Outlook on the Web – install on your PC!

In December 19 / January 20, Microsoft are rolling out an interesting new feature for Outlook on the web, the ability to install it on your device if you have Chrome or the new Edge installed.

Why is this interesting?

Whilst there are some features missing in OWA, the workloads it does have, work better than in Outlook!

Its difficult to show how good the search is in OWA so I tried a Gif instead!

For example, searching is a different world. If you search for an email using the OWA search, it uses the 365 servers to do the search, not your PC. This has a few implications:

  • No more local indexing of OST files, meaning your PC might just be a few percent faster
  • No more waiting for indexing. As soon as an email arrives it can be searched for, no more delays in returning an email in search!
  • In my experience, just a generally better and more natural searching experience.

Another example, if you only use the basics, i.e. sending / receiving / moving around, OWA makes sense, especially since it can now be pinned to the taskbar as an app! Not least, Full Outlook has a temporary file called an OST that essentially keeps a ‘temporary’ copy of your emails on your device.

There are several benefits including, but not limited to:

  • No more locally saved OST files, no more OST bloating, corruption or half a dozen other things that can go wrong in Outlook.
  • Less stuff stored on your devices hard drive. With no OST file, you can see savings in the 10’s of GB in some cases!
  • A simpler interface, no more cluttered menu bars, just a simple, you have an email, you can reply to it. Also here is a button to create a new message!

I have been using it for a little while as my email usage is simple, and the difference has been huge! Instant searching, easy email creation, cross platform support.


In fact, that last point is an important one. This works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. Meaning that Mac users don’t necessarily need to install full outlook to connect to email. They can install the Web app and pin it to the toolbar, same as windows.

Believe it or not, this is a pinned version of the OWA app, looks just like Outlook!

More info

So OWA is not without drawbacks. There are still a few things it cant do, but this list is advanced, so if you do any of the activities below, test the app first to be sure:

  • Run Macros
  • Open Public folders
  • Have custom views
  • Have working add-ins to other business applications (like CRM)

Otherwise, try it today!

If you would like to know more, or if you have any questions, please get in touch on 01962 711000