Another OWA Timeout thread - possible Forms/Basic Authentication with IIS issue

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Issue: customer reports that any action that opens a new window in OWA (i.e. New Message / Open Attachment) fails and displays authentication prompt.

This looks to be happening after ~30 minutes (the customer in question uses OWA for staff in certain offices all day, rather than Outlook).There does not seem to be any distinction between selecting Public or Private, in terms of this timeout occuring at around ~30 minutes.

I'm working on the assumption that it's to do with the Forms Auth cookie default timeout of 30 minutes. I've created/adjusted the appropriate regkeys from to boost Public to a 1 hour timeout for testing, and Private to 8 hour timeout, then restarted the MS Exchange Forms Auth service and reset IIS.

This behaviour continues to occur.

Next I confirmed that OWA is set to use Forms Auth in the EMC.

Next I checked IIS Virtual Directory auth settings and discover it is set to Basic Authentication, not Forms Authentication. I presume that this means that the cookie isn't generated / is ignored.

However, if I select Forms Authentication, reset IIS and restart the MS Exchange Forms Auth service (as done for changing the cookie timeouts), once a user logs in to OWA they are greeted with a 404 error.

I also tried altering the powershell line from to enable Forms Auth and Disable Basic Auth for the OWA Virtual Directory.I assume this functions in the same way as applying it via the IIS GUI - with the same result. (This has since been reset to default values, as has the IIS Auth so that users can continue to login.)

My knowledge of IIS is hazy at best, so I'm not sure what my next step should be - I've had a look at a variety of forum posts, but none seem to cover this specific scenario (with the Virtual Directory using Basic Auth / having issues changing to Forms Auth).

Any help would be appreciated.

Gen Lin


Please try to create a new OWA virtual directory and see if the issue persists:

1. Open EMS, type:

Remove-OwaVirtualDirectory -identity " owa (default web site)"

2. Then create a new OWA:


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