Home > Windows 8 > Use Outlook Web App in full version with IE 11

Use Outlook Web App in full version with IE 11

If you upgraded to Windows 8.1 and tried to access Outlook Web App with the new Internet Explorer 11, you probably noticed that the “Use the light version of Outlook Web App” checkbox is checked and disabled on the login page:


That means that IE11 is willing to render only the basic version of OWA which was originally designed to target legacy browsers. This is quite embarassing, because IE11 is a really modern browser even in the preview!

The solution is to force IE to render OWA in compatibility mode. You can add the site to the compatibility list in the Tools –> Compatibility View Settings dialog:


This didn’t solve my problem, because only top-level domains can be added to this list, but I could took the advantage of the fact that according to the first checkbox, intranet sites are by default rendered in compatibility view. So I added my OWA URL to the list of sites in the Intranet Zone in the Tools –> Internet Options –> Security –> Local intranet –> Sites –> Advanced dialog.

According to some forum posts, the same issue arises with Office 365 and some popular websites like GitHub as well.


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  1. Jonathan Weavers
    July 6, 2013 at 08:14

    Hey Balassy-

    Your last post [Use Outlook Web App in full version with IE 11) – June 2013 update] was freaking awesome. I have gone ahead and added your stuff to my Feedly account. Please keep me updated if you post anywhere else.

    Keep rocking –


  2. July 12, 2013 at 20:38

    Good job! Was wondering what happened.


  3. Chantal
    October 31, 2013 at 01:36

    Thanks a lot! It worked just as you said!

  4. nath
    November 10, 2013 at 17:24

    Thanks for the tip. Works great

  5. tim reynolds
    November 13, 2013 at 16:46

    Awesome , this totally fixed an issue i was having on a agent’s machine. THANKS!!

  6. E.T.ienne
    November 14, 2013 at 21:22

    Do extra-terrestrial beings exist? – the Nobel Prize winning Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, was once asked by his disciples in California. Of course, Fermi answered – they are already here among us, they are called Hungarians… ;-)


  7. Jack
    November 19, 2013 at 23:16

    Thanks so much…I was wondering what was up. It worked once I added the OWA URL to the compatibility view. Just like you said. Thanks a million!

  8. Paul C
    November 21, 2013 at 17:12

    Thank you for your brilliant work around. I suddenly found myself with the issue after an IE update. Your solution fixed it. Well done!

  9. Ron
    November 21, 2013 at 18:16

    And worked GREAT with Windows 7. Thank you!

  10. Erik
    November 24, 2013 at 14:16

    Thanks!!! This was the only right answer!!!

  11. Julia
    November 27, 2013 at 10:51

    Thank you, this was the only solution that worked for my issue (overnight update of Windows 7 caused the problem

  12. Peter
    November 27, 2013 at 11:04

    Thanks a lot György. This was a great help. What a relief to work again with the extended OWA.

  13. Alan
    November 29, 2013 at 20:19

    Wow! Thanks much Gyrogy! Your help was great and right on the money.

  14. RHM
    December 1, 2013 at 18:10

    Very helpful (far better than Microsoft help) – problem solved – thanks.

  15. Bruno
    December 4, 2013 at 10:52

    Had the same problem and with the light application I had no longer access to my local folders to archive my mails. Your suggestion solved all my problems. Microsoft should really change that !

  16. j_mark_wright@yahoo.com
    December 4, 2013 at 12:22

    You da man. Quick and to the point.

  17. Toni
    December 4, 2013 at 16:27


  18. Susana M
    December 5, 2013 at 13:14

    Thank you so much! Spent hours trying to figure out what was wrong until I came across your post.

  19. Arnie
    December 6, 2013 at 19:38

    Thanks this solution worked great.

  20. Susan Gassman
    December 9, 2013 at 14:45

    Thank you SO much for taking the time to write this! I was pulling my hair out trying to fix it – my husband found your blog in less than 5 minutes and TADA…fixed! He (hubby) wants both of you to send me a bill! Next drink is on me if you’re ever in Washington, D.C…THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

  21. Ben
    December 9, 2013 at 20:51

    worked perfect!

  22. December 14, 2013 at 16:19

    Thanks from Chicago, Gyorgy! Worked perfectly!

  23. Andy LYke
    December 19, 2013 at 04:22

    Thanks from me, as well! I was ready to blame my wife for messing up the settings, so you’ve saved me from unjustly accusing her!

  24. Lisa
    December 21, 2013 at 07:40

    Thank you so much!! This worked for me

  25. Don
    December 21, 2013 at 19:27

    This really works! You are awesome! I called the IT Office of the University and not one of them could deal with it even after three weeks. I found your explanation and it works immediately! Thank God as that light version was annoying. You are awesome…God Bless you!

  26. Kirt
    December 23, 2013 at 21:29

    I tried for several hours to fix this, after the Windows 8 “upgrade”, and found your information very helpful. Why it would be set to lite version default, after the upgrade, is very odd to me.

  27. dude
    December 25, 2013 at 02:10

    This is fantastic. Thanks! Other potential solutions to the problem of defaulting to light are here:

    1. When you sign in, look for Use the light version of Outlook Web App on the sign-in page. If it is there, and the check box is selected, click to clear the check box and switch to the standard version of Outlook Web App.
    2. After you’ve signed in, click Options > Accessibility and clear the “Use the blind and low vision experience” check box. Log off internet explorer, then log back on. If that didn’t solve the problem, then try this:
    3. Clear the Cache: After you’ve signed in, click Tools > internet options > General Tab > Browsing History section > Delete button > Check off all boxes > Select Delete. Log off internet explorer, then log back on.
    4. Last solution (requires the assistance of your IT dept):

  28. JonCat
    December 27, 2013 at 16:36

    The Outlook Light Version was driving me crazy. I spent countless hours trying to figure out how to remove it. You are the bomb!!! Thank you very much.

  29. Sea
    December 29, 2013 at 22:22

    This solution was just fantastic! This was the only answer to the problem, thank you!

  30. January 1, 2014 at 17:06

    I never leave comments anywhere. So listen up. I have been looking for this outlook web access solution for months, and you have finally provided the answer! Thanks man.

  31. Raghu Varada
    January 2, 2014 at 22:18

    Its awesome…!!

  32. J ROD
    January 3, 2014 at 00:24


  33. Mark
    January 5, 2014 at 19:54

    Great fix for an annoying problem. Thanks!

  34. Chris
    January 7, 2014 at 02:37

    Amazing, bullseye, thank you very much !

  35. K. Sullivan
    January 8, 2014 at 00:48

    Thank you so much for a spot on solution.

  36. danie
    January 15, 2014 at 10:05

    Done :) what a workarround … smashed ;)

  37. Lak
    January 17, 2014 at 02:47

    Worked like charm

  38. January 24, 2014 at 03:25

    Hello! I’ve been following your weblog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout
    out from Lubbock Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

  39. MuhammadYazid
    January 27, 2014 at 15:37

    THank you very much! Worked for me! IE 11, Win 8.1.

  40. Darshan
    January 27, 2014 at 20:27

    Thanks. Solved my problem

  41. cozplay
    January 28, 2014 at 04:43

    May I add my thanks to this long list!

  42. Jimbo70
    February 4, 2014 at 10:29

    I too have ‘made the effort’ to sign in and post my thanks because I was not getting the answer through Outlook’s help. To paraphrase Einstein ‘always keep things as simple as possible’ I think Outlook should remember that. Thank you for your help!!!

  43. ben
    February 12, 2014 at 12:18

    all my respect for a smart guy! fast and easy! thank you.

  44. Jon
    April 25, 2014 at 17:28

    Perfect – was trying to troubleshoot this for a customer using IE11 whilst I was using Chrome and not seeing the same problem until I tried IE11 myself. Problem now sorted

  45. Ariana
    July 11, 2014 at 07:05

    Fantastic posting. It fixed my problem to be able to switch to a full version of outlook web app. Thanks so much

  46. Casey
    August 23, 2014 at 16:49


  47. Ellie
    September 25, 2014 at 23:13

    Please help! I cannot find “Compatibility View Settings” anywhere!

  48. October 24, 2014 at 06:35

    There’s definately a great deal to learn about this issue.
    I like all the points you’ve made.

  49. John
    November 6, 2014 at 15:01

    Great article. That Microsoft is so incompetent as to put out a web browser that by default cannot render Microsoft’s premium productivity product web page is unbelievable.

  50. Heath
    November 15, 2014 at 19:03

    Your advice was awesome as it worked perfectly!! Thanks for saving me the headache!!

  51. sbuby
    November 19, 2014 at 14:44

    Great , your solution working fine! Thanks a lot!!!

  52. Nasser
    December 31, 2014 at 20:08

    thank you very much, it works.

  53. Hedam Lafana
    January 5, 2015 at 06:30

    Thank you very much. Your solution works. For awhile had this light version checked and disabled and didn’t know how to remove it until I found your posted solution.

  54. March 11, 2015 at 05:21

    thanks a lot it really worked well

  55. J
    April 30, 2015 at 16:12

    THANK YOU!!!!!

  56. Olivier
    May 31, 2015 at 10:37


  57. Jan
    July 6, 2015 at 13:59

    This appeared to work for mail, but still cannot see my calendars. What am I doing wrong?

  1. October 28, 2013 at 12:09
  2. November 1, 2014 at 13:47

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