Outlook Web App – Override layout mode for touch screens, tablets and smartphones

For  mail accounts hosted on an Exchange 2013 server or is on Office 365, Outlook Web App (OWA) can be set to 3 different layouts. OWA tries to recognize the device type and automatically selects the  appropriate layout.

There are some situations in which you might want to overrule this selection. For instance, in the case of using a Surface tablet in Touch Mode.

Modify the URL with a layout option

Switching between the 3 different layouts is hidden from the interface but can be done by appending a layout option to the base OWA URL.

  • For most companies, the URL after logon will look something like this:
  • For Office 365 Exchange Online subscribers, the URL will look like this:

Type one of the following parameters behind the /owa/ part to change the layout.

Default layout optimized for mouse usage. This is the standard on normal desktops and devices with a supported browser. When the browser isn’t supported, OWA Light will be loaded instead.
?layout=twide Multi column layout optimized for larger touch screens or when holding the tablet in landscape mode. This is the standard for recognized and supported tablets.
?layout=tnarrow Single column layout optimized for small screens or when holding the tablet in portrait mode. This is the standard for recognized and supported smartphones.


Bonus tip: When you want to be able to easily switch between the layouts, add them all to your Favorites or Bookmarks of your browser with different names like; OWA Normal, OWA Touch and OWA Portrait.


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