How Do I Access OWA (Outlook Web) Light Version?

Ever feel your email has become a monster and is clogging up your computer? If you use Microsoft Exchange for email, there’s a secret you don’t know about: OWA Light Version. This stripped-back version of Outlook Web Access (OWA) is perfect for those who like to keep things simple.

This article provides detailed instructions on how to access the Light version of Outlook Web App (OWA).

Ways to Find OWA Light Version Access Setting

The Light version offers a simplified experience suitable for users with older web browsers, low-bandwidth connections, or accessibility needs. The steps differ slightly depending on whether you are using OWA 2013 or OWA 2016/2019.

Outlook Web App Light version

For OWA 2013:

  1. Access Settings:
    • Open your OWA 2013 account.
    • Click on the settings gear icon located in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Open Display Settings:
    • From the dropdown menu, select “Display settings.”
  3. Select Light Version:
    • In the “Display settings” window, click on the “Outlook Web App version” tab.
    • Check the box labeled “Use the light version of Outlook Web App.”
  4. Apply Changes:
    • Click “OK” to apply the changes.

You should now be using the Light version of OWA 2013.

For OWA 2016/2019:

  1. Access Settings:
    • Open your OWA 2016 or OWA 2019 account.
    • Click on the settings gear icon located in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Navigate to Options:
    • From the dropdown menu, select “Options.”
  3. Find the Light Version Settings:
    • In the left sidebar, navigate to “General.”
    • Under “General,” select “Light version.”
  4. Select Light Version:
    • Check the box labeled “Use the light version of Outlook on the web.”
  5. Save Changes:
    • Click “Save” to apply the changes.

You should now be using the Light version of OWA 2016/2019.

What’s in the OWA Light Version?

Now that you’ve accessed OWA Light, let’s take a peek at what it offers. Remember, it’s all about keeping things simple and focused on core email functionalities. Here’s what you can expect:

Essential Email Management: Compose, send, receive, and manage your emails like a pro. The core functionalities of email are all present and accounted for.
Basic Search: Need to find a specific email? No problem! OWA Light provides basic search capabilities to help you locate the message you’re looking for.
Inbox Organization: Keep your inbox tidy with folders. While advanced features like labels might be missing, folders still offer a great way to categorize your messages.
Calendar at a Glance: Get a quick view of your upcoming calendar events. This is helpful for staying on top of your schedule without getting bogged down in details.
OWA Light version interface banner

What’s Missing from the OWA Light Version?

There’s a trade-off for the simplicity of OWA Light. Some features found in the standard OWA experience are not available here. Here’s what you might miss:

Advanced Features: If you rely heavily on functionalities like custom views, rules, or specific add-ins, you won’t find them in OWA Light.
Customization Options: OWA Light offers limited customization compared to the full version. While you can adjust the layout to some extent, advanced personalization options are off the table.
Offline Capabilities: OWA Light primarily functions online. While there might be some limited offline features depending on the version, the overall functionality is significantly reduced when you’re disconnected from the internet.

Who Should Use OWA Light?

OWA Light is perfect for those who:

Prioritize a clean and uncluttered interface.
Focus on basic email management and don’t require advanced features.
Use multiple devices and appreciate the platform’s cross-platform compatibility.
Have limited internet bandwidth or prefer a faster loading experience.

Is OWA Light Right for You?

The decision ultimately boils down to your individual needs and preferences. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the standard OWA interface or simply don’t need all the bells and whistles, OWA Light offers a refreshing and efficient alternative. It’s perfect for staying on top of your emails without getting bogged down by unnecessary features.

Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide:

FeatureStandard OWAOWA Light
InterfaceMore complexClean and streamlined
FeaturesExtensive featuresCore functionalities
CustomizationMore customization optionsLimited customization
Offline functionalityMore options (version dependent)Limited functionality
Ideal forUsers who need advanced featuresUsers who prioritize simplicity and speed

Maximizing Your OWA Light Experience: Top Tips

So, you’ve decided to embrace the OWA Light life! Here are some tips to get the most out of your simplified inbox:

Master the Keyboard Shortcuts: Learn keyboard shortcuts for frequently used actions like composing emails, replying, and deleting. This can significantly boost your efficiency.
Integrate with Other Services: Explore how OWA Light integrates with other Microsoft services you use, such as OneDrive for cloud storage or Teams for collaboration. This can streamline your workflow even further.
Accept the Search Bar: The search bar is your friend! Utilize it effectively to find emails quickly, especially as advanced filtering options might be limited.
Manageable Folders: Folders are key to keeping your inbox organized. Create folders for different categories of emails and move messages accordingly. This helps maintain a clutter-free environment.
Consider External Tools: If you miss specific features from standard OWA, consider exploring third-party add-ins or browser extensions that might integrate with OWA Light and offer functionalities you need.

Learn: How to Export PST File From Outlook Web App?

Final Thoughts:

OWA Light version provides a valuable alternative for those seeking a simplified and efficient way to manage their emails. Its clean interface, core functionalities, and cross-platform compatibility make it an attractive option for various users. While it might not be for everyone, understanding its strengths and limitations allows you to make an informed decision about whether it fits your communication needs. So, give the Outlook Web App Light version a try! You might be surprised at how much you enjoy the clutter-free email experience it offers.

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