check the OWA address is correct
    When incorrect, you may see a page cannot be found or Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage error. You will also not see the login screen or prompt
  2. Check your username and password
    When incorrect, you will be prompted to re-enter your password several times in a row without getting access to your mailbox. After three tries you will see an error indicating that you are not authorized.
  3. Try accessing OWA using a different browser
    If you cannot get into OWA, try connecting to OWA using another browser. For example, if you are using Internet Explorer, try using Firefox or Netscape and visa versa.
  4. Try accessing OWA using a different computer
    Go to another computer and try logging into OWA using your account, Can you connect?
  5. Ask you coworkers if they can connect to OWA
    Check with the people around you to see if they are also having problems.
  6. Document any errors you get and provide all the information to your Corporate Help Desk or Exchange Administrator for assistance
    To take a screenshot of any errors you get by pressing the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard. Once you press the print screen button the picture will be on your clipboard. Open a Microsoft Word document, right-click on the whitespace and press Paste.

    Gather up as much information about what you are seeing so that you can provide it to your Help Desk or System Administrator.
How can I access my email from home using Outlook 2007?

You will need to speak to your Exchange Administrator about setting up a VPN or RPC over HTTP connection for you. Refer to the Microsoft knowledgebase article below for more information.


Description of the configuration options for the Exchange over the Internet feature in Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003

How can I copy a message folder from one mailbox account to another in a different domain using OWA?

The Outlook Web Access client does not provide a way to backup email folders; you will need to use Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Outlook Express to create a PST / Data file that will be saved to your computer.

If you are working from a remote location your Exchange Administrator will need to provide you access to your mailbox via a VPN connection or RPC over HTTP. Once you set up your account using Microsoft Outlook, you can refer to the link below for more information on how to create an Outlook Personal Folder (.pst).

How to create a .pst file in Outlook 2003

Note: If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2007 you will use the File\Data File Management option.

Once the PST is created, you can then set up and Outlook connection for your other email account and open the PST file. You can then simply drag the mail items out of the PST and into your mailbox.


How can I make sure that the spell check always runs before my messages are sent?

Spell check options are set in the OWA Options page in the Spelling section. Under the Spelling Options and put a check mark beside Always check spelling before sending. Remember to Save the changes.

Configure OWA to always check spelling before sending a message

How do I log off OWA?

To log off your OWA account, click the Log Off (Logoff button) button at the top right-hand corner of the OWA window.


Log Off OWA


When I send a document from within a Microsoft Office application such as Microsoft Word, Outlook Express comes up. How can I set up my Default Mail Client to use OWA?

To set OWA as the default mail client, which lets you send messages from within Microsoft Office, respond via MailTo links on websites and send attachments by right-clicking on files on the desktop, you need to use a third party add-on, such as ActiveSend from Messageware (

Send from Microsoft Office


ActiveSend also includes the ability to save an encrypted username and password, and toggle between mail accounts so you can change the default email from OWA to Outlook, for example, if you are using a notebook both in and out of the office.

ActiveSend for 2007



How do I set up my OWA account?

In order to access your email using Outlook Web Access, your company's Exchange Administrator (or IT department) will need to give you the OWA URL to log in to. They will also provide you with your username and password.

How can I sort my emails by the person who sent them to me?

You can sort your emails by clicking on the column headings including From, Subject and Received. This will sort the emails based on the column selected.


To sort your email by sender, press on the FROM column title. To change the order from ascending to descending, click on the FROM column title a second time.


You can also sort your emails by right-clicking on the column bar to bring up more options, as shown in the screen capture below.

Sort emails
Can I change the colors of my OWA window?
Yes, Outlook Web Access gives you 4 different color schemes - Seattle Sky (blue which is the default), Carbon Black (grey and black), Xbox (green, grey and black) and Zune (red, orange and black). To change your color scheme,
  1. In OWA, click on the Options button at the top right corner of your screen
  2. On the left hand side of your screen, select General Settings
  3. Scroll down until you see the Appearance section.
  4. Use the drop down menu to select the color scheme.
  5. Save your changes, before refreshing your browser, to set the new scheme.

Changing the OWA color scheme using Appearance setting

How do I compose a new message?

To create a new message, click on the New button at the top left hand corner of your Inbox. The button looks like this:

New message button

This will bring up a new message window where you can type into the To, Subject and Body of message.

New message form


When you are finished, press the Send button in the top left hand corner of the New Message Window to send the message.

Location of send button in a new message
How can I set my Out of Office response in OWA?

The Out of Office Assistant sends an automatic email to anyone who sends you an email while you are not in the office. You can set up your out of office message using Outlook Web Access (OWA).

The steps below will take you through setting up your out of office message.
  1. Go to the options page by pressing the Options link at the top of the page.
  2. From the left menu select Out of Office Assistant.
  3. To turn on the out of office assistant, select Send Out of Office auto-replies.
  4. Select Send Out of Office auto-replies only during this time period to set your out of office start and end date and time.
  5. Fill in your message under Send an auto-reply once to each sender inside my organization with the following message:.
  6. To send an out of office reply to people outside your organuization, select Send Out of Office auto-replies to External Senders.
  7. Choose Send Out of Office auto-replies only to senders in my Contacts list or Send Out of Office auto-replies to anyone outside my organization.
  8. Type your exernal outlof office message under Send an auto-reply once to each sender outside my organization with the following message:.
  9. Press the Save buton at the top of the Options page

Out of Office Assistant

OWA ADDRESS BOOK back to top

Using the address book, how can I add multiple people to a new message?
If you are trying to send an email to multiple people, you can start by opening the address book from the To button. The Address Book will open in a new browser window. Search for the first person using the search field at the top, click on the name, you can select multiple names when you hold down the Ctrl keyboard button, and then press the To, Cc or Bcc button to the bottom. The address book will remain open and let you continue with your search until you press Close.


OWA Address Book

A third-party company called Messageware offers a product that enhances OWA by providing an enhanced address book which lets you:
  • manage favorites by allowing you to putting stars beside your favorite contacts
  • see all your favorites in one address list
  • choose people from Public Folder Address Lists
  • choose people from SharePoint Address Lists
  • do an Advanced Search in the corporate address list (aka Global Address List)

Below is how the Plus Pack address book looks.

Messageware Plus Pack address book

In the address book, how can I search Contacts by default instead of the company address book?

You can set the address book to search Contacts by default via the OWA Options page. To change the OWA default,

  1. Open the OWA Options page by selecting Options from the top of the OWA window
    Options Page link
  2. Scroll down to the Contact Options section and set the Check names first in: section to Contacts.
    Contact Options
  3. Press the Save button at the top of the page.
How can I find someone in the OWA address book?

The address book can be used to search for people in your company address book (called the Global Address List), as well as your personal contacts. To start, open the address book from the To button in a new message. This is what it will look like:

OWA address book


Next, choose the Address Book the person is in. You can do this on the top left hand side of the address book by clicking on Default Global Address List or the contact folder near the bottom. You can also see more address books by clicking on the Show/Hide other address lists link. If you are looking for someone in your personal contacts, the personal contact folders are under the default Contact folder circled in red below.

Choose address book

Type in the person's name in the search field and press the search button.

Search field

To add the person to an email, click on the name one time and then press on the To, CC or BCC button at the bottom of the address book.

Send message to person

OWA CALENDARS back to top

How can I book and all day appointment on my calendar?
Create a new appointment and check the "All Day Event" option. After saving the appointment it will show at the top of your calendar. Anyone trying to book a meeting with you will see that you are Busy or Out of Office all day.
How can I delete a meeting from my calendar without deleting the reoccurrences or series?
To delete just one occurrence of a series of meetings, double click on the appointment to open it and select "This occurrence". You can then click the "Delete" button (X) to delete only that day's meeting.
How can I get my calendar to show in 15 minute increments?

In the OWA Options page, select Calendar Options and under the Calendar Options heading choose the increment, 15 or 30 minutes. This option is only available in OWA Premium; when connecting to OWA using Internet Explorer version 6 and higher.

How can I view non-sequential days on the OWA calendar?
To show dates that are not shown in order, for example Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
  1. In OWA, open the calendar folder view.
  2. Select the Day view.
  3. Hold down the CTRL keyboard and click on the dates you want to view.
  4. The calendar days will open side-by-side.

Non-sequential days in the OWA calendar

How can I change my response to a meeting request?
If you accepted a meeting request or marked it as Tentative you can go back and change your response by opening the meeting request in your Calendar. To update your response,
  1. In OWA, go to the Calendar folder
  2. Double-click on the meeting name to open it up
  3. Press on the Accept, Tentative or Decline buttons to send your response.

Accept Tentaive Decline on meeting request
How can I get my calendar to show my working hours?

You can customize the work week in the options folder along with the time when the work day starts and ends.

  1. In OWA, go to the Options page.
  2. Click on the Calendar Options heading on the left side.
  3. Scroll down to the Calendar Work Week section in the right frame.
  4. Press the Save button at the top of the options page to save the settings.

Define work week using options page


Which file types can I use the Open as web page option with?

You can view Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point files as well as PDFs using OWA's WebReady Document Viewing. The HTML versions of the attachments are shown in a new browser window and can be read and printed. Here is what this looks like:




WebReady document viewing



Files not supported by the attachment viewer can be opened or saved.

WARNING: After opening or saving file, remember to permanently delete the files from the computer and the local internet cache to make sure they are not left behind for someone else to read.


There is a third part solution, AttachView from Messageware Incorporated, which lets you view over 300 file types. AttachView has extra security features letting Administrators turn the open, save and print options on or off depending on where you are connecting from. For example, if you are on your laptop you can save, open and print attachments but if you at an airport kiosk you can only view the file.


Here is what the AttachView looks like:


Messageware AttachView

Why can I not open attachments, I can only save?

Your Administrator has likely disabled the Open option because of the security risks associated with this function. When attachments are opened a copy is saved in the local computer, accessible to anyone who accesses the computer, even after logging off OWA.


OWA 2007 offers document viewing, called WebReady Document Viewing, which is a safe way to read a document without downloading it onto the computer. The attachment us turned into a web page and displayed in the viewer. You can view 4 document types: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF.


There is a third-party called Messageware that extends attachment viewing to over 380 file types.

How can I attach a file to my email?

To attach a file to a new message press the attachment icon shown below.

Attachment button in new message

This will open a small window which lets you Browse the file system to find your file.

Attach file interface


When you have found the file, click on it once and the path will be visible on the brows line. To attach the file to your message, press the Attach button.

Press attach button


The file will now be visible in the new message.

OWA SECURITY back to top

Does OWA log you off even if you do not press the logoff button?
First and foremost, always press the logoff button when you are finished using OWA. Then close the browser window. If you navigate away from OWA without pressing the logoff button your OWA session will remain active. Give it a try:

Logon to OWA and without logging off, type in the browsers address bar and press enter.

Navigate away from OWA

Now press the back button and notice that you were not prompted for your username and password to get back into OWA. Now imagine this happened at a public computer.

There is a third party software, NavGuard from Messageware Incorporated (, that warns you before you navigate away without logging off. The warning gives you the option to logoff or return to OWA. Here is what the warning looks like:

Navigation protection

Use Ctrl+Shift+R to "Reply all" to the selected message.


Will tablet and Smart phone use be a big part of your OWA 2013 deployment?