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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67 thoughts on “Use Outlook Web App in full version with IE 11

  1. Jonathan Weavers

    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. Pingback: Internet Explorer 11 Only Allows "Use the light version of Outlook Web App" | viruk67

  3. E.T.ienne

    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… 😉


  4. Jack

    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!

  5. Paul C

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

  6. Julia

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

  7. Bruno

    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 !

  8. Susan Gassman

    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!!

  9. Andy LYke

    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!

  10. Don

    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!

  11. Kirt

    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.

  12. dude

    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):

  13. JonCat

    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.

  14. Jeff

    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.

  15. Barb

    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!

  16. Jimbo70

    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!!!

  17. Jon

    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

  18. Ariana

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

  19. Pingback: Outlook Mail Light Version -

  20. John

    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.

  21. Hedam Lafana

    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.


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