Log into OWA


Outlook Web Access (OWA) is available for VUMC computers without access to Outlook Exchange and to VUMC employees who need to login to their email when off the VUMC campus. 

Outlook Web Access Login Choices


The VUMC email Outlook Web Access (OWA) login page has two security options that allow you to indicate if you are using the software on a public or private computer. Your choice could be different depending on where you are. Please review the choices and their behaviors below:

Public or shared computer

Select the public option if you are checking email on a public computer that will be used by more than one person. Examples of a public computer include clinical workstations, computers in a public place, those shared in an office, and kiosks. For security reasons, the public computer option logs out of email after 30 minutes of inactivity. In addition, it does not save email addresses when you send messages.

Private computer

Select the private computer option if you are the only person who uses that computer and it is provided by VUMC. The private computer option logs out of email after eight hours of inactivity. This option saves email addresses when you send messages.


The following are common changes that users of the Outlook Web Access (OWA) Client may wish to make to the default configuration. These changes apply to the full client only, which requires visiting https://email.vanderbilt.edu via Internet Explorer in the Windows operating system. These features are not available in the light version (non-Windows operating systems, or web browsers other than Internet Explorer).

Following are features that OWA users can choose:

Choose a Theme

To choose a new theme for OWA, click on the Options button on the right side of the top toolbar. Select the desired theme from the available choices and your new theme will automatically appear.

OWA options.jpg












Turn off the Preview Pane

OWA users with smaller screens may wish to turn off the email Preview Pane, which shows the content of the email selected in a box on the right side of the screen. 

Click on the View tab from the top left menu bar and select Off. The preview pane will be removed.

OWA viewing pane 1.JPG











Select Contacts for several choices on how to view your contact list.

OWA contacts view.JPG

Conversation ViewOWA Searching and Sorting.JPG

In the Outlook Web Application (OWA), Conversation View groups email messages into conversations based on the subject of the message. When a thread is updated with a new email message, the entire thread is placed in chronological order based on the date and time of the newest message.

NOTE: Conversation view is enabled by default for every mail folder in your mailbox.

Enabling Conversation View

To enable Conversation View, click the drop-down arrow of the View command from the Message Menu Bar. A drop-down menu will appear. Under Group by Conversations, check the Use Conversations option.

The message list in the View Pane will display messages in a Conversation view.

OWA Conversation view.jpg


Toggling Messages

  1. Click the arrow adjacent to the Subject Heading in your message box.
  2. The list of messages that are part of the same email conversation will appear in chronological order below the message.
  3. Click the arrow again to collapse the message view. Messages will collapse and appear hidden with just the Subject.

OWA Message toggle 1.jpg

*Warning: If you delete the Subject Heading of the message, all messages related to that Subject Heading will be deleted as well.

Searching within OWA

1. The Search box is always at the top of your mailbox over your messages. It is set to search your entire mailbox by default.

OWA search.jpg









2. You can search in a particular folder by clicking on it.
3. Click on the drop-down menu in the Search Folder and specify This Folder.

OWA search folder 1.JPG












4. Type any part of the message in the search box (e.g., sender, recipient, subject, etc.) and hit enter to search. 

5. To return to a view of all the items in a folder, click the X next to the main search box.

6. If you do not know what folder the message is in, use the drop-down menu in the search box to choose between This Folder, This Folder and Subfolders, or Entire Mailbox.


OWA search folder 2.JPG













7. Click on the double arrows for a more detailed search that lets you choose different criteria.


OWA search folder 3.jpg







Sorting messages in the Outlook Web Application (OWA)

By default, messages in your Inbox, and in other folders, are arranged by date, with the newest message at the top. OWA provides many other ways to arrange messages, which can help you to find a particular message or group of messages when you want to. To change the arrangement of messages, use the options that you can see under the search box: Arrange by date, subject matter or message size.


OWA Message sort 1.jpg













Email Arrangement Options

To re-sort messages, click on the label Arrange by at the top of the message list. Then select a sort option from the list below:

Date - Sort messages by the date (and time) when they were received

From - Sort messages alphabetically by sender

To - Sort messages alphabetically by recipient - most useful for sorting your Sent Items

Size - Sort messages by their size including any attachments

Subject - Sort messages alphabetically by subject line. (When the subject line begins with "Re:" or "Fwd:" this is ignored for sorting.)

Type - Sort messages into types - separates non-email items such as meeting requests

Attachments - Sorts messages depending on whether they have an attachment

Importance - Sorts messages by importance - low, normal and high. The importance is set by the sender.

Flag - Sorts messages according to the "Date" assigned to them

Conversation - Group messages by thread. Messages and replies appear together. Conversation mode has to be selected by checking the box.

Each of these sorting options has a default order, such as A to Z, newest on top, or largest on top.

Editing Distribution Lists

[Add Owa Distribution List Main]

To access your distribution lists go to Options and click on See All Options.

{Add OWA Distribution List]

1. Click Groups on the left

[OWA dist list 1]

2. You will see two columns: Groups I Belong To and Public Groups I Own
3. Find the list you want to manage under Public Groups I Own and double-click on it 

[owa dist list 2]



4. Add and remove members or owners under the "Ownership" and "Membership" headings

5. After making the desired changes, click Save on the bottom right of the window

NOTE: Changes may take up to 24 hours to replicate to the address book in Outlook Exchange. Changes replicate to OWA's address book within 15 minutes.



Outlook Web Access (OWA) allows anyone with an active VUnetID to access a VUMC Shared email folder.

A Shared Folder can be a resource account used as a group mailbox or an individual's VUMC email mailbox who has granted you permission to read items in that box. This is not limited to email. Calendars, contacts, notes, and tasks can be shared as well.

How can I access a shared folder?

To access a VUMC email Shared Folder using OWA, follow the instructions below:

1. Determine the email address of the mailbox that you wish to access. Personal email addresses can be found in People Finder or by clicking on To: in a new email.

2. Open a web browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.
3. Type the following into the location bar of your web browser where email address is the email address of the box you wish to access: https://email.vanderbilt.edu/owa/email address
4. Log in to VUMC OWA email using your VUNetID and ePassword.
5. If you are having trouble accessing the mailbox, check with the owner to be sure you have rights to access items in the box. Also, be sure that you are using a valid delivery address (with the @vanderbilt.edu or @vumc.org) for the last item of the URL.