Outlook web app (OWA) for Office 365 is browser-based (e.g., Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, etc.) access to your Office 365 account. OWA works best for accessing your email when you have to use a public computer or when you are away from the office.  

Mail is stored on the Office 365 server so you can access your e-mail from any computer, wherever you are located. For instance, you can access it from work, home, hotel, library, etc. With OWA, you do not have to install an e-mail client program on your machine. You open your web browser and type in a web address.

Logging In to OWA

  1. Open your web browser and go to http://office365.uiowa.edu
  2. In the HawkID field, type in your HawkID@uiowa.edu
  3. In the Password: field, type your HawkID password.
  4. Click Sign In
    Note: If you have Two-Step Login with Duo Security, you will be prompted to complete log in using Two-Step Login with Duo.

owa login screen


When logging in for the first time, the time zone defaults to Monrovia, Reykjavik. Users will need to manually update the time zone to Central Time. 

  1. After logging in, click on the Settings icon located in the top right-hand corner of the screen and select Mail.
  2. On the menu located on the left-hand side of the screen, select General.  
  3. Select Region and Time Zone. 
  4. Change Current time zone to (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).
  5. Click Save.

After you log in, you will have the option to choose between different tools -- Mail, Calendar, People, or Tasks.

owa login main screen

Moving Between Mail, Calendar, and People

  1. Click the App Launcher icon (located in the upper left corner) to choose the tool you want to use (Outlook, OneDrive, Word, etc.)

More detailed instructions from Microsoft -- Getting Started in Outlook Web App



  1. Click the App Launcher icon
    .(located in the upper left corner)
  2. Click Outlook.  You can create new messages, view mailbox messages, move messages to folders, etc.
Creating a New Message
  1. Click the +New icon.  The new message window appears on the right side of your screen.
  2. Fill in the needed fields (To:, Cc:, Subject, etc.) and type the message text.
  3. Click Send to send the message

owa mail new message
  1. Click the App Launcher icon 
     (located in upper left corner).
  2. Click Calendar.  Your calendar will display.

owa calendar view

Creating a New Event

  1. Click the +New icon.  The screen below displays.
  2. Type all the needed information about the event.
  3. Click Save to save the event or send the meeting request. 

owa add calendar event


  1. From the Mail or Calendar screen, click the gear icon. 
  2. Choose Options.
  3. You can change your options for your Office 365 account such as rules, auto replies, layout, calendar options, etc.

How to change the color theme

  1. Click on the Gear in the top right corner
  2. Choose Change theme
  3. Select the theme you want
  4. Click OK.

How to change the message font or font size

  1. Click the Gear in the top right corner
  2. Click Options
  3. Expand 'Mail' and under 'Layout' click Message format
  4. In the 'Message font' box, click on the drop downs to make changes to your font or font size
  5. Click 'Save'

How to turn off conversation view

  1. To change how messages are grouped, Click the drop down arrow next to All
  2. Under 'View as' click Messages to disable the conversation view.  Note:  Messages will no longer be grouped together after this setting is changed.

How to change the size of the window panes

Hover your mouse over the vertical bar until you see double arrows and then click and drag it to increase/decrease the Office 365 window pane size.

How to change your view (make things bigger or smaller in your web browser)

Internet Explorer - Click on the Gear (top right corner) of your web browser and under Zoom click the setting you would like.

Chrome - Click on the Settings (top right corner) of your web browser and under Zoom click the arrows to increase or decrease the size.

Firefox - Click the Menu button (top right corner) of your web browser and under Zoom click the arrows to increase or decrease the size.

Article number: 
Last updated: 
September 24, 2021