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About OWA Timeouts

Outlook Web Access (OWA) automatically closes its connection to your mailbox after 30 minutes of inactivity. The automatic timeout helps reduce the risk of unauthorised access if an OWA session is left running on a public computer.

If you open, send, save, switch folders, or refresh, this is considered activity, i.e. interaction between e-mail client and the Exchange server.

Entering text in appointments, meeting requests, posts, contacts, tasks, or other items is not considered activity.

When the "Premium" OWA client is used, typing in a message body is considered as activity. The "Premium" client is the default when you access OWA from Internet Explorer.

However, if you are working over a slow connection, you may prefer to choose the "Basic" client. See Using the EUI WebMail Service.

If you use a different browser such as Mozilla Firefox, the default client is the "Basic" one and you are given no other option. In the "Basic" client, typing an e-mail message does not constitute activity.

You are therefore advised to save long messages periodically as you are writing, by clicking on the diskette icon . The saved messages will be found in the Drafts folder should the session be interrupted before they are sent. The act of saving also extends the timeout since it is considered "activity". 

Page last updated on 20 August 2017

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