Configuring Information Rights Management for Messaging in Outlook 2003

Information Rights Management (IRM), a new feature in Microsoft® Office 2003, can help prevent sensitive information from being distributed to or read by people who do not have permission to access the content. In Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, users can create and send e-mail messages with restricted permission to help prevent messages from being forwarded, printed, or copied and pasted. Microsoft Office 2003 documents, workbooks, and presentations that are attached to messages with restricted permission are automatically restricted as well.

 Note    The ability to create content or e-mail messages with restricted permission using Information Rights Management is available only with the Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 version of the following applications: Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003, and Outlook 2003. IRM is also available in the stand-alone version of those applications. Users who have Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003 installed can read and use content and e-mail messages with restricted content but cannot create new content or e-mail messages with restricted permission. If users reply to or forward messages with restricted permission (assuming their permission to reply or forward is not restricted), the reply or forwarded message will not have restricted permission.

To learn more about using IRM in Outlook, see Information Rights Management.

Administrators can configure several options for IRM in e-mail messaging, including the following:

  • Disable IRM.

To disable IRM in Outlook, you use a policy that disables IRM for all Office applications. You cannot disable IRM for only one Office application.

  • Download permissions when downloading a message.

This option allows users to download e-mail messages while connected to the network, and later work with e-mail messages that have restricted permission without requiring network connectivity when the messages and documents are opened. IRM licenses are cached on the user's computer when the messages are downloaded. This option is enabled by default.

 Note    When Outlook is used with Cached Exchange Mode, users can download permissions with messages only when the full message is downloaded to the user's computer.

  • Help enforce message expiration.

When you specify the number of days before a message expires with IRM enabled, the message cannot be accessed after the expiration period.

There are also Office-wide IRM settings that you can configure, such as the following:

  • Specify a custom URL or e-mail address for users to request additional IRM permissions.
  • Specify how groups can be used with IRM permissions.
  • Allow licenses to be automatically acquired from specific servers. This also prevents a permissions-restriction dialog box from appearing when users try to open restricted messages or items.

 Note    You can customize your Office IRM deployment to select how users validate licenses and to include custom rights templates (collections of selected IRM permissions). To learn more about deploying IRM in Office, see Customizing Information Rights Management and Installing Client Software.

Deploying IRM user settings

Default Outlook or Office IRM settings can be configured on the Change Office User Settings page in the Custom Installation Wizard, or you can lock down the settings by using Group Policy with either the Office (Office11.adm) or Outlook (Outlk11.adm) ADM template. The IRM settings are located in parallel locations in each tool under the Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or Microsoft Office 2003 tree. Setting message expiration is in a separate area (see the procedure for configuring e-mail message expiration settings).

To disable IRM for Office and configure other Office IRM settings for users

  1. In Group Policy, in the Office 2003 policy template (Office11.adm), under User configuration\Administrative templates\Microsoft Office 2003, double-click Manage Restricted Permissions.
  2. Double-click Disable Information Rights Management User Interface.
  3. Select the Enabled radio button to enable configuring the settings.
  4. To disable IRM, select the Check to enforce setting on; uncheck to enforce setting off check box.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Configure other IRM settings to enforce for users.

You can also configure Outlook-specific settings, including automatic license caching for IRM and an e-mail message expiration period.

To disable automatic license caching (permission download) for Outlook IRM

  1. In the Group Policy snap-in, in the Outlook 2003 policy template (Outlk11.adm), navigate to User configuration\Administrative templates\Microsoft Office Outlook 2003\Miscellaneous.
  2. To disable downloading permissions when e-mail messages are downloaded, double-click Do not download permission for e-mail during offline Exchange folder sync.
  3. Select the Check to disable download of permission check box.
  4. Click OK.

If users add restricted permission to an e-mail message, the message expiration period is enforced. Users will see the e-mail message in their Outlook folder with a strike-through line — the same appearance for expired messages as when message expiration is not enforced — but they will not be able to access the message. You can lock down the number of days before messages expire for all Outlook e-mail messages.

To configure e-mail message expiration settings

  1. In Group Policy, in the Outlook 2003 policy template (Outlk11.adm), navigate to Tools | Options\Preferences\E-mail options\Advanced E-mail options.
  2. Double-click When sending a message.
  3. Select the Enabled option button to enable configuring the settings.
  4. In the box following Messages expire after (days), enter a number of days.
  5. Click OK.

Related links

To learn more about how Information Rights Management in Office 2003 is implemented, see Overview of Information Rights Management.

You can configure and deploy new Information Rights Management settings and other updates to an Outlook 2003 after initial installation. For more information about updating an Outlook installation, see Updating Outlook 2003 by Using the Custom Maintenance Wizard.

Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003