Creating a shared mailbox in Office 365

Shared mailboxes in Office 365 make it easy for a group of people to monitor and send email from a common email addresses, like info@contoso.com, support@fourthcoffee.com or contact@contoso.com. When a person in the group replies to a message sent to the shared mailbox, the email appears to be from the shared mailbox and not from the individual user.

Shared mailboxes are a great way to handle customer email questions because several people in your organisation can share the responsibility of monitoring the shared mailbox and responding to queries. Your customer questions get quicker answers, and related emails are all stored in one mailbox.

A shared mailbox doesn't have its own user name and password. You can't log into a shared mailbox directly using Outlook or Outlook Web App (OWA). You must first be granted permissions to the shared mailbox, and then you access it using Outlook or OWA. You don't need to assign licenses to shared mailboxes, except when they are over their storage quota of 50 gigabytes (GB).

You must have Office 365 administrator permissions to create a shared mailbox.

This article describes how an Office 365 administrator may create a shared mailbox. The steps to follow are:

 

Signing in to your Office 365 account

To sign in to your Office 365 account,

  1. Open a web browser and, in the Address box, enter the following URL, www.microsoftonline.com

The Office 365 sign-in page opens.

  1. Enter your username and password.
  2. Click Sign in.
  3. The Office 365 admin center opens on the DASHBOARD.

You are now signed in to your Office 365 account and, provided you have administrator privileges, you may proceed to create a shared mailbox.

 

Creating a shared mailbox

To create a shared mailbox, proceed as follows.

  1. From your Office 365 dashboard, click the app launcher icon, and then click Admin.

  1. From the left hand navigation pane, click SHARED MAILBOXES.

The SHARED MAILBOXES page opens.

  1. On the SHARED MAILBOX page, click the Create a shared mailbox icon, .

The Create a shared mailbox page opens.

  1. On the Create a shared mailbox page, enter the following information:
    1. Name - This is the shared mailbox name, and it appears in the address book, on the To field in email, and in the list of shared mailboxes on the Shared Mailboxes page. It's required and should be user-friendly so people recognize what it is.
    2. Email address – In the first box, enter the first part of the email address for the shared mailbox. In the second box. choose the second part of the email address from the drop-down options.
    3. Add members – Add members to the shared mailbox as follows:
      1. In the search field, type a person's name (or the first part of it).

If the person has a valid email account then the search results appear beneath the search field.

  1. Select the person from the search results.

The person is now added as a new member to the shared mailbox. Repeat Step 4c for all required members of the shared mailbox. These will all be listed beneath the search box.

  1. Click Create.

After a short wait, the SHARED MAILBOXES page re-appears. The new shared mailbox is listed, and details of the new shared mailbox are visible in the right hand pane..

 

Adding or removing members

After you create a shared mailbox, you can add new members or remove existing members whenever you want.

To add members to, or remove members from, a shared mailbox, first sign in to your Office 365 account (See, Signing in to your Office 365 account), then proceed as follows.

  1. Follow Step 1 and Step 2 of, Creating a shared mailbox.

The SHARED MAILBOXES page opens.

  1. In the list of shared mailboxes, locate the required mailbox and click the associated tickbox.

The shared mailbox details appear in the right hand pane.

  1. Click EDIT MEMBERS.

After a short wait, the EDIT MEMBERS page appears.

  1. Add or remove a member by following Step 4a. or Step 4b. below, as required:
    1. Adding a member – To add a member proceed as follows:
      1. In the search field, type a person's name (or the first part of it).

If the person has a valid email account then the search results appear beneath the search field.

  1. Select the person from the search results.

The person is now added as a new member to the shared mailbox. Repeat Step 4a for all required members of the shared mailbox. These will all be listed beneath the search box.

  1. Removing a member – To remove a member from the shared mailbox, simply click the cross next to the member's name.

The member will be deleted immediately from the shared mailbox.

  1. Click Save, to save your changes and exit from the EDIT MEMBERS page.