IT and Library Services

Shared Mailboxes with Outlook

If you access any shared mailboxes, via Microsoft Outlook on the University desktop PCs, you may find that your access to these has been stopped.

Just as your e-mail account, inbox, sent folder and any additional folders you create are tied to your own username and password, shared mailboxes belong to another account - and you are simply looking at those folders - they are shared with you.

The approved method of accessing shared mailboxes is for an account to be created (on request) and then rights assigned to any staff members needing and authorised to access the new mailboxes.  This method allows users to access the mailboxes of any accounts they have rights to, without the need of either the username or the password of the mailbox account owner.

The benefit of this process is that it is quick and easy for a new shared mailbox to be added within Outlook and, most importantly, as no additional credentials have been used, the shared mailbox will continue to be accessible even if the password of the shared mailbox account owner is changed.

Some staff are accessing "shared mailboxes" via an alternate method - which explicitly uses the username and password of the shared mailbox account owner.

While multiple users can access the same mailbox, it is not technically sharing the mailbox in the same way.  As the password of the shared mailbox account owner changes, everyone who previously had access will find they can no longer read or create e-mails.  Microsoft Outlook may prompt you to enter the new password.  Obviously, this password would need to be shared between all those accessing that particular mailbox.  This issue will arise every time the account password is reset or expires, and breaks the ILS Password Policy

If you are unable to access a shared mailbox that you previously could, please contact the IT Service Desk and ask for the rights of the shared mailbox to be checked.  The Service Desk staff may need to check with you who else should have access and a line-manager to contact, in order to confirm the rights. Once this is done, you will be able to access the shared mailbox via the approved method, and without the need to worry about passwords changing or expiring in the future.