Copying Links Out of OWA

In the Outlook Web Application (OWA), emails that include a hyperlink are automatically rewritten to include a redirect. The reason OWA adds the redirect is to keep your information, such as user name and subject line of an email, from being inferred from the URL.

When you copy any of the links out of OWA, they will include the redirect. This can be problematic if you intend to share or use this URL with others, either in another email or in Desire2Learn (D2L). Because the redirect is specific the OWA, other users will not be able to access the original link.

There isn’t an easy, catch-all solution to avoiding this depending on how the link is formatted in the email. For example, if the hyperlinked text is the same as the intended link destination (the URL is “” and the text is also “”), you can simply copy the text to get the correct URL. If the hyperlink text is just text (e.g., the URL is “” and the text is “UW-W Homepage”), the easiest way to get the correct URL is to click the link and then copy the URL out of the browser’s address bar. Also, if available, using the Microsoft Outlook desktop program to access emails and copy out links will avoid this issue altogether.

If you have any questions about or need assistance with copying links out of an email in OWA and into D2L, please contact UW-W D2L Support.