This guide assumes that you already know the basics of using Outlook Web Access (Light version), such as reading, replying to, and deleting your email, and composing new messages. If you need help with any of these tasks then please refer to the Introduction to OWA.
In order to make the best use of your University email, you will need to know how to attach files to messages, use folders to manage your email, use the address book, set up mail forwarding, and more. Please browse the sections below for more information.
See also: OWA (Full) guide for Internet Explorer users.
1.1. Viewing folders
When you log into OWA, you will see a list of messages which are contained in your inbox. There are several other built-in folders, (Deleted Items, Drafts, Junk E-Mail, and Sent Items), and you can view their contents by clicking the folder name in the Navigation Pane on the left-hand side of your screen.
Figure images/ViewFolders.png [Shows the link you should click to open the list of available folders]
Below the list of built-in folders, there is a link
Click to view all
folders (see Figure 1, Navigate to other
Figure images/NavFolders.png [Drop-down list of available folders]
When you click on this, it changes into a selection box where you can choose other folders to view (see Figure 2, Navigate to other folders). Choose the folder you want to view, and then click on the green arrow button to go to that folder.
You can now see the contents of the chosen folder, in the main part of the screen.
Figure images/NavFolder2.png [The contents of the folder are displayed, and the folder name is added to your list of most recently used folders, for easy access.]
Your ten most recently used folders are listed below the folder selection box, in the Navigation Pane. In Figure 3, View contents of other folders only one folder, "Responses", has been viewed, so this is the only one listed. This allows you to navigate quickly to your favourite folders just by clicking on their names.
1.2. Managing Folders
You can create new folders as sub-folders of your inbox, or at the same level as your inbox. Folders may contain messages and/or other folders.
Figure images/ManageFolders.png [The Manage Folders screen allows you to create, rename, move, and delete folders]
You can structure your mail however is most convenient for you, with folders within
folders to any depth you like. To manage your folders, click on the link
Folders... in the
Navigation Pane at the left side of the
screen. This opens the
Manage Folders screen (see Figure 4, Manage Folders
Figure images/CreateFolder_L.png [Enter a meaningful name for your folder and click "Create"]
To create a new folder, select name of the folder which you want to be the parent
folder, in the
Create folder in: box. To create a top-level folder,
choose your own name as the parent folder. Then type the name of the new folder into the
resulting box, e.g.
Big Project (see Figure 5, Create a new
To rename a folder, select the folder in the
Current name: box, type in
the new name in the box below, and click
Rename. Built-in folders, such
as Inbox, Drafts, or Deleted Items, cannot be renamed.
To move a folder, select the folder in the
Folder to move: box, then
choose a new parent folder for it, and click
Move. The folder and all
its contents (including any sub-folders) will be moved to the new location. Built-in
folders cannot be moved.
To delete a folder, select the folder in the
Folder name: box, and click
Delete. This will move the folder, along with all messages and
sub-folders contained within it, to your
Deleted Items folder. Built-in
folders cannot be deleted.
1.3. Move Messages Between folders
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
Figure images/MoveMessage_L.png [To move a message to a different folder, click "Move" from the options above the message display]
To move a message, open the message by clicking on it in your list of messages, and
Move from the toolbar at the top of the message (see Figure 6, Move a message).
Figure images/MoveMessage2_L.png [Select the folder you want for the message and click "Move"]
You can now select one of your recently-used folders by clicking the radio button next
to its name, or choose any folder from the list. Once you have chosen your destination
Move to move the message.
Figure images/MoveMessages_L.png [Select all the required messages and then click "Move"]
You can move a number of messages at once, from your message list. Click in the
checkbox next to each one so that a green tick appears, or select all by clicking in the
checkbox at the top of the list (see Figure 8, Move multiple
messages). Then click
Move in the toolbar at the top of the list and follow the procedure
2. Restoring deleted items
When you delete a message, it will be moved into your Deleted Items folder. It will stay in that folder for 90 days from the date of deletion, before being automatically removed from the system. Beware, some email clients will automatically empty your Deleted Items folder when you log off! Check the settings for your client if you are not sure.
If you want to recover an item which is still in your Deleted Items folder, simply select
the item and click
Move in the toolbar above the message. Choose the
folder you want to restore it to and click the
If the 90 days 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, but you will need to log in to the full version of OWA, which requires Microsoft Internet Explorer. This is installed on the computers in the Computing Services Help Centre. Please see the instructions for recovering deleted items using OWA Full Version for details.
3. Sorting messages
By default, messages in your inbox, and in other folders, are sorted by date, with the newest message at the top. OWA provides several other ways to sort messages, which can help you to find a particular message or group of messages when you want to.
You can sort messages by any of the column headings in your inbox, simply by clicking the column label:
Each of these sorting options has a default order, such as A on top, newest on top, or largest on top. You can reverse the order by clicking on the column heading again.
Figure images/SortMessages_L.png [Shows messages sorted by subject]
You can see which column your messages are sorted on, by looking for a small arrow next to the column heading. For example, in Figure 9, Sorting messages, messages are sorted by subject.
4. Searching for messages
To search for messages containing a particular keyword, simply type the keyword into the
Type here to search, above the list of messages, and press
Enter (or click on the magnifying glass). The results are shown in your
message list (see Figure 10, Search for messages
Figure images/SearchFolder_L.png [Simple search box appears above the list of messages]
The search will identify all messages in the current folder which contain the keyword anywhere in the subject line or message body, or in the name or address of the sender or recipient, or in other fields in the message header. The search is not case-sensitive.
To clear the search, click the red
X next to the search box.
As well as searching the current folder, you can search the sub-folders, or you can search in all folders, by choosing the appropriate option from the drop-down list next to the search box. All search results appear in one list, even if the messages are stored in separate folders, but you can perform actions on the search results (e.g. move to different folder) as if they were together in a single folder.
Please note the search results in OWA are limited to the first 100 matches found. So you may need to set other criteria to see old messages.
Email messages are text. To send other kinds of file, such as graphics, 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 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 2003 document, they will need to use Word 2003, or another application which understands Word 2003 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.
5.1. Attaching a File to a Message
Figure images/Attach_L.png [To attach files to your message, either click the paperclip icon in the message toolbar, or use the "Attachments" link below the subject box]
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, or the
attachments link (see Figure 11, Attach files icon).
Figure images/Attach2_L.png [A button marked "Browse" appears in the left-hand pane, and a list of attachments in the main pane.]
Next click on
Browse on the left hand side of the resulting screen
(Figure 12, Browse to file(s)). This will open a dialog box where you can browse the
available drives and folders to choose the file you want to attach. Once you have
located the file, click
Open. The file name now appears in the
attachment box, click
Attach to upload the file ready for sending.
Figure images/AttachList.png [The attach screen lets you choose the file(s) that you want to attach by clicking on the Browse button, and then clicking Attach to upload the file]
The name of the file, and its size, will now appear in the list of Attachments, in the
main part of the screen (Figure 13, Attach files). You can add further
attachments in the same way. If you wish to remove an attachment, click the checkbox
next to it and then click
Once you have selected all the files that you want to attach, click
Done to return to the message.
5.2. Receiving an Attachment
Figure images/ReceiveAttachment_L.png [In your message list, a paperclip icon appears next to the message. When you view the message, you will see a list of attachments above the message body.]
When you receive a message with an attachment, a small paperclip icon appears next to the message in your inbox. When you open the message, you will see a list of attached files at the top of the message (e.g. see Figure 14, Message with attachments).
To view an 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, or choose to open it now. If you open it now, your browser will attempt to find an appropriate application based on 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
[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!
Some attachments can be viewed as a webpage, by clicking on the link
Webpage next to the name of the file. This is particularly useful if you are
using a computer which does not have the appropriate application, such as Microsoft Word
or Adobe Acrobat, installed. It is also a safer way to view potentially harmful
attachements, but you should never open any type of attachment, even from someone you
trust, unless you are expecting it.
5.3. Blocked Attachments
The Nexus server blocks some types of email attachments which are particularly unsafe, such as Microsoft Access databases, and executable files.
Figure images/BlockedAttachment.png [A banner at the top of the message informs you of the blocked attachments]
In this case, you will see a notification at the top of the message, informing you of the name of the blocked attachment (e.g. see Figure 15, Message with blocked attachment).
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.
Figure images/Signature_L.png [Enter your signature and specify whether OWA should apply it automatically to all new messages]
To set up an automatic signature in OWA choose
Options (at the top right
of the screen) and then click
Messaging (in the Navigation pane on the
left-hand side). You will see a screen which looks like Figure 16, Create/Modify Signature,
where you can enter your signature and choose whether OWA should apply it by default to
all new messages.
If you choose
Automatically include my signature on outgoing messages,
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). If the signature is not automatically
added, you cannot use it in OWA Light, as there is no option to add the signature when
writing a message. However, your signature created in OWA Light will also appear in OWA
Full and in Outlook, where you can add it at the time of writing the message.
Once you are happy with your signature, click
Save at the top of the
screen to confirm your changes.
7. Out of Office Assistant
You can use OWA to set up the Outlook Out of Office Assistant, which automatically replies to your emails with a pre-written message of your choice. All the messages you receive while the Out of Office Assistant 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. The system is reset each time you switch off the Out of Office system.
Figure images/OutOfOffice_L.png [Shows options screen including text box to type in your out-of-office message]
To enable the Out of Office Assistant, click
Options and then select
Out of Office Assistant. Choose
Send Out of Office
auto-replies, and, if desired, choose the start and finish date for when you
want the service to be active. If you leave this blank, the Out of Office Assistant 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 into the appropriate box, ensuring that the
Replace my current
Out Of Office message with the following checkbox is ticked. When you are happy
with your messages, click
Save at the top of the screen.
8. Filtering Emails
The University email servers will automatically intercept some junk mail (commonly called spam) before it reaches you, in particular, emails containing malware (programs or documents which are damaging, intrusive or annoying to the recipient). You can read more about how it works at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/email/junkmail/.
In addition to this University-wide protection, you can choose whether to apply further filters to your email.
Figure images/JunkEmail_L.png [OWA Junk Email options screen. Here you can activate or deactivate junk mail filtering, and specify particular addresses which should always or never be blocked]
In OWA, click
Options (top right of the screen) and then choose
Junk E-Mail to open the Filtering options screen (Figure 18, Junk Email filtering
As well as switching filtering on or off, this screen allows you to access more advanced features:
Remember to click
Save at the top of the screen to confirm your
9. 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.
9.1. 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
Address Book in the
toolbar at the top of the screen.
Figure images/AddressLight1a.png 
The address book opens in a separate window (Figure 20, Global Address Book). To view further details, click on a person's name.
Figure images/AddressLight1.png [The Global Address Book contains contact details for all University members, listed alphabetically]
Contacts is your personal list of people you might want to contact through Nexus. As well as email addresses, Outlook can store their postal address, telephone number, notes etc.
To view your contacts, click on
Contacts in the Navigation
Pane on the left-hand side of your browser. If you have not used Contacts
before, this will be empty.
Figure images/ContactsEmpty_L.png [Shows the Contacts view, with no entries]
9.2.1. Adding Contacts
To add a new contact, click
New Contact above the contacts list to
open a blank Contact Details screen.
Enter their details, particularly their email address, and then click
and Close (at the top of the screen).
Figure images/NewContact_L.png [New Contact screen allows you to enter details about the new contact such as name, job title, telephone number, and email address]
The newly created contact should now be visible in your contacts: Figure 23, Contacts view with new entry. You can view or edit their details by clicking on their name.
Figure images/ContactAdded_L.png [The contacts view now contains one entry, click on the name to view more details]
9.2.2. Editing and Deleting Contacts
You can make changes to, or delete, contacts from your list (but you cannot update the Global Address List).
To add extra details, or to change existing information about a contact, click on
their name in your contacts list to view their full details (see Figure 24, View full contact
details), and then click
Edit Contact. This
opens up the same screen as when you add a new contact, but already filled in with
their information. You can add, change, and delete information as needed and then
Save and Close to store the information.
Figure images/ViewContact.png [Select a name from your list of contacts to view full details including postal address, notes, etc. (where available).]
To delete a contact, select them in your contacts list and click the
Delete button at the top of the list (see Figure 25, Delete
contact). The contact will be moved to your Deleted Items
Figure images/DeleteContact.png [You can delete one or more contacts by selecting them in your list of contacts (click the checkbox next to their name) and then clicking the Delete button at the top of the list.]
9.2.3. Using Contacts
To send an email to one of your contacts, you can either select them in Contacts and click
Send E-Mail (see Figure 26, Compose a message to a
contact), or add them to the
To: field of any
message (see 9.4. Message recipients).
Figure images/MailContact_L.png [Select a contact and choose "Send E-Mail" to compose a message]
9.3. Distribution Lists
A distribution list 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 - see www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/email/maillists for more information.
You cannot create a distribution list in the Light version of OWA. However, if you have created a distribution list using the Full version, or using Outlook, you can view and use it from OWA Light.
9.4. Message recipients
You can specify the people you want to send a message to, using any combination of
email addresses, Nexus usernames, individual Contact names or display names, and
distribution list names in your
To: field, separated by semi-colons.
Figure images/CheckNames.png [Suggested names from your contacts and from the global address book are shown in the left-hand pane]
Check Names to automatically convert usernames and aliases into
email addresses based on your contacts and/or the global address book. Where a name
cannot be uniquely matched, a list of suggestions will appear in the left-hand pane
(e.g. see Figure 27, Check names of
recipients); click on the correct one to select it or
Delete next to the original name to remove it.
The same applies to the
For more information about address books, including details of how to import your existing address book, please see Contacts in Nexus.
10. Using the Nexus Calendar
To view your Nexus calendar, click the
Calendar button on the left of
Figure images/CalLight1.png [The calendar shows the working week]
You can change the calendar display by using the buttons in the top navigation bar: Day, Work Week, Week, Month.
Navigate between different dates by using the mini-calendar on the left of your screen. Appointments will be marked in the calendar against the relevant time slot. To view full information about a calendar entry, or to edit it, click on its title.
If you already have a calendar in Outlook 2003/2007 or Entourage 2008, you can upload it to Nexus so that you can access it via OWA. To do the upload, you will need to set up Outlook or Entourage to connect to your Nexus account. Please see Calendars for details.
10.1. Adding an appointment to your calendar
To add an appointment, click on the
New Appointment button in the
navigation bar above the calendar. When the new appointment window opens, add the
necessary information. Click on
Save and Close to add the appointment to
Figure images/CreateAppt_L.png [Shows the main screen for creating an appointment, with subject and location, date etc.]
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. In the example above, the main text has been filled in with a schedule for the day. You can use this 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.
You can also choose whether to mark the duration of the new appointment as Free, Busy, Tentative, or Out of Office in your calendar. Other people can use this information to help them to schedule meetings with you.
10.2. Choosing Attendees and Scheduling
To invite people to the meeting or event, open the event by clicking on it in your
calendar (or create a new event). Click the
Figure images/AddAttendees_L.png [Boxes to enter Required and Optional attendees, and resources]
This activates the attendees fields: Required, Optional, and Resources. You can add
people to the Required and Optional fields in the same way as when sending an email
message - choose them from the list of recent recipients on the left of your screen, or
Optional buttons to choose
people from the Global Address Book. 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
Resources section. You do not need to add
yourself, as the meeting organiser is automatically included.
Once you have finished adding attendees, click on the
Assistant tab to view free/busy times.
Figure images/ScheduleMeeting_L.png [Shows suggested times for the meeting and any calendar conflicts]
You will now see a list of suggested times, and information about how many attendees are available. These start from the day you have selected for the meeting, and go forward for a week. However, within a given day, the suggested times are listed in reverse order. If an attendee has a conflicting appointment, this will be noted next to the suggested time. You can choose a new time by clicking on it
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
Once you have finished, click
Send at the top of the screen to send
Responses from your invitees will appear in your inbox, unless the attendee chooses not to send a response. You can check what responses have been received by opening the meeting/event in your calendar. At the top of the screen you will see a banner telling you how many attendees have accepted, how many declined, and how many tentatively accepted.
If you need to make any changes to the meeting, you can do so and then click
Send Update to inform the other attendees.
10.3. 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.
Figure images/Recurrence1_L.png [Shows the location of the recurrence button, in the toolbar at the top of a calendar entry]
To add or edit recurrence options, open the event by clicking on it in your calendar, and click the recurrence icon as shown in Figure 32, Meeting Recurrence.
Figure images/Recurrence2_L.png [Options screen allows you to set the frequency of recurrence]
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
Save when finished.
10.4. Responding to a meeting request
When you receive a meeting request, it appears in your inbox just like an email message.
Figure images/ConflictingRequest_L.png [Shows a received request. In this case it conflicts with another appointment.]
OWA will inform you if the meeting time conflicts with (or is adjacent to) another
appointment in your Nexus calendar, as in the example above (Figure 34, Receive
Meeting Request). In this case, you can click the link
conflicting appointments to see more details.
At the top of the message are buttons allowing you to Accept, Tentatively Accept, or
Decline the request. Before you click one of these, decide whether you want to
Send the response now,
Edit the response before sending,
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 Tracking tab of 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 clicking on it, and you can send a new response.
11. Calendar sharing
11.1. View a shared calendar
Open a Shared Calendar(calendar view, left-hand navigation bar).
Figure images/CalLight2.png [The 'Open a Shared Calendar' is high-lighted]
Manage other calendarswindow that pops up will initially be empty but once you have opened a calendar, that calendar will be listed under
Other Calendar Name.
Figure images/ShareOpenLight.png [The 'Manage other calendars' window]
Other Calendar Nameif it is listed. If it is not listed, click the
Addbutton. 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 the list that pops up.
Figure images/ShareOpen1b.png 
Assuming you have the necessary rights for viewing the calendar, it will open in a new
window. The name of the calendar will also be added your
Name list to allow you to access it quickly next time you want it.
You can edit the label for the names listed in your
Other Calendar Name
view. Simply select the name you want to edit in the list and click on
Rename. You can then choose a name that makes sense to you, for example
'James' instead of 'oucs1243'. You can also change the order in which the calendars are
listed (click on the arrows) or remove a calendar from the list (click on the cross).
Save to save your changes.
11.2. Share your calendar
Manage Delegatesoption listed in your left-hand navigation bar in Calendar View (you can also find it if you open the
Optionspage, select the
Calendarheading and scroll down to the
Figure images/CalLight3.png 
Manage Delegates. In the window that pops up, first select either
Show users with calendar delegate rightsor
Show users with calendar folder rights. If you want to assign someone the right to act on your behalf (create, edit, accept items for your calendar), use the
delegate rightsoptions. Otherwise use the
Figure images/ShareRights.png 
Addbutton. You will be presented with a small
Add Userwindow. Type in the name of the person who will be sharing your calendar (real name or username, like
oucs1234) and click on
Open. If you are presented with a list of names, select the right person from the list. You are then taken back to the Manage Delegates window.
Figure images/ShareRights2.png 
Manage Delegateswindow (1) and select the right level from the
Permission Leveldrop-down list (2).
Figure images/ShareRights3.png The permissions level list differs slightly between delegate rights and folder rights, with the latter offering a wider choice. Table 1 below outlines what permissions are needed to allow someone to perform certain tasks.
|Calendaring Action||Shared Calendar Access Required|
|Reviewer (read)||Author (read, create, delete (only own items))||Editor (read, create, delete, modify)|
|Viewing the details of a calendar item||x|
|Updating a calendar item||x|
|Adding invitees to existing meeting request||x|
|Delete invitees from a meeting request||x|
|Creating an appointment||x|
|Creating a new meeting request||x|
|Create a reoccurring meeting request||x|
|Delete a calendar item||x (only own item)||x|
|Use the Tracking Option||x|
|Updating attendance on a shared calendar as a delegate||x|
Note: If a calendar contains a 'Private Item' delegated users viewing via OWA Light will receive an error if accessing your calendar when the relevant item is 'Today'. Similarly an error message will be returned if that day is moved to when viewing one day at a time, or when the 'Private Item' is clicked. Suggested work-arounds are to ensure delegates have access to 'Private Items', or to simply mark blank appointments as busy instead of private.
OK to save your settings.
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 FAQ for more details.
12. Accessing a mailbox only account using a web browser
You need to use the Nexus email address of the account you want to access. In this example we are using a psychology email address e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org.
OWA Light provides very limited support for tasks. You can view your task list by
Click to view all folders in the left-hand pane, and choosing
Tasks. This will give you a list of all tasks, but there is no indication
of which tasks are completed, or when they are due to be finished. Better support for
Tasks is available in the Full
version of OWA (Internet Explorer only), or by using Outlook/Entourage.
14. Login Problems
Figure images/LoginError.png [Login failure screen - retype your password and username]
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 user name and password are correct, and then try again.
Check your username and carefully retype your password.
If you have forgotten your password, go to https://webauth.ox.ac.uk to reset it.