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Why should I use Outlook rather than simply OWA?

Whilst OWA (Outlook Web App) is sufficient for many email and calendaring purposes and has the advantage that you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection, the desktop application Outlook includes many more features and is able to take advantage of shared features in Microsoft Office. The decision to use one or the other should be based on your requirements. To help you decide, the following table highlights the major differences:

  OWA (webmail)Outlook
Draft and work with emails whilst offline no yes
Use custom dictionary no yes
Easy integration and content sharing with other MS Office applications no yes
'To do' bar no yes
No additional software configuration required yes no
Will work with low spec computer yes no
Available to any platform or OS capable of web browsing yes no
Available to users when on the move yes no
View mailbox quota no yes

Outlook is available as part of Microsoft Office and should already be installed on most staff PCs. If it does not appear on your office computer, please contact the Staff Desktop Support team who should be able to arrange for it to be installed.

Note: when using Outlook your emails are still stored on the Sussex mail server (as with OWA) even if copies are downloaded to the hard disk of your computer for offline working. Changes made offline are synchronised to the server upon re-connection.

Please note that older versions of Outlook (earlier than 2007) will not work with the Sussex Exchange system, which uses Exchange 2010.  Only Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007 can be used with the Sussex Exchange system.  However, Outlook 2007 is no longer supported by IT Services.

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This is question number 2288, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Chris Limb on 1 April 2011 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 20 October 2016