Ask the Expert

Troubleshoot Outlook Web Access (OWA) login error: 'Access denied'

One of our users cannot log in to Outlook Web Access (OWA). The user gets the OWA login screen three times and then he receives the message "Error: Access denied." He is using the correct password to log in.

This user's email is working fine in Microsoft Outlook 2003, but he cannot access his email from OWA. I have read all the comments about OWA login problems and nothing is helping me. My company uses two working domains.

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Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot OWA login problems:
  1. If you have more than one Exchange server, make sure that this user's mailbox is homed on the correct server.
  2. Make sure that OWA is not disabled for him. To do this, go to the Exchange Features tab of his user account in Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC).
  3. Confirm that the user's account information is specified properly in the OWA login page. Some systems will want the OWA user account specified as DomainNameUserName, while other systems are tolerant of just UserName or will even permit the name to be specified using his email address. If you are using the latter, check his UPN login name in the Account tab of his user account in ADUC. (You will find this in the dropdown list to the right of his actual user name).

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Expert Advice: Troubleshooting OWA user login issues
  • Expert Advice: OWA logon screen keeps reappearing
  • FAQ: Outlook Web Access
  • Learning Center: Troubleshooting Outlook Web Access
  • Reference Center: Outlook Web Access tips and resources
  • This was first published in December 2007

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