Shared mailbox in Exchange Online allow a group of users to view and send email from a common mailbox. Understanding shared mailbox limitations in office 365 is important for setting up right expectations for customers. A lot of customers asked questions about utilizing shared mailboxes in office 365. Before we suggest a solution to the customers we should have a strong understanding of shared mailbox limitations in office 365. In this blog post, we will try to build an understanding on shared mailbox limitations to help customers in making a decision when to use a shared mailbox versus user mailbox.

Understanding Shared Mailbox Limitations in Office 365

shared mailbox in office 365 is:

  • Free and do not require a license, but every user that accesses the Shared Mailbox must be assigned an Office 365 license.
  • Cannot be accessed by users with Exchange Online Kiosk license.
  • Can be used to store emails sent to and received by the Shared Mailbox.
  • Can be used to store data migrated from on-premises Public Folders.
  • Each shared mailbox can be a maximum size of 50GB but shared mailboxes over 50GB in size need to be licensed.
  • A Shared mailbox doesn’t have a username and password and users cannot log into it directly. A user must sign in to his/her own mailbox and then open the shared mailbox using permissions.

Shared mailboxes aren’t primarily associated with individual users and are generally configured to allow access by multiple users e.g. departmental users, Sales team, HR etc.

  • Cannot be used to archive emails from a user.
  • Cannot be used for Journaling.
  • Cannot be accessed using ActiveSync clients.
  • Doesn’t support Unified Messaging feature.
  • Cannot be accessed using Outlook client. To access a shared mailbox on outlook client, you need to first configure a user mailbox that has access to shared mailbox.
  • Active Directory user associated with a shared mailbox is always a disabled user account.

Create a Shared Mailbox in Office 365 using EAC:

To create a shared mailbox in office 365 using EAC, we need to follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. Log on to Office 365 Admin Center using Global Admin credentials.
  2. Go to Exchange Online Admin Center –> Recipients –> Shared and Click on + iconCreate a shared mailbox
  3. Enter Shared Mailbox information. Add users to Shared Mailbox that will have permissions to view and send email from shared mailbox.

Create a Shared Mailbox in Office 365 using Remote PowerShell:

To create a shared mailbox in office 365 using Remote PowerShell, Follow the steps mentioned below.

  1. Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell.
  2. After connecting to Exchange Online PowerShell, Run the cmdlet New-Mailbox -Name “Shared Mailbox Name” -Alias “Shared Mailbox Alias” -SharedPS
  3. Once the mailbox is created, Run the cmdlet to assign appropriate permissions to users. Add-RecipientPermission “MSTechTalk Shared” –Trustee riaz –AccessRights SendAs. This cmdlet will assign “Send As” permissions to user Riaz.

You can find more information on Exchange online limitations at TechNet.

Riaz is a technology evangelist with over 8 years of extensive experience with expertise on Identity Management, Exchange Server, Office 365 and a bit of System Center. Riaz is currently working as Lead Consultant. His technical experience is followed by 8 years consulting positions advising both internal and external (local & International) stakeholders/customers on strategic technology selection and adoption along with delivery of solutions across a range of business units. He is a regional lead speaker for Microsoft Office 365 and also speaks in community forums.

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