Configuring Active Sync and Outlook client to access Shared Mailbox
Configuring Active Sync and outlook client to access shared mailbox is one of those requirements which every customer would like to have. I’ve seen a lot of customers asking me how they can access shared mailbox on active sync clients. Even few customers has asked me if it’s possible to configure shared mailbox to be accessed in outlook as they don’t want to configure a primary user mailbox in outlook. My answer to all these situations and customers was YES. You can access shared mailbox directly in OWA. You can configure your shared mailbox in outlook client just like user mailbox and you can configure shared mailbox in active sync device as well. This blog post will guide you how to configure active sync and outlook client to access shared mailbox.
For this lab, We’ve office 365 tenant setup with mstechtalk.com. We’re using Exchange Online where we’re going to configure a shared mailbox Info@mstechtalk.com. A user mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org has full access to the Shared Mailbox. We’ll configure the shared mailbox in outlook, active sync and directly access the shared mailbox in OWA. I’m connected with Exchange online and verified that email@example.com is a shared mailbox.
Configuring Outlook to Access Shared Mailbox
To configure outlook client to access shared mailbox, we need to follow the steps as mentioned below. Please note that these steps are tested with outlook 2013 client and can vary based on outlook version.
- Go to Control Panel –> Mail
- Click on Show Profiles
- Click on Add and enter a name for this profile to add a new profile.
- Enter the mailbox information as shown below. As we know Shared mailbox don’t have a password, you need to enter the password of mailbox that has full access to the shared mailbox. In my case I’ve entered the password of firstname.lastname@example.org and click on Next.
- Outlook will established a network connection and pop up for credentials on step 2 i.e. Searching settings for email@example.com.
- Enter the username and password of the mailbox that has full access to firstname.lastname@example.org. In my case it’s email@example.com
- Outlook will verify the credentials and configure the outlook profile for shared mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on Finish.
- To verify the configuration, Let’s run the outlook profile that we configured a while ago. You can see that info@MSTechTalk.com is configured in outlook and connected with Exchange Online. You can send and receive emails using this shared mailbox just like a user mailbox.
Access Shared Mailbox in Outlook Web App
We’ll know that we can access shared mailbox in OWA using “Open another Mailbox” but there is another way to access the shared mailbox in OWA. We can bypass the process of login to user mailbox. To do so, What we need to go to https://outlook.office365.com/SharedMailboxEmailAddress and enter the credentials of user mailbox that has full access on shared mailbox. In our lab, I’ll go to https://email@example.com and enter the credentials for firstname.lastname@example.org. After authentication we will see Shared Mailbox OWA opened as shown below.
Configuring Active Sync Client to Access Shared Mailbox
Configuring active sync client to access shared mailbox is one of those requirements which is being requested by almost every customer. I’ve configured a test mailbox in my Samsung Galaxy and here are the steps to configure it.
- Go to Settings –> Accounts –> click on Add Account
- Click on Email Account
- Enter email address and password of mailbox that has full access on shared mailbox. In our case email address is email@example.com and I’ve entered the password of firstname.lastname@example.org and Click Next
- On account type, Select Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
- On Exchange Server Setting Page, enter the username and password of email@example.com and update Exchange Server name to outlook.office365.com and Click Next.
- Active Sync client will check incoming server settings and verify the user information.
- On Account options, Select the sync interval and click Next.
- Give a name to your account and Click Done.
To test your shared mailbox, Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll receive the email on your cell phone. I’ve sent an email from email@example.com using my Samsung phone and it works fine. Please note that these steps to access shared mailbox on Active Sync client are not documented in TechNet and hence not supported by Microsoft.