Office 365 - Outlook Desktop Client vs Outlook Web App

Office 365 is readily available through the online Outlook Web App. The Outlook Desktop Client provides advanced features and options for e-mail, calendaring, and tasks. Which one is right for you?

The Outlook Web App (OWA) represents your official UW-Platteville email and calendaring account.  All campus account holders will have access to Outlook Web App through a browser anywhere they have an internet connection. On a campus device, access OWA through the Email button on the Pioneer Portal at

Outlook Web App offers basic functionality for email, calendar, contacts, and tasks as well as access to OneDrive (storage), Teams (collaboration/meetings), and applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Online.  Mobile devices can be configured to directly to your Office 365 account or through the Outlook app.  Most account holders will use Outlook Web App. 

The Outlook Web App is the perfect tool if you...

The Outlook Desktop Client must be installed on your computer or laptop and configured to your Office 365 account.  The desktop client is only accessible from the machine on which it is installed.

The Outlook Desktop Client may be beneficial if you...
Another perk? Less two-factor authentication.  Once you have logged into Outlook Desktop Client using your Duo device, you will not have to use two-factor again until you change your password unless there is a major upgrade to the software. 

NOTE: You will always have access to your Office 365 account through the internet and the Outlook Web App. You may choose to use the desktop client for some functions and use the Web App for others.  Actions performed in the desktop client (such as replying to email and scheduling appointments) are reflected in the Outlook Web App and vice versa. 

Still not sure which version will best meet your needs?
Employees are encouraged to contact your IT Support Liaison for consultation. 

Think the Outlook Desktop Client is for you?

If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or  You may also visit the Help Desk on the first floor of the Karrmann Library.