Exchange Shared Mailboxes

Guide to Online Archiving for Exchange.


What is an Exchange Shared mailbox?

  • A shared mailbox is a special mailbox that multiple users can use to read and send e-mail messages. Shared mailboxes can also be used to provide a common calendar, allowing multiple users to schedule and view calendar tasks.

Why share a mailbox?

  • A Shared mailbox provides a generic e-mail address (for example, or, that customers can use communicate with your staff. This allows multiple users to monitor and reply to e-mail sent to an e-mail address, providing a constant presence for your customers.

What types of shared mailboxes are there?

  • Shared Resource Mailbox: This is a type of Exchange Resource that allows users to share a common mailbox, similar to an Calendar Resoruce. These resoruces do not have its own user name and password, and as a result, users do not log into it them directly. To use this type of resource mailbox requires all accessing users have active and forwarded Exchange accounts, and are using Outlook or OWA as their e-mail client 6.

    • Advantages of a Shared Resoruce Mailbox:
      • Sent messages are stored automatically in the shared mailbox and users sent items. 3
      • Users have a choice if they wish their messages to be sent as the shared mailbox, or on “Behalf” the mailbox. 3
      • Automatic mounting of shared mailbox in Outlook (on Windows only.)
      • No need to learn and manage access, a request to is all that is needed.
      • Better Security, as the password for the account cannot be shared.
    • Disadvantages of a Shared Resoruce Mailbox:
      • Not shareable with non-Exchange users, and users must user a compatable e-mail client. (Microsoft Outlook) 1
      • Permission additions and/or changes can take several hours to apply.
      • Deleted Messages are moved to the Users deleted items folder. 3
      • Cannot restrict access to default or sub-folders within the mailbox, all users have full access to the entire mailbox.
  • Self-Managed mailbox: This is a regular mailbox hosted on the Exchange system, that you the end user, will configure access and permissions to provide “Shared” Access. This account is useful if you need to share with non-Exchange users 2.

    • Advantages of Self-Managed:
      • You manage the mailbox yourself, no need for ithelp tickets requesting access for your users.4
      • Can be shared with Exchange users 1 and non-exchange users. 2
      • You can provide granular access to folders within the mailbox, via folder permissions. 1
      • Ability to login to a desktop or other campus services as that ID. 2
    • Disadvantages of Self-Managed:
      • Setup and maintenance can be complicated, and time consuming.5
      • No Send as Permissions (As behalf only), unless you are directly logged into the account. 2
      • Send on Behalf and folder permissions are different settings, and both need to be managed per each user, and per each folder. 1,3,4
      • Sent and deleted items are moved to Users folders, not the shared mailboxes folders.
      • Users need to manually add the mailbox to their Outlook. (via IMAP)
      • Management of the mailbox requires Outlook 2010+ on Windows.

What permission options are available?

  • Shared Resource permissions:
    • (required) Folder Access: Full Access to all folders within the mailbox.
    • Pick One
      • (default) Send on Behalf: This permission allows you to send on behalf of the mailbox, your e-mails will be sent from your mailbox, but will have the suffix “on behalf of” . example (jdoe on behalf of sharedmailboxname)
      • (optional) Send as: Direct logon is required for this feature (via OWA, or a Outlook profile)
  • Self-Managed Permissions:
    • Folder Access: Is managed per-folder and per user within the account in Outlook. 1
    • Send on Behalf: Is managed within the shared account in Outlook delegate access. 1
    • Direct Access: This requires sharing of the account password.2

Who can use this service, and what e-mail clients will I need?

  • This service is currently available to Faculty and Staff.
    • Shared Resource mailbox: Requires and active Exchange account, and the use of a supported e-mail client. i.e. Outlook.
    • Self-Managed: For sharing with both Exchange and non-exchange users,

How do I request a shared mailbox?

  • Please review the "How to request a Shared Mailbox document", this will help you gather the information we need to create your Shared Mailbox. Then contact your TSP or College consultant, or by sending an e-mail to

Naming Conventions:

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Known limitations and other need to know items.

  • Caveats of shared mailboxes, other than the ones noted in the footnotes :
    • Self-Managed mailboxes have a soft limit on the connections they can handle. At around 20 concurrent connections, your users can start to experience connection errors. This applies to all connections to the mailbox, including direct access, shared folders, and shared calendars. (noted errors: Unable to expand folder and Unable to open your default e-mail folders.)
    • Mail/Calendar items purged (hard deleted) from a user’s mailbox may not be recoverable. It is highly advised to have a single user manage clean up due to this.
    • Feature availability depends on e-mail client. We recommend Outlook 2010+ on Windows for the best experience.
  • Footnotes:
    • 1 These features require an Active and GAL enabled Exchange account to use.
    • 2 These features require sharing the password of the account, which is a security risk.
    • 3 Depending if the shared mailbox account is logged into directly.
    • 4 Management tasks performed in Outlook 2010+ on Windows is recommended.
    • 5 Self-managed sharing is configured depending on whether the participant is an Exchange user or using an external account.
    • 6 AppleMail on OSX 10.7+ can also be used in a limited capacity.

Frequently Asked QuestionsGo to Top
  • Q: My users and/or coworkers do not want exchange accounts, how do I share with them? Can they have access to the Address book and Calendar as well as Mail folders?
  • A: In these cases, you will need to share the account password with them, which will allow them to mount the mailbox within their E-mail Client (via IMAP). However, short of directly logging into the mail account via OWA, your users will not have access to the special folders within the Exchange mailbox such as Tasks, Calendars, Notes or Address books.
  • Q: I would like to only share the Calendar of my Shared mailbox with other Exchange users, how can this be accomplished?
  • A: For self-managed, the procedure is the same as sharing a personal mailbox calendar, see these instructions (insert link). (note, you must be logged on to the account directly) 1 For Shared Resoruce, individual calendar sharing is not available, users are required to have full access.
  • Q: I would like my Shared mailbox to double as a Resource Calendar, is this possible?
  • A: Unfortunately, Shared and Calendar Resources are different types, and do not have the same options. This feature is not currently possible.
  • Q: How would I keep Sent or Deleted items in the shared mailbox when Sent or Deleted?
  • A: Shared Resoruce mailboxes automatically handle Sent items, however deleted items do not follow this behavior. For Self-Managed mailboxes that are mounted within your personal account, this can be corrected via a registry setting for Outlook on windows. For deleted items see:( For shared Items see: ( Outlook on Mac users will need to manually drag and drop sent and deleted items into the proper items folder.
  • Q: My Outlook is slow now that I have shared mailboxes attached. What can I do to speed it up?
  • A: This is a common issue for users that keep large amounts of mail, and the problem is compounded when adding additional mailboxes that could also have large amounts of mail. Other than cleaning up your mailboxes, disabling the caching mode on (Outlook for Windows) the shared mailboxes can increase performance. Information on this can be found here: Mac users are current do not have this setting, and cleanup is their only recourse.
  • Q: I want to access a shared mailbox on my phone or tablet, is this possible?
  • A: Shared Resoruce mailboxes can be added to your supported device. (Instructions link here) Self-Managed, since this is a regular mailbox, you can create a secondary e-mail profile on your device to gain access.2
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