Outlook Web App 2013 Touch Mode on a Surface device

So with OWA 2013, the Exchange Product group invested significant developer resources into getting the most popular browser-based mail client ready for the tablet world. For instance, if you open a mailbox stored on Exchange 2013 using OWA from an iPad device, OWA 2013 will open it in a touch mode friendly version as shown below.


One would think, the same behavior is true when using OWA 2013 from a Surface device as a Surface is considered a tablet device right? Actually, this is not the case. At least not yet. The reason for this is because Internet Explorer on a Surface runs in what we know as “Desktop Mode” just like on any other Windows 8 device.

Screenshot (4)

However, you can force the “Touch Mode” version to appear in the respective browser session. To do so, you simply add “?layout=twide” to the end of the OWA URL and there you go you just switched to “Touch Mode” on a Surface:


Screenshot (5)

Pretty darn cool eh?

Daniel Noakes reminded be of the “tnarrow” parameter. Definitely also worth trying out: https://mail.contoso.com/owa/?layout=tnarrow


Until later,
Henrik Walther

1 thought on “Outlook Web App 2013 Touch Mode on a Surface device”

  1. Richard Ndagijimana

    Hi Walther,
    Thanks for this useful article. Is there any way i can configure this so that the device is detected automatically when OWA is accessed. thank you

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