Search Google Appliance

Home >> Nexus >> Accessing Oxford Nexus via the web >> Outlook Web App - An Advanced Guide

Outlook Web App - An Advanced Guide

This guide assumes that you already know the basics of using Outlook Web App (OWA, Full version), such as reading, replying to, deleting email, and composing new messages. If you need help with any of these tasks then please refer to the Introduction to OWA web page.

In order to make the best use of your University email, you will need to know how to attach files to messages, manage your Inbox, use the address book, set up mail forwarding, and more. Please browse the sections below for more information.

Some people prefer to see a simpler interface. It is possible to switch to the more basic OWA-Light. Please see the OWA (Light) guide for further details.

In the following instructions, the direction to "right-click" is interchangeable with Ctrl-click on an Apple Mac computer.

1. Browser Compatibility

Outlook Web Access 'Full' version is available on the following operating systems and browsers. In all cases more recent browser versions are strongly recommended on the grounds of security.

Browser Operating System Notes
Internet Explorer 7+ Windows only  
Firefox 3.0+ Windows/Mac/Linux  
Safari 3+ Mac The Windows version of Safari is not supported.
Chrome Windows/Mac Does not work natviely with Linux version.[2] OWA Full support withdrawn from Version 37 onwards

Only current supported versions of operating systems should be used.

[2] It is possible to get this to run on Linux on Chrome by changing the user-agent string. You can do this by starting Chrome with the following command : /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome --user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.2; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/6.0.481.0 Safari/534.4"

2. Managing Folders

Folders are the most common and convenient way to organise your email. With Nexus, you can create multiple folders, with each containing messages, sub-folders, or both. Folders appear under the Mail Account you are accessing. Favourite folders for quick access may also be displayed above the Account folders. Please note that exceeding 500 folders has the potential to adversely affect performance.

2.1. Creating Folders

You can create a new folder at the top level (so it appears alongside your Inbox in your folder list), or as a sub-folder of your Inbox, or a sub-folder of another folder. In each case, you right-click on the name of the parent folder, and choose [Create New Folder....]

To make a new folder at the top level, right-click on your mailbox name (normally your own real name) in the Navigation Pane at the left side of the screen, and choose [Create New Folder...].

Create a folder at the top level
Figure 1. Create a folder at the top level

Then type the name of the folder into the resulting box, e.g. Journal Articles.

List view of folders showing the new 'Journal Articles' folder, plus a                       nested view of some folders
Figure 2. List view of folders showing the new 'Journal Articles' folder, plus a nested view of some folders

You can structure your mail folders in any way that you like including nesting folders inside one another.

Simply click on the folder name to see any messages stored in that folder. Click on the small triangle to the left of the folder name, to expand/collapse the list of sub-folders.

Click on any folder that you wish to create a sub folder within, and (as before) right-click and choose [Create New Folder...]. Figure 2 also shows an example of a nested folder structure (see the folders within Top folder in the graphic).

2.2. Deleting Folders

To delete a folder, right-click on the name of the folder within the Navigation Pane and choose [Delete] from the menu. A dialog box appears asking you to confirm folder deletion. Once confirmed the folder, along with all messages and sub-folders contained within it, is moved to your Deleted Items folder.

Delete a folder
Figure 3. Delete a folder

Deleted folders and their contents can be restored as outlined in Restoring deleted items.

2.3. Renaming a Folder

You can rename folders that you have created, but the built-in folders (Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items, Outbox, and Trash) cannot be renamed.

To rename a folder, right-click on its name in the Navigation Pane and choose [Rename] from the menu. The name of the folder is then highlighted and you can simply type in the new name.

Rename a folder menu option
Figure 4. Rename a folder menu option

2.4. Move or Copy items to a New or Existing Folder

By default, mail messages sent to you are placed in the Inbox, and messages that you send are placed in the Sent Items folder. However, you can move a message to any folder you want.

A quick and simple method of moving messages is to drag them from their current folder and drop them onto the name of the destination folder in the Navigation Pane.

Alternatively, to move or copy a message, select the message and click the Move button to open the menu. You now have a choice of selecting a recently used folder, choose [Move to Folder…] or [Copy to Folder] options.

Move menu options
Figure 5. Move menu options

Once you have chosen [Move to Folder…] (or [Copy to Folder]), you have a choice of selecting a folder from the folder structure and clicking Move (or Copy).

Choose destination folder
Figure 6. Choose destination folder

If you want to create a new folder, select a folder that will contain it and click [Create New Folder....]

Create a new folder to move your message to
Figure 7. Create a new folder to move your message to

Type in the name of the new folder, and press Enter. Finally click Move (or Copy). Your messages will now be moved to the new folder.

Move multiple messages
Figure 8. Move multiple messages

The simplest way to select multiple messages is to hold down the <Ctrl> (Control) key on your keyboard (shift + click on a MAC) whilst clicking each message. For more advanced methods of selecting multiple messages, please see Operations on Multiple Messages.

2.5. Folder (conversation) views

A new feature has been introduced in OWA 2010 (that is switched on by default) that messages where messages with the same subject line are grouped together to view as a conversation. This is similar to how other email systems work (such as Gmail). If you wish to disable this and go back to viewing other messages one at a time then click on View on the top menu bar and then Untick/tick Use Convesations

Conversation view
Figure 9. Conversation view

3. Restoring deleted items

When you delete an item (whether it is an email message, a folder, a contact, a calendar item etc.), it is moved into your Deleted Items folder. If you want to recover an item which is still in your Deleted Items folder, you can simply drag and drop it to another folder, or right-click and choose [Move to folder] as described in Move or Copy items to a New or Existing Folder.

Deleted items should stay in the Deleted Items folder for 90 days from the date of deletion, before being automatically removed.

Be aware, some email software automatically empties your Deleted Items folder when you close them or log out. Check the settings for your client if you are unsure.

If the 90 day period has expired, or if you (or your email client) already deleted the item from your Deleted Items folder, it is still possible to recover the item for a further 7 days. To do this right-click Deleted Items and choose [Recover Deleted Items].

Recover Deleted Items
Figure 10. Recover Deleted Items

Select the item(s) you want to recover, and click the icon of a folder with curved arrow to restore the item.

Select Deleted item
Figure 11. Select Deleted item

You will now be presented with a Recover to Folder dialog similar to that described above in Managing Folders.

Recover to Folder
Figure 12. Recover to Folder

4. Operations on Multiple Messages

It is common to want to do operations on more than one message at once. For example, to delete your first three messages, or to copy all messages with the word "orchestra" in the subject to a specific folder.

4.1. Selecting multiple messages

You can select multiple messages by holding down the <Ctrl> (Control) key on your keyboard, or <CMD> if you using a Mac, while you click on each one. If all the messages are adjacent to each other, you can click on the first one, hold down the <Shift> key, and then click on the last one to select the messages and everything in between them. You can re-sort the messages to make this easier (e.g. sort by sender, or by subject). See Sorting Messages for more details.

4.2. Selecting Multiple Messages by Searching

You can use simple or advanced searching to identify groups of messages with some shared characteristic, such as having the word "orchestra" in the subject. After selecting the messages you are interested in you can then delete, move, or copy them in the same way as for a single message.

5. Searching for items

5.1. Simple search

To perform a Simple Search, type your search terms in the search box and choose [This Folder], [This Folder and Subfolders] or the [Entire Mailbox], these options are accessed by clicking the single arrow to the right of the Search icon.

Simple Search and Search Folder Options
Figure 13. Simple Search and Search Folder Options

5.2. Advanced search

To perform an Advanced Search with more search criteria, click the two arrows to the right of the Search icon to expand and contract the search criteria options.

Advanced Searching
Figure 14. Advanced Searching

6. Sorting messages

By default, messages in your Inbox, and in other folders, are arranged by date, with the newest message at the top. OWA provides many other ways to arrange messages, which can help you to find a particular message or group of messages when you want to. To change the arrangement of messages, use the options that you can see under the search box [Arrange by Date] and [Newest on top].

Arrange messages options
Figure 15. Arrange messages options

To re-sort messages, click on the label [Arrange by:] at the top of the message list. You can then select a sort option from the list below:

Sort messages by the date (and time) when they were received
Sort messages alphabetically by sender
Sort messages alphabetically by recipient - most useful for sorting your Sent Items
Sort messages by their size including any attachments
Sort messages alphabetically by subject line. (Where the subject line begins with "Re:" or "Fwd:" this is ignored for sorting.)
Sort messages into types - separates non-email items such as meeting requests
Sorts messages depending on whether they have an attachment
Sorts messages by importance - low, normal and high. The importance is set by the sender.
Flag Due Date
Sorts messages according to the "Due date" assigned to them
Flag Start Date
Sorts messages according to the "Start date" assigned to them
Group messages by thread - messages and replies appear together. Conversation mode has to be selected by Ticking the box.

Each of these sorting options has a default order, such as A on top, newest on top, or largest on top.

Reverse the order of your messages
Figure 16. Reverse the order of your messages

The sort order is shown next to the name of the sorting scheme, and you can reverse the order by clicking on the label.

7. Setting Flags and Categories

OWA allows you to set a Flag and/or a Category for each message. Flags can help you keep track of items that need to be followed up before a specific date, by providing a visual indication, and, if specified, a pop-up reminder. A flag has a Start Date, Due Date, and may have a Reminder Date. Categories are coloured markers which can be applied to messages, contacts, calendar items etc. This allows you to easily differentiate between items which fall into separate groups, such as work versus personal, or department versus college. It is particularly useful for adding a visual indicator for particular types of item in your calendar so that they stand out, such as birthdays, or important appointments. Items may have more than one category assigned. There are six built-in categories named after their associated colours, and you can add more categories of your choice.

7.1. Setting Flags

You can set the default flag (follow-up starts today, due today, with no reminder) by clicking on the small flag symbol next to the date of receipt, in your message list.

Set default flag
Figure 17. Set default flag

This simply gives you a visual indication that the message requires further action (follow-up).

Set advanced flag
Figure 18. Set advanced flag

For more advanced options, right-click on the flag symbol and choose [Set Date and Reminder....]

Set follow-up reminder
Figure 19. Set follow-up reminder

This allows you to set a start and/or finish date for following up on the item, and a reminder date.

Follow-up reminder
Figure 20. Follow-up reminder

When the reminder date/time is reached, you will receive a pop-up message to remind you about the related item. You can dismiss the reminder, or click Snooze to be reminded again later. Reminders can be easily acessed at any time from the Reminder icon showing the number of Reminders.

7.2. Setting Categories

You can apply an existing category to a message by clicking the small bar to the left of the flag icon in your message list:

Set Category
Figure 21. Set Category

Clicking the Category icon brings up a list of possible categories, you can select one or more by clicking them, or clear categories by clicking [Clear Categories]. For more advanced options, including creating a new category, changing the colour of a category, or deleting a category, click [Manage Categories....]

You can also apply categories to contacts, calendar items, and tasks. In each case, open the item and look for the categories icon on the toolbar menu:

Categories Icon
Figure 22. Categories Icon

8. Outlook Rules

OWA allows you to set up Rules to manage your messages. For example, you could create a rule to automatically direct any message containing the word "orchestra" in the subject line into a particular folder (instead of your Inbox).

Inbox rule creation
Figure 23. Inbox rule creation

To access the Rules editor, click [Options] and then [See All Options] and choose [Organise E-Mail].

To create a new rule, click on the dropdown button next to the New... button and choose the type of rule that you want. If none of the options apply, choose [Create a new rule for arriving messages] to access the full range of options.

8.1. If you run Outlook software

If you use Outlook installed on a computer, it is important to note that rules are shared between Outlook and OWA. You can create rules in OWA and they will be active whether you use Outlook or OWA.

However, OWA can only access rules that are set as active. Outlook gives you the able to disable them (to make them inactive). If you choose to do then we advise that you only use Outlook to set rules as if you create a new rule from OWA it will delete any rules that were inactive in Outlook.

For further details about OWA rules click on the OWA Help button found on the Rules screen.

9. Attachments

Email messages are text. To send other kinds of file, such as figures, word processed documents, spreadsheets, and so on, you need to use attachments. You can attach any file that your browser can access, for example on a local USB drive or hard disk, within certain size restrictions (see Nexus Frequently Asked Questions). In order to be able to read the attachment, the receiver needs to have appropriate software to read the file. For example, if you send a Word 2007 document, they will need to use Word 2007, or another application which understands Word 2007 file format, to read it. Some email servers will not accept attachments which they consider risky, such as executable files, so it is best to check with the recipient before sending.

9.1. Attaching a File to a Message

To send a message with an attachment, begin by starting to compose a new message as normal. Then click on the paperclip icon at the top of the screen.

Attach files icon
Figure 24. Attach files icon

This opens a browse window where you can select the file that you want to send:

Attach a file
Figure 25. Attach a file

Click Browse and use the dialog box to browse through your drives and directories to find the file you want to attach. Select the desired file and choose Open. The file name will appear in the Attachments text box. To complete the process click Attach. The name of the file will now appear in the Attachments section, above main body of your message.

If you change your mind about sending an attachment, click on its name in the attachments list and press <Delete> on your keyboard. The file will be removed from the email message.

9.2. Receiving an Attachment

Message with attachment icon
Figure 26. Message with attachment icon

When you receive a message with an attachment, a small paperclip icon appears next to the message in your Inbox. When you view the message in the preview pane, or by opening it, you will see a list of attached files at the top of the message.

To view the attached file, click its name in the attachments list. You may be given some information about the dangers of downloading unknown files from the network. If you do decide to go ahead, you can either save the file to be opened later or you can choose to open it now. If you open it now, your browser will attempt to find an appropriate application and open it in that (e.g. Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word), based on the filename extension (the last part of the filename).

If you want to save the file after you have opened it, use the application's [File/Save As...] command to put it in an appropriate location. Do not use [File/Save] because the Browser will then choose its own location and you will not know which drive and folder the file has been saved to!

Please note: OWA will prevent you from sending certain types of files e.g. XML, giving the following message:

Outlook Web Access has blocked access to attachments.

If you receive a HTML file as an attachment and it contains code that could automatically run when you download it from Outlook Web Access, the 'offending' code gets silently stripped out (and any CSS gets commented out). This hppens in both OWA Light and Full versions. If you need the code to remain available in the attachment then use an email client (e.g. Outlook or Thunderbird) instead.

10. Email Headers

Every email message you send or receive includes some additional technical data known as the Message Headers. This information is very useful if you are having technical problems, and your IT support staff will often ask you to include this information in any support request you make.

To view the header data for a message, open the message and click the Message Details icon at the top of the screen:

View Message Headers
Figure 27. View Message Headers

You can copy and paste the Internet Mail Header information into a different message or another application in the usual way.

11. Message Options

When sending a message, there are several options available in addition to specifying the recipient in the standard To: field, which can be accessed by clicking the Options... button at the top of the screen.

Message Options menu item
Figure 28. Message Options menu item

This opens a pop-up screen:

Message Options screen
Figure 29. Message Options screen

The following options are available:

Set how urgent the message is - most email programs will display an icon for priority. The default importance is Normal, you can also choose High or Low.
You can specify whether the message is personal, private, or confidential here. This is not commonly used.
Show Bcc
Enables the Blind Carbon Copy field, allowing you to send a hidden copy of your message to one or more people. Other recipients do not see Bcc recipients.
Show From
By default this is ticked to show what account the message came from.
Request a delivery receipt for this message
When this option is selected, you will receive a message to let you know when the message has been delivered to the recipient's mailbox. It does not imply that they have read the message or are aware of its presence.
Request a read receipt for this message
Selecting this specifies that you want to recieve notification when the recipient reads the message. The recipient can choose whether or not to comply with this request. Some email clients never send read receipts.

12. Message Reports

It is now possible to review message reports for mail sent out over the previous 4 weeks. To do this, from the main Nexus window go to Options then See All Options.

See all options
Figure 30. See all options

Select Organize E-Mail then Delivery Reports and then you search for sent mail. You can select a field to search by or leave it blank to search all messages. You can find out information about a message by double clicking on it.

Showing the delivery reports screen
Figure 31. Showing the delivery reports screen

13. Signatures

Many people like to have a standard closing phrase, or details of their job title, address, contact details, and so on in their messages. A signature allows you to do this without having to type the information in each time.

To set up an automatic signature in OWA choose [Options] and then click Settings. You will see the following screen:

Create/Modify Signature
Figure 32. Create/Modify Signature

Here you can enter your signature and choose whether OWA should apply it by default to all new messages.

Once you are happy with your signature, click Save to confirm your changes.

If you choose to [Automatically include my signature on messages I send], every time you compose a new message you will see your signature text at the bottom (you can then change or delete it for that message). Alternatively you can add the signature to messages manually by clicking the Insert Signature button at the top of any message:

Insert signature button
Figure 33. Insert signature button

14. Printing Emails

Even if you can read a message in the Preview View, you cannot print it unless you open it fully. This is achieved by double-clicking on it in your messages listing. The message then opens in a new window with a toolbar at the top.

Open message toolbar with printer icon
Figure 34. Open message toolbar with printer icon

Click on the Printer icon in the toolbar to open up the Print window. Select your printer, set any preferences you need and click Print.

Print window
Figure 35. Print window

15. Filtering Emails

The University email servers will automatically identify some junk mail (commonly called spam) before it reaches you. This allows such messages to be moved to your 'Junk' folder automatically, if you choose to enable this functionality. The University attempts to filter out any email containing malware (programs or documents which are damaging, intrusive or annoying to the recipient) before they reach you. You can read more about how it works on our Junk mail pages.

In addition to this protection, you can choose whether to apply further filters to your email. In OWA, click [Options] and then choose [See All Options…] and then [Block or Allow] to set.

Junk Email filtering options
Figure 36. Junk Email filtering options

As well as switching filtering on or off, this screen allows you to access more advanced features:

Safe Senders and Recipients
Specify the addresses of any senders whose messages should not be considered spam (sometimes known as a whitelist).
Trust e-mail from my Contacts
Select this option to include address in your personal Contacts list as safe senders
Blocked Senders
Specify the addresses of any senders whose messages should always be considered spam (sometimes known as blacklist).

Remember to click Save at the bottom right of the screen to confirm your choices.

16. Automatic Replies (Out of Office)

You can use OWA to set up the Outlook Automatic Replies, which replies to your emails with a pre-written message of your choice. All the messages you receive while the Automatic Reply is active are received and stored in your Inbox as normal and can be read, replied to, saved and so on at any time, including while the Out of Office facility is active. The system replies only once to each person who sends you a message, however many times they subsequently email you. This count is reset each time you switch off the Automatic Reply system.

Automatic Replies (Out of office)
Figure 37. Automatic Replies (Out of office)

To enable Automatic Replies, click [Options] and then select [Set Automatic Replies…] Choose Send automatic replies, and, if desired, choose the start and finish date for when you want the service to be active. If you leave this blank, Automatic Replies will start working immediately and will remain active until you switch it off.

You can set up two separate auto-responses, one for people who email you from within the University, and the other for senders who are outside the University system. In each case, type in your message, and if you wish, format the text using the buttons above the box. When you are happy with your messages, click on Save.

17. Contacts and the Address Book

Outlook Web Access offers two places to look up email addresses: Contacts and the shared Global Address Book. All university members are listed in the Global Address Book, unless they have opted out. Contacts is a private list where you can store other contacts and distribution lists.

17.1. The Global Address Book

Nexus provides a directory containing the email address and department/college of each current University member. This is available through the Global Address Book. To access the global address book, click on the small book icon at the top right of the screen.

Open Global Address Book
Figure 38. Open Global Address Book

To find someone in the Global Address List, type their name (first name or family name) in the search box and click the magnifying glass icon or press enter. When you see the name you are looking for, click on it to display the details. The reading pane icon is above the search box and can be toggled on/off by clicking the icon.

Global Address Book - displaying details
Figure 39. Global Address Book - displaying details

17.2. Contacts

Contacts is your personal list of people you might want to contact. As well as email addresses, Outlook can store their postal address, telephone number, notes etc.

To view click on [Contacts] in the Navigation Pane. If you have not used Contacts before, the view will be empty:

Empty Contacts view
Figure 40. Empty Contacts view

17.2.1. Adding Contacts

To add a new contact, click New. Enter their details, particularly their email address, and then click Save and Close.

Create New Contact
Figure 41. Create New Contact

The newly created contact should now be visible in your contacts:

Contacts view with new entry
Figure 42. Contacts view with new entry

If someone has sent you a message, you can add them to your contacts directly. Right-click on their name in the Reading Pane and choose [Add to Contacts...]

Add sender to contacts
Figure 43. Add sender to contacts

17.2.2. Editing and Deleting Contacts

To add extra details, or to change existing information about a contact, double-click on their name in your contacts list. This opens up the contact details screen where you can add, update, and delete information as needed. Click Save and Close to store the information.

To delete a contact, select them in your contacts list and click the Delete button (a black cross) at the top of the list. The contact will be moved to your Deleted Items folder.

17.2.3. Using Contacts

Once you have created a contact, you may want to send an email or meeting request to them.

To send an email to one of your contacts, you can either select them in Contacts, right-click, and choose [New Message], or simply add them to the To: field of any message.

Compose a message to a contact
Figure 44. Compose a message to a contact

For more information about address books, including details of how to import your existing address book, please see Contacts.

17.2.4. Groups

A Group is a way of grouping contacts together so that you can send messages to a number of people at the same time, such as a small research group. If you want to email a large group of people at once, it is better to create a special mailing list instead.

To create a new Group, select [Group] from the New dropdown menu.

Create new Group
Figure 45. Create new Group

In the next screen, enter a name in the Group Name box, and then enter the email addresses of the group members (click Members to choose them from your contacts and/or the global address list). These should be separated by semi-colons.

Create Distribution List
Figure 46. Create Distribution List

Click Add to Group to move the new member(s) into the list. When you have finished adding members, click Save and Close at the top of the screen to return to your contacts list. You can always add and remove members later by double-clicking on the name of the Group.

17.2.5. Message recipients

When you compose a message (or meeting request etc), you can use any combination of full email addresses, Nexus user names, individual aliases, and Group aliases in your To: field, as long as they are separated by semi-colons.

You can check how OWA will interpret your aliases by clicking the Check Names icon in the toolbar. Where more than one possibility is found, you will be presented with a list of options to choose from. The same applies to the CC: and BCC: fields.

Check Names
Figure 47. Check Names

17.2.6. Shared contacts

If someone has shared their contacts with you, you can view them through Outlook Web Access, but only by manually entering the following address (URL) into your Internet Explorer address bar:, replacing with the university email address of the person who has shared their contacts with you.

To share your own contacts, you will need to log in to your Nexus account using Outlook 2003/7/10 or Entourage 2008. Further information is available at Nexus Contacts.

It is possible to share contacts and Groups by selecting and clicking Forward

Fowarding Contacts and Groups
Figure 48. Fowarding Contacts and Groups


17.2.7. Exporting Contacts

OWA does not directly have a system for exporting Contacts out of it's system. However there is a simple way to transfer your contacts into .vcard files that are supported by a wide range of systems.

Switch to contacts. Select the top contact by left clicking on it once. Then hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard at the same time as the DOWN cursor key, which will scroll down and select all of the contacts.

Selecting Contacts
Figure 49. Selecting Contacts

Right click on any of the selected contacts, and select Forward as Attachment. This will open up a new email message with the contacts attached, which you can then send either to yourself or to another email address.

Forward as attachment
Figure 50. Forward as attachment

18. The calendar

18.1. Adding an appointment to your calendar

To add an appointment, double-click on the calendar in the position where you want the new appointment to appear. For example, if you are viewing by month, double-click on the day on which the appointment begins.

Create Appointment
Figure 51. Create Appointment

The level of detail you want to add to the appointment will depend on the specific circumstances. If the appointment is merely to act as a reminder to yourself, you will probably just want to put a suitable subject, and perhaps a location. You can use the free text area for any notes or comments, and can even attach files. This is most useful when the appointment or meeting is to be shared with others.

By default, OWA will remind you 15 minutes before each appointment by popping up a reminder window. However, you may wish to be reminded earlier or later. You can set the reminder time for your appointment to be one of a range of intervals between 0 minutes and two weeks before the scheduled start time.

You can also choose whether to mark the duration of the new appointment as Free, Busy, Tentative, or Away in your calendar. Other people can use this information to help them to schedule meetings with you.

18.2. Choosing Attendees and Scheduling

To invite people to the meeting or event, open the event screen by double-clicking on it in your calendar (or create a new event). Go to the [Scheduling Assistant] tab and enter the name of those you would like to invite.

Add attendees
Figure 52. Add attendees

You can search for people in the global address book by typing in part of their name and pressing <Enter>. You can also select people from your contacts, or type in email addresses directly. Separate multiple entries using semi-colons. You might also want to add a shared resource such as a meeting room or a piece of equipment, if these have been set up in Nexus. In this case, add them to the Add a room section. You do not need to add yourself, as the meeting organiser is automatically included.

Once you have finished adding attendees, click Save and Close to continue.

Schedule a meeting
Figure 53. Schedule a meeting

You will now see your selected attendees listed on the left of the screen, and in the centre is a line for each one showing their free and busy times. Where no information is available, e.g. for people who are not Nexus users, this is shown with a grey stripy bar. You can now click anywhere along the time-line to set the beginning of your meeting, or choose from the suggestions on the right.

You can also choose whether or not your attendees are automatically prompted to send a response, by checking or unchecking the box labelled Request a response to this invitation, on the Appointment tab.

Once you have finished, click Send at the top of the screen to send the invitations.

Responses from your invitees will appear in your Inbox, unless the attendee chooses not to send a response.

If you need to make any changes to the meeting, you can do so and then click Send Update to inform the other attendees.

18.3. Creating a recurring event

If you have an event that occurs regularly, you can add the whole series at once, by using the recurrence options.

To add or edit recurrence options, open the event by double clicking on it in your calendar, and click the Recurrence icon as shown below:

Meeting Recurrence
Figure 54. Meeting Recurrence
Choose Recurrence Options
Figure 55. Choose Recurrence Options

Use the buttons to select from a range of frequencies, and to set the date of the first occurrence, and if desired, the end date. Click OK when finished.

18.4. Responding to a meeting request

When you receive a meeting request, it appears in your Inbox just like an email message and will be displayed in the reading pane.

Receive Meeting Request
Figure 56. Receive Meeting Request

Within the message are buttons allowing you to Accept, Tentatively Accept, or Decline the request. OWA will inform you if the meeting time conflicts with (or is adjacent to) another appointment in your Nexus calendar.

Whichever response you choose (Accept, Tentative, or Decline), when you click the appropriate button you will be offered three options: [Edit the response before sending], [Send the response now], or [Do not send a response]. If you choose to send the response now, OWA will send an automated response which appears in the organiser's Inbox, telling them whether you can attend. If you choose to edit the response, an email message will be created which you can add your own text to. Finally, if you choose not to send a response, the meeting organiser will still be able to tell whether you have accepted or not, by looking at the meeting in their calendar. However, they will not get a message in their Inbox informing them of your decision.

When you respond, the meeting request message will be automatically moved to your deleted items folder. If you accept (even tentatively) the meeting request, the event will be saved in your calendar. If you want to change your response later, open the event by double clicking on it, and you can send a new response.

19. Sharing calendars

19.1. Add a calendar

Outlook Web Access also allows you to share calendars with others and open calendars from others. To see a shared calendar, select the option [Add Calendar…] From the Share dropdown menu.

Open a Shared Calendar option in Calendar view
Figure 57. Open a Shared Calendar option in Calendar view

In the small window that pops up, type in the username or real name of the person whose calendar you want to view, and click Open. You may have to select the right person from a list that pops up.

Add a Calendar – from your organisation
Figure 58. Add a Calendar – from your organisation

Assuming you have the necessary rights for viewing the calendar, you can now see the shared calendar next to your own in the Calendar View. You can hide/ unhide calendars by ticking/ unticking them in [My Calendars].

19.2. Share your calendar

To share your own calendar, use the [Share this Calendar…] option listed from the [Share] dropdown menu. If you wish to share a non-primary calandar, right click on the Calendar and select Share this Calendar.

Share your Calendar
Figure 59. Share your Calendar

19.3. Calendar permissions

To edit calendar sharing, use the [Change Sharing Permissions…] option listed from the [Share] dropdown menu.

You will be presented with a list of people that you share your calendar with.

Calendar Permissions
Figure 60. Calendar Permissions

To edit the permissions granted to each person, highlight their name and click Edit. This presents you with three levels of permission.

Edit calendar permissions
Figure 61. Edit calendar permissions

Private calendar events: Some clients do not fully support private items and your private items may be revealed to those you share your calendar with. Please see the "How private are my private calendar entries?" entry in the Nexus Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

20. Accessing other accounts

There are two different ways to access other accounts on the serivce depending on how much access you require.

20.1. Adding another Users Inbox to your own screen

If you have delegated rights over another users Inbox, then you can add this to your normal view without having to open another window by doing the following:

Right-click on your name and select Open other Users Inbox - This is your name as it appears on the lefthand side of the OWA interface, not the name as it appears in the top righthand side of the interface.

Open other users inbox
Figure 62. Open other users inbox

Type in the name of the person's inbox or their username and select it from the list

Selecting username
Figure 63. Selecting username

The Inbox will appear at the bottom of the Window.

Showing the inbox as listed at the bottom of the left pane
Figure 64. Showing the inbox as listed at the bottom of the left pane

20.2. Switching to another account

Click on your full name in the top right hand corner of the window.

Showing your full name menu
Figure 65. Showing your full name menu

Select the name of the account that you wish to have access to

Selecting the account
Figure 66. Selecting the account

The account will be fully switched over to the other one that you have access over

Account has switched over
Figure 67. Account has switched over

21. Tasks

You can use Outlook Web App to keep a list of outstanding and completed tasks, with deadlines and reminders of your choice. To go to the Tasks view, click on [Tasks] in the Navigation Pane.

Tasks view
Figure 68. Tasks view

You will see a list of tasks, with completed tasks crossed out, and overdue tasks highlighted in red text. You can choose between viewing only tasks, or viewing both tasks and flagged items (see Setting Flags and Categories), using the options in My Tasks on the left. Click on the name of a task or flagged item to see more details in the Reading Pane, or double-click to open. Tick the checkbox next to a task to mark it as complete.

You can use the options in the Navigation Pane to filter your list of tasks in several ways:

Type; Completed State; Importance; Attachments; Subject; cDate; Flag

To add a new task, click [Task] from the [New] dropdown menu

Create a task
Figure 69. Create a task

Enter the required details, in particular the due date, and the reminder date (if desired), and click Save and Close to create the task. When the reminder date is reached (if set), a popup screen will appear to remind you about the task.

If you want to organise your tasks further, you can add extra folders by clicking Create New Folder in the Navigation Pane. Drag and drop tasks to move them between folders.

Like Contacts lists and Calendars, Task lists can be shared on Nexus. To view someone else's tasks, once they have given you permission, you will need to manually enter the following address (URL) into Internet Explorer:, replacing with the university email address of the person who has shared their tasks with you.

To share your own task list with other Nexus users of your choice, you will need to log in using Outlook or Entourage.

22. Login Problems

If you type an incorrect username or password you will be returned to the login screen and you will see the message "You could not be logged on to Oxford Nexus. Make sure that your username and password are correct, and then try again."

Login failure screen
Figure 70. Login failure screen

Carefully retype your password.

If you have forgotten your password, go to to reset it.

If you have tried the following and this is still not working then try the following:

22.1. Clearing out Cookies on your Internet Browser

We have seen that some users have been unable to log in, even when using the right details. In this case, you should clear out the Cookies on your Internet Browser

This can be done as follows:

Internet Explorer: Internet Options --> General --> Delete (under Browsing History), then click to Delete Cookies.

Google Chrome: Tools --> Under the Bonnet --> Privacy --> Clear Browsing Data

Firefox: Tools --> Clear Browsing History

Safari: Preferences ---> Security --> Clear Cookies


22.2. Reseting Interent Explorer to Factory Settings

On Internet Explorer we have seen that strange behaviour may happen to a system for example, certain buttons (i.e Send or Reply) not responding when clicked on.

When this happens we recommend resetting IE to Factory Settings. This will affect any addons or saved data but not any Favourites. To do this go to Internet Options --> Advanced --> Reset Internet Explorer.

22.3. Issues with Skype Click to Call

We have had reports of users on Google Chrome (Windows) using Skype Click to Call, with the result that users are not able to send email from OWA. In order to resolve this, please disable Skype Click to Call by going to Options --> Under the Bonnet -- Addons, and disabling it.


More recent versions are strongly recommended on the grounds of security.


Service area: 

Written by IT Services. Latest revision 15 August 2016