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I have some users that should not "have" their own mailboxes but should only be allowed to work with a shared mailbox. I failed in accomplishing just that.

So my question is pretty simple: How can I make sure that some selected users do not "have" their own mailbox but can only work with some shared mailbox I gave them Full Access permissions for?

I already tried removing the Exchange licenses from these users - but unfortunately they cannot use any Exchange/Outlook based services (like the Outlook Web App) anymore then.


EDIT 2015-10-04: Added following information.

Concerning the "what and why": I have a group of (partially external) people that manage some very specific project for my organization. These users should be allowed to work with the (shared) project mailbox (reading & sending mails there). Since some of them are not part of my organization and others are on an organizational level that is not high enough to grant them own mailboxes (with which mails could be send or received), I don't want these users to "have" (or to put it differently: to be able to properly use) own individual mailboxes.

Our Office 365 subscription level is Office 365 Small Business for Nonprofits.

  • Simplest way. Change the group policy. In other words setup the client, how you want it to be configured, then enable the respected group policy. – Ramhound Oct 1 '15 at 10:55
  • Do you mean the Windows group policy? If I understand your suggestion correctly, I think that it would not work because the users will only work with their own computers (BYOD) and only use the Outlook Web App. – Hauke P. Oct 1 '15 at 16:23
  • You can't check other email accounts using Outlook Web Application anyways. You can can apply a group policy to a domain account even on BYOD, of course, you made no mention of that fact in your question. – Ramhound Oct 1 '15 at 16:48
  • You actually can access other e-mail boxes with the Outlook Web App, namely so called "shared mailboxes" (that are set up in the Exchange adminstration tool). And since this is question purely related to Exchange (and possibly the Office 365 flavor of Sharepoint), I still wonder how Windows group policies will be of any help here. I also wonder about the downvote... If you feel that my question is bad, please tell me: What can I do to improve my question? – Hauke P. Oct 1 '15 at 20:29
  • To ensure we're talking about the same thing... Here's a link that shows how to set up a shared mailbox: support.office.com/en-my/article/… And here's a link showing how to access a shared mailbox in the Outlook Web App: support.office.com/en-ca/article/… Especially the video found at the second link shows very well what I'm talking about. – Hauke P. Oct 1 '15 at 20:32
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To be clear there is a distinction between "Shared Mailbox" and a "User Mailbox". Both can have different users granted access.

A user can not access a "Shared Mailbox" without a primary account to logon to. Shared Mailboxes do not have their own logons.

You can have a "User Mailbox" with a primary username and logon and share it with other users. You can share this logon and other users can access it, or users can use their logon and gain access thru rights granted to them.

To Accomplish your scenario you need to have a shared logon. If you assign these users an Exchange license than a mailbox is automatically provisioned. You could try to force delete their mailbox but that will likely cause other issues so I don't recommend it.

If I had a bit more information on the "What and Why" I may be able to provide some further guidance (What is the reason you don't want them to have the mailbox, and what Subscription level to Office 365 do you have).

  • Thanks a lot for the information. I already had a feeling that creating a user without an actual mailbox is something that Office 365 does not seem to want you to do. – Hauke P. Oct 4 '15 at 7:24
  • I added some information concerning the "what and why" to the initial question – Hauke P. Oct 4 '15 at 7:32
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Try to use the Alias function in the shared mail account configuration. With alias you can create as many name as you like but they all will use the same email account.

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