Last reviewed on April 19, 2015   —  16 Comments

I have an Office 365 account and have set up two domains and My user's primary email address is however there are times I want to SEND FROM from Outlook desktop application. How can I do this?

When you have a secondary SMTP address assigned to an Exchange mailbox, you can receive mail sent to that address but all replies will be from your default SMTP address.

You have two options: Create a send-only POP account or an IMAP account to send mail from that address or remove the address from your mailbox and create a single-member distribution group (distribution list), mail contact, or shared mailbox for the address then give your mailbox Send as permissions.

Generally speaking, using a distribution group is the easiest solution to configure. Office 365 administrators can do everything in the online interface.

If you receive a lot of mail to the second address, a shared mailbox keeps the mail separate from the mail sent to your mailbox. Replies to messages in the shared mailbox will use the shared mailbox address but you’ll need to select the shared mailbox’s address to send new messages using it.

A distribution group will receive the messages and distribute the messages to your mailbox, instead of the messages being delivered directly to your mailbox. The only difference is that the To field will list the group name, not your mailbox name. For both new messages and replies you’ll need to select the group address as the From address. Mail contacts work much the same way, except transport (mail flow) rules are used to redirect mail sent to a mail contact.

To create a distribution group or mail contact and give a user send as permission, you need to follow these steps:

Remove second address from mailbox

For a Distribution Group:

  1. Create a distribution group and assign the address to the group
  2. Make your user account the only member of the distribution group and give it send as permission

To create a Mail Contact:

  1. Create the contact
  2. Create a rule to redirect the address to a mailbox
  3. Assign Send As permissions

When you want to send from the address, select the group or contact in the From field


Remove the address from mailbox

Log into the Exchange admin center and select recipients then mailboxes.

To remove second address from mailbox, select the mailbox name and click the Pencil icon (Edit), or double click on the mailbox name. Select email address from the list on the left, then select the email address you want to remove and click the minus icon. Click Save to save changes and close the dialog.

Remove the address from the mailbox


Using a distribution group

Step 1: Create the new distribution group

Next, you need to create a distribution group and assign the address to it. Still in the recipients section, select groups from the row above the mailboxes. Click on the plus sign and select Distribution group.

Add a new group

Create the new distribution group using the alias you removed earlier. Select the correct domain from the domain dropdown. Add group owners as members should be checked by default. If you are creating a group for other users, their name should be in the Owners list.

enter the display name and address

Wait a few minutes for the Active Directory to update and replicate then double click to open the newly-created group and continue with the next step.


Step 2: Assign Send As permissions

Your user account is the only member of the group and it needs Send As permission. You will probably want to allow outsiders to send to the group address.

To make these changes, click the Pencil icon to open the group for editing. If you want to allow anyone on the internet to send mail to this address, select delivery management and choose Senders inside and outside of my organization.

Select group delegation. Add your account (or the group owner’s account) under Send As. Click Save to save the changes and close the dialog.

edit the group

Using a Mail Contact

In older versions of exchange, many Exchange server administrators configured Mail Contacts and assigned Send As permission to other users in Active Directory Users and Computers and configured the contact to forward mail to a mailbox.

This is possible in Office 365 Exchange Online using the Add-RecipientPermission cmdlet and mail flow rules.


Step 1: Create the Contact

Log into the Exchange admin center and select recipients then contacts.
Create a new Mail Contact .

Create a new mail contact

If you prefer using PowerShell, the cmdlet is

New-MailContact -Name "displayname" -ExternalEmailAddress -FirstName fname -LastName lname


Step 2: Create a Mail Flow Rule

Click the Mail flow link then the plus sign, selecting Create a new rule.

  1. Enter a name for the rule.
  2. Select Apply this rule if and choose the recipient is... .
  3. If you used a unique display name for your contact, select it and click Add. If you used the same display name as a mailbox, type the contact's email address in the check names field then click the check names button. Click OK.
  4. In Do the following, select Redirect to.
  5. Once again, if the display name is unique, select it and click Add, otherwise type the address in the check names field and click check names. Click OK.
  6. Click Save to save the rule and close the dialog. (More Options has additional options such as stop processing more rules.)

Create a rule to redirect email

Messages sent to the contact address are now being delivered to the user's mailbox. The mailbox user won't be able to reply using the contact address until they are given Send As permission.

If you prefer using PowerShell, the cmdlet is

New-TransportRule -Name "rule name" -SentTo -RedirectMessageTo -Mode Enforce 

More information on transport rules and conditions is available at Transport Rules


Step 3: Assign Send As Permission

You need to use PowerShell to assign send as permission to a contact. Log into Exchange using PowerShell and run the Add-RecipientPermission cmdlet, giving the mailbox user Send As permission on the contact. You can use the display name, alias, or email address in the contact and trustee fields. If the display names are not unique, use the email address.

Add-RecipientPermission "contact alias" -AccessRights SendAs -Trustee "mailbox alias"

To hide the contact in the address list so other users don't select it by mistake, use

Set-MailContact -HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled $true

You can send as the contact by typing the email address (or display name, if unique) in the From field.


Using the address to send email

When you are using Outlook on the desktop and want to send from the address, select the distribution group name or contact in the From field. The first time you use it, you’ll need to select From > Another Email address and select your group or contact name. It can take up to 24 hours for the Offline address book to update, but it will be listed under All Groups or All Contacts immediately.

Select the group when sending mail

After the first use, the address will be listed under the From menu.

after the first use, it's listed on the From menu

Outlook Web Access users can change the From address.

  1. First Show the From field by clicking on the 3 dots and choosing Show From.
    Choose Show From field.
  2. Right click on your address in the From field and choose Remove.

    Right click and Remove your address

  3. Start typing in the address or display name of the Distribution Group, User Contact, or mailbox you have Send as rights on and select it when it comes up.
    Type the new address


ChooseFrom for Exchange

Exchange transport event sink that allows Exchange users to specify any From address, including the secondary addresses on their mailbox. For Exchange 2007; Exchange 2000/2003 version also available.

Exclaimer Email Alias Manager for Exchange

Exclaimer Email Alias Manager for Exchange is the simple and robust way to send from multiple email addresses and a single Exchange mailbox. Use the Outlook Add In to select your sending address when composing and for phone or OWA, add a simple tag to the message subject to choose which address to use. Alias Manager is licensed per active user. Site licenses are available and the 30 day free trial lets you test the product for all users.

Proxy Manager

Proxy Manager lets you send emails using any proxy SMTP address from your Exchange account. There are no server components, everything is done on the client side - just install Proxy Manager, and you are ready to go! Select the address to send from and click the Send button. For Outlook 2010 and up.

RightFrom for Outlook

COM add-in for Outlook 2003/2007 that automatically fills in the correct From address when the user is responding to a message in another user's Exchange mailbox. (Use it with the UniSent add-in from the same site. UniSent keeps the outgoing messages in the Sent Items folder of the other users mailbox.) Version


Free Outlook 2000 COM add-in to file each sent message in a folder corresponding to the sending account in Internet Mail Only mode. Separate commercial version for Outlook 2000 Corporate/Workgroup mode and Outlook 2002 also available.

UniSent Add-in for Outlook

Outlook COM add-in for Exchange Server users who need to send mail from a second mailbox. The add-in ensures that messages sent with the second mailbox's From address or deleted from the second mailbox stay in the Sent Items or Deleted Items folder of the second mailbox. Version

More Information

You can create single member distribution groups in any version of Exchange server, however the screenshots and exact steps will vary in each version.


  1. eric says

    great article! thanks
    perhaps you should mention that with the distro group option the receipient will see send by XX on behalf of YY
    with the Contact option the annoying on behalf of msg doesn't show up

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      It actually depends on your permissions - if you have send as permissions, you can send from dl's without the on behalf of tag. part.

  2. Rahim Snow says

    Hi Diane,

    Thanks for these instructions. I created a distribution list. I can receive email to it from internal and external addresses just fine. But when I try to send email from it (yes, I have already setup the "send as" user), the web client at (for Office 365 Business Premium) doesn't show me the distribution list email address as an item in the Show From drop down list. How do I get that email to even show up as a choice?


    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      you need to click Other email address and select the account the first time you use it, after that it will be at the bottom of the From field.

    • Rahim Snow says

      Hi Diane,

      I only followed the "Using a Distribution Group" steps above. In the Outlook web client for Office 365, when I create a new email message, click Show From, look at the drop down, there is nothing in there except for my primary email address. The option item for "Other email address" is not there at all.

      Do I need to perform any extra steps using PowerShell? I didn't follow the "Using a Mail Contact" steps. Do I need to do that?

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      In OWA, right click on the address in the From field and click Remove (you can use Edit and delete the address) and type in the other address you have send as rights for.

  3. Tech Ranker (@TechRanker) says

    A bit unrelated but... can you create a rule in outlook based on the alias that is receiving the email?

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      If the alias is in the header, yes, you can use a words in the header rule (or words in recipients address).

  4. Michael Connolly says


    I cannot thank you enough for this article! However, I'm at my wit's end trying to get my alias to show in the From field in Outlook 2013; I've configured them in Exchange Online as Mail Contacts, and set the forwarding rule in mail flow as described. It shows up just fine in OWA, but even updating the Global Address List on the local machine doesn't seem to get it into the list... what should I do? Am I stuck having to make them POP3 send-only accounts?


    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      It's not showing in the list of addresses in the From dropdown after it was selected once ?

  5. Werner Pertl says

    Hi Diane,
    what can I do if Outlook (2013) doesn't list the address in the "From" menu after using it? I always have to select the address again with "From > Another Email address and select it from the list". Thats not very comfortable.
    Thank you very much in advance!

    • Werner Pertl says

      Hi Diane, thx - I can´t get it to work - already did a Office repair, but that didn´t change anything.
      If you have any idea that would be gr8 :-)

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Does it show any MRUs?

      Actual accounts are on top, addresses typed as ' other email address' are on the bottom, with the X beside them.
      From list

      These addresses are stored in the profile in the registry, in the value 101f0483 - the actual key it's under can vary, here it is

      Search the reg keys in the profile for that value and delete it then restart Outlook and see if it sticks better.

  6. Werner Pertl says

    Hi Diane,
    it only shows my actual accounts, after them one line and then "other email adress" (not a single address with a X beside, tested with several accounts and addresses - no luck).
    I found the value 101f0483 in the registry and deleted it, but it doesn't bring any change (and the value doesn't get recreated).
    Any other idea? This drives me mad :-)
    Thanks again!

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Hmmm. The value should be created the first time you click other email address and enter a name...

      What version of Windows are you using?

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