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ITS Exchange Service

Outlook Web App (OWA)

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Frequently Asked Questions

About Outlook Web App

What is Outlook Web App (OWA)?

OWA is a secure website where you can access your ITS Exchange account when you are off-campus. Because it is web-based, it doesn't matter if you are using a Windows, Macintosh or other type of computer. All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection.

You can perform most of the tasks that you do when you use Outlook (Windows or Mac) or Entourage (Mac) on campus.

What's the difference between OWA and Outlook?

Both can be used to app your ITS Exchange account. Outlook is an application that must be installed on a computer. OWA is Web-based, does not require additional software to be installed, and all you need is a web browser and an Internet connection.

Both allow you to read and send e-mail, use your calendar to schedule meetings, access your personal contacts list and the Global Access List (GAL), and perform other tasks.

When should I use OWA?

You can use OWA anytime you have an Internet connection, regardless of what computer you have available. For most people, it's the preferred way to access your Exchange account when they are off campus.

It's also an excellent choice when you are not at your own computer because you don't need to do any configuration.

However, since Outlook and Entourage (Mac) have more features and are typically faster, they can be a better choice when you're at your personal computer.

TROUBLESHOOTING TIP: If you are having problems with or can't access your Exchange account using Outlook or Entourage, try using OWA. If you are still unable to connect, please call (734) 764-HELP [764-4357] to have an ITS consultant help you.

Connecting and Logging Out

How can I get OWA to work again?

If you have successfully used OWA but are not able to access your mailbox now, select your computer and browser below. Try Option 1 first. If you are still not successful, try Option 2 and then Option 3 if you still cannot connect.
HINT: Make certain you're using your Exchange password and that the Caps Lock key is not active.


Windows
Internet Explorer
Windows
Firefox
Macintosh
Safari
Macintosh
Firefox

Windows Internet Explorer

Option 1

  1. If you have a bookmark for OWA (https://exchange.umich.edu), delete it.

  2. Attempt to link to https://exchange.umich.edu. If you are successful, you can create a new bookmark.

Option 2

  1. Under the Tools menu, click Internet Options.

  2. In the Internet Options window, under the Browsing history section, click Delete.

  3. In the Delete Browsing History window, click Delete all.

  4. Attempt to link to https://exchange.umich.edu.

Option 3

  1. From the Windows Start button, select the appropriate steps based on your operating system:

    • Windows XP

      1. Click Run.

      2. In the Run window's Open field, enter cmd and click OK.

    • Windows Vista

      1. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

      2. If you receive a "Windows needs your permission" window, click Continue.

  2. When a black window opens, enter the following text: ipconfig /flushdns

  3. When you see the "Successfully flushed" message, you can close the window and test your connection to https://exchange.umich.edu. If you are still unable to connect, please call 764-HELP [764-4357] Option 2.

Windows Firefox

Option 1

  1. If you have a bookmark for OWA (exchange.umich.edu), delete it.

  2. Attempt to link to https://exchange.umich.edu. If you are successful, you can create a new bookmark.

Option 2

  1. Under the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. In the Options window:

    1. click the Privacy tab.

    2. under the Private Data section, click Clear Now.

  3. Attempt to link to https://exchange.umich.edu.

Option 3

  1. From the Windows Start button, select the appropriate steps based on your operating system:

    • Windows XP

      1. Click Run.

      2. In the Run window's Open field, enter cmd and click OK.

    • Windows Vista

      1. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

      2. If you receive a "Windows needs your permission" window, click Continue.

  2. When a black window opens, enter the following text: ipconfig /flushdns

  3. When you see the "Successfully flushed" message, you can close the window and test your connection to https://exchange.umich.edu. If you are still unable to connect, please call 764-HELP [764-4357] Option 2.

Macintosh Safari

Option 1

  1. If you have a bookmark for OWA (exchange.umich.edu), delete it.

  2. Attempt to link to https://exchange.umich.edu. If you are successful, you can create a new bookmark.

Option 2

  1. Under the Safari menu, click Reset Safari.

  2. In the Reset Safari window, click Reset.

  3. Attempt to link to https://exchange.umich.edu.

Option 3

  1. In your Applications folder, open the Utilities folder, then double-click Terminal.

  2. In the Terminal window, enter login and press Return.

  3. At the Login: prompt, enter your Macintosh User name and press Return.

  4. At the Password: prompt, enter your Macintosh User password and press Return.

  5. Based on your operating system, enter the appropriate bolded text:

    Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) lookupd -flushcache
    Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) dscacheutil -flushcache
  6. Press Return

  7. In the next line, enter logout and press Return.

  8. You can now close Terminal and test your connection to https://exchange.umich.edu. If you are still unable to connect, please call 764-HELP [764-4357] Option 2.


Macintosh Firefox

Option 1

  1. If you have a bookmark for OWA (exchange.umich.edu), delete it.

  2. Attempt to link to https://exchange.umich.edu. If you are successful, you can create a new bookmark.

Option 2

  1. Under the Firefox menu, click Preferences.

  2. In the Main window:

    1. click the Privacy tab.

    2. In the Privacy window, click Clear Now.

  3. Attempt to link to https://exchange.umich.edu.

Option 3

  1. In your Applications folder, open the Utilities folder, then double-click Terminal.

  2. In the Terminal window, enter login and press Return.

  3. At the Login: prompt, enter your Macintosh User name and press Return.

  4. At the Password: prompt, enter your Macintosh User password and press Return.

  5. Based on your operating system, enter the appropriate bolded text:

    Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) dscacheutil -flushcache
    Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) lookupd -flushcache
  6. Press Return

  7. In the next line, enter exit and press Return.

  8. You can now close Terminal and test your connection to https://exchange.umich.edu. If you are still unable to connect, please call 764-HELP [764-4357] Option 2.

How do I connect to OWA?
  1. Point your web browser to https://exchange.umich.edu

  2. At the login screen:

    OWA Log On screen

    1. Security: If you are:

      • not using your personal computer, leave the This is a public or shared computer radio button selected. For your security, if you have not sent or received e-mail for 30 minutes, you will be disconnected.

      • using your own computer, click the This is a private computer radio button. You will not be disconnected unless your account has been inactive for 24 hours.

    2. Use Web App Light: It offers fewer features, but is more simple and faster to use.

    3. In the User name field, enter your uniqname.

    4. In the Password field, enter your Exchange password.

    5. Click Log On.

How can I avoid getting an error when using Internet Explorer?

A quick workaround is to always type https://exchange.umich.edu (notice the S in https). For a permanent fix, see OWA Workaround for Internet Explorer 9.

Do I really need to logout when I'm done?

Absolutely! Your computing security is at risk if you don't.

Logging out assures that no one else can access your e-mail, calendar and everything else in your Exchange account. Imagine the problems, for example, if someone used your Exchange account to send an offensive or threatening e-mail in your name.

What's the difference between the Public or shared computer and Private security options?

Use Public or shared computer if you are not using your own computer to connect to OWA because it offers some additional protection. If there is no activity between your computer and the Exchange server for 30 minutes — such as sending or receiving e-mail — OWA will require you to log in again. After logging in, you will be able to continue from where you were.

If you are using your own computer, the Private option is more convenient. It offers a much longer time frame before OWA would require you to log in again.

Weigh the convenience against protecting your online security. Having to log in more often helps reduce the likelihood that someone else can access your e-mail, calendar, and everything else in your Exchange account. Imagine the problems, for example, if someone used your Exchange account to send an offensive or threatening e-mail in your name.

Calendar

How do I view a shared or delegated calendar?

In OWA 2010, you can view shared calendars the same way you can in Outlook.

How can I view multiple days in the Calendar?

OWA Premium allows you to select multiple days to view.

While holding down the Control key, click in the Monthly view on whatever days that you want to see together in one window. The dates you select can be in different months and even different years.

Tips

What keyboard shortcuts are available?

You can find a complete list of keyboard shortcuts by clicking the OWA Help button. (Don't confuse this with the Internet Explorer Help menu.) In the Getting Started section, click Accessibility, then Keyboard shortcuts.

These are some of our favorites for e-mail:

  Ctrl-N Create a new message
  Ctrl-K Resolve or search for a person entered in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields
  Alt-S Send
  Escape Close window
  Ctrl-R Reply
  Ctrl-Shift-R Reply to all
  Ctrl-Shift-F Forward
When I enter a person's uniqname, how do avoid getting a lot of other possibilities?

Enter an equals (=) sign in front of the person's uniqname. Don't put a space between the sign and the name.

For example, if you wanted to find only Barb Jensen, enter =bjensen. Then click Check Names Check Names.

Is there a spell checker?

Yes, if you're using Internet Explorer 5.5 or later and logged on to the Premium client.

Activate it by clicking Options (upper-right corner of the OWA window) and select See All Options. Click Settings, and then click Spelling.

How can I view multiple days in the Calendar?

At the top of the OWA window, click on the Calendar Views to view a single day, work week, week, or month view.

While holding down the Cntrl key, click in the Monthly view on whatever days that you want to see together in one window. Tthe dates you select can be in different months, even different years.

What's the simplest way to create a meeting?

On the calendar, double-click on the time to begin creating a one-hour meeting set for that time.