How to hydrate user accounts in OWA to avoid warning or error in Signature Manager Outlook Edition

Problem:

In Signature Manager Outlook Edition, the following warning/error is displayed:


The user must sign in to OWA at least once to create the mailbox so that the signature and settings can be applied

Reason:

For Signature Manager Outlook Edition to deploy signatures and settings to a user’s OWA account (for either Exchange or Office 365), the user’s profile must have been created in OWA. This is known as ‘hydrating’ a user’s account.


A user’s profile is hydrated the first time they log on to OWA and select their regional options. It is not hydrated when a user accesses their mailbox using an email client such as Outlook - they must log on to the OWA website itself for the mailbox to be hydrated .

Solution:

To avoid the need for all users to log on to the OWA website so their signatures are deployed, you can use PowerShell commands to hydrate a user’s profile. To do this, follow the steps below:


  1. Ensure that you are logged in as a user who is a direct member of the Organization Management and Domain Admin groups (Global Administrator in the case of Exchange Online).
  2. Connect to your Exchange Server:
    • For Exchange on-premises, simply run the Exchange Management Shell.
    • For Exchange Online (Office 365) or a remotely managed Exchange, make a connection using steps detailed here, then return to this section.
  3. Once connected, run the following command to hydrate a user’s mailboxes:

  4. Get-Mailbox <user> | Set-MailboxRegionalConfiguration -TimeZone "<Time Zone>" –Language <Language>  -DateFormat "<Date Format>"    


    Replace <user> with the user’s account, <Time Zone> with the user’s timezone name, <Language> with the Language Culture Name, and <Date Format> with the required date format (retain quotes where shown).


    For example, for a user in the UK:


    Get-Mailbox uksales@example.co.uk | Set-MailboxRegionalConfiguration -TimeZone "GMT Standard Time" –Language en-GB  -DateFormat "dd/MM/yyyy"    

    For example, for a user in the US Central time zone:


    Get-Mailbox ussales@example.com | Set-MailboxRegionalConfiguration -TimeZone "Central Standard Time" –Language en-US  -DateFormat "MM/dd/yyyy"    

Variations

Commands detailed in step 2 above show how to a hydrate mailboxes for specified users. However, if required you can hydrate mailboxes for all users, using the command below:


Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited | Set-MailboxRegionalConfiguration -TimeZone "<Time Zone>" –Language <Language> -DateFormat "<Date Format>"

For example, if all of your users are in the UK, you can use the command below to hydrate mailboxes for all users:


Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited | Set-MailboxRegionalConfiguration -TimeZone "GMT Standard Time" –Language en-GB  -DateFormat "dd/MM/yyyy"

If you have users in multiple different time zones, or that require different language options, you can use other input parameters available for the Get-Mailbox cmdlet to apply settings to a group or subset of users.


How to set up remote session to Exchange Server using PowerShell

If you use Exchange Online (Office 365) or a remotely managed exchange (Exchange Server 2010 or 2013), you need to set up a remote session to access the Exchange server. To do this, follow the steps below:


  1. Check system requirements for your operating system:
  2. Run Windows Powershell.
  3. Use the command below to check your execution policy settings:

  4. Get-ExecutionPolicy    


  5. If the execution policy is set to Restricted, change it to RemoteSigned or Unrestricted using the command below:

  6. Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned    


  7. Provide target server administrator credentials using the command below:

  8. $LiveCred = Get-Credential    


  9. Configure the connection using the relevant command below:
    • To connect to Exchange Server 2010 or 2013:

    • $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://<target-server-address>/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred        
    • To connect to Exchange Online (Office 365):

    • $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection        

  10. Start the connection using the command below:

  11. Import-PSSession $Session    


  12. When you have finished working and are ready to disconnect, use the command below:

  13. Remove-PSSession $Session    

Signature Manager Outlook Edition How To Troubleshooting