Redirecting OWA Urls in Exchange 2010

MS Exchange

One of my colleague (an EV Expert) asked me about the steps to redirect OWA url in Exchange 2010 and hence the post.

We have done it in all versions of Exchange to make it easier for users to use OWA. All they need to type in is email or mail (whatever you have set) and the browser will be redirected from http://email to (/exchange in legacy systems).

Things are easier in Exchange 2010, with the new version of IIS in 2008 R2. There is an option named “Http Redirect” which we will use to accomplish the task. Launch IIS Manager on the CAS server and navigate to “Default Web site”. Double click on “Http Redirect” under the IIS section on the right hand side.

Def Website Http Redirect Option

Check the box for redirection and type in the url you want it to be redirected to. Make sure you check the last option as well. Click on “Apply” button on the top right hand corner.

Enable http redirect on default website

IIS will push down this setting to any virtual directory underneath it, which doesn’t have the same setting explicitly defined. Hence, we need to remove the redirection from aspnet_client, autodiscover, ecp, ews, microsoft-server-activesync, oab, powershell and rpc.

Select each of the virtual directories and clear both check boxes (as in the screenshot below) & apply.

Http redirect options in other vdir

The legacy directories – exchange, exchweb and public should redirect to /owa. This is the default config, but do check. Don’t check the last option for these directories (see the screenshot below).

Http redirect on legacy vdir

Next step is to disable the “ssl requirement” for the default website. Otherwise, when a user tries to connect using http://email, an http error will be displayed. This basically means that the user is trying an http connection to a site that has https enforced.

Select the “default web site” and double click the “ssl settings” under IIS section. Uncheck the box”Require SSL” and click the apply button on the top right.

Require SSL turned off for default website

Like the redirection settings, IIS will push this setting down to the virtual directories which doesn’t have this option explicitly defined. Hence, we need to check the “Require SSL” box for the virtual directories – autodiscover, ecp, ews, microsoft-server-activesync, oab, owa and rpc.

SSL required for vdir settings

Don’t make changes to any other directories. Do an iisreset from the command prompt. Perform the same steps if you have more than one CAS server.

Your users will be redirected to the correct url from now on Winking smile

Check Pat Richard’s article if you want the process to be scripted and Henrik Walther’s post for a related OAB issue once the redirection is in place.

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  1. Hi,

    I just tried this method for exchange 2013 but it doens’t seem to work. Chrome/Opera gives me an error which says that there are too many redirects on the webpage. Any tips?

    Cheers and thanks for your blogs.


  2. Hi,

    We have Exchange 2010 running in environment, Keeping Active sync and app dependency we have planned to use same OWA url in Exchange 2013.
    Please suggest me how to achieve this and what are all changes i need to do on Exchnage 2010 & 2013…. Any challenge if any ?

  3. Hi Rajith,

    We are using Exchange 2010 and having problems with internal OWA, sharing calendars and setting automatic replies.

    I am unable to access internal OWA. cannot locate in outlook 2010 account settings.

    Automatic replies show the error message “your automatic reply settings cannot be displayed because the server is unavailable, please try later”.

    I am unable to share calendars to other users. When I try to share the calendar it gives an error message “error while preparing to send the sharing message”

    Also Auto configuration unable to determine the setting when I do Test email auto configuration.

    • Hi Eatsam,

      This means that all the Exchange urls are not configured properly. Configure them and make sure that the urls are covered by the internal Exchange certificate.


  4. Hi…Thanks for making the article as clear as possible.

    I am however one of the ones who followed this article precisely and have also done the OAB bit that still has a residual issue.

    I am migrating from Ex2003. The redirection works fine, however any migrated users get an “An unexpected error occurred. Your request couldn’t be handled” error when trying to navigate between the sent and inbox folders or when trying to compose a new message.

    this is fixed if I “uncheck” the redirect in HTTP Redirect section of the owa vdir but that causes the setting to be unchecked in the Exchange, Public and Exchweb vdirs which breaks OWA for legacy users.

    Any feedback which helps resolves this issue would be greatly appreciated.

  5. I recall Exchange SPs or updates that arbitrarily changed the IIS Settings so be sure to record any changes you make and re-verify them after running a SP or update.


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Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

Windows Copilot is Microsoft’s take on making life easier for Windows users using the power of AI. This article explains how to disable the feature using Intune, if your organization is not ready yet to walk into the AI world.

Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

We need to create a Configuration Profile for Windows devices in the Intune portal to disable Windows Copilot. Below are the steps that we need to create the profile.

Launch the Intune Portal and login as a Global Admin or Intune Admin.

Navigate to Devices -> Windows -> Configuration Profiles.

Windows Configuration Profile Intune

Click on Create -> New Policy.

Select Windows 10 & later as the platform and Settings Catalog as the profile type & click on the Create button.

Settings Catalog Intune CoPilot

Give the policy a meaningful name & description and click Next.

Policy Name Disable CoPilot

Within the configuration settings, click on the Add Settings option.

Add Settings Disable CoPilot

Search for ‘copilot’, Windows AI will come up as the category. Click on Windows AI and the Turn off Copilot in Windows (User) setting will come up. Check the box and click Next.

Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune
Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune Summary 1

Specify scope tags if required and click Next.

Select tags CoPilot Intune

Select who this policy should apply to in the Assignments section. I have selected to add all users. If you want to test the setting, you can create a test group and select that group here.

Similarly, you can also exclude certain group from disabling AI (say IT team) if required.

Add all users disable copilot intune

A summary of selected settings will be displayed. Click on the Create button to setup the policy to disable Windows Copilot.

Create configuration policy disable CoPilot Intune 1

Wait for the replication to complete in the cloud backend and login to your machine. Your chatty Copilot should now be disabled.

Disable Windows Copilot On Windows 11 Pro

Follow the steps below to disable Copilot on a personal Windows 11 Pro machine (say your own laptop).

Search for ‘group’ in Windows 11 and click on Edit Group Policy option.

Group Policy Windows 11 Disable Copilot

Navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Copilot.

Windows Copilot GPO setting

Double click on Turn off Windows Copilot setting on the right pane.

Select Enabled and click OK.

Turn off copilot gpo Windows 11 Pro 1

Close the Group Policy Editor. This will disable Windows Copilot on a Windows 11 Pro machine.


We have learned to disable Windows Copilot using Intune and Group Policy on Windows 11 machines.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

Domain controllers are the backbone of any Active Directory domains in the Microsoft world. Any Windows server can be promoted to be a domain controller. In this article, we will go through the steps of promoting a Windows 2025 Server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025

The latest version of the server operating system has been named Windows Server 2025. You can start with a 2025 Server & create an AD domain or you can promote a member server that is already a part of a domain.

The Windows Server 2025 needs to be installed on a machine before it can be promoted to be a domain controller.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

If you have been working with Windows servers long enough, everything starts with the Server Manager app. Promoting a server to a domain controller is no different.

Launch ‘Server Manager’ & click on Add roles and features.

Windows 2025 Server Manager

You land on the summary page that explains what is required to run this wizard successfully. Click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Add Remove Roles

Select Role-based or Feature-based installation and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Role Based Install

Select the server that needs to be promoted and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Destination Server

Select Active Directory Domain Services (second option) and click on Add Features.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services

Go with the default options for features that need to be installed.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services Features

A summary of AD DS pops up next, click next to continue.

Windows Server 2025 AD DS

Select Restart the server automatically if required and click Install.

Windows Server 2025 AD Restart Server

You get to keep an eye on the progress of the installation.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Progress

Once the role has been installed, you will find an exclamation mark on the top right corner of the Server Manager. Click on that and select Promote this server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue

You get an error straight away (which you have never seen before) – Error determining whether the target server is already a domain controller. Role change is in progress or this computer needs a restart.

Windows Server 2025 Domain Controller Setup Error

We never needed to restart the server after installing the role in the DC promotion process. Given that it is an insider build of Server 2025, I am hoping that this will get fixed before the public release.

Restart the server, launch Server Manager and click on the Promote this server to be a domain controller option again.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue 1

I am setting up a brand new AD forest and hence I select the third option (Add a new forest) and enter my root domain name.

Windows Server 2025 Add a forest

Next window brings the option to set your forest & domain functional level and the DSRM password. In the insider build, it shows what looks like a variable (the Windows server version on which the you are working).

Windows Server 2025 Forest Functional Level

You can leave the default options in the DNS options wizard and click next.

Windows Server 2025 DNS Options

Enter the netbios name of the domain in the next window and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Netbios Domain Name

You can stick with the default paths for the AD database, log & sysvol folder or pick a location of your choice.

Windows Server 2025 AD Paths

Review the selections that you have made so far and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Options Review

Wait for the green check mark on the prerequisites page and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Pre reqs Check

Click Install in the final window & wait for the magic to happen. Once the machine gets restarted (which it will do automatically), you will have a brand new domain controller based on Windows Server 2025.

Windows Server 2025 AD Snap In


Promoting a Server 2025 to a domain controller follows pretty much the same steps as previous operating systems. The Insider build has few errors that needs to be fixed, but hey, it is an insider build!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Install Windows Server 2025 – Full Guide

Microsoft has released an insider preview of it’s next server operating system named Windows Server 2025. We will have a look at the installation steps involved in setting up a 2025 server.

Windows Server 2025

Microsoft has gone with the same look and feel of Windows 11 operating system in it’s current server operating system – Windows Server 2025. As the product is in insider preview, there might be slight changes before it hits the public shelves.

It is refreshing to see a ‘modern’ feel in the installation process of a server operating system. Gone are the days where the installation of a consumer based OS felt much better compared to it’s server counterpart.

Installing Windows Server 2025

Let’s take a look at the steps involved in setting up a Windows Server 2025 machine. First step is to download the ISO from the Windows Insider portal.

Next step is to boot the virtual / physical machine from the ISO which will kick off the installation of Server 2025.

First option to select is the language settings. Pick the one based which relates to you and click next.

Windows Server 2025 language settings

Select the keyboard settings in the next screen and click next.

Windows Server 2025 keyboard

You get the option to select whether you want to Install Windows Server or Repair the installation. The bottom left corner also has the option to go to the previous version of setup.

Windows Server 2025 setup option

You are asked to enter the product key, which is available in the Windows Insider portal.

Windows Server 2025 product key

Next option to choose is the type of image you want to install – Windows 2025 core or full blown desktop experience.

Windows Server 2025 Desktop

You need to agree to the licensing terms to move forward in the next step.

Windows Server 2025 Agreement License

Select the partition on which the server OS should be installed and click next. You also have the option to slice the partitions the way you see fit in the same screen.

Windows Server 2025 Disk Partitions

The Ready to Install window comes up, click the install button.

Windows Server 2025 Install 1

Installation of Server 2025 is underway and you get to see the progress.

Windows Server 2025 Install Progress

Once the installation is complete, you need to enter an administrator password of your choice to finalize the setup.

Windows Server 2025 Password

And there you go! You see a Windows 11 login screen staring at you ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Login Screen

After logging in, you get to set the options around sending diagnostic data to Microsoft, which I always set as ‘required only’.

Windows Server 2025 Diagnostic Data

The Windows Server 2025 desktop looks similar, doesn’t it? ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Desktop Feel scaled

Now that the server is up and running, you can promote it to be a domain controller.


The Windows Server 2025 has the same look and feel as a Windows 11 operating system. The installation options also provide that modern ‘feel’ and makes it a bit soothing to the eyes!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.