Control the reply (ReplyAll) behavior in the new Outlook on the web (OWA)

​Few months back, Microsoft introduced the new and improved OWA (or Outlook on the web as we are supposed to call it now). While the new version did offer some cool features, one chnage in particular angered the MVPs and other members of the Office 365 community – the default reply option was set to ReplyAll. Now, anyone that has worked in a large organization knows the type of issues this can cause, when people mistakenly or deliberately (ab)use the Reply all functionality. I’ve witnessed cases in which this has resulted in disciplinary actions or even people losing their job.

With this regard, we were fairly disappointed that Microsoft did not provide us a way to centrally manage this new ‘feature’. While users were able to change the behavior of the reply button via OWA options, the option was only exposed via the UI and there was no way to easily switch this off for all users. We had some indications that this might change in the future, as the Get-MailboxMessageConfiguration revealed the relevant parameter, namely IsReplyAllTheDefaultResponse:

PS C:\> Get-MailboxMessageConfiguration vasil | fl IsReplyAllTheDefaultResponse

IsReplyAllTheDefaultResponse : False

At that time however, the value was not reported correctly and more importantly, the corresponding Set- cmdlet did not recognize the parameter. Well, now it does. Here’s how to quickly switch this on/off via PowerShell:

PS C:\> Set-MailboxMessageConfiguration vasil -IsReplyAllTheDefaultResponse $false

And should you want to do so for all the mailboxes in the company:

PS C:\> Get-Mailbox -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox  -ResultSize Unlimited | Set-MailboxMessageConfiguration -IsReplyAllTheDefaultResponse $false

Unfortunately, we cannot pre-configure this option for newly created mailboxes, and the default value is still set to True. So one might consider including this in your regular ‘enable mailbox/configure mailbox settings’ script.

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