Open and use a shared mailbox in Outlook Web App

If you have full access permission to a shared mailbox that appears in the address book, you can use Outlook Web App or a desktop version of Outlook (for example, Outlook 2013), to open that mailbox.

Why use shared mailboxes? They make it easy for a specific group of people to monitor and send email from a public email alias, like or When a person in the group replies to a message sent to the shared mailbox, the email appears to be from the shared mailbox, not from the individual user. You can also use the shared mailbox as a shared team calendar.

The ITMS has to create the shared mailbox and add you to the group of users before you can use it. For more information, see what else do I need to know?

Want to open a shared mailbox using Outlook, instead of Outlook Web App? See Manage another person's mail and calendar items.

To see a video that shows you how to access and use shared mailboxes using Outlook 2013 and Outlook Web App, see Video: Use a shared mailbox in Outlook 2013 and Outlook Web App.

There are two ways to open a shared mailbox using Outlook Web App. You may want to try both methods and see what works best for you.

Add the shared mailbox, so it displays under your primary mailbox in Outlook Web App

We recommend that you use this method if you want to monitor the email from your primary mailbox and the shared mailbox at the same time. In addition, after you complete this task, each time you open Outlook Web App, the shared mailbox and its folders will display in the left navigation in Outlook Web App.

  1. Sign in to your account in Outlook Web App.
  2. Right-click your primary mailbox in the Folder pane, and then click Add shared folder. (If you can't see your primary mailbox click on the "more" link at the bottom of the list.)
  3. In the Add shared folder dialog box, type the name of the shared mailbox, select the name, and then click Add.

The shared mailbox displays in your Folder list in Outlook Web App. The shared mailbox will appear there each time you access Outlook Web App. You can expand or collapse the shared mailbox folders like you can with your primary mailbox. You can also choose to remove the shared mailbox from your folder list if you no longer want to view the shared mailbox in your folder list. To remove it, right-click the shared mailbox, and then click Delete.

Open the shared mailbox in a separate browser window

We recommend that you use this method if you want to view and manage the email for the shared mailbox in its own browser window.

  1. Sign in to your account in Outlook Web App.
  2. In the Navigation bar on the top of the Outlook Web App screen, click on your name. A drop-down list will appear.
  3. Click Open another mailbox.
  4. Type the email address of the other mailbox that you want to open. Another Outlook Web App session will open in a different window allowing access to the other mailbox.

 Tip    If you mistype the email address of the mailbox, a second window will open up stating that the webpage can’t be found. Try retyping the email address again.

To send email from the shared mailbox using Outlook Web App:

  1. Click New mail above the folder list. A new message form will appear in the reading pane.
  2. Click the …ellipses and then select Show from. This will show you that the people who receive this email message will see that it comes from the shared mailbox and not from your own email account.
  3. To add recipients, type the name of anyone who is in your contacts folder or organization’s address list, or type the email address in the To or cc field. The first time you enter a particular person’s name, Outlook Web App searches for that person’s address. In the future, the name will be cached so it will resolve quickly.
  4. Add a subject.
  5. Type the message you want to send.
  6. When you’re done and your message is ready to go, click Send .

One of the great things about using a shared mailbox is that anyone who has access to the shared mailbox can also see the calendar. Because you have access to the shared mailbox, you have full access to the calendar. You can create, edit, and delete events from the calendar. You can use it just like you’d use your own calendar. Other things you can do with the shared mailbox calendar:

  • Let your team know you are going on vacation or when you’ll be out of the office.
  • Create a team meeting.
  • Edit a calendar event that someone else created.
  • Cancel a meeting that someone else created.

To access the calendar

  1. When using Office 365, sign in to your account at the Microsoft Online Portal and open the online Calendar.
  2. Click Add Calendar and choose from Directory.
  3. In From Directory, search for the shared calendar you want to open. Select the shared mailbox you want to open and click Open.
  4. The shared calendar displays in My Calendars folder list and as a tab at the top of the calendar.

For general information about how to use the calendar in Outlook Web App, see Calendar overview.

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