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Inbox Overview

Once you log on to Outlook on the Web, the default page is your Outlook Inbox.  For detailed information about logging into your account see: Getting Started - Logging On.


The Inbox Viewer is the main window in Outlook Web Access. The left panel includes the Folder List and Navigation Bar which includes buttons to access your Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Public Folders, Rules or to set user Options.

Note: Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for using Outlook Web Access. The interface may appear different in other browsers.

When you are done using Outlook Web Access, it is important to log off using the Log Off button log off button located at the top right corner and then close the browser.

Checking for New Mail

Along the top of the Inbox is a toolbar with icons for commonly used functions within e-mail. 


All your messages will appear directly below this toolbar.  Unread messages appear with bold titles. Once you read a message, the title appears in plain text.

Opening Messages

  1. From the inbox, locate the message you want to read.

  2. Depending on how you have set up the reading pane, you can either see the inbox with just the list of e-mails or a split view of your e-mail list and a preview of the actual e-mail.

  3. To change the viewing format of the reading pane, click on the reading pane icon and then select the view of your choice.

  4. If your Reading Pane is turned off, then you must double click the e-mail message to view it.

Deleting Messages

All messages that are deleted are moved to the Deleted Items folder. They remain in this folder until they are permanently deleted.

  1. If you have opened the e-mail message, click the Delete button on the toolbar to delete the message.

    open message window

  2. To delete a(n) e-mail message(s) while viewing the Inbox, select the message(s) and then click the Delete button. To delete consecutive messages, select the first e-mail message and then hold down the Shift key. Then select the last message from the group that you want to delete and click the Delete button.

Customizing the Message List

sort message header

Using the Sort Header drop down, you can arrange your e-mail to be displayed in a number of ways.

Creating New Messages

new message window

  1. To compose a New Message, click the New button on the toolbar.

  2. Type the e-mail addresses of the recipients in the To and Cc fields.  Separate multiple addresses with semicolons (;).

  3. To add blind carbon copy recipients, type their e-mail addresses in the Bcc box.  Bcc recipients receive a copy of the message, but their e-mail addresses do not appear in the list of recipients.  Also, each Bcc recipient cannot see the e-mail addresses of other Bcc recipients.

  4. In the Subject field, type a brief subject line to provide a summary of your message.

  5. Type your message in the message body.

Checking Names

  1. Before sending a new message, you can verify the e-mail addresses of the message recipients listed in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.

  2. In the New Message window, click the Check Names button.

  3. If the addresses for all recipients are resolved, click OK.

  4. If the name cannot be resolved, select one of the suggested matches, and click Accept These Choices.  If no matches are available, you can choose to ignore a recipient.

Attaching a File

attach file window

  1. You can attach any type of file that is accessible from your computer.

  2. Click the Attachments button just above the body of the e-mail.

  3. In the Attachment box, type the path and file name of the attachment or click Browse to search for the file name.

  4. Click the Attach button.

  5. The file name of the attachment appears in the box under Current file attachments.  To remove an attachment, click in the check box next to the name of the file to remove and click the Remove button.

  6. When finished working with attachments, click the Close button to return to the e-mail.

Setting Message Importance and other Options

message options window

  1. To advise recipients of the priority of a message, mark it as high or low importance.  Messages not designated high or low have normal importance.  To set the message importance level, click the Importance High or Importance Low buttons on the toolbar.

  2. For more options, select the Options button on the e-mail message toolbar.

  3. To request a delivery receipt, select the Request a delivery receipt for this message check box.

  4. To request a read receipt, select the Request a read receipt for this message check box.

  5. When finished working with these options, click the Close button to return to the e-mail.

Spell Check

  1. After you complete your message, to check for spelling click on the Spelling icon. 

  2. After the message has been checked, errors will be displayed. Right-click the errors to view possible changes or change the word. 

    check spelling

Adding Signature

  1. If you did not select the include signature with outgoing messages option, you may wish to add your signature by clicking the Signature button. 

  2. This will add the signature to your e-mail message. 

Sending the Message

  1. After you complete your message and address it to the appropriate recipients, click the Send button. 

  2. After the message has been sent, you are returned to the Mailbox Viewer. 

  3. The message is copied to the Sent Items folder after being sent.

Saving the Message (Drafts)

  1. You can save a message to send or complete later.

  2. Open a new message form.

  3. Click the Save button on the toolbar. The message saves to the Drafts folder. You can access the Drafts folder by clicking on the Folders group on the Outlook Bar.

Outlook on the Web Documentation

Detailed Outlook information is available through the following links:

Last Updated: October 24, 2007

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