Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Shared Mailboxes and Sent Items in Microsoft Exchange

In this post I'm going to focus on an Exchange feature introduced back Exchange 2010 SP2 Update Rollup 4 which has not had heavy exposure out there in the real world however is a feature in demand by many companies.  Ever since Exchange 5.5, companies have been able to create shared mailboxes which multiple users use to access email content.  Users with shared mailbox are able to view incoming email which is handy for many shared mailbox scenarios such an "Accounts mailbox", a "Service Desk mailbox", a "HR mailbox" and so on.  However, when a user with access to the shared mailbox "Sends As" the shared mailbox or "Sends on behalf" of the shared mailbox, the Sent Item goes to the users mailbox, not the shared mailbox.  This means users that share the shared mailbox cannot see the email sent on behalf of the mailbox.

See the problem?

Well this has been addressed in Exchange 2010 SP2 Update Rollup 4 and the latest update rollup in Exchange 2010 SP3.  If you are still on Exchange 2003 or 2007 you will need to upgrade to be able to use this feature.

What Microsoft has done is implement a new feature which "copies" the email "Sent As" or "Sent on behalf" of the shared mailbox TO the shared mailboxes sent items from the users primary mailbox.  This means the sent item will appear in both the shared mailbox and the users mailbox.

This needs to be manually configured on each shared mailbox with the following command:

Set-MailboxSentItemsConfiguration "shared mailbox name" -SendAsItemsCopiedTo SenderAndFrom -SendOnBehalfOfItemsCopiedTo SenderAndFrom

This command configures both SendOnBehalfOf and SendAs, if you only want to configure one of them, simply remove the one you want to not configure.

There is a problem however, this command the Set-MailboxSentItemsConfiguration and Get-MailboxSentItemsConfiguration commands were not included with Exchange 2013 or Office 365 and are still not available in the latest release Exchange 2013 CU8.

However, this feature will be coming out soon in Exchange 2013 CU9 but will have different commands and will no longer use the Set-MailboxSentItemConfiguration and Get-MailboxSentItemConfiguration cmdlets.  The commands instead will use the Set-Mailbox cmdlet with the following syntax:

set-mailbox -MessageCopyForSentAsEnabled $False
set-mailbox -MessageCopyForSendOnBehalfEnabled $False
set-mailbox -MessageCopyForSentAsEnabled $True
set-mailbox -MessageCopyForSendOnBehalfEnabled $True

Also, this feature will be enabled by default on all mailboxes in Exchange 2013 CU9.  Companies will no longer need to worry, shared mailboxes will automatically receive any emails "Sent As" or "Sent on behalf as".

More information on this new feature in Exchange 2013 CU9 can be found below:

Edit: 17-09-2015:

This feature was NOT enabled by Default as originally promised by Microsoft.  As a result you need to enable it on your shared mailboxes with the following commands:

set-mailbox -MessageCopyForSentAsEnabled $True
set-mailbox -MessageCopyForSendOnBehalfEnabled $True

Also in my lab, after installing CU9 I was not able to run the above commands as the following error was received.

A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name 'MessageCopyForSentAsEnabled'.

 After running the CU9 installation, I then needed to manually PrepareAD with the CU9 media.

setup /PrepareAD /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

After this I was able to enable the option on a shared mailbox.



  1. Nice post Clint! Do you know of a way to configure this for user mailboxes? I tried running the cmdlets above for a non-shared mailbox and I received an error.

    1. I even have a case w/ MS for about a week now, and there is no answer so far for user mailboxes... I'm on Office365 as of about a month ago.

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