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What is Exchange Shared Mailbox

A Shared Mailbox gives access to multiple users allowing them to read and send messages of the same mailbox. It also provides users with a common calendar, allowing them to post and view schedules for vacation time, work shifts, and meetings.

Using a Shared Mailbox can be a practical solution for all types of businesses, especially for groups of people working from different locations. Any person in a group can access a Shared Mailbox appearing in their address book when given the right permissions, as it is automatically available in the Folder pane in Outlook. Other advantages for using a Shared Mailbox include the following:

  • It allows specific departments, such as help desk or human resources, to provide centralised services to their employees and conveniently respond to employee questions and concerns.
  • It permits an individual from the group to reply to a message sent to the Shared Mailbox, with the response appearing not as an individual but as that of the Shared Mailbox.
  • It is easier for a specific group of people to monitor and send emails from public email aliases like or
  • It is a great way for your organisation to handle customer email queries and share the responsibility of monitoring the mailbox as well as repond and provide customer support; as emails are stored in one Shared Mailbox.

A Shared Mailbox does not have its own username and password. Unlike a user mailbox, you cannot sign in directly to access it using Exchange protocols like Outlook, Outlook Web App (OWA), Exchange ActiveSync, Exchange Web Services (EWS), and others. You must first be granted permissions to the Shared Mailbox by your Exchange Shared Mailbox admin.

The following permissions can be granted to members of the group with a Shared Mailbox:

Permission Description
Full Access This permission allows a user to open the Shared Mailbox and act as the owner of that mailbox. The user with this permission can read, delete, and change email messages; create calendar items and contacts; and create tasks. However, this user cannot send emails from the Shared Mailbox unless they are also given the Send As or Send on Behalf permission.
Send As This permission allows a user to impersonate the Shared Mailbox when sending emails. For example, if the user "Bob Smith" logs into the Shared Mailbox "Accounting Department" and sends an email, it will look like the Accounting Department sent the email.
Send On Behalf This permission allows a user to send emails on behalf of the Shared Mailbox. For example, if the user "Bob Smith" logs into the Shared Mailbox "Accounting Department" and sends an email, it will look like the email was sent by "Bob Smith of Accounting Department".

Note: A user account that has full access to a Shared Mailbox can be used to set up the Outlook profile of that Shared Mailbox.

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