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Disabling or enabling Link Preview in Outlook 365 on the Web (OWA) and

When I type or paste an URL in my message in Outlook on the Web (OWA), some sort of preview is sometimes added with a logo and a description of the website or a still image of a YouTube video.

It looks OK but unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t work and sometimes it is being added in the middle of my sentence after I’ve added an URL which is very awkward to say the least.

I now have the following questions about this feature;

  • How can I fix the links that didn’t turn into Link Previews?
  • How can I remove a Link Preview I don’t want?
  • How can I disable the Link Preview feature completely?

Link Preview buttonLink Preview is a new feature in Outlook on the Web (OWA) for Office 365 subscribers and is also a feature for users whose account already has been migrated to the new platform.

It indeed still has some quirks and unexpected behavior in some browsers (mostly in Internet Explorer) but many of them are quite easy to overcome.

Link Preview for (click on image to enlarge)
The Link Preview feature automatically collects some information about the link that you added to your email to make it stand out more and give the receiver more information about what can be found by following the link. (click on the image to enlarge)

How can I fix the links that didn’t turn into Link Previews?

Convert Link to Preview buttonThis usually tends to happen for links that you copy and paste into the message. These are already recognized as hyperlinks and no Link Preview is being shown.

To overcome this, place your cursor at the end of the hyperlink and press the Backspace button. This will remove the hyperlink but not the URL. Now press the Spacebar or Enter button and the URL will be automatically be hyperlinked again and a Link Preview will be added as well.

How can I remove a Link Preview I don’t want?

Remove Link Preview buttonIf Outlook added a Link Preview that you don’t want, simply press the X in the top right corner of the Link Preview and it will be removed.

You can use the tip above to re-add it again if you changed your mind.

How can I disable the Link Preview feature completely?

Outlook Web Options buttonIf you don’t like the Link Preview feature, you can disable it in the following way;

  1. Click on the Gear icon in the top right corner (left from your own profile image).
  2. Open the Options page:
    • Outlook on the Web (OWA) for Office 365
      My app settings-> Mail
  3. In the Options’ Navigation Pane on the left choose:
    Mail-> Layout-> Link preview
  4. Uncheck the checkbox in front of: Preview links in email.
  5. Press the Save button at the tab.
  6. Press the Back button or Options header at the top of the Navigation Pane to return to your Mailbox.

Link Preview is enabled by default but can be easily disabled.  (click on image to enlarge)
Link Preview is enabled by default but can be easily disabled.  (click on image to enlarge)

Note: The feature description currently suggests that Link Previews are also being added to links in emails that you receive. This is (not yet?) the case.

Office 365 Administrators: Disable Link Preview for all users

Exchange Management Shell - PowerShell buttonWhen you are an Office 365 administrator and want to disable the Link Preview feature for all the users in your tenant, you can do so via the following PowerShell command.

  1. Connect to your Office 365 Exchange Online tenant using PowerShell with an administrator account.
  2. After logging on, execute the following command;
    Set-OrganizationConfig –LinkPreviewEnabled $false

This will completely disable the feature for all your users and they won’t be able to enable it themselves anymore either.

To only turn it off but allow the user to enable it again use;

  • For a single user:
    Set-MailboxMessageConfiguration –Identity <username> –LinkPreviewEnabled $false
  • For all users in the tenant:
    Get-Mailbox –Resultsize Unlimited | Set-MailboxMessageConfiguration –LinkPreviewEnabled $false

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