Office 365 shared mailboxes hack – how to forward an email to more than one user.

Office 365 Shared Mailboxes are great for generic company emails such as :, or  The biggest advantage of using this mailbox is that it’s Free! $$$  – no license required. Other advantages are that multiple users can access the inbox  and the mailbox size is 50GB.

How shared mailboxes work

users who are members of the shared mailbox will have an additional mailbox appear in their outlook (or other mail client).  Here they can respond to an email or forward it like any other email. The caveat is in creating a new message, the user has to log into outlook on the web to create a new message. This is the major disadvantage of using a shared mailbox vs a license mailbox.

How Users are notified of messages in shared mailbox

In a shared mailbox users of the mailbox are not notified when a message comes in.  Instead they have to see the message count or check the inbox to discover new messages.  There is only 1 user that is allowed to to get notified of the message via a forward email address.

shared mailbox allows forwarding of 1 email address
1 email address can receive the shared mailbox message via a forward.

How to forward to more than 1 user – create a distribution list

In order to forward the shared email to more than 1 user, create a distribution list and use the email address of the distribution list as the forward for the shared mailbox.

Step 1 :  Create the distribution group and add members

O365 distribution list with email address
O365 distribution list with email address
add members to distribution list.
add members to distribution list.

Step 2: Modify the shared mailbox to forward messages to the distribution group email address.

update mail flow settings of the shared mailbox

update mail flow settings of the shared mailbox
enable forwarding for the shared maiilbox
enable forwarding and select the distribution list email.

Step 3 :  Save Changes

All new emails that come into the shared mailbox will now be forwarded to everyone in the distribution list. A copy of the message will also be saved in the shared mailbox for any of the members to action.

Krisen Kuppusamy

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