ITS

Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Access a Shared Mailbox through Microsoft Office 365

A shared mailbox is a special email account that makes it easy for multiple individuals to read and respond to the email received in the shared mailbox. A shared mailbox is not owned by the person or persons who receive and respond to the email; it is owned by the department (or organization). Permissions to access the shared mailbox are controlled by the department's Exchange Administrator.    

Rather than log into the shared mailbox account, the user is given permissions to access the account.  They configure their email client (Office 365 and Outlook) to access the account, logging in with their own NetID and password.  When they respond to an email in the shared mailbox, instead of the From: field containing their name, it will contain the name of the Shared Mailbox account.  When a message is sent or replied to, the email looks like it was sent by the shared mailbox, not from the individual who is actually sending the email. 

There are two ways to access a shared mailbox in Office 365:  Configure a persistent access that will establish a connection each time you login; and a one time access that allows the user to login, but is not remembered the next time.  Persistent access has several advantages:

  • You can drag and drop between your mailbox and shared mailbox.
  • You don't have to go through the process to locate the shared mailbox each time you login 
  • You can select which email address will be used (your email address or the shared account's email address) as the from address

NOTE: Sent messages are stored in the following locations based on connection method being used.

  • Persistent connection messages will be saved in your personal Sent folder
  • One Time connection messages will be saved in the shared account mailbox Sent folder

Configuring persistent access to a Shared Mailbox

Once you have been given permission to access the shared mailbox you can configure your email client to access it.

A persistent access remembers to connect each time you login to Office 365.  Persistent access has several advantages:

  • You can drag and drop between your mailbox and shared mailbox.
  • You don't have to go through the process to locate the shared mailbox each time you login 
  • You can select which email address will be used (your email address or the shared account's email address) as the from address

ITS recommends accessing a Shared Mailbox by configuring persistent access.

  1. Log into Microsoft Office 365 
    • Use your own NetID and Password (Not the NetID and Password of the shared mailbox)
    • Note:  you cannot use the light version of Office 365 when accessing another mailbox
       
  2. The Office 365 - Outlook screen will open
    • Your folders are shown on the left menu
    • If you do not see your name click on the More

    screen shot illustrating above step

  3. The Folder list will open
    • Your name and all your mailboxes will be displayed
    • Right mouse click on your name
    • From the flyout menu select Add shared folder...

    screen shot illustrating above step

  4. The Add shared folder screen will open
    • In the dialogue box start entering the name of the shared mailbox you are adding to your account
    • Click the Search Directory

    screen shot illustrating above step
     

  5. The Search screen will extend showing matches
    • Locate the correct mailbox in the list
    • Click on the mailbox to select it

    screen shot illustrating above step
     

  6. The mailbox will now appear in
    • Click the Add button
    • Note:  If you do not have permission to access this shared folder you will receive an error message at this point.  The name of the shared account will be displayed in your folder list, but none of the associated folders (Inbox, Sent items ... ) will be available.  You will need to remove the folder from your account (see next section)

    screen shot illustrating above step
     

  7. The shared folder now appear in your list of folders
    • When you send email you can choose whether it will be from:  your email account or from  the shared account 
    • Copies of email you send from the shared account will automatically be stored in the Sent Items folder for the shared account

    screen shot illustrating above step

Accessing a Shared Mailbox on a Mobile Device

Note:  currently the Outlook Mobile App does not support accessing a shared mailbox.  This is expected to be updated by the end of 2018.

Step 1: Configure a persistent access to a shared mailbox

 Follow the Step-by-step instructions above

Step 2:  On your mobile device open your browser

  • Open your browser and go to https://office365.queensu.ca
  • Access your email account
  • The Shared Mailbox will be available in the Folders list.

 

One Time Access to a Shared Mailbox in a New Window

This is an alternate way to access a shared mailbox, but it is not the recommended way.  This configuration is not persistent.  The next time you log into Office 365 you will need to access the shared mailbox again.

  1. Log into Microsoft Office 365 
    • Use your own NetID and Password (Not the NetID and Password of the shared mailbox)
    • Note:  you cannot use the light version of Office 365 when accessing another mailbox.
       
  2. Microsoft Office 365 will open displaying your email
    • Click the presence icon in the upper right corner
    • From the drop down menu select Open Other Mailbox... 

    O365-one.png
     

  3. The Open another mailbox screen will open
    • In the dialogue box start entering the name of the mailbox you want to open
    • Matches to what you are entering will appear below the dialogue box
    • Click the mailbox you want to open to select it
    • If nothing is displayed click the Search contacts and directory to search for the account

    O365-two.png
     

  4. The Open another mailbox screen will now show the mailbox
    • Click the Open button

    O365-three.png
     

  5. The Shared mailbox will now be open and ready to use
    • Send and receive email as you do in your own account
    • Note that the screen layout is set to the default.  You can change this in the Options
    • When you have finished, repeat these steps to access your own email account or log out.

    O365-four.png

Adjusting the From: Field When Sending From a Shared Mailbox

When you are replying to email or sending a new email from a shared mailbox, you can configure your account so the "From:" field contains the email address of the shared mailbox, not your own email address.

  1. The New message screen will open
    • Click the ... to open the more options menu
    • Select Show From

    screenshot illustrating above step

  2. The Message format screen will open
    • Check the box beside Always show From
    • Click the Save button

    screenshot illustrating above step

  3. The From field will now be visible
    • Click the down arrow beside From
    • Locate the email address you want to send from
    • Note:  you will have the option to enter the email address or select it from the GAL
    • Send the email 
    • Note:  if you do not send the email you will have to repeat this process for the next email

    screenshot illustrating above step

  4. When you open a new email
    • The From field will now be visible
    • Click the down arrow to open up the menu
    • Select the email address you want to appear in the send field
    • Note:  if you have configured your shared mailbox correctly, email sent from the shared mailbox will be stored in the Sent folder for the shared mailbox.

    screenshot illustrating above step

Removing Persistent Access to A Shared Folder

If an individual no longer requires access to a shared mailbox - their duties have changed or they leave the department - the departments Exchange Administrator will remove their access to the shared mailbox.  The individual will no longer see the contents of the shared mailbox, but the the structure will remain in the email client.  The individual should remove the shared folders.  Note:  the individual can remove the shared folder before or after the Exchange Administrator removes access permissions.  The contents of the mailbox are not affected.    

  1. To Remove the shared folder right click on the name and select Remove shared folder
    • The shared account and all of its folders will be removed from your account
    • All email in the shared folder remains in the shared folder
    • All sent email remains in the shared folder

    screen shot illustrating above step

Last Updated: April 10, 2018