How to Create a Microsoft 365 Shared Mailbox

September 6, 2023
7 min read

A Microsoft 365 shared mailbox is a mailbox shared among a group of users from the same department—like admin, support, or legal—that helps users send emails to and receive emails from outsiders. Unlike the Microsoft 365 user mailbox, a shared mailbox doesn't require a username and password to sign in, and administrators grant access on a user permission basis.

This article shows you how to create a Microsoft 365 mailbox via the following methods:

  • Using the Microsoft 365 admin center
  • Using the Microsoft 365 Exchange admin center (EAC)
  • Using Windows PowerShell

Note: Only Microsoft 365 Global or Exchange administrators have permission to create shared mailboxes.

For those who like to watch and learn, check out the 5-minute video at the end of this article, which is a shortened version of this content.

Using the Microsoft 365 Admin Center

To create a shared mailbox from the Microsoft 365 admin center:

Sign in to your Microsoft 365 tenant using your credentials. From the left pane, select the Admin icon, as shown in Figure 1. Doing so opens up the Microsoft 365 admin center.

This screenshot shows where the admin icon is located in the Microsoft 365 home page.
Figure 1: Admin icon on the left pane of Microsoft 365 home page | Used with permission from Microsoft.

From the menu, select the Teams & groups > Shared mailboxes option, as shown in Figure 2.

This screenshot shows how you can access the shared mailbox page in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Figure 2: Accessing the Shared mailboxes page from the Microsoft 365 admin center. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

From the Shared mailboxes page, select Add a shared mailbox. This opens the Add a shared mailbox pane to your right, as shown in Figure 3. Provide a name and email address for the shared mailbox, and then select Save Changes.

This screenshot shows how you can add a shared mailbox using Microsoft 365 admin center by providing the required details like name and email address.
Figure 3: Adding a shared mailbox. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

The Your shared mailbox was created success message gets displayed, as shown in Figure 4.

This screenshot shows the success message which shows up when you complete adding a shared mailbox successfully.
Figure 4: Your shared mailbox was created success message. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Note: You can start adding members to your newly created shared mailbox by selecting the Add members to your shared mailbox link just below the success message. 

Using the Microsoft 365 Exchange Admin Center (EAC)

The EAC is the best place to manage all your Microsoft 365 mailbox–related activities.

To create a shared mailbox from the EAC:

From the Microsoft 365 admin center, select Show all, as shown in Figure 5.

This screenshot displays the 'show all' option available in the menu of the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Figure 5: The Show all option in the Microsoft 365 admin center. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

From Admin centers, select Exchange, as shown in Figure 6.

This screenshot shows how you can access the exchange admin center from the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Figure 6: Accessing the Exchange admin center. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

From the Manage mailboxes page, select Add a shared mailbox. This opens the Add a shared mailbox pane to your right, as shown in Figure 7. Provide a Display Name, Email address, and alias for the shared mailbox, and then select Create.

This screenshot shows how you can add a shared mailbox using exchange admin center by adding the required details like display name, email address and alias.
Figure 7: Adding a shared mailbox from the Exchange admin center. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

The Shared mailbox created successfully message gets displayed, as shown in Figure 8.

This screenshot displays the success message which shows up after you complete adding a shared mailbox successfully.
Figure 8: Shared mailbox created successfully message being displayed. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Note: You can start adding members to your newly created shared mailbox by selecting the Add users to this mailbox link below the success message. 

Using PowerShell

To create a Microsoft 365 shared mailbox using PowerShell:

Connect to your Microsoft 365 tenant by running the Connect-ExchangeOnline command and providing your sign-in credentials.

Note: For more information, read How to Connect to Microsoft 365 Exchange Online With PowerShell.

Run the following command, as shown in Figure 9:

New-Mailbox -Shared -Name "Marketing Department" -DisplayName "Marketing" -Alias marketing

Doing so creates a shared mailbox with Name set as Marketing Department, Display Name set as Marketing and Alias set as marketing.

This screenshot shows how you can execute the PowerShell script for creating a shared mailbox by providing details like the display name and alias.
Figure 9: Adding a mailbox using the New-Mailbox PowerShell cmdlet. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

How Does This Script Work?

Let’s break down the script:

  • Use the New-Mailbox cmdlet. Pass in the -Shared parameter to indicate the mailbox is going to be a shared mailbox.
  • Pass in the -Name, -DisplayName, and -Alias parameter values as "Marketing Department", "Marketing", and marketing respectively.

Possible Errors You Might Face

Here are some possible errors you might face and ways to rectify them:

  • Not running your shell as Administrator: Select the PowerShell program from the Windows start menu, and then choose Run as Administrator, as shown in Figure 10.
This screenshot shows how you can run your Windows PowerShell console in administrator mode.
Figure 10: Running PowerShell as Administrator. | Used with permission from Microsoft.
  • Execution Policy set to restricted mode: Execution policy setting determines the script execution rights for the current user. If you are signing in for the first time, chances are this is set to restricted mode. Ensure that the execution policy is set to RemoteSigned (which allows you to run your scripts). The command for doing so is Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Note: You can run the Get-ExecutionPolicy command to check your current script execution rights.

  • Typos in your PowerShell script: You can run into typos even while copying and pasting scripts. Therefore, it's best to save your scripts in separate .ps1 files and run them. This not only saves time but also prevents your script from running into unnecessary errors.

Sending Mail to the Shared Mailbox and Testing Whether It Works

You can test whether the shared mailbox you set up is running by sending mail to its e-mail address from your inbox. You can always get the e-mail address of the shared mailboxes by selecting them, as shown in Figure 11.

This screenshot shows how you can view the email address of a shared mailbox by clicking on the shared mailbox being listed.
Figure 11: Accessing the email address of the newly created shared mailbox. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

If the email gets delivered successfully as shown in Figure 12, then this means you have successfully set up the Microsoft 365 shared mailbox.

This screenshot shows how you can send a test mail to a shared mailbox to check whether the shared mailbox is working or not.
Figure 12: Sending test mail to the shared mailbox. | Used with permission from Microsoft.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to create a Microsoft 365 shared mailbox, in the next article I will show how you can add members to it and manage their permissions using the following:

  • The Microsoft 365 admin center
  • The Microsoft 365 Exchange admin center
  • PowerShell

For Those Who Like to Watch and Learn

The following video is a shortened (5-minute) version of this article. It shows you how to create Microsoft 365 shared mailboxes using the Microsoft 365 admin center, the Exchange admin center, and PowerShell.

Thilak Kumar Singh

Thilak Kumar Singh

Thilak Kumar Singh is a trainer who believes in teaching about IT in the simplest possible way with more emphasis on visual mode of learning. He firmly believes in democratizing IT knowledge, especially of Microsoft solutions, in which he specializes as a trainer and consultant.

He observes that in this era dominated by cloud computing and collaboration, where IT has reached users unimaginable hitherto, IT knowledge must not be an obscure science, but rather be available to anyone who wishes to engage with IT. 

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