Outlook: Requesting a Shared Mailbox or Distribution Group


This article provides information about shared mailboxes and distribution lists. It includes a link to the request form where you can request a shared mailbox or distribution list.



Shared mailboxes and distribution lists are similar but serve different purposes.

Shared Mailbox vs. Distribution List

Shared Mailbox A shared mailbox is a central repository of emails to which multiple people can access, reply, flag, organize, etc. This allows users to coordinate work or cover the mailbox when people are out sick. Shared mailboxes are typically dedicated to easily-discernible topics such as questions about a particular service or department; communications about research, projects, or other topics. Shared mailboxes operate much like your regular mailbox and have a calendar, can use Outlook rules or automatic replies, and support folders beneath the Inbox. Shared Mailboxes are not logged into. Instead, the mail administration team works with you to delegate access to those who need it, as well as Send-As permissions. This eliminates potential issues around password loss or sharing by avoiding the problem altogether.
Distribution List A distribution list is an email address that distributes copies of emails to multiple mailboxes. These emails are managed within each recipients mailbox. An owner can be designated to a distribution list, allowing them to edit membership without a ticket to the mail administration team.


  Shared Mailbox Distribution Group Public Folder
Managed by Members ET&S Mail Administrators The resource owner ET&S Mail Administrators
Primary Use Sending as the mailbox Forwarding mail to members Nested folders (not recommended)
Has a Mailbox Yes No, all mail forwarded to users Yes
Can use Outlook Rules Yes No No
Has a Shared Calendar Yes No Yes



Task: To request a Shared Mailbox or Distribution List.



Step 1 - Open the Service Request Form 

Step 2 - Enter your personal information.

Step 3 - Enter Distribution List Creation/Modification or shared Mailbox Creation/Modification in the Request Title/Summary field.

Step 4 - Enter detailed information in the Description/Request Details field. Note: All email addresses are required to have a dot (.) in them.

Step 5 - Click Request.



An ET&S Mail Administrator reviews your request and contacts you.


Further Readings

Outlook: Creating and Managing Groups in Outlook on the Web

Outlook: Adding Members to your M365 Group

Open and use a shared mailbox in Outlook - Microsoft Support 

Distribution groups - Microsoft Support 


Need additional help?

For additional Training please visit the Teaching & Learning Technologies Training site

To submit a support request, please fill out the Microsoft 365 Support webform with as much detail as possible, or contact the Technology Help Desk team on your local campus. For password issues you must call or visit the Help Desk in person.

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Article ID: 627
Fri 7/19/19 5:29 PM
Fri 2/9/24 10:31 PM
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