If you’re using Windows Vista, you may encounter the following errors or problems when you try to access Microsoft Outlook Web Access and perform any editing tasks that you typically expect to perform by using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 included in the Windows Vista:

  • Cannot compose a new e-mail message.
  • Cannot reply to an e-mail message.
  • Unable to create a new contact, task, note, journal entry, or appointment.
  • Unable to change any configuration in the Outlook Web Access options folder.

The cannot or unable to perform tasks symptoms may accompany with an error message when trying to perform the tasks.

The cause of the problem is due to Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista no longer include support for Dynamic HTML Editing ActiveX control, and thus missing a functionality that Microsoft Exchange Outlook Web Access relies on to do HTML editing in Outlook Web Access.

The resolution or solution to the problem is to download and install Update for Microsoft Outlook Exchange Server Hotfix (KB 911829). The update replaces that deprecated functionality on the Microsoft Exchange servers so that Microsoft Exchange Outlook Web Access continues to function smoothly. With the KB911829 hotfix, Exchange Server will enables a new editor for Internet Explorer which uses “iframe” method instead of an ActiveX control.

The hotfix or update also addresses symptom in Internet Explorer 6 which applied with security update 912812 or update 912945 where users are required to first click one time in the compose frame in Outlook Web Access to activate the edit control. After the patch, there is no need to first click in the compose frame in Outlook Web Access before you edit text.

Users must upgrade to Microsoft Exchange 2003 SP2 or later prior to apply this patch. The hotfix must be applied to both the front-end server and to the back-end server too.