OWA 'Loading' problems with Internet Explorer security zones

Internet Explorer (IE) security zones provide users with a way to apply different access rules and to pre-classify Web sites as safe or trusted. Internet Explorer 7 allows users to easily change a Web site's security zone setting by loading the site, and then double-clicking on the security zone reference in the status bar (at the bottom of the Web browser).

Many Outlook Web Access (OWA) users add the URLs of their OWA sites to their Internet Explorer Trusted Sites lists to guarantee security and expedite login access.

However, making changes to the definitions of Internet Explorer security zones can cause OWA to malfunction, particularly if it's done by a user who isn't well- versed in OWA's security zone setting requirements.

If the Internet Explorer security zone setting changes are bad for OWA, problems will typically manifest in the form of the common, dreaded and never-ending OWA "Loading" prompt in the Inbox pane.

If you add your Outlook Web Access site to an Internet Explorer security zone (not just Trusted Sites), and you have modified the zone in question so that the Scripting | Active Scripting option is turned off (i.e., set to "Disable"), any OWA sites in such a zone will not work. Since OWA requires active scripting to do many common tasks, it's a requirement.

If you're determined to have OWA sharing a security zone with other sites where you're not always sure about scripting, you can set Scripting | Active Scripting to

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"Prompt" rather than "Disable" -- but bear in mind that you'll have to confirm that OWA can use active scripting every time you visit the site.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of Windows Insight, a newsletter devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for all flavors of Windows users.

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    This was first published in January 2007

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