Outlook Web App (OWA)

The following links should answer any questions you may have about using Outlook Web App (OWA) (Exchange Server 2010). If, after reading this information you still need some help, please contact the Helpdesk.

Please save attachments to your home area before working with them.

What is Outlook Web App (OWA)?
Screen shot of Web App page

The familiar Web browser interface makes it particularly easy and intuitive to use.

Outlook Web App (OWA), previously called Outlook Web Access, is a development from Microsoft that allows a Web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Netscape etc) to access your new and stored messages on the Exchange Server. It will also allow access to shared folders, discussion groups etc.

OWA is particularly useful in allowing staff and students full access to their email and folders from home and in fact from anywhere in the world where there’s Internet access.

The familiar Web browser interface makes it particularly easy and intuitive to use.

Is it easy to use?

Absolutely! Couldn’t be easier!

We’ve produced a simple Getting Started Guide (PDF 148 KB). Please save the document before viewing it. If you would like a paper copy you may contact the Helpdesk.

Can I access my email from abroad? What’s the Web address?

Simply find a point of Internet access – e.g. at home via an ISP, in a library, cyber-cafe, kiosk etc.

Open a Web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera or Netscape) and use the URL: https://webmail.buckingham.ac.uk/.

Nothing happens when I click the reply button!

When you click the ‘Reply to sender’ icon, a new window should appear for you to write your reply.

However, some newer browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer 8 and Mozilla Firefox) have built-in pop-up blockers. These are designed to block annoying pop-up adverts but also block OWA’s reply window. You need to modify the pop-up blocker settings to permit OWA’s pop-ups. To do this in Internet Explorer 8:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. In the ‘Tools’ menu go to ‘Pop-up Blocker’ and select ‘Pop-up Blocker Settings…':

Tools menu showing Pop-up blocker settings

  1. In the ‘Address of Web site to allow:’ box, type ‘webmail.buckingham.ac.uk’.
  2. Click the ‘Add’ button to add it to the ‘Allowed sites:’ list:

Pop-up Blocker Settings

  1. Click the ‘Close’ button to close the ‘Pop-up Blocker Settings’ window.
  2. Close and re-open Internet Explorer to ensure that the change is applied.
  3. You should now be able to reply to emails in OWA.
What’s this calendar thing?

Web App Calendar iconOutlook Web App offers you a calendar facility. To access the calendar click on the calendar icon. You will then see the following screen:

Web App Calendar window

Web App Calendar window

You can use this to create and track appointments, meeting requests and events. Each of these items can be set as repeating or recurring over time. You can view your schedule over individual days or by weekly views and you can easily request meetings with other Outlook Web App users and Outlook users.

Why don’t I see messages that arrive whilst I’m online?

When using Outlook Web App you won’t automatically see new messages that arrive whilst you’re online.

You can check for new messages simply and easily by clicking once on the ‘Check Messages’ button Check for new mail buttonat the top of the message list frame. Any new mail for you will then be listed at the top.

Things aren’t deleted when I delete them!

Delete itemIn Outlook Web App messages are deleted by highlighting the message and clicking the ‘Delete’ button

You can highlight several messages at once by holding down the <shift> or <control> key and clicking the mouse over the mail messages, and then delete all of them at once by clicking on the ‘Delete Item’ button.

There is a ‘safety’ feature in that deleting only moves items to the ‘Deleted Items’ folder, rather than erasing them completely from your mailbox.

How do I attach a file to my message?

Attachments buttonIt is common practice to attach files to email messages as a rapid means of transfer around the world, Outlook Web App includes this functionality.

First address, title and compose your email then click on the ‘Attachments:’ button (the paperclip icon)

Attachment Management windowThis will open a dialog which will allow you to browse and select the required attachments (see right).

When you have selected the file you have to click the ‘Open’ button to add the selected file to your email. The file will then appear in the ‘Attached’ box.

When you have finished adding your attachments, click ‘Close’ to return to your email message.

Screenshot of attachmentFinally, click the ‘Send’ button to dispatch your message.

Good practice: frequent sending of large file attachments places a strain on any network. Whilst within the University we have the bandwidth to accommodate this, if you are sending a message via the Internet the available bandwidth is reduced by a couple of orders of magnitude. It is therefore considerate to ensure that attachments are in the most appropriate format (e.g. *.jpg or *.gif for graphics rather than *.bmp) and are kept to a reasonable size to help speed up communications for everyone.

If you wish to send very large files as attachments (1 MByte or larger) then you should perhaps consider using our Large File Transfer (LiFT) service to store the file, and only send the URL of the file by email.

How do I read an attachment I’ve been sent?

It is common practice to attach files to email messages as a rapid means of transfer around the world, Outlook Web App enables you to view attachments that you have been sent.

Opening an attachment

You should always save attachments to disk before working with them. If you don’t do this any changes you make will be lost when you exit.

To do this right-click on the file-name and then left-click on ‘Save Target As…’

The normal ‘Save As’ dialogue will be displayed allowing you to choose an appropriate file name and location for the attachment.

Once the file is saved to disk you can then open and work with it as normal.

How do I configure an automatic email response? (‘Out of Office’)

Options button

Outlook Web App offers you the ability to configure an ‘Out of Office’ email response. In this manner, the email server will respond to messages received by you with a note (written by you) stating, for example, that you are not able to check your messages at that time but will respond at some later date.

To configure an automatic email response log on to Outlook Web App, select ‘Options’ and then select ‘Set Automatic Replies…’.

You will then see a window similar to the one below:

Out of Office Assistant window

Select the ‘Send automatic replies’ radio-button. Tick ‘Send replies only during this time period’ and enter the required dates and times. Enter the message that you want to be sent to internal (University of Buckingham) senders.

If you do not wish to send out of office replies to external senders, deselect the ‘Send automatic reply messages to senders outside my organisation’ option. Otherwise, ensure this option is selected and select either ‘Send replies only to senders in my Contacts list’ or ‘Send replies to all external senders’ and then enter your message.

After that, click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the page to confirm and enable these settings.

You can disable this feature at any time, by logging onto your mailbox from any Web-browser and setting this option to ‘Don’t send automatic replies’ and clicking ‘Save’.

How do I configure email contact groups?

Outlook Web App enables you to store friends’ and associates’ details in the online ‘Contacts’ folder. You can use the same approach for storing groups of addresses that you wish to email on a regular basis.

This can be achieved in the following manner:

Contacts folderUsing Outlook Web App, select ‘Contacts’ and then select ‘New Contact’.

To add a single person as a contact enter their ‘Last Name’, ‘First Name’, and ‘E-mail address’, and then click on the ‘Save and Close’ button on the top left.

To create a contact group enter the group name in the ‘Last Name’ field, and in the ‘E-mail address’ field, type the email addresses for all of the desired group recipients, separated by semi-colons ( ; )… (e.g. dad@hotmail.com; sister@freeserve.co.uk; mum@lineone.co.uk). Remember – you do not have to include the ‘@buckingham.ac.uk’ entry for recipients within the University e.g. helpdesk; joe.bloggs; dad@hotmail.com.

To send messages to this group, complete the following in OWA:

  • Create a new message (Hint: From the ‘New’ menu, select ‘Message’).
  • Click the ‘To’ button. The ‘Address Book’ page will be launched.
  • Select ‘Contacts’, double-click the required group and then click the ‘OK’.
  • The group name will be inserted in the ‘To’ field. You can now type and send your email to this group.
Problems logging in with OWA ..?

Remember you must first enter the appropriate domain, followed by a backslash ‘\’, followed by your username in ‘Domain\user name’ field. Note that the domain for staff is called ‘staff’, and the domain for students is called ‘students’. Sounds complicated – but it’s simple:

If you’re a student and your username is 9600252, then you would type the following:

students\9600252 (note there are no spaces, and the special character is a ‘backslash’)

If you’re a member of staff and your username is fred.bloggs, then you would type:

staff\fred.bloggs (note there are no spaces, and the special character is a ‘backslash’)

Next, type your usual network logon password in the ‘Password’.

Once done, you can login by clicking ‘Sign in’.

If the details you supplied were not correct, the login webpage will display the following message:

‘The user name or password you entered isn’t correct. Try entering it again.’

Repeated failed login attempts will cause your account will be locked out (because the system thinks someone is trying to guess your password). In this case you will need to contact the Helpdesk to get your account unlocked.

See also:

Why has my Web Access session finished without me logging out?

For performance and security purposes (in case you walk away from a computer, forgetting to log out of your mailbox), it is necessary for each Web Access session to time-out after 30 minutes of communication inactivity (not sending / receiving /
refreshing message information).

This will not normally cause any problems, simply requiring you to logon once more following the session time-out. However, should you need to write any long messages, it is recommended that you click on the ‘Save’ icon every 5 – 10 minutes. A copy of the current
message will then be saved to your inbox, preventing a session time-out and any data loss. (Please note that it is not possible to save the content of the message by clicking ‘File’ and then ‘Save as’, for this saves only the HTML code of the current window, not each frame’s content.)

How can I change my password using OWA?

To change your password, complete the following in OWA:

  • Login to OWA
  • From the ‘Options’ menu, select ‘Change your password…’
  • In the ‘Change Password’ page, complete as follows:
  • Enter your current password in the ‘Current password’ field.
  • Enter your new password in the ‘New password’ and ‘Confirm new password’ fields. Note Your new password must meet the password complexity requirements (i.e. at least 8 characters; has not been used in the previous 24 passwords; does not contain your account or full name; contains characters from at least three of the four character groups: English uppercase characters (A through Z); English lowercase characters (a through z); numerals (0 through 9); non-alphanumeric characters (e.g. !, $, #, %)).
  • Click ‘Save’. If the change is successful, you will receive the ‘Your password has been changed. Click OK to sign in with your new password’ confirmation message. Click ‘OK’

Change Password window

To login, type your username (e.g. STAFF\joe.bloggs or STUDENTS\0000000) in the ‘Domain\user name’ field and enter your new password in the ‘Password’ password field and then click ‘Sign in’.

How do I log out?

Picture of the sign out buttonRemember to always log out of the Outlook Web App system. This is done by clicking the ‘Sign out’ button on the top right-hand side of the screen:

Note that to complete the log off process, you should close the Internet browser if you wish to be secure against other people being able to read your mail. This is unlikely to be an issue for users on campus, but may well be for users at home or in public places.