How can I manage Exchange 2003 mail-enabled public folders through OWA?

Posted on 2007-03-26
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We have several mail-enabled public folders set up in our Exchange 2003 organization and I have 2 questions regarding mail-enabled public folder management...

1.  From Outlook  2003, users are able to create subfolders inside public folders and move messages from the top level folder into these subfolders.  The same users can't do this from Outlook Web Access (OWA).  Is there a way to enable users to have Edit rights to Public folders from OWA?  

2.  After one user opens a message in a mail-enabled public folder, is there a way to make the message show up as having been read when other users open the same public folder?   Currently, messages are showing up as unread for every user but the one who actually did open the message.

We are using the mail-enabled public folders to view mail sent to general mailboxes, such as, and we need to be able to tell if a message has already been handled so that it doesn't get answered twice.  Some of the users who are responsible for checking the messages in these public folders only have access thru OWA.  We'd like to be able to allow them to move answered messages to a subfolder, or, at the very least, have some indication to others accessing the same folder that certain messages have been read.
Question by:bjordon35
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LVL 104

Accepted Solution

Sembee earned 125 total points
ID: 18795882
On the first question you should be able to create folders through OWA for public folders, however moving messages is not possible.
Public Folder management through OWA is limited and should be done through Outlook.

For the second question on changing the behaviour of messages, you need to change an option on the Properties of the folder in ESM.
On the first tab of the Properties of the folder in ESM, Folders, Public Folders there is an option to change whether a per user read/unread status is maintained.


Author Comment

ID: 18796058
Hmmm ... I'm wondering if I should have set these up as regular mailboxes instead of public folders.

I followed your instructions to change the read/unread status so that it is no longer on a per user basis.  Then I logged in as a user and marked a bunch of message as "read".  When I logged off and logged on as another user, the messsages still appeared as "unread".  Does this setting take some time to propagate, or maybe it only works on new messages received after I made the change?
LVL 104

Expert Comment

ID: 18796194
The users need to restart Outlook to see the change take effect. From memory I think it will only apply to new messages or messages where the status is changed.


Author Comment

ID: 18800880
Still not working.

I found the following info on

"If you clear the Maintain per-user read and unread information for this folder check box in the public folder's properties, the Read or Unread state of each item is not tracked. All items in the folder are in the Unread state, regardless of whether they have been viewed by a user."

"If you must have a folder that can be viewed by a group of users who must be able to see whether an item has been viewed by any other user in the group, use a shared mailbox. In a shared mailbox, when an item is viewed by one user, the item appears in the Read state to all the other users. "

So I guess I've answered my own question -- but I'll accept your answer because you did answer my first question and helped me come to a solution for the second.

thanks for the quick response!

Expert Comment

ID: 20956234
In these cases I'm using follow-up flags and marked as completed when finished. It works for my organizations and people accepted it fast.

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