Outlook Web Access (OWA) Email User Guide

Outlook Web Access (OWA) is a Web email portal where SF State faculty and staff can access their email, including secondary and departmental accounts, online. (Students, please see the @mail Student Email Guide for information on the student email system.)


October 2015 Exchange Upgrade



Login to OWA

  1. Navigate to http://email.sfsu.edu
  2. Select This is a public or shared computer or This is a private computer as appropriate - public sessions will be automatically logged out if there is no activity
  3. Enter the SF State email address and password for the account
  4. Click Sign In
  5. First time users: Confirm your timezone

View and Send Email

Note: OWA offers a Conversation View of messages that groups all messages with the same subject line together. This may be on by default. To toggle this feature on and off, select View > Use Conversations.

Compose a Message

  1. Click New - A new message window will open
  2. Enter the recipient's email in the To field. To send to multiple recipients, separate email addresses with a semicolon
  3. Enter a subject in the Subject field
  4. To copy the message to recipient, enter their email address in the Cc field
  5. To blind copy the message to a recipient, enter their email address in the Bcc field (if you cannot see the Bcc field, toggle it on by selecting Show Bcc under Options...
  6. Type your message in the body of the email
  7. Attach a document by clicking the Attach File icon (paperclip) and following the on screen prompts
  8. When ready, click Send

Save an E-mail Attachment

  1. Open/view the email
  2. Click the attachment
  3. Follow your browser prompts to save the item to your computer

Save a Draft

  1. Compose a message
  2. Click the Save (disk) icon - The message will be saved in your Drafts folder
  3. To access the email, open the Drafts folder and double click the message

Reply to a Message

  1. Open/view the email
  2. Click Reply (single purple arrow) or Reply all (double purple arrow) as appropriate
  3. Edit the body of the message
  4. Click Send

Forward a Message

  1. Open/view the email
  2. Click Forward (single blue arrow)
  3. Optional: Edit the body of the message
  4. Click Send

Deleting Messages

  1. Select the message to be deleted
  2. Either press the Delete key on the keyboard or right click (Mac: Ctrl+click) and select Delete

Organize Email with Rules and Automatic Replies

Inbox Rules

Inbox rules can be used to automatically sort, flag, or delete email.

  1. Select Options > Create an Inbox Rule...
  2. Click New
  3. Select rule options from the dropdowns
  4. Based on your selections, customize the rule options (e.g., select the folder messages should be moved to)
  5. Click Save

Automatic Replies

Automatic replies include out of office messages to let people know you are away.

  1. Select Options > Set Automatic Replies...
  2. Select the Send automatic replies radio button
  3. Set the time period for which automatic replies should be sent
  4. Compose the message to be sent - Note: you will need to create messages for both internal (other SF State) and external (non-SF State) emails
  5. Click Save

Junk Email, Spam, and Phishing

A majority of email sent to SF State is discarded as spam by Exchange Online Protection (EOP), the campus anti-spam solution. For more information on EOP, including how to retrieve messages that have been incorrectly quarantined, please see the Exchange Online Protection (EOP) Guide.

Not all spam and phishing messages will be caught and quarantined by EOP. If you receive spam and phishing messages, please report them by following the instructions in the How to report spam and phishing email guide.