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Exchange 2007: OWA Themes Selection

End-user can choose the OWA appearance from 4 different themes available by default in Exchange 2007 SP1.

Users need to go to, Options –> General Settings –> Appearance –> Select Anyone…

  • Seattle Sky (Default OWA Theme)
  • Carbon Black
  • Xbox®
  • Zune

Q: What to do if this option is not visible in OWA?
A: This options is visible only if ThemeSelectionEnabled option enabled on OWA virtual directory. You can verify it with below cmdlet.

Get-OwaVirtualDirectory "owa (default web site)" | FL Name, ThemeSelectionEnabled

If value of ThemeSelectionEnable option shows False, you can set it to true with below cmdlet.

Set-OwaVirtualDirectory "owa (default web site)" –ThemeSelectionEnabled $True

Q: What to do if you want to force anyone of the theme globally for all users?
A: You can set the theme globally for all users with “DefaultTheme” parameter of Set-OwaVirtualDirectory cmdlet.

Question is how do we give the name of theme since powershell doesn’t support special character available in the name of themes, like Xbox® & Zune™. Instead of giving name of theme we can give the directory name of the theme where the files of a theme are located.

You can find all theme directories at “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\Owa\\themes” (where xxx.x differs based on the SP & UR installed).

Directory Name Theme
Base Seattle Sky
1 Carbon Black
2 Xbox®
3 Zune

So we can pass the directory name in the “DefaultTheme” parameter of Set-OwaVirtualDirectory cmdlet to select the default theme globally. To select Xbox theme globally we can run below cmdlet and restart the IIS service to make it effective.

Set-OwaVirtualDirectory "owa (default web site)" -DefaultTheme 2 -ThemeSelectionEnabled $False
IISReset /NoForce

Q: What happens if we don’t disable Theme Selection while setting up specific theme globally?
A: You would have seen that I added a parameter “ThemeSelectionEnabled” with value $False to disable Theme Selection while setting up OWA theme globally.

If ThemeSelectionEnable option is set to $True while setting up OWA theme globally, it applies only on the users who login first time in OWA, and for the users who have already login, don’t see new theme applied and they need to choose from Options –> General Settings manually.

But ThemeSelectionEnable optionis set to $False, new theme applies to all users in the organization.

Default OWA Themes

Seattle Sky

Carbon Black




Written by Amit Tank

August 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Hi,
    if there any tools for customizing Theme or development new one?,

    In most of organization there standard branding (colors, logos,…) and it will be greater to have same color theme on all web based application for e.g. like in SharePoint,…

    … make a corporate Theme and force all users to use it, sounds cool!

    Arman Obosyan

    Arman Obosyan

    August 6, 2009 at 1:49 pm

  2. Yep, I read the article in a past, very useful!.
    But the only bad is that sometimes when you install Update Rollup, changes needs to be applied again 😦


    Arman Obosyan

    August 6, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    • Yes Arman absolutely concur, UR screws customization and need to take backup before installing it…

      Amit Tank

      August 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm

  3. we only change a few things like logo and color. Create a new theme … interested idea 🙂


    August 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm

  4. thank you! I really liked this post!


    August 9, 2009 at 1:16 pm

  5. thank you! I really liked this post!


    August 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm

  6. Great site…keep up the good work.

    Bill Bartmann

    September 2, 2009 at 10:09 am

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