Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to fix if OWA is not working for Exchange Server

OWA (Outlook Web Access) is one of the most significant features of Microsoft Exchange Server which allow Outlook users to access their account online from anywhere in the world. You don’t need to configure Outlook Express account on your desktop or mobile to access your email account, just use any internet browser and connect with OWA.

However, there are some questions arise by Outlook users, that Outlook is working fine, but they are not able to use OWA or it isn’t working as it’s supposed to.

So, with this blog we shall go through the reasons why OWA do not work sometimes for Exchange server, and what are the best rectifications we can do to avoid this issue. 

Below are some common causes and methods to fix if OWA isn’t running properly or not getting data from Exchange server to your computer or mobile browser. Let’s check it-

IIS connection errors

Without doubt, it could be the main causes of OWA errors or not working. However, there may be lot of causes behind IIS connection error, but first check that OWA is opening on your system or it is blocked. Try pinging by your full domain and IP address, if it works that’s fine. But if both pings fail, the reason must be firewall. Probably firewall is set to block ICMP packets & that’s why server won’t reply to a ping. 

However, in some cases IP ping works but the ping by FQDN (fully qualified domain name) fails, it means there is DNS problem with your computer. So you would need to resolve this issue before connecting to OWA server.

Firewall Issues

So if you resolved DNS issue but OWA is still not connecting with Exchange, it’s time to check firewall setting. Disable your firewall for a while and retry to connect your OWA server. If you’re not able to connect OWA after disabling firewall, you need to fix firewall problem. Verify that ports 443 and 80 are open to incoming traffic. 

But after all the setting if same problem still persist, there is must be some problem with IIS. 

IIS Problems

Now check IIS setting. Go to 'Start ' and search 'Administrative Tools'. Once you click on Administrative Tools, Windows will launch the 'Service Control Manager'. Now check here following services is running or not –

Ø  IIS Admin Service
Ø  Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
Ø  World Wide Web Publishing Service
Ø  Protected Storage

Also check that Exchange related services are running or not. If you found all necessary services are running. Open internet Explore in OWA server and enter OWA server IP address in to browser. If OWA session starts; it means IIS is working perfectly. But if OWA session doesn’t start, you will need to verify IIS is configured to use the correct IP address or not. Click 'Internet Services Manager' from Administrative Tools menu, a new Internet Information Server console will open, now select OWA site from console tree.

Usually this process fix OWA issues, but if it doesn’t work; there is IP address confliction issue. Your OWA site probably has IP address clash with another website on the server. So, first you need to resolve IP conflict issue. Your OWA site must have a dedicated IP address.

Note: In case if you find IIS is malfunctioning, it is recommended to reinstall it. You can reinstall it through 'Add/Remove Program’s in Control Panel.

Authentication Problem

Authentication is another a very common causes for Outlook Web Access not working. To verify the authentication type for being use in OWA, Open Internet Services Manager and select Properties by right click on OWA Web site. Now select 'Directory Security tab' and click 'Edit' under Anonymous Access and Authentication Control section. A new Authentication Methods dialog box will open.

Now verify that 'Anonymous Access' check box is unchecked, and also take a look to confirm that only 'Basic Authentication' check box is checked.

Now click on 'Edit' (right side of the Basic checkbox) to verify that exact authentication domain is checked.
Now click 'OK' and close all opened dialog boxes and windows. So, you have now specified what type of authentication OWA will use with specific domain.

Now you can proceed further to final step, ping once again to check that OWA server is configured to use the matching DNS server. 

If same issue still occurs, probably OWA server may have trouble to retrieving info from Active Directory information.

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