Shared Mailbox in O365


A shared mailbox is a mailbox that multiple authorized users can use to read and send e-mail messages. They can also be used to provide a common shared calendar, allowing those users to schedule and view items like vacation time, work shifts or other appointments.

Shared mailboxes are a great way to handle customer e-mail queries because they make it easier for a specific group of people, such as a college department or unit, to share the responsibility for monitoring and responding to e-mail from a common account.  Customer queries tend to get quicker answers and all department-related e-mails are stored in a single mailbox, accessible by all who need the access.

Shared mailboxes also provide a consistent, common-sense department e-mail address for customers (for example: advising@ or warehouse@) that doesn’t change when specific employees separate from the college.

Additionally when any person in the group with authorization to the account replies to a message sent to the shared mailbox, they have the option of making the e-mail appear to originate from the shared mailbox instead of from their individual user account, if desired.

To summarize, shared mailboxes:

  • Allow multiple departmental or unit users to monitor and reply to e-mail sent to a common e-mail address which has been set up to provide a single point of contact for questions, for unit correspondence and to inquire about services (additional examples: info@…athletics@…helpdesk@…humanresources@…, or printservices@…).

How does one request a new shared mailbox?

Creation of a shared mailbox is only at the request of a college administrator, who should submit a ticket identifying the desired display name and e-mail address for the new shared mailbox and the names of individuals who should be given initial permission to the mailbox.  A mailbox will not be created without administrative approval.

You can access a department or another users shared mailbox (you need permission) using a web browser.  There are 2 different views that can be achieved following the instructions below.

Add the shared mailbox in Office 365 OWA which displays under your own primary mailbox as a folder: View 1

This is a convenient way of viewing the shared mailbox but it lacks a couple features and you may find it more useful to Open the shared mailbox directly following the instructions below in View 2.

How To add a shared mailbox folder:

  1. Open a web browser (Internet Explorer is the preferred browser but other browsers will work) Go to and login with your own BC credentials.
  2. Right-click your primary mailbox (your name) in the folder list.
  3. In the menu that appears, click Add shared folder…
  4. In the “Add shared folder” dialog box, type the name of the shared mailbox, select the name, and then click add.
  5. The shared mailbox should then appear in the folder list, and will appear in your folder pane each time you open your mailbox.

Remove the shared mailbox from a folder list:

  1. Right-click the shared mailbox, and then click “Remove shared folder” in the menu that appears.


Open the shared mailbox directly in Office 365 OWA rather than viewing it as a folder in your own mailbox.  View 2

Opening a shared mailbox directly has some advantages that are not available if you open the shared mailbox as a folder within your own mailbox. 


  • Sending email will have the shared mailbox name in the From field rather than your own name. When someone replies to an email, it will go directly into the shared mailbox folder.
  • Rules for the shared mailbox can be managed (you cannot manage the shared mailbox rules if it is a folder within your own mailbox)

How To open a shared mailbox directly:

Open a web browser (Internet Explorer is the preferred browser but other browsers will work) Go to and login with your own BC credentials.

  1. In the far right of the navigation bar on the top of the OWA screen, click on your picture (or the icon where your picture would be, if you haven’t already added a picture).
  2. Choose Open another mailbox… from the drop-down list which appears.
  3. To start searching for the mailbox that you wish to access, type the shared mailbox name or  e-mail address, then click Open once it has been found.
  4. Another browser tab will open in a different window, allowing access to the shared mailbox.
  5. You are now viewing the shared mailbox independently from your own mailbox.
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Article ID: 43923
Fri 12/8/17 9:58 AM
Thu 3/7/24 3:22 PM