Finding Outlook Web Access Attachments

Our students sometimes open attachments directly from Outlook Web Access. Their browser saves the file into a temporary folder, from which it is usually removed after the student logs out. Then the student’s work is gone! I made an important new discovery today. If the student uses Firefox instead of IE, the file is not deleted from the local system on logout. Today, I found a student’s missing file in C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Temp.

I wish all students used the Outlook application instead of OWA, but we have not found a way to automatically configure Outlook for all users when their accounts are brand-new. We do configure their My Documents folder, IE home page, and desktop icons, but Outlook is out of our reach. Ideally, students would open Outlook for the first time and see their mail. After all, the setup wizard only requires the Exchange Server name and the user’s username. Regrettably, if the student cancels the Outlook set-up wizard the first time through, then the local PST needs to be deleted before the wizard can run again. So much for the interoperability of Outlook and Windows!


  1. Jason says:

    Hi Richard,

    Our students all use OWA here as well. We find it much easier, as students only have to familiarize themselves with one interface, and OWA is accessible from home, school, or while on vacation. Exchange 2003’s OWA interface is much improved over previous versions as well.

    As for the Outlook config issue…

    You should be able to use the Office Custom Installation Wizard to set Outlook to work correctly for any user when they first open Outlook.

    Take a look at the section "Configure Exchange settings for user profiles".

    Hope that helps.

  2. rkassissieh says:

    Thank you, Jason, especially for the custom installation tip. On the first issue, I wish there was a way besides training to get users to save OWA attachments to their Documents folder instead of the temporary items folder.

  3. Samantha says:

    well, something like this can be done with messageware enhanced owa, plus, you no longer need the application if you are only viewing the file.

  4. rkassissieh says:

    The last thing I want to do is to purchase an application to help support another commercial application. We’ll just stick with training, thank you very much! Actually, it will be even better to transition users to Outlook via RPC over HTTP and Entourage via webDAV.