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Client for Microsoft Exchange Web Services (EWS)

Project description

This module provides an well-performing, well-behaving, platform-independent and simple interface for communicating with a Microsoft Exchange 2007-2016 Server or Office365 using Exchange Web Services (EWS). It currently implements autodiscover, and functions for searching, creating, updating, deleting, exporting and uploading calendar, mailbox, task, contact and distribution list items.


Here are some examples of how exchangelib works:

Setup and connecting

from datetime import timedelta
from exchangelib import DELEGATE, IMPERSONATION, Account, Credentials, ServiceAccount, \
    EWSDateTime, EWSTimeZone, Configuration, NTLM, CalendarItem, Message, \
    Mailbox, Attendee, Q, ExtendedProperty, FileAttachment, ItemAttachment, \
    HTMLBody, Build, Version

# Specify your credentials. Username is usually in WINDOMAIN\username format, where WINDOMAIN is
# the name of the Windows Domain your username is connected to, but some servers also
# accept usernames in PrimarySMTPAddress ('') format (Office365 requires it).
# UPN format is also supported, if your server expects that.
credentials = Credentials(username='MYWINDOMAIN\\myusername', password='topsecret')

# If you're running long-running jobs, you may want to enable fault-tolerance. Fault-tolerance
# means that requests to the server do an exponential backoff and sleep for up to a certain
# threshold before giving up, if the server is unavailable or responding with error messages.
# This prevents automated scripts from overwhelming a failing or overloaded server, and hides
# intermittent service outages that often happen in large Exchange installations.

# If you want to enable the fault tolerance, create credentials as a service account instead:
credentials = ServiceAccount(username='FOO\\bar', password='topsecret')

# An Account is the account on the Exchange server that you want to connect to. This can be
# the account associated with the credentials you connect with, or any other account on the
# server that you have been granted access to.
# 'primary_smtp_address' is the primary SMTP address assigned the account. If you enable
# autodiscover, an alias address will work, too. In this case, 'Account.primary_smtp_address'
# will be set to the primary SMTP address.
my_account = Account(primary_smtp_address='', credentials=credentials,
                     autodiscover=True, access_type=DELEGATE)
johns_account = Account(primary_smtp_address='', credentials=credentials,
                        autodiscover=True, access_type=DELEGATE)
marys_account = Account(primary_smtp_address='', credentials=credentials,
                        autodiscover=True, access_type=DELEGATE)
still_marys_account = Account(primary_smtp_address='',
                              credentials=credentials, autodiscover=True, access_type=DELEGATE)

# Set up a target account and do an autodiscover lookup to find the target EWS endpoint.
account = Account(primary_smtp_address='', credentials=credentials,
                  autodiscover=True, access_type=DELEGATE)

# If your credentials have been given impersonation access to the target account, set a
# different 'access_type':
account = Account(primary_smtp_address='', credentials=credentials,
                  autodiscover=True, access_type=IMPERSONATION)

# If the server doesn't support autodiscover, or you want to avoid the overhead of autodiscover,
# use a Configuration object to set the server location instead:
config = Configuration(server='', credentials=credentials)
account = Account(primary_smtp_address='', config=config,
                  autodiscover=False, access_type=DELEGATE)

# 'exchangelib' will attempt to guess the server version and authentication method. If you
# have a really bizarre or locked-down installation and the guessing fails, or you want to avoid
# the extra network traffic, you can set the auth method and version explicitly instead:
version = Version(build=Build(15, 0, 12, 34))
config = Configuration(server='', credentials=credentials, version=version, auth_type=NTLM)

# If you're connecting to the same account very often, you can cache the autodiscover result for
# later so you can skip the autodiscover lookup:
ews_url = account.protocol.service_endpoint
ews_auth_type = account.protocol.auth_type
primary_smtp_address = account.primary_smtp_address

# 5 minutes later, fetch the cached values and create the account without autodiscovering:
config = Configuration(service_endpoint=ews_url, credentials=credentials, auth_type=ews_auth_type)
account = Account(
    primary_smtp_address=primary_smtp_address, config=config, autodiscover=False, access_type=DELEGATE

# If you need proxy support or custom TLS validation, you can supply a custom 'requests' transport adapter, as
# described in
# exchangelib provides a sample adapter which ignores SSL validation errors. Use at own risk.
from exchangelib.protocol import BaseProtocol, NoVerifyHTTPAdapter
BaseProtocol.HTTP_ADAPTER_CLS = NoVerifyHTTPAdapter


# The most common folders are available as account.calendar, account.trash, account.drafts, account.inbox,
# account.outbox, account.sent, account.junk, account.tasks, and account.contacts.
# There are multiple ways of navigating the folder tree and searching for folders. Globbing and absolute path may
# create unexpected results if your folder names contain slashes.
some_folder.root  # Returns the root of the folder structure, at any level. Same as Account.root
some_folder.children  # A generator of child folders
some_folder.absolute  # Returns the absolute path, as a string
some_folder.walk()  # A generator returning all subfolders at arbitrary depth this level
# Globbing uses the normal UNIX globbing syntax
some_folder.glob('foo*')  # Return child folders matching the pattern
some_folder.glob('*/foo')  # Return subfolders named 'foo' in any child folder
some_folder.glob('**/foo')  # Return subfolders named 'foo' at any depth
some_folder / 'sub_folder' / 'even_deeper' / 'leaf'  # Works like pathlib.Path  # returns some_folder, some_folder.parent, some_folder.parent.parent as Folder instances
# tree() returns a string representation of the tree structure at the given level
├── inbox
│   └── todos
└── archive
    ├── Last Job
    ├── exchangelib issues
    └── Mom

# Folders have some useful counters:
# Update the counters
# The folder structure is cached after first access. To clear the cache, refresh the root folder

Dates, datetimes and timezones

EWS has some special requirements on datetimes and timezones. You need to use the special EWSDate, EWSDateTime and EWSTimeZone classes when working with dates.

# EWSTimeZone works just like pytz.timezone()
tz = EWSTimeZone.timezone('Europe/Copenhagen')
# You can also get the local timezone defined in your operating system
tz = EWSTimeZone.localzone()

# EWSDate and EWSDateTime work just like datetime.datetime and Always create timezone-aware
# datetimes with EWSTimeZone.localize():
localized_dt = tz.localize(EWSDateTime(2017, 9, 5, 8, 30))
right_now = tz.localize(

# Datetime math works transparently
two_hours_later = localized_dt + timedelta(hours=2)
two_hours = two_hours_later - localized_dt

# Dates
my_date = EWSDate(2017, 9, 5)
today =
also_today =

# UTC helpers. 'UTC' is the UTC timezone as an EWSTimeZone instance.
# 'UTC_NOW' returns a timezone-aware UTC timestamp of current time.
from exchangelib import UTC, UTC_NOW

right_now_in_utc = UTC.localize(
right_now_in_utc = UTC_NOW()

Creating, updating, deleting, sending and moving

# Here's an example of creating a calendar item in the user's standard calendar.  If you want to
# access a non-standard calendar, choose a different one from account.folders[Calendar].
# You can create, update and delete single items:
from exchangelib.items import SEND_ONLY_TO_ALL, SEND_ONLY_TO_CHANGED
item = CalendarItem(folder=account.calendar, subject='foo')  # This gives the item an 'item_id' and a 'changekey' value  # Send a meeting invitation to attendees
# Update a field. All fields have a corresponding Python type that must be used.
item.subject = 'bar'
# Print all available fields on the 'CalendarItem' class. Beware that some fields are read-only, or
# read-only after the item has been saved or sent, and some fields are not supported on old versions
# of Exchange.
print(CalendarItem.FIELDS)  # When the items has an item_id, this will update the item['subject'])  # Only updates certain fields  # Send meeting invitation, but only to attendee changes
item.delete()  # Hard deletinon
item.delete(send_meeting_cancellations=SEND_ONLY_TO_ALL)  # Send meeting cancellations to all attendees
item.soft_delete()  # Delete, but keep a copy in the recoverable items folder
item.move_to_trash()  # Move to the trash folder
item.move(account.trash)  # Also moves the item to the trash folder

# You can also send emails. If you don't want a local copy:
m = Message(
    subject='Daily motivation',
    body='All bodies are beautiful',
    to_recipients=[Mailbox(email_address=''), Mailbox(email_address='')],
    cc_recipients=['', ''],  # Simple strings work, too
    bcc_recipients=[Mailbox(email_address=''), ''],  # Or a mix of both

# Or, if you want a copy in e.g. the 'Sent' folder
m = Message(
    subject='Daily motivation',
    body='All bodies are beautiful',

# EWS distinquishes between plain text and HTML body contents. If you want to send HTML body content, use
# the HTMLBody helper. Clients will see this as HTML and display the body correctly:
item.body = HTMLBody('<html><body>Hello happy <blink>OWA user!</blink></body></html>')

Bulk operations

# Build a list of calendar items
tz = EWSTimeZone.timezone('Europe/Copenhagen')
year, month, day = 2016, 3, 20
calendar_items = []
for hour in range(7, 17):
        start=tz.localize(EWSDateTime(year, month, day, hour, 30)),
        end=tz.localize(EWSDateTime(year, month, day, hour + 1, 15)),
        subject='Test item',
        body='Hello from Python',
        categories=['foo', 'bar'],
        required_attendees = [Attendee(

# Create all items at once
return_ids = account.bulk_create(folder=account.calendar, items=calendar_items)

# Bulk fetch, when you have a list of item IDs and want the full objects. Returns a generator.
calendar_ids = [(i.item_id, i.changekey) for i in calendar_items]
items_iter = account.fetch(ids=calendar_ids)
# If you only want some fields, use the 'only_fields' attribute
items_iter = account.fetch(ids=calendar_ids, only_fields=['start', 'subject'])

# Bulk update items. Each item must be accompanied by a list of attributes to update
updated_ids = account.bulk_create(items=[(i, ('start', 'subject')) for i in calendar_items])

# Move many items to a new folder
new_ids = account.bulk_move(ids=calendar_ids, to_folder=account.other_calendar)

# Send draft messages in bulk
new_ids = account.bulk_send(ids=message_ids, save_copy=False)

# Delete in bulk
delete_results = account.bulk_delete(ids=calendar_ids)

# Bulk delete items found as a queryset


Searching is modeled after the Django QuerySet API, and a large part of the API is supported. Like in Django, the QuerySet is lazy and doesn’t fetch anything before the QuerySet is iterated. QuerySets support chaining, so you can build the final query in multiple steps, and you can re-use a base QuerySet for multiple sub-searches. The QuerySet returns an iterator, and results are cached when the QuerySet is fully iterated the first time.

Here are some examples of using the API:

# Let's get the calendar items we just created.
all_items = my_folder.all()  # Get everything
all_items_without_caching = my_folder.all().iterator()  # Get everything, but don't cache
filtered_items = my_folder.filter(subject__contains='foo').exclude(categories__icontains='bar')  # Chaining
status_report = my_folder.all().delete()  # Delete the items returned by the QuerySet
items_for_2017 = my_calendar.filter(start__range=(
    tz.localize(EWSDateTime(2017, 1, 1)),
    tz.localize(EWSDateTime(2018, 1, 1))
))  # Filter by a date range
# Same as filter() but throws an error if exactly one item isn't returned
item = my_folder.get(subject='unique_string')

# You can sort by a single or multiple fields. Prefix a field with '-' to reverse the sorting. Sorting is efficient
# since it is done server-side.
ordered_items = my_folder.all().order_by('subject')
reverse_ordered_items = my_folder.all().order_by('-subject')
sorted_by_home_street = my_contacts.all().order_by('physical_addresses__Home__street')  # Indexed properties
dont_do_this = my_huge_folder.all().order_by('subject', 'categories')[:10]  # This is efficient

# Counting and exists
n = my_folder.all().count()  # Efficient counting
folder_is_empty = not my_folder.all().exists()  # Efficient tasting

# Restricting returned attributes
sparse_items = my_folder.all().only('subject', 'start')
# Dig deeper on indexed properties
sparse_items = my_contacts.all().only('phone_numbers')
sparse_items = my_contacts.all().only('phone_numbers__CarPhone')
sparse_items = my_contacts.all().only('physical_addresses__Home__street')

# Returning values instead of objects
ids_as_dict = my_folder.all().values('item_id', 'changekey')  # Return values as dicts, not objects
values_as_list = my_folder.all().values_list('subject', 'body')  # Return values as nested lists
all_subjects = my_folder.all().values_list('physical_addresses__Home__street', flat=True)  # Return a flat list

# A QuerySet can be sliced like a normal Python list. Slicing from the start of the QuerySet
# is efficient (it only fetches the necessary items), but more exotic slicing requires many or all
# items to be fetched from the server. Slicing from the end is also efficient, but then you might as
# well just reverse the sorting.
first_ten_emails = my_folder.all().order_by('-datetime_received')[:10]  # Efficient
last_ten_emails = my_folder.all().order_by('-datetime_received')[:-10]  # Efficient, but convoluted
next_ten_emails = my_folder.all().order_by('-datetime_received')[10:20]  # Still quite efficient
eviction_warning = my_folder.all().order_by('-datetime_received')[34298]  # This is looking for trouble
some_random_emails = my_folder.all().order_by('-datetime_received')[::3]  # This is just stupid

# The syntax for filter() is modeled after Django QuerySet filters. The following filter lookup types
# are supported. Some lookups only work with string attributes, some only with date or numerical
# attributes, and some attributes are not searchable at all:
qs = account.calendar.all()
qs.filter(subject='foo')  # Returns items where subject is exactly 'foo'. Case-sensitive
qs.filter(start__range=(dt1, dt2))  # Returns items starting within range. Only for date and numerical types
qs.filter(subject__in=('foo', 'bar'))  # Return items where subject is either 'foo' or 'bar'
qs.filter(subject__not='foo')  # Returns items where subject is not 'foo'
qs.filter(start__gt=dt)  # Returns items starting after 'dt'.  Only for date and numerical types
qs.filter(start__gte=dt)  # Returns items starting on or after 'dt'.  Only for date and numerical types
qs.filter(start__lt=dt)  # Returns items starting before 'dt'.  Only for date and numerical types
qs.filter(start__lte=dt)  # Returns items starting on or before 'dt'.  Only for date and numerical types
qs.filter(subject__exact='foo')  #  Returns items where subject is 'foo'. Same as filter(subject='foo')
qs.filter(subject__iexact='foo')  #  Returns items where subject is 'foo', 'FOO' or 'Foo'
qs.filter(subject__contains='foo')  #  Returns items where subject contains 'foo'
qs.filter(subject__icontains='foo')  # Returns items where subject contains 'foo', 'FOO' or 'Foo'
qs.filter(subject__startswith='foo')  # Returns items where subject starts with 'foo'
qs.filter(subject__istartswith='foo')  # Returns items where subject starts with 'foo', 'FOO' or 'Foo'
# Returns items that have at least one category set, i.e. the field exists on the item on the server
# Returns items that have no categories set, i.e. the field does not exist on the item on the server

# filter() also supports EWS QueryStrings. Just pass the string to filter(). QueryStrings cannot be combined with
# other filters. We make no attempt at validating the syntax of the QueryString - we just pass the string verbatim
# to EWS.
# Read more about the QueryString syntax here:
items = my_folder.filter('subject:XXX')

# filter() also supports Q objects that are modeled after Django Q objects, for building complex
# boolean logic search expressions.
q = (Q(subject__iexact='foo') | Q(subject__contains='bar')) & ~Q(subject__startswith='baz')
items = my_folder.filter(q)

# In this example, we filter by categories so we only get the items created by us.
items = account.calendar.filter(
    start__lt=tz.localize(EWSDateTime(year, month, day + 1)),
    end__gt=tz.localize(EWSDateTime(year, month, day)),
    categories__contains=['foo', 'bar'],
for item in items:
    print(item.start, item.end, item.subject, item.body, item.location)

# By default, EWS returns only the master recurring item. If you want recurring calendar
# items to be expanded, use calendar.view(start=..., end=...) instead.
items = account.calendar.view(
    start=tz.localize(EWSDateTime(year, month, day)),
    end=tz.localize(EWSDateTime(year, month, day)) + timedelta(days=1),
for item in items:
    print(item.start, item.end, item.subject, item.body, item.location)

Extended properties

Extended properties makes it possible to attach custom key-value pairs to items stored on the Exchange server. There are multiple online resources that describe working with extended properties, and list many of the magic values that are used by existing Exchange clients to store common and custom properties. The following is not a comprehensive description of the possibilities, but we do intend to support all the possibilities provided by EWS.

# If folder items have extended properties, you need to register them before you can access them. Create
# a subclass of ExtendedProperty and define a set of matching setup values:
class LunchMenu(ExtendedProperty):
    property_set_id = '12345678-1234-1234-1234-123456781234'
    property_name = 'Catering from the cafeteria'
    property_type = 'String'

# Register the property on the item type of your choice
CalendarItem.register('lunch_menu', LunchMenu)
# Now your property is available as the attribute 'lunch_menu', just like any other attribute
item = CalendarItem(..., lunch_menu='Foie gras et consommé de légumes')
for i in account.calendar.all():
# If you change your mind, jsut remove the property again

# You can also create named properties (e.g. created from User Defined Fields in Outlook, see issue #137):
class LunchMenu(ExtendedProperty):
    distinguished_property_set_id = 'PublicStrings'
    property_name = 'Catering from the cafeteria'
    property_type = 'String'

# We support extended properties with tags. This is the definition for the 'completed' and 'followup' flag you can
# add to items in Outlook (see also issue #85):
class Flag(ExtendedProperty):
    property_tag = 0x1090
    property_type = 'Integer'

# Or with property ID:
class MyMeetingArray(ExtendedProperty):
    property_set_id = '00062004-0000-0000-C000-000000000046'
    property_type = 'BinaryArray'
    property_id = 32852

# Or using distinguished property sets combined with property ID (here as a hex value to align with
# the format usually mentioned in Microsoft docs). This is the definition for a response to an Outlook
# Vote request (see issue #198):
class VoteResponse(ExtendedProperty):
    distinguished_property_set_id = 'Common'
    property_id = 0x00008524
    property_type = 'String'


# It's possible to create, delete and get attachments connected to any item type:
# Process attachments on existing items. FileAttachments have a 'content' attribute
# containing the binary content of the file, and ItemAttachments have an 'item' attribute
# containing the item. The item can be a Message, CalendarItem, Task etc.
for item in my_folder.all():
    for attachment in item.attachments:
        if isinstance(attachment, FileAttachment):
            local_path = os.path.join('/tmp',
            with open(local_path, 'wb') as f:
            print('Saved attachment to', local_path)
        elif isinstance(attachment, ItemAttachment):
            if isinstance(attachment.item, Message):
                print(attachment.item.subject, attachment.item.body)

# Create a new item with an attachment
item = Message(...)
binary_file_content = 'Hello from unicode æøå'.encode('utf-8')  # Or read from file, BytesIO etc.
my_file = FileAttachment(name='my_file.txt', content=binary_file_content)
my_calendar_item = CalendarItem(...)
my_appointment = ItemAttachment(name='my_appointment', item=my_calendar_item)

# Add an attachment on an existing item
my_other_file = FileAttachment(name='my_other_file.txt', content=binary_file_content)

# Remove the attachment again

# Attachments cannot be updated via EWS. In this case, you must to detach the attachment, update the
# relevant fields, and attach the updated attachment.

# Be aware that adding and deleting attachments from items that are already created in Exchange
# (items that have an item_id) will update the changekey of the item.

Recurring calendar items

There is full read-write support for creating recurring calendar items. You can create daily, weekly, monthly and yearly recurrences (the latter two in relative and absolute versions).

Here’s an example of creating 7 occurrences on Mondays and Wednesdays of every third week, starting September 1, 2017:

from exchangelib.recurrence import Recurrence, WeeklyPattern, MONDAY, WEDNESDAY

start = tz.localize(EWSDateTime(2017, 9, 1, 11))
item = CalendarItem(
    end=start + timedelta(hours=2),
    subject='Hello Recurrence',
        pattern=WeeklyPattern(interval=3, weekdays=[MONDAY, WEDNESDAY]),,

# Occurrence data for the master item
for i in a.calendar.filter(start__lt=end, end__gt=start):
    print(i.subject, i.start, i.end)
    for o in i.modified_occurrences:
    for o in i.deleted_occurrences:

# All occurrences expanded. The recurrence will span over 4 iterations of a 3-week period
for i in a.calendar.view(start=start, end=start + timedelta(days=4*3*7)):
    print(i.subject, i.start, i.end)

Message timestamp fields

Each Message item has four timestamp fields:

  • datetime_created
  • datetime_sent
  • datetime_received
  • last_modified_time

The values for these fields are set by the Exchange server and are not modifiable via EWS. All values are timezone-aware EWSDateTime instances.

The datetime_sent value may be earlier than datetime_created.


If you are having trouble using this library, the first thing to try is to enable debug logging. This will output a huge amount of information about what is going on, most notable the actual XML documents that are doing over the wite. This can be really handy to see which fields are being sent and received.

import logging
# Your code using exchangelib goes here

When you capture a blob of interesting XML from the output, you’ll want to pretty-print it to make it readable. Paste the blob in your favourite editor (e.g. TextMate has a pretty-print keyboard shortcut when the editor window is in XML mode which also highlights the XML), or use this Python snippet:

import io
from lxml.etree import parse, tostring

xml_str = '''
paste your XML blob here


Most class definitions have a docstring containing at least a URL to the MSDN page for the corresponding XML element.

from exchangelib import CalendarItem


Most, but not all, item attributes are supported. Adding more attributes is usually uncomplicated. Feel free to open a PR or an issue.

Item export and upload is supported, for efficient backup, restore and migration.

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