IT ServicesStaff


Sharing Features

A shared mailbox is a mailbox that multiple users can use to read and send email messages with an email domain.

The Shared Mailbox Service allows groups of users to have access to a shared mailbox (including Calendar, Contacts etc). Examples of use include:

  • Departmental roles - Finance, Admissions, Administrative Support etc
  • Research groups
  • Cross-departmental collaboration

Access to each Shared Mailbox is controlled by group membership. Each Shared Mailbox, when created, has an assigned Managers group, members of which can control membership of that group plus the corresponding Read-Only and Read-Write groups. Members of the Managers group DO NOT have access to the shared mailbox. However, they can grant themselves access by adding themselves to either of the other groups.

Members of the Read-Only group can read items within the Shared Mailbox.

Members of the Read-Write group can read, delete, create and send emails/calendar items/contacts and so on from the Shared Mailbox.

Shared Mailboxes cannot be created with a user part (before the @ symbol) that matches an existing user part email address in any email domain at the University. Should the email address match an existing address you will be asked to select a different name.

Shared Mailboxes are created with an email address in a different domain to the usual staff ( and student ( email domains to differentiate them from our user accounts. The email domain they use is For Example, a new shared mailbox is requested, School Enquiries. This would have:

Display name: School Enquiries

Email Address:

Retention Policies can be assigned to each Shared Mailbox. A set of standard policies are defined which can be applied on a folder-by-folder basis (excepting the "standard" folders such as Inbox, Deleted Items etc. which are centrally defined).

Requesting a Shared Mailbox

To request a Shared Mailbox, please email IT Services

Responsibilities and Duties of a shared mailbox manager

 1. Maintain membership of the Shared Mailbox’s associated groups.

Members of the Managers group can manage access to the Shared Mailbox using the groups created with the Shared Mailbox. Please visit Modifying group membership using Outlook for instructions on how to do this.

Ensuring appropriate access is granted based on the classification of the data contained within the Shared Mailbox as per Information Governance Policy 3 - Information categories and controls.  Adding or removing members to the associated groups can be done via Outlook on the web or Outlook 2016 and higher.  Staff using older versions of Outlook, including Outlook 2010, will need to use Outlook on the web.

2. Ensure that there are at least 2 managers.

Please ensure that there are a minimum of 2 members of the mailboxes.managers group. This is to ensure continuity of management should a manager be on holiday, off ill or leave the University.

3. Handling and processing of information.

Shared Mailbox Managers should store, handle and process information in accordance with the Information Categories and Controls Policy ensuring that the appropriate level of security is applied to it which includes managing the associated group membership, sharing information and reviewing access activities.

4. Point of Contact

Shared Mailbox managers act as a local point of contact for IT Services

5. Clear out old email regularly

Shared Mailbox Managers are required to maintain the contents of the Shared Mailboxes that they manage. If content is no longer of use, it should be deleted. If inappropriate email and/or attachments are found (e.g., a copy of someone's personal files), the Manager(s) will contact the person concerned and remove such data.

6. Delete Shared Mailboxes that are no longer needed

Shared Mailbox Managers should archive any data that needs to be retained and request the deletion of Shared Mailboxes that are no longer required or actively in use by emailing Advice on archiving research data can be found at In order to keep the service clear of stale or inactive content, it is planned to routinely expire and remove inactive Shared Mailboxes and their contents. Details can be found on these pages under ‘Shared Mailbox Retention Policy’.

Sending/receiving email

Shared mailboxes are exactly that - mailboxes. They can be used to both receive and send email.

Groups are used to control access to the mailboxes, but they do not restrict the people who can send to these mailboxes.

As such it is worth remembering that *anyone* - including external senders - can send messages to these mailboxes.

Retention Policies

Retention Policies are used to automatically delete email stored in mailbox folders.

By default, no Retention Policy is applied. Staff in a shared mailbox's Read-Write group can assign Retention Policies to folders (and subfolders) in a mailbox according to a standardised set:

  • 1 week
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • 2 years
  • 5 years
  • 7 years

Note however that the application of a Retention Policy does not prevent purposeful deletions (nor accidental!) by an individual with appropriate permissions - that is, a member of the mailbox's Read-Write group.

Information on how to assign retention policies can be found here.

Adding Shared Mailboxes to Outlook

This type of Shared Mailbox needs to be added to Outlook manually - it will not (and cannot be made to) automap unlike other types of account, so it will not appear automatically in the folder tree in the left hand sidebar in Outlook.

To add a Shared Mailbox to Outlook, assuming you have permission to do so, follow the instructions for Setting up Additional Accounts.

How do I delete a Shared Mailbox? What can I do if I need one restoring?

To delete a Shared Mailbox once it has reached the end of its useful life (and you're sure you've archived the important items within it somewhere else!), simply send an email to the IT Service Desk requesting the deletion.

If you've done just that, and desperately need the mailbox reinstating because there's still something in the mailbox that's required, please send an email to the IT Service Desk asking for it to be recovered. Please note: there is a 28 day limit to carry out this recovery after deletion. Once this period has passed, mailboxes cannot be recovered.

Shared Mailbox Retention Policy

In line with the University Information Governance policies and general good email practice the following policy for the management of the Shared Mailbox service has been approved.
An automated system will scan the Shared and Role mailboxes once per month and apply the following policy:

Date mailbox last accessed or emailed.

Policy Action taken.

User action to prevention deletion

Greater than 93 days (~3 months) ago.

Email all mailbox users informing them that mailbox access will be revoked in 31 days if is not used.

Access or email the mailbox.

Greater than 124 days (~4 months) ago.

Revoke all mailbox access and inform all mailbox users.

Request access to the mailbox is restored. 

Access or email the mailbox.

Greater than 334 days (~11 months)

Inform all mailbox users than it will be deleted in a month.

Request access to the mailbox is restored.

Access or email the mailbox.

Greater than 365 days (~12 months) ago

Delete mailbox and all associated groups and inform all mailbox users.

Request recovery within 30 days of deletion.


The Shared Mailbox service should not be used as a solution for the storage of information which you are required to retain for legal compliance. service. As emails may contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII), these should only be stored for as long as required for the purpose it was intended for. Regular housekeeping of the Shared Mailbox should take place to remove data/information which is no longer needed.

Consideration should be given to the information being stored by the Shared Mailbox

The following categories of information should not be stored.

  • Highly Confidential (NHS (medical) data, Export Control data, data covered under the Official Secrets Act).

To delegate full mailbox access to another person, this request must be submitted by person wanting to delegate access (the Manager in ap Manager/PA scenario).

To submit a request, please email IT Services using the link below stating the full name of the person you wish to delegate access to:

Microsoft Office Support

Further information and user guidance is available on the Microsoft Office Support pages:

Access another person's mailbox 

Allow someone else to manage your mail and calendar