On December 3, faculty and staff accessing their Elon email through Elon’s website were greeted with a new look and feel to their accounts. Microsoft performed an update to Office 365, Elon’s cloud-based email system. While the update was performed in the background and invisible to faculty and staff, as with all updates, there were a few bumps in the road. However, those bumps were quickly smoothed, leaving faculty and staff with a smoother and more efficient way to access email online.
Faculty and staff accessing email through the Microsoft Outlook program will experience no changes to their email experience. However, logging into your account through Elon’s website will look remarkably different. Outlook Web Access has been transformed into Outlook Web App (OWA), featuring a friendlier user interface and more capabilities than its predecessor. Here are some of the capabilities you can explore:
- If you don’t like the new blue background, just click the Settings wheel and select ‘change theme.’ You can opt from a variety of colors and designs, including blueprints or cartoon cats that hang above your email.
- You can now effortlessly switch between email, calendar, and contacts by clicking ‘Outlook,’ ‘Calendar,’ or ‘People’ in the toolbar at the top of the page.
- All Lynced up? If you use Microsoft Lync to communicate through instant messaging, the new OWA allows you to set your availability without opening Lync. Just click the arrow next to your name and let Lync know if you’re available, busy, or away.
- Selecting contacts is now easier than ever in OWA. Simply begin typing the name of the individual you are searching for. OWA will automatically scan the contacts you have listed under ‘People.’
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where did my list of folders go? If you can’t see your list of folders and inboxes, they are probably just collapsed. Click the double arrows on the left side of the page under ‘new mail’ to collapse or expand these folders.
- How do I look at an individual email in its own window? Office 365’s OWA is set into three columns: Folders, Inbox, and the Email message. If you want to view an email in its own window, just double-click the email you want to open.
- What happened to spell check? OWA relies on the spellchecker for the web browser you are using (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome). If spell check is not working, you will have to navigate to your web browser’s options and make sure that spell check is enabled.
- How do I search Elon’s global address book? If you are having problems locating the person you are searching for, begin typing the individual’s name. When the list of contacts begins populating, click ‘Search Contacts & Directory’ to search Elon’s Global University Directory.
As always, the Technology Help Desk is here to assist faculty and staff with their email accounts. While issues involving the update should be resolved, if you experience any difficulty accessing your email account through the new OWA, give us a call at 336-278-5200.