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Outlook Web Access users cannot access Exchange Server public folders

There are various possible reasons for the failure of an OWA user to access Exchange Server public folders from the Internet. SearchExchange.com expert Brad Dinerman supplies some clue-gathering tips.

For some reason, when using Outlook Web Access from outside our firewall, users cannot access our Exchange Server public folders. Is there something that I need to set up that isn't configured by default? We are running Exchange Server 2003.
There are various possible reasons for the failure to access Exchange Server public folders from the Internet. However, it is important to know what happens when a user does try to access the Exchange public folders. Do they receive an "Access Denied" message? Do they receive a "Forbidden IP Address" message? Or perhaps their browser just churns away without doing much of anything.

The best place to start to attempt to identify the problem is to look at the configuration of the public virtual directory within your default Web site in Internet Information Server (IIS). In the Security tab, make note of any restrictions that are there, including IP address, SSL requirements and authentication methods. Compare these to the settings of your Exchange Server virtual directory and then report back to us for a follow-up.

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Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Tutorial: Exchange Server public folder permissions
  • FAQ: Exchange public folders
  • Learning Guide: An administrator's guide to Exchange public folders
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server public folder tips and resources
  • Reference Center: Outlook Web Access tips and resources
  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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