Giving OWA themes a makeover in Exchange 2013

By Brian Posey,

When organizations begin using Outlook Web Apps, it's often only a matter of time before someone on the senior management team asks if OWA can be branded with the corporate logo or colors. As long as you have a basic understanding of HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Microsoft makes it easy to customize OWA 2013.

This tip focuses on OWA 2013's premium version, which supports customization; the light version doesn't support customizations that are based on OWA themes. You should be able to customize older versions of OWA in a similar manner, but you have to slightly alter the technique due to differences in file paths. This tip also assumes Exchange is configured using the default installation path.

Creating a theme in OWA 2013

Although you can technically get away with modifying existing OWA themes, it's smarter to build new themes. If you make a mistake when editing a default theme, you could irreparably damage OWA. Here we'll copy a default theme and use it as a starting point for customizing OWA

Log on to your Client Access Server (CAS) server and navigate to:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\ClientAccess\OWA\<version>\Owa2\resources\Themes

Create a folder with the name of your organization, then copy the contents of the Base folder into that new folder.

Before you move on, there is an XML file you'll need to update.

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