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Configure a shared mailbox in Exchange 2010

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We see 3 or 4 requests every day for how to configure a shared mailbox.  Now that Exchange 2010 is growing in uptake, more of those requests are for this facility in Exchange 2010.  With Exchange 2010 the process has slightly changed, for the better.

Create the Mailbox

Using the Exchange Management Console locate the Recipient Configuration section.  From the action pane on the right hand side select New Mailbox.  You will then see the screen below.
 new mailboxYou will notice in Exchange 2010 we have 4 different types of mailbox and these are:
User Mailbox - This is the type of mailbox we would assign to a single user for sending/receiving email, calendaring & contacts.
Room Mailbox – Used for scheduling rooms for meetings etc.  These can be added when sending out a meeting request as a resource.  There are also a number of different management options
Equipment Mailbox – Used for scheduling a resource, like digital camera or projector for example.  These can also be added when sending out a meeting request as a resource
Linked Mailbox – This is to assign a user to a mailbox that is in a different forest.
The one we are going to select is User Mailbox.  Once selected click next.  And you will receive the screen below.
 mailboxdetailComplete the details for your user; I like to use something that describes the mailbox in question.  Once done click next and you will see the screen below.
 mailboxdetail2Enter the Exchange Alias, I normally set this the same as the username, but as long as it’s unique it can be anything you like.   If you want to specify a database (if you have more than one) and any mailbox/activesync policies do so here.  As this is a shared mailbox you may want to not set any policies you have in place for other users or you may wish to define a completely separate policy specifically for shared mailboxes.  Once done click next.

Choose whether to include an archive mailbox or not.  Click next then new and finish to complete the wizard.

Assign permissions

Once you have completed the wizard and setup your mailbox, locate the mailbox in the Exchange Management Console and right click.  You will see the following menu.
 rightclickSelect Manage Full Access Permissions this will display the first screen of the permissions wizard as below.
 permissionsClick the Add button and locate the groups/users you want to give permissions to.  I would always recommend using Security Groups because you can then simply add the user to the required group rather than run through the Exchange wizard each time.

Once you have selected the users/groups click Manage and then Finish to apply the selected permissions.

Open the mailbox

Now that we have created the mailbox and assigned permissions we need to add the mailbox to our selected users we need to open it in Outlook.

To do this is slightly different depending on the version of outlook you are using.  Go to Tools > Account Settings (If using Outlook 2010 you will need to go to File and then Account settings) and then highlight the Exchange account and select either properties or change (depending on version).  You will then see the screen below.
 outlook-01Click the more settings button and then select the advanced tab.  As seen below.
 outlook-02Once you have this screen open click on the Add and type the name of the mailbox, in this case shared mailbox.  Click OK, then apply then finish.

You will now be able to see the mailbox listed in Outlook.

Further Reading

Recipient types in Exchange 2010: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb201680.aspx
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Author:Glen Knight
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8 Comments

Expert Comment

by:gdozier
Although this procedure shows you how to create a user mailbox that can be accessed by multiple users, it's really not a "shared" mailbox as defined by Microsoft.

Creating an actual Shared Mailbox is a completely different procedure. By mixing terminology, this article is confusing to someone looking for instructions on how to create a true "Shared Mailbox".
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Author Comment

by:Glen Knight
gdozier,
Thank you for your feedback, you are right, Microsoft do have a "shared mailbox"

However, this article was written to answer questions posed in the Exchange Email Server zone, and is targetted for the exact type of mailbox that people request.

The majority of question askers are not overly familiar with the Exchange Management Shell and are not interested in using this to manage a true "shared mailbox"

The Shared Mailbox is a type of recipient which is new to Exchange 2010 and is exactly that, a shared mailbox.  Whereas what most people are after when they ask this question is a way to share someone elses mailbox (a live user - remember a shared mailbox recipient is associated with a user that is must be disabled).  Technically this is the only difference between a shared mailbox and a shared mailbox recipient.  And of course that a shared mailbox recipient must be managed through the EMS.

Thanks
demazter
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Expert Comment

by:wayfarer1210
Hi, i carried out this procedure before reading here and yes it works but what happens if you want to limit certain folders within this shared mailbox?  I have  tried doing this but still seems the user can access folders i restrict, i guess because they have "full access permission"  surely we must be able to define permissions within the mailbox? thanks,
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Expert Comment

by:zeotech
Is there anyway to "push" out the settings to clients for these shared mailboxes? It will be quite a pain to go to each user's computer and add an additional mailbox.
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Expert Comment

by:zeotech
You may also want to mention that the "Full Access Permission" users cannot reply to emails sent to the account, they do not have permission.

"You can't send a message on behalf of this user unless you have permission to do so. Please make sure you're sending on behalf of the correct sender, or request the necessary permission. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk."
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Expert Comment

by:Mathiau
^^^ so how does one fix that? i need the ability of users to be able to send emails on behalf of, not just receive.
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Expert Comment

by:Mathiau
ignore,  just choose "manage send as permission"
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Author Comment

by:Glen Knight
Please ask questions in the Exchange Server zone where one of the Exchange experts will assist you.

Articles are not for asking questions in.
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