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Bookmark to create a new message in OWA

At work we use Outlook but when I’m away from the office, I only have access to my mail via Outlook Web App (OWA). As this is in a browser, I was wondering the following:

Is it possible to create a bookmark, favorite or even a Desktop shortcut to quickly create a new email?

When your company is using Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010, then there are various special URLs that you can use and bookmark to quickly create a new message or other items. There is also a special URL which allows you to quickly open your Address Book to find a contact.

New Message URL

To construct the “New Message” URL, you first need to logon to OWA. After logging in, the URL in the Address Bar of your browser usually looks similar to:

To create a new message, append this URL with the following:

The complete URL should now look similar to:

You can now bookmark this URL to add it to your Favorites.

Other options for even quicker access are to add it to the Favorites Bar (Internet Explorer), Pin the tab (Google Chrome), Pin as App Tab (Firefox) or pin it to the Jump List of your favorite browser (Windows 7 and Windows 8).

New Message URL in Internet Explorer (click on image to enlarge).
New Message URL in Internet Explorer (click on image to enlarge).

Creating a Desktop shortcut

If you rather prefer a Desktop shortcut (which you can later move to other locations as well such as the Start Menu), you can create one in the following way:

  1. Right click on an empty spot on your Desktop and choose: New-> Shortcut
  2. Paste the URL in the location field.
  3. Press Next.
  4. Name the shortcut. For instance: New Message – OWA
  5. Press Finish.

As the icon now looks like a default browser shortcut, you can change the icon to a more meaningful icon as follows:

  1. Right click on the shortcut and choose Properties.
  2. On the Web Document tab, press the Change Icon… button.
  3. Press the Browse… button to select an icon or open an icon store to select an icon from. You can find an envelope icon in the following 2 locations:
    • C:\Windows\system32\SHELL32.dll
    • C:\Windows\explorer.exe

Desktop shortcuts to create a new message in OWA. On the left is the SHELL32.DLL envelope icon and on the right the EXPLORER.EXE envelope icon.

Other special URLs

Aside from creating a new email, there are also other special URLs which you can use and bookmark for quick access in OWA.

New Message ?exsvurl=1&ae=Item&a=New&t=IPM.Note
New Appointment ?exsvurl=1&ae=Item&a=New&t=IPM.Appointment
New Meeting ?exsvurl=1&ae=Item&a=New&t=IPM.Appointment&mr=1
New Contact ?exsvurl=1&ae=Item&a=New&t=IPM.Contact
New Contact Group ?exsvurl=1&ae=Item&a=New&t=IPM.DistList
New Task ?exsvurl=1&ae=Item&a=New&t=IPM.Task
Open the Address Book ?exsvurl=1&ae=Dialog&t=AddressBook

Office 365

If you are using Office 365, you’ll also find several of the above links in the Jump List after pinning the OWA website of Office 365 to your Taskbar in Windows 7 or Windows 8.

To pin a website to the Taskbar, drag the favicon or tab out of Internet Explorer and drop it on the Taskbar.

Jump List of the pinned OWA 365 website in Windows 7.
Jump List of the pinned OWA 365 website in Windows 7.

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