Articles on: Microsoft 365

How to make a Shared Mailbox forward emails to multiple users

To forward emails from a shared mailbox to multiple persons in Microsoft 365 without using a distribution list, you'll need to set up a mail flow rule directly in the Exchange admin center. This rule will forward incoming emails to the shared mailbox to the specified recipients. Here's how to do it:

Step-by-Step Guide to Set Up Email Forwarding via Mail Flow Rules

Step 1: Access Exchange Admin Center

Log in to the Microsoft 365 admin center with your admin account.
Navigate to Admin centers > Exchange to open the Exchange Admin Center (EAC).

Step 2: Create a New Mail Flow Rule

In the EAC, go to mail flow > rules.
Click + (Add) and select Create a new rule.

Step 3: Configure the Rule for Forwarding

Give your rule a name, such as "Forward Shared Mailbox Emails".
Under Apply this rule if, select The recipient is... and then choose the shared mailbox from the list.
In the Do the following section, select Bcc the message to... or Redirect the message to.... Due to limitations in directly forwarding to multiple recipients without a distribution list, Bcc might be a preferable option to ensure privacy among recipients.
Click on Enter text, and manually type the email addresses of the individuals you want to forward the emails to, separated by semicolons. For example:; Note: This step might vary based on the UI updates or specific options available. If the direct input of multiple addresses isn't supported in "Redirect the message to..." action, you may need to use "Bcc the message to..." or consider alternative methods such as creating individual rules per recipient or utilizing a mailbox rule within the shared mailbox itself if the direct approach doesn't fit.
More options might need to be selected to see all possible actions if not immediately visible.
Configure any additional settings, like exceptions, if necessary.

Cick next, select "enforce" and next again.

Review the rule and click Finish* to save it.

Testing and Considerations

- Test the Rule: After setting up the rule, send a test email to the shared mailbox to ensure that the forwarding works as expected. Each specified recipient should receive the forwarded email.
- Limitations: Directly entering multiple recipients in mail flow rules might have limitations or may not be directly supported for actions other than Bcc. If this method does not work as expected, consider using a distribution list (which you've opted out of), creating separate rules for each recipient, or configuring forwarding settings within the shared mailbox itself to forward to a contact that represents a group outside of Exchange.
- Privacy: Using Bcc helps maintain the privacy of email addresses when forwarding emails to multiple recipients. However, this approach may not be suitable for all organizational policies or requirements.

Alternative Approaches

Since the direct forwarding to multiple persons without a distribution list or group in Microsoft 365 can be complex or limited, reevaluating the use of a distribution list or Office 365 group for forwarding purposes could provide a more streamlined and manageable solution.

Updated on: 02/08/2024

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