Shared Mailbox Access


Instructions on accessing a Shared Mailbox from various platforms


Shared Mailbox via desktop Outlook

This is the default, easiest way to access a Shared Mailbox. For anyone using desktop Outlook on a Windows computer, any Shared Mailbox they have been granted access to will appear automatically in Outlook, and be pretty much fully functional.

Add Account in Outlook

In some cases it is necessary to manually Add the Shared Mailbox to desktop Outlook. The primary reasons include:

  • using desktop Outlook on a Mac
  • needing to edit the Inbox Rules or Out of Office Autoreply on a Shared Mailbox from desktop Outlook.
  • receiving an error messaging stating "it may contain private items" when attempting to move/delete a Shared Mailbox folder that contains subfolder(s)

Windows - Add Account

  1. File > Add Account
  2. If prompted for Name, Email Address and Password, enter just the Name and Email Address and click Next
  3. If prompted for just an email address, enter the Shared Mailbox e-mail address, and click Connect
  4. If prompted for server type, select 'Office 365'
  5. If prompted for a password, you must select 'Sign in with another account' and enter your personal credentials (your own and password).
    • It may prompt twice for some reason. Enter personal credentials both times
    • This is because a Shared Mailbox is a disabled user account. There is no way to sign in to a Shared Mailbox with its own credentials, you must use your own.
  6. If prompted to restart Outlook, do so
  7. Once Outlook is open again, you can go back to the File screen and select the Shared Mailbox from the top drop-down. Then all the buttons (Automatic Replies, Rules and Alerts, etc) will modify the selected Shared Mailbox instead of the primary personal mailbox.


Windows - Add Additional Mailbox

This is an alternate method of adding a shared mailbox to Outlook. If used, it will not allow editing of Inbox Rules or Out of Office replies, and will not solve the error when moving/deleting a folder with subfolders.

Microsoft instructions:

Note that this is the option that must be used if your access to the Shared Mailbox is read-only.


Reference & additional details:

Newer Outlook for Mac
  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts, and select your primary personal UNBC account
  2. Select the Delegation and Sharing button
  3. Chose the Shared With Me tab
  4. Click + (plus sign) to add a shared mailbox
  5. Enter the email address of the shared mailbox
Older Outlook for Mac
  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. Click + (the plus sign) to add an additional Exchange account.
  3. In the E-mail address field, enter the email address of the shared mailbox.
  4. Under Authentication, enter your own credentials.
    • Checking the setting Sync shared mailbox will allow Outlook to synchronize the shared mailbox without requiring the user to click Send/Receive. This setting was added in version 16.13.411. Enabling this setting is highly recommended for users who use their own credentials to access a shared mailbox.

Shared Mailbox via Outlook on the Web (OWA)

There are two methods of accessing a Shared Mailbox via Outlook on the Web ( For either method, the first step is to log in with your personal account.

Open Another Mailbox

  1. Select your personal icon in the upper right of the window
  2. Select "Open another mailbox..." in the dropdown
  3. Type in the mailbox address in the "Open another mailbox" popup, and click Open
  4. The Shared Mailbox will open in a second browser tab/window


  • The mailbox Inbox will refresh automatically
  • You can modify Inbox rules, Automatic Reply, etc for the shared mailbox


  • Shared mailbox is in a different browser tab than personal mailbox
  • This method does not work if access to Shared Mailbox is read-only

Add Shared Folder

  1. Right-click on the word Folders in the left-side pane, and select 'Add shared folder'
  2. Type in the mailbox address in the "Add shared folder" popup, and click Add
  3. The Shared Mailbox folders will appear below yours, in the left-side pane


  • Everything in one browser window (your personal mail and any shared mailboxes you have access to)
  • This is the only access method possible if access to Shared Mailbox is read-only


  • No automatic refresh of shared mailbox Inbox, and no notification of new incoming mail
  • Can't change shared mailbox settings (such as Inbox Rules, Automatic Reply, etc)
  • Does not work in hybrid situation (user mailbox in Exchange Online and shared mailbox in Exchange on-prem, or vice versa)



Article ID: 1090
Mon 3/22/21 5:33 PM
Mon 4/8/24 3:44 PM

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