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Outlook Web Access - Accessing files from anywhere

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Accessing your email through a web browser isn’t new. As well as the free consumer services such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo, getting at business email from anywhere is one of those things we take for granted. Outlook Web Access has a lot of tricks up its sleeve though and one of them lets you get at files stored on your server!

* This applies to Small Business Server 2008, Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 *

Needing to view a file while away from the office is common place. You might want to print out a price list, or a product catalogue or edit a quote before sending it to a client.

Normally to get around this you would either have to use various long winded methods such login to your PC remotely and doing it there or emailing it to yourself, then login to webmail and download the file. Either that or call the office and get someone there to email it to you!

All of this seems rather long winded. Fortunately using Outlook Web Access we can get to your files directly.

Login to your webmail as normal.


At the bottom left of the screen there is a "documents" option.


The empty screen hides how powerful this feature is!


Clicking on the open location prompts you for a location.


If you just use your server name (such \\SBSSERVER) you can browse ALL of your servers file shares.

From here I can open any folder in the same way as if I was on my network.


I can double click on a folder to list it's files and folder.


Double clicking on a file allows you to download and open the file in the same way as if you were on a regular website

If this folder is something you may need to access on a regular basis you use the "Add to favourites" button"


Your favourites are stored on the left hand side of the screen for easy access.


If your server has been setup to redirect your My Documents folder to your server this means you can access your own files as well as those shared throughout the company.

You can even use this to gain access to files stored on a SharePoint site.

There is one downside to this. Because we're downloading files there isn't any way to upload files making this a "read-only" operation. We can download files but any changes stay local to the PC we're working on (the same as with any website)

This is where regular PC remote access would be more appropriate but as a quick and easy way to view any file on your network it's invaluable.

Considering Outlook Web Access is generally regarded as an email application this seldom used feature turns a single web page into a full remote working solution!

If you'd like to know more about how to set this up for your business please get in touch.