Information Services – IT Services

Tips for using Outlook and OWA

For staff and PGR email

Plain text bug: If you use plain text for your email with Outlook 2016, it removes attachments when you forward emails. To fix this, go to the Software Center on a staff PC or laptop, and install this file:
Outlook 2016 Text Attachment patch 30 01 2018 – Hands On Install.

Organising your mail

Group or ungroup mail (turn Conversations on or off)

If some of your emails are grouped together, you've got 'Conversations' view switched on. It groups together emails with the same subject line.

Turn Conversations on/off in OWA:

  • Click the drop down arrow (above your emails) with a heading similar to 'ITEMS BY DATE:'.
  • At the bottom of the list, select On or Off for conversations.

Turn Conversations on/off in Outlook:

  • View (menu option above your Inbox)
  • Tick or untick the Show as Conversations checkbox



Reading Pane: see message content when email is selected

If you turn the Reading Pane on, it shows the message content for the mail you've got selected. Choose whether it displays below or to the right.

How to use the Reading Pane in OWA

  • Settings icon (the cog icon in the top right).
  • Display Settings.
  • Reading pane.
  • Choose your layout preference.
  • OK (at the top, above the words Display Settings).

How to use the Reading Pane in Outlook

  • Click the View menu above your Inbox.
  • Click the Reading Pane icon and choose your layout preference.


Search your email

Search in Outlook

Just above your list of emails for any folder, use the search box to look for messages. Notice which folder it's searching:

  • on a staff PC it will search all your mailboxes including any corporate mailboxes and your online archive by default.
  • to change which folder it searches, select another option from the dropdown next to the search box.

Search in OWA

  • Just above your list of emails for any folder, use the search box to look for messages.
  • It will search all your mailboxes including any corporate mailboxes and your online archive by default.
  • Once you get your search results, you see options in the top left to narrow down your search results.

Find or recover deleted email

If you want an email that's been emptied from your deleted items folder, you can 'recover it' if it's less than 30 days old:

Recover deleted items using OWA:

  • login to your mail using Outlook Web App
  • Right-click on your Deleted Items folder
  • Recover deleted items...

Recover deleted items using Outlook:

  • Click the Folder tab (along the top)
  • Click Recover Deleted Items

Reached your mailbox limit? Use your online archive

Out of Office messages (Automatic replies)

How to set an automatic reply in OWA

Go to:

  • Settings icon (the cog icon in the top right)
  • Set automatic relies...

How to set an automatic reply in Outlook

  • File (in the menu above your Inbox)
  • Automatic Replies

Sending mail and attachments

Message size limits

Maximum message sizes when sending email (the final size can be around 137% of the original):

  • 35MB if you use Outlook Web App to send the mail
  • 50MB if you use Outlook / other email software.

Large files

The maximum file size for attachments sent in University emails is 45MB (or 35MB if using OWA).

If you need to send or receive larger files (up to 5GB is size), use GOESend, which sends your message securely.

  • You can send to anyone inside or outside the University: log into GOESend (below) and enter their email address.
  • Enable others to send files to you: log into GOESend to send them a ‘voucher code’.
  • Data uploaded to GOESend remains within the UK, on servers held at the University of Kent in Canterbury, for up to 8 days.

It’s easy to use. Log in with your Kent IT Account below to get started:



More about GOESend

The GOESend service is provided by GOETEC for staff and students at the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Greenwich, and Canterbury College.

The service is hosted on University of Kent IT infrastructure, which means it’s secure and compliant with Data Protection regulations.

Blocked files

Incoming and outgoing mail is virus-checked and potentially dangerous items are blocked. Banned file types often have the following extensions: .bat, .com, .exe, .pif, .prf, .scr, .vbs.

  • If an email is blocked: the sender and recipients are not notified (for security reasons).
  • If attachments are removed: the sender and recipients are notified.
  • To send one of the blocked file type(s) you can add most types (except .exe) to a Zip file and send that instead. From a staff PC, go to StartAll ProgramsWinzip and follow the instructions.

Forward your mail using OWA

Login to your mail using Outlook Web App using Internet Explorer as your web browser if possible (we had problems when testing with Chrome):

  • Go to Settings icon (the cog icon in the top right)
  • Options (bottom of the list)
  • Organise email
  • + icon to add a new inbox rule - choose Create a new rule for arriving messages...
  • Under the When the message arrives, and: option, choose Apply to all messages
  • Choose to Redirect the message to...
  • Search for, or enter an email address. Click OK.
  • Under 'More options' you can choose to delete the original email from this inbox.
  • Save and confirm.

Send bulk emails to staff, students or alumni

Staff: how to send a bulk email to:



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Last Updated: 08/04/2019