The Focus Is You

FAQs for Webmail

What is OWA?

OWA (Outlook Web access) provides Web-based access to your new SWOSU mailbox, where you can read, compose, and send e-mail. It is accessible from any computer that has an Internet connection.

What browsers are supported by OWA?

PREMIUM: OWA has been optimized for Internet Explorer 5.01 and later, and using it will provide the “premium” version of OWA.

STANDARD: The “standard” version of OWA will work with older versions of Internet Explorer and other browsers, such as Netscape. Macintosh can only support the standard version of OWA. Macintosh users are recommended to use Netscape 4.x or later in order to be able to change their password.

What are the differences in features between the Premium version and the Standard version of OWA?

Click here for complete description.

My browser gives me a security error when I connect to Outlook Web Access. How can I fix this?

If you are receiving a security error when connecting to Outlook Web Access, it is likely because you are using an out-of-date browser. Outlook Web Access is running on a secure server and older browsers (such as IE 3.x and Netscape 2.x) are unable to connect in the required manner. You will need to update your preferred browser before being able to use Outlook Web Access.

How do I change my password in Outlook Web Access?

  • Go to the SWOSU Outlook Web Access site at https://webmail.swosu.edu.
  • Enter your username and password in the pop up box.
  • Click OK. You are logged in to Outlook Web Access.
  • Select Options from the side bar.
  • Scroll down and click Change Password .
  • Enter admin in the Domain field and your username in the Account field.
  • Enter your current password once and your new password twice.
  • Click OK.
  • Click on the close button in the dialog box that says "Password successfully changed."
  • Close the Options dialog box.

Note: If you are a macintosh user, your password can only be changed when using Netscape 4.x or higher.

I am having trouble changing my password?

The password is case sensitive. Because of the security requirement of our new system, the password must be changed at least every 180 days. The password must be at least 8 characters long, must not contain your first name or last name, and consist of a combination of at least 3 of the following 1) Uppercase letters, 2) Lowercase letters, 3) Numbers, 4) Symbols.

Why don’t I see all of my messages (or contacts) on the screen?

A folder often contains more items than can be displayed in a single window. To scroll through the contents of a folder, click Previous Page and Next Page. You can also click First Page and Last Page to jump to the beginning or end of folder contents. To go to a specific page, in the Items box, type a page number, and then press ENTER. Page up or Page down will also work to move up or down one screen at a time.

OWA keeps asking me for an Office CD. I'm getting the message “Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Office 2000”. What is happening?

Outlook Web Access interacts with an Office component called "Office 2000 HTML Source Edit" when replying or sending new messages. If your home machine is affected by this error, you can safely ignore it or install the "Office 2000 HTML Source Edit" component from your Microsoft Office CD to the machine to stop the errors from happening.

I get an error message when I try to send to an old format SWOSU e-mail address (lastnamefirstinitial)?

If you are sending to an old naming convention e-mail address (smithm@swosu.edu), you must include the @swosu.edu with the address. If you are sending to a new naming convention address (mike.smith@swosu.edu), you do not need to include the @swosu.edu.

Can I put multiple recipients in the To: box?

Yes, to send to multiple recipients in OWA, separate them with a semicolon (;).

Why is my Outbox empty?

OWA stores messages you have sent in the “Sent” box (unlike Eudora which kept them in the Outbox). The “Outbox” is a temporary place where messages that are waiting to be sent are stored. It should normally be empty.

How do I use the check name feature to auto complete recipient names?

Enter the first part or the entire e-mail address and select the check name icon to look for a matching e-mail address. This will look in the Global Address List and your personal contacts folder.

Can I include a signature file in my messages with OWA?


  • Go to the SWOSU Outlook Web Access site at https://webmail.swosu.edu/.
  • Enter your username and password in the pop-up box.
  • Click OK. You are logged in to Outlook Web Access.
  • Select Options from the side bar.
  • Signature files options are under the Messaging Option section.

Is spell checker available?

PREMIUM: Yes, if you are using Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher on a PC

STANDARD: No, spell checker is only available with the premium version of OWA.

Why when I click logoff it gives me a log off screen, but clicking the close button doesn't do anything?

OWA uses some advanced Java Scripting not available in some browsers. If your browser version does not support the advanced option, then the close button will not work. Just close the browser window, and everything will be fine.

Why are my appointment times 2 hours off?

This is caused because the time zone set on the computer which you are viewing your appointments is set differently from the time zone set on the computer which you entered the appointments from.

When I try to delete a certain message, I get “You don’t have permission to delete some of the objects you have selected.” Why, and what do I do?

This is a bug in OWA. Microsoft does not have a solution at this time. The only way to get the message deleted is to notify ITS, and they can delete it for you.

Can I copy and paste with OWA?

Yes. OWA allows for copying and pasting of most items, including addresses and text. Copy and paste should work like any other application. Sometimes based on the individual browser, the right-click copy and paste features do not work. If not, try using the keyboard shortcuts of CTRL+C for copy and CTRL+V for paste.

What keyboard shortcuts are available with OWA?

Some of the more frequently used hot keys are:

  • CTRL+N - New Mail message screen
  • CTRL+R - Reply to currently selected mail in view
  • CTRL+Shift+R - Reply all to the currently selected mail in view
  • CTRL+Shift+F - Forward currently selected mail
  • CTRL+Z - Undo
  • CTRL+X - Cut
  • CTRL+C - Copy
  • CTRL+V - Paste

Can I create a shortcut on my desktop to access OWA more easily?

Yes. First log into OWA, then find the Internet Explorer icon (located in the Address box of the browser just to the left of the https://webmail.swosu.edu text), and drag and drop it to your desktop.

My e-mail contains an attachment. How do I open it?

Most attachments can be opened by double-clicking the file name. If not, try right-clicking on the attachment and select Open. If that still does not work, you can save the file to your hard drive and then open it. To save the attachment to your hard drive, right-click on the attachment and select Save target as and designate the location for the file to be saved.

Can I add words to the spell checker dictionary?

No. The dictionary is a server side global dictionary used by everyone.

I copied a URL from an e-mail and pasted it into a new e-mail message. Non-SWOSU recipients get a “page cannot be displayed” message when they click on the URL hyperlink. How do I fix this?

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Exchange 2003. To workaround this problem, paste the URL as usual then select the hyperlink and press Ctrl-L. In the URL box, edit the URL to be correct. Or, simply type the URL instead of using copy and paste.

I want to forward an e-mail I received to a distribution list in my Contacts folder. If I use Find Names dialog box to search for the distribution list, it cannot be found?

You cannot use Find Names to search for distribution lists in your Contacts folder. Instead, type a portion of the distribution list name and click the Check Names icon or type the full distribution list name.

How do I find a SWOSU user's new e-mail address?

The easiest is to use either the Find Names or the Check Names feature of the new e-mail system. See the FAQ or online documentation for help with both of these features. The Campus Directory link from our main www.swosu.edu Web page also lists the persons e-mail address (faculty/staff or student).

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The Focus Is You