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Convert Distribution Group to Shared Mailbox – Manual Guide

Updated On - November 27, 2023 by Armaan |

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Want to convert Distribution Group to Shared Mailbox? Have no fear; we’ve got you covered. First, though, this is not an easy job.

Why? There has been some lag time as email services try to evolve to accommodate the more team-oriented structure of modern workplaces. Distribution lists shared mailboxes, and Teams are just some of the features that Outlook has developed to stay up. In spite of the fact that these enhancements have made it simpler for groups to send and respond to emails, they have also introduced several restrictions, chief among them the inability to convert a distribution list to a shared mailbox.

Read on if you want to know how to convert distribution Groups to shared mailboxes.

Distribution Group

If you need to contact many people at once, you can create a distribution group in Active Directory. A distribution group’s messages can be sent to any individual inbox despite having just one email address. Simply put, it is a collection of people who share an email address. The benefit is that sending an email to several recipients doesn’t require entering each recipient’s email address. In addition, members of the distribution group can be added or withdrawn to control who receives the messages sent to the group.

Shared Mailbox

Multiple users can access and use the same inbox in a shared mailbox. One example of a shared mailbox is contact@yourcompany.com, support@yourcompany.com, complaint@yourcompany.com, etc. There is no need for a username or password to access a shared inbox. Adding a shared mailbox to one’s Outlook profile is how its users gain access. It’s a shared mailbox where several people can send and receive mail. In addition, the administrator of the Exchange Server can provide different users Full Access, Send As, and Send on Behalf privileges to shared mailboxes.

Reasons for converting a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox

There are several reasons why an organization may need to convert a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox.

One reason is that a Distribution Group is limited in its functionality compared to a Shared Mailbox. A Distribution Group can only be used to distribute emails to multiple recipients, while a Shared Mailbox can receive and send emails, store, and share files, and collaborate on tasks and calendars.

Another reason is that a Shared Mailbox can provide a more efficient and centralized way to manage group communications and collaboration. With a Shared Mailbox, multiple users can access and respond to emails and other messages from a single location, without the need for separate accounts or logins.

The following are two strategies for transforming a mailing list into a group inbox. These are technical, so be warned. Alright. Do it with me.

  1. Convert Distribution Group to Shared Mailbox using Microsoft’s Admin Console

If you’re not too tech-savvy, go with this one. Make sure you’ve admin rights and access to the Microsoft Exchange Admin center. And to make the method easy to understand, I’ve divided it into small phases.

Firstly, sign in Exchange Admin console.

  • Update your current distribution address

You must first change your current distribution address. Doing so will allow you to convert your distribution address into a shared mailbox, an extremely useful and crucial feature. If the address already belongs to a distribution list, you will not be able to add it.

  • Create the shared Mailbox

Grab the newly available address for mass communication. To make a mailbox that other people can access, go to Recipients > Shared > Add. Enter the shared Mailbox’s address and a familiar name there.

  • Add members and set their access levels

As a final step, have your team drop off their letters. To do this, you’ll need to go to the Share tab, click Add, and then pick the people you wish to give Full Access or Send As privileges. By referring to the list, you can invite your team’s old distribution list members to join the group inbox.

  1. Convert Distribution group to Shared Mailbox using Exchange Management Shell

To access the second, more involved alternative, you’ll need to delve behind the hood of your Microsoft emails and start coding.

Prerequisites

Before converting a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox, it is important to prepare and plan for the conversion.

One of the first steps is to check permissions and roles to ensure that the appropriate users have the necessary access rights to make the conversion. This may involve assigning administrative roles, delegating permissions, or creating new accounts or groups.

Another important step is to back up data and settings, including email messages, contacts, calendars, and settings. This can be done using various backup and recovery tools or services and can help prevent data loss or corruption during the conversion process.

Good to go? The time has come to begin.

  • Open Exchange Management Shell

To start, open the Exchange Management Shell from your computer’s menu.

  • Get the distribution list’s LegacyExchangeDN

The next step is to use this command in the Exchange Management Shell to obtain the LegacyExchangeDN of the distribution list you wish to convert.

Get-DistributionGroup “DistributionGroupName” | Select LegacyExchangeDN

  • Delete the mailing list, and set up the Shared Mailbox

When it is complete, a shared mailbox can be set up in place of the distribution group. If you wish to convert an email address from a distribution group to a shared mailbox, all you have to do is run a command like this:

New-mailbox shareduser –shared –userprincipalname name@domain.com

Change the “mailboxname” to the distribution list’s address to utilize an SMTP mail address. If the distribution list is Regain@website.com, change it to the address you’d like Microsoft to use for sending emails to your shared Mailbox.

  • Add your coworkers to the Mailbox

Afterward, go to the Admin Center and click “Manage Full Access Permissions” on your new shared Mailbox. Earlier, you compiled everyone’s email addresses on the distribution list. They should be added to the group inbox immediately.

  • Make it an x500 prefix.

Finally, double-check that the new address is an x500 address for email. Go to the “email” folder in your inbox to access your email. Choose “custom address” after clicking the symbol, and then:

  • Specify the LegacyExchangeDN of the Distribution List here: As an example of how the value should look: /o=Organization/ou=Administrative Group/cn=Recipients/cn=Username
  • Choose an Email Format: In which case, X500 is the correct answer (not X.500, otherwise the emails will fail)

All that’s left to do is save it.

3. Converting the Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox using PowerShell commands

One of the methods for converting a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox is by using PowerShell commands. This involves running a script or command in the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) to change the group type and properties.

To convert a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox using PowerShell commands, you will need to have the necessary permissions and administrative roles and be familiar with the syntax and parameters of the relevant commands.

Reverting to the Distribution Group if needed

In some cases, it may be necessary to revert back to the Distribution Group if the Shared Mailbox does not meet the organization’s needs or if there are issues with the conversion process. To do this, you will need to follow the appropriate steps to remove the Shared Mailbox and restore the Distribution Group.

Testing and Troubleshooting

After converting a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox, it is important to test and troubleshoot the new mailbox to ensure that it is functioning properly and that users can access and use it as intended.

Some common tests and troubleshooting steps include checking mailbox connectivity and functionality, verifying email addresses and aliases, resolving issues with permissions and access rights, and updating client configurations and settings.

So. It’s a lot of work to do everything you listed. A single omitted instruction or line of code can cause all your email messages to be incorrect. You must make a good decision. Apart from this, there are a few drawbacks associated with the manual methods.

Drawbacks of manual methods

While converting a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox using manual methods such as PowerShell commands or the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) can be effective, there are some drawbacks to these methods. Manual methods can be time-consuming, error-prone, and require technical expertise. They also have limited automation and scalability, which can be a challenge for larger organizations or those with complex IT infrastructures.

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Conclusion

Distribution Groups and Shared Mailboxes are two channels that Exchange Server provides for user interaction and collaboration. Distribution Lists and Shared Mailboxes are both made up of users who can communicate with one another via email. However, with more mail flow flexibility, administrators often want to convert the Distribution Group to a Shared mailbox. You can convert Distribution Group to Shared Mailbox manually using Exchange Admin Center and Exchange Management Shell cmdlets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques1. Do we need a username and password to access the Shared Mailboxes?
Ans. No, you do not need a separate username and password if you have access to Shared mailboxes. You only need your account’s credentials and your access to shared mailboxes.

Ques2. How do you create a Shared Mailbox using the Admin Console?
Ans. First, Sign in to Exchange Admin Console, then go to Recipients >> Shared >> Add. After this mailbox address, add members and set their access level or mailbox privileges.

Ques3. Can my inaccessible EDB also be converted to create a PST file from EDB using the Regain EDB Converter?
Ans. Yes, this software also works for corrupt EDB files. You just add the corrupted EDD file, tool will scan and recover the EDB file. You will also get a preview before converting to the PST file format.

Ques4. Can we share tasks and calendars with the distribution list?
Ans. No, the distribution list doesn’t allow sharing tasks and calendars. You can only share emails with multiple users using a distribution list. For functions, calendars, and sending/receiving emails to collaborate, Shared mailboxes are a good option.

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Author: Armaan

Hello I have been working in Regain Software for the last 6 months. I have been in the field of writing for many years and worked with many Data recovery companies. Here I am writing technical blogs, Software User Guides and manual methods for email conversion and cloud migration. Now, working on all products of our company. Thanks you

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