OWA mobile apps to be retired in May

Today we are announcing the retirement of OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For the last several years Microsoft has focused on delivering an effortless user experience and bolstering security in the native Outlook app for iOS and Android devices.  We’ve used your feedback to make Outlook an award-winning app and the best way to experience Office 365 features on a mobile device.  Now we’re helping all users to migrate to Outlook while retiring the OWA mobile apps:  


  • In April 2018, the OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android apps will no longer be available for download from Apple’s iTunes store and the Google Play store.
  • Also in April, OWA mobile app users will see a recurring in-app message notifying them of the date when the app will be retired, with a link to download Outlook for iOS or Android.
  • On May 15, 2018, the OWA mobile apps will stop working. Office 365 users who attempt to open them will be greeted with a message directing them to download Outlook for iOS or Android.

It is easy for users to move over to the Outlook app for iOS or Android.  To learn how, see the step by step instructions here. If you are an Office 365 administrator and received a notice today in the Office 365 Message Center, it means one or more people in your organization are still using the OWA mobile app.  If you don’t receive a notice in Message Center, then you don’t need to take any administrative action.  Should you need additional details and support regarding the retirement plans of the OWA mobile apps, please refer to this article.


Outlook for iOS and Android has an architecture fully powered by the Microsoft Cloud and has 4.5+ star ratings in the app stores.  And as we streamline our mobile portfolio, we’ll be able to further focus our efforts to deliver on our promise of the best-in-class, enterprise-grade mail, calendar and search experience and the best way to experience Office 365 features on a mobile device with Outlook.

Occasional Contributor

> best-in-class, enterprise-grade mail


... which doesn’t even offer an option to block remote images?  Sounds more like consumer-grade trash.


Is there a timeline, for when the Microsoft cloud does not save passwords for my users anymore? This is the main reason keeping us away from Outlook for iOS ....

Occasional Contributor

Outlook app can't approve emails. Only reason I use OWA.


Is there any way we can tell who is using the OWA app in our tenant either via reports or Powershell?

Occasional Visitor

This is such an unnecessary one-sided action by Microsoft. 

I use OWA, and many others,  because I don't want any email notifications or Unread Message icons (I read emails when I want and not some app)  

Second reason is that I don't want my device to be subject to every orgs security policy I need to read emails from (sometimes 3 or 4). 


Occasional Visitor

Because its not possible to add shared mailboxes in the native Outlook app we advice users to use this OWA app.


Please first add support for shared mailboxes in the native Outlook app before retiring this OWA app.

Frequent Contributor

When will Outlook app support 3rd party Calendar add-ins that are setup on the Exchange server?  It's on uservoice already.

Regular Visitor

Will Outlook Mobile App be enabled to Access On Premises Shared Mailboxes? The OWA App is the only tool with the ability to do that. It´s not possible to access Exchange 2016 Shared Mailboxes with the Outlook App as Exchange 2016 works only with WAP 2016 and WAP 2016 does not support IMAP.  

Occasional Visitor

Yes, it is possible to have an Outlook app usage report via are PS.

Occasional Contributor

@Eugenie Burrage - are the users of the OWA app exposed via any of the canned reports or reporting API?  I was able to see how we'd get that information so we could send targeted emails to our users.


This should be a prerequisite before retiring any service/app.

@Philipp Bieber - Some time ago, Outlook for iOS and Android did rely on a caching service to connect to Exchange Online via Exchange ActiveSync with basic authentication. However, since September 2016, this is no longer possible. All Outlook for iOS and Android for Exchange Online mailbox communication is done via the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL), so users sign in directly to Azure Active Directory (AAD) with no credential caching, like other Office desktop and mobile clients. For more information, see https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt465746(v=exchg.150).aspx
Senior Member

What about the Government tenants?  Will the native Outlook app finally be secure enough so we can use it?

New Contributor

Agree with @Sven Mihaly-Bison, the only reason I've directed some users to use OWA is for monitoring Exchange Online Shared Mailboxes.  Please provide an alternative before retiring the app. 


@Douglas Plumley @Sergei J @Scott Preston  


Exchange administrators can use Exchange Management Shell to identify OWA mobile app users;


PS C:\windows\system32> get-mobiledevice -OWAforDevices | fl UserDisplayName,DeviceType,DeviceUserAgent,FirstSyncTime




Regular Contributor

@Eugenie Burrage ; @Ross Smith IV



I need to know how my users should access shared mailboxes on mobile devices without OWA.


I need to know how my Admins should approve emails on mobile devices.


I also need to know how my users whom are not enrolled in Intune should access their mailbox now? This was our only alternative to forcing BYOD devices into MDM enrollment, and you are taking that feature away without providing a replacement it seems.





@Robert Woods - Users can still log into to OWA via the mobile web browser and get the same experience the OWA for devices app provided. 


If you follow the steps in https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2013/09/04/configuring-delegate-access-in-outlook-web-app/ using a desktop browser, OWA in a mobile browser will display the shared folders.


Also, Outlook for iOS and Android supports shared/delegate calendars for Exchange Online mailboxes. See 



@David Noble Can you provide a bit more context regarding email approval? 




@Jarno Korterink @Sven Mihaly-Bison @Stephanie Nichols


The steps to set up Delegate Access in OWA includes information about using the browser on your mobile device for Shared Mailboxes:  https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2013/09/04/configuring-delegate-access-in-outlook-web-app/


Also, Outlook for iOS and Android supports shared/delegate calendars for Exchange Online mailboxes. See: 






@Kent Kroft  


Microsoft understands the need for a complete solution that will fully comply with the control commitments in the FedRAMP compliance package for Office 365 US Government Community. The plan is to complete the certification and approval of the solution for Outlook for iOS and Android in the very near term so you can expect to see hear more in the Office 365 Message Center in the next 30-60 days.  


You may also track our progress on the Office 365 Roadmap

Regular Contributor

@Ross Smith IV 


So I need to tell my end users they will no longer have an app with badges that alert them to new items, they will have to constantly refresh their browser on the phone to see if there is a new mail...


I bet this will go over real well.


Also, it seems from your answer above you are telling me they will need to use a mixture of Outlook on the Phone and OWA on the web to get the same functions they already have, that again, we pay for.


Such terrible customer experience.

This is a very abrupt change with very little time to widely notify the customer base.  The OWA app has lacked in some features such as the ability to add attachments and such, but it was certainly lyuseful in managing shared / delegates mailboxes and multi-calendar management.   The app should not be deprecated, but as with everything suggested to Microsoft for the past 2 years, this suggestion will no doubt be ignored.   Using a web browser on a phone is just not sustainable, so we’re left with the Outllok app or the native mail app (which is horrible for those with a need to monitor multiple mailboxes and / or calendars).  


Bottom line, deprecating the OWA app this soon is a HORRIBLE idea and I can hardly wait for the flood of phone calls from angry clients that I’m sure to get from this sudden removal of an app that has helped them gain a significant boost to their daily productivity and flexibility from a simple act as not having to be toes to their computer or having to have several mailboxes set up on their device.

Regular Visitor

@Eugenie Burrage


As I wrote:


  • Delegated Mailbox Access over IMAP with Outlook Mobile is possible when the delegated Mailbox resides in Exchange Online.
  • Delegated Mailbox Access over IMAP with Outlook Mobile is NOT possible when the delegated Mailbox resides in Exchange OnPrem, as Exchange Server 2016 only works with WAP Server 2016 and WAP Server 2016 does not Support IMAP. The OWA App is our one and only chance to access these delegated mailboxes with mobile devices   

@Ross Smith IV:

Thanks for the clarification. Can you comment on Outlook for iOS in cooperation with Exchange OnPrem? I see that the app requires modern authentication and there is an announcement for modern auth for OnPrem Exchange [1], but that makes no mention about a specific timeline for Outlook for iOS / Android. 



Philipp Bieber


Regular Visitor

@Ross Smith IV


Using a mobile web browser is no feasible option for usage in an enterprise environment. Smartphone users don't check their mailboxes actively, they rely on notifications and read mails after they got notified. The option to access delegated onprem mailboxes via app is a must have and I think that I'm not alone with this statement. 

Occasional Visitor
We use OWA for iOS and iPad as it uses Mail-Apps installed on our On-Prem Exchange Server. Will Outlook for iOS and Android support Mail-Apps for Exchange On-Prem? If I missed that, please blog about the details at EHLO. Thanks Sven
Regular Contributor

Thanks for taking the time to listen and reply to the people on these forums. It does help.

@Philipp Bieber - Outlook for iOS and Android supports Exchange on-premises already today. This solution synchronizes a portion of the mailbox data in Azure and leverages basic authentication with the Exchange ActiveSync protocol. It does not support EMS capabilities like Azure Active Directory Conditional Access and Intune App Protection policies. We are building support for hybrid modern authentication with Outlook for iOS and Android against on-premises mailboxes, which brings OAuth, Conditional Access, and Intune App Protection policies. This solution synchronizes a portion of mailbox data into your Exchange Online tenant. See https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2017/09/27/tap-outlook-mobile-support-for-exchange-on-p... for more information. We'll be GAing this feature soon.
Occasional Contributor

Thanks @Eugenie Burrage.  When these are posted to the message center in O365 it's helpful if they have all the information on how to gather usage information, just a suggestion for future posts.


Arguably I should have remembered that cmdlet, I've used it before :P


Thanks again!


Thank you everyone for your comments and feedback here about Microsoft’s plans to retire OWA for iPhone, iPad and Android apps.


While we are working to deliver the capabilities you are requesting to Outlook for iOS and Android, you can continue to use OWA through the browser on your mobile device.


Microsoft Outlook team.