Create Rules and enable Out of Office for a Shared Mailbox

Last reviewed on December 15, 2014   —  5 comments

I have a shared mailbox in my profile. Can I set up rules or autoreply? If so, how do I do it?

You can set up server-side rules and Out-of-office replies as long as your account has full access permission to the shared mailbox. It's as simple as making a new profile.

Because the shared mailbox doesn't have an account, you'll need to use your username and password to log on.

Use this method to send mail, including mail merges from a shared mailbox. Applications, such as billing software, can use the profile to send mail from the account.

  1. Create a new profile, entering the mailbox email address and your account password into the auto account setup dialog.
  2. When the password dialog comes up again, change the username to your account's username information (or an account that has full access permission to the mailbox) and enter your password again.
  3. log into a managed mailbox

When the account is in a profile of it's own, it acts like a normal mailbox. You can use this profile to send new messages and reply to messages as well. When the account is opened in Outlook as the default account, client side rules will work and you can use signatures.

If you receive an error message when attempting to set up the account in a profile: "The name cannot be matched to a name in the address list." The shared mailbox is hidden from the address list. It needs to be visible for this method to work.


If you need to open a shared mailbox in OWA, you can use a URL formatted like following to open the shared mailbox directly. When asked for a username and password, enter your username and password.

When you have your mailbox open in OWA, you can open the shared mailbox using OWA using the Open another mailbox... link under your name in the upper right.

Open shared mailbox using OWA

About Diane Poremsky

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlook forums by

5 responses to “Create Rules and enable Out of Office for a Shared Mailbox”

  1. Nick

    We are trying to figure how rules work in shared mailbox – you can make them in OWA – check…. You can make them in the client where however I can’t see the ones from OWA and OWA can’t see the ones I made or any other client initiated ones. Others that have access can see all of the client created ones whether I made it or not. Thought client side created would only work if the creator has Outlook open in but it works anyway. Thinking that since we can see each other’s rules while in Outlook is why it works and we’re going to test with all of those that have outlook open sign out and one is out today so it’s a tomorrow thing

    1. Diane Poremsky

      The shared mailbox needs to be opened as an account, not as a shared mailbox, if you want to set up rules for it.

  2. Nick

    And you will be able to see both on OWA and the client?

    1. Diane Poremsky

      Yes, as long as its opened as an account. when ever possible, create server side rules so they run whether it's opened as a shared mailbox or an account - that way the rules will always run. (OWA rules are all server-side.)

  3. Bob

    We are running Wave 15 of Office 365 and I wanted an "Easy way" for our users to set out of Office.

    However when they set it via the OWA solution the settings were applied to the users mailbox not the Shared mailbox.

    Accept: If you configure Automatic replies via Delivery reports option in the settings menu.

    So I post this for anyone else travelling this route.

    Happy Holidays

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