Client Software Choices

Recommended Client Software

Different client software programs provide different feature sets in the Exchange environment, with Outlook 2013 providing the richest user experience.

Clients for UW Exchange Online

The following are the recommended clients for use with Exchange Online. Click the links below to view setup instructions:

For details on clients from Microsoft, see the TechNet article Clients and Mobile Devices.

Clients for UW Exchange Local

The following are the recommended clients for use with Exchange Local. Click the links below to view setup instructions:

Other email client vendors claim the following are also compatible with Exchange 2010:

  • Outlook 2003 (Note: Outlook 2003 should connect, but has significantly fewer working features than Outlook 2007 or 2010 and is not recommended)
  • Apple Mail from OS X 10.6 (for example, version 4.3)

Microsoft offers a client compatibility matrix (open detail on "Clients")

For a summary of differences between Outlook 2010 for PC and Outlook 2011 for Mac, see Microsoft's Comparison of Features page.

Outlook Web Access (OWA)

Outlook Web Access (OWA) allows you to connect to the Exchange Server by using only a Web browser. No other client software is needed. OWA comes in two versions - Premium and Lite.

  • The Premium version is supported on the following browsers: Internet Explorer 7 and later, Firefox 3 and later, Safari 3 and later, and Chrome 1 and later.
  • The Lite/Low Vision version offers limited features and is supported on any browser other than those listed above

For more information about OWA, see Microsoft's OWA 2010 Premium pages

For instructions on connecting to the Exchange Server using Outlook Web Access, see Outlook Web Access and UW Exchange.

Smartphones and Tablets

You may use a variety of smartphones to connect to your mail, calendar and contacts in your UW Exchange account. Many Smartphone devices use Exchange ActiveSync to connect to the Exchange, such as iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Android.

For information on setting up Windows Mobile and Android devices with Exchange, see the Microsoft article Phone and tablet setup reference.

For information on setting up iOS devices with Exchange, see iOS and UW Exchange.

For UW-IT smartphone and tablet support, see Smartphones and Tablets.


UW-IT supports Blackberry connections to UW Exchange through IMAP only. Full connection with calendar and contact synchronization is not available, because it requires the use of a third-party service that is not covered under the UW Exchange Online BAA with Microsoft and therefore is not HIPAA-compatible.

Email-only Client Software

Any email client software program that uses the IMAP protocol can work with UW Exchange. UW Exchange does not support the POP3 protocol.

POP3 and IMAP4 are two common mailbox access protocols used for Internet e-mail.

  • POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) provides a message store that holds incoming e-mail until users log on and download it.
  • IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) IMAP provides a message store that holds incoming e-mail until users log on and download it.

Thunderbird and Alpine are popular IMAP email clients in use at the University of Washington.

When you connect to an Exchange server using the IMAP protocol, you get only email functionality. You do not get access to the other features of Exchange: calendar, tasks, and contacts. To get the full set of Exchange features, use an Exchange client software program, such as Outlook or Entourage.

For instructions on connecting to the UW Exchange server using several popular email-only client software programs, see IMAP Settings for UW Exchange.

Last modified: April 8, 2014