Exchange 2000/2003 - Customize a URL for Outlook Web Access

This document discusses how to change the default URL for Outlook Web Access (OWA).

OWA is Microsoft's web-based client for Exchange, designed to look and feel like Microsoft Outlook. OWA requires a server running both Exchange and Internet Information Server (IIS). By default, Exchange creates a virtual directory /Exchange in IIS's default web site. For example, a user would type the following URL to access OWA:

The URL works, but aesthetically and functionally may not be the best option. A better URL would not include an additional directory. For example, an easier URL might look like the following:

The following instructions will explain how to change the default OWA URL to a customized URL.
(Note: The instructions will initiate an unsecure OWA interface. By default, users will send their usernames and passwords as basic text over the Internet. To secure OWA, read Microsoft's article regarding installation of SSL for IIS.)

  1. The URL must first be advertised via DNS. In the example above, the primary zone for should have a host (A record) or alias (CNAME record) entry for owa that points to the IP address of the IIS server.
  2. Start Exchange System Manager.
  3. Start Internet Information Services.
  4. Using a web browser, enter the customized URL to visit the OWA interface.

That is all that is required to customize the URL for Outlook Web Access. The procedure is the same for both Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003. The OWA interfaces will look and feel different, and is vastly improved with the 2003 version.

Related Pages

Microsoft Support Page: How to Configure Certificate Server for Use with SSL on IIS (Article ID: 218445)

©2004 Copywright. Website design and content within are the properties of Patrick Yeung.