Solved: Easy Autoresponder for Shared Mailboxes in Office 365

Solved: Easy Autoresponder for Shared Mailboxes in Office 365

Since last year we’ve been moving customers to Office 365 (since Microsoft sorted out the online interface/admin) and we finally moved ourselves over earlier this year and haven’t looked back!

One thing we recently wanted to do however presented a bit of a problem – we wanted an autoresponder setting up for a shared mailbox we were phasing out.  Given that we were phasing this mailbox out, we really didn’t want to convert it to a paid mailbox just to be able to login in to it and configure an ‘out of office’ autoresponder.

I searched online and could only find incredibly convoluted ways of doing this, involving additional mail profiles and ‘tricking’ the platform in to setting up an autoresponder (never a stable option).

Fortunately, a bit of investigation led me to a really simple way of doing it directly on Office 365.

Shared Mailbox Auto Responder: The Easy Way

Login to Office 365 as a user who has access to the Shared Mailbox (e.g. a ‘Member’ of it).

Click the photo or user icon in the top right hand corner (for me it’s some ugly chaps mugshot).

In the drop down menu that appears (which should have items such as ‘Available’, ‘Busy’, ‘About Me’), click the Open another mailbox… option:

Office 365 Open Another Mailbox

You will be prompted with a box saying Open another mailbox, simply enter the email address of the shared mailbox here and click Open:

Office 365 Open Another Mailbox Dialog

If you get an error saying Bad Request or “Something went wrong – you don’t have permission to open this mailbox” you may not have permission to access that Shared Mailbox so double check.

If successful, the Shared Mailbox will launch in a new tab/window just like the main Outlook Webmail (AKA Outlook Web Access).

Automatic Replies On Menu Office 365From here, click the cog icon in the top right.

In the drop down menu, click Automatic Replies and set an Out of Office / auto response just as you would for a normal mailbox!

As Microsoft seems to play a constant game of moving menu items around, please let me know if anything is different for you so I can update the article!



Bob McKay

About Bob McKay

Bob is a Founder of Seguro Ltd, a full time father and husband, part-time tinkerer-with-wires, coder, Muay Thai practitioner, builder and cook. Big fan of equality, tolerance and co-existence.

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