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Summary: Our blog explains how to switch between user mailboxes and shared mailboxes in Microsoft 365. We make it easy to understand with step-by-step instructions. Plus, we suggest using the Kernel Export Office 365 to PST tool to help you manage your data effectively.

Microsoft 365 is the go-to platform for professionals, offering a suite of advanced tools that boost collaboration and productivity. Among its features, the Shared Mailbox stands out, made for teams managing extensive customer interactions.

Unlike individual user mailboxes, shared mailboxes allow multiple team members to access emails from a single address, all without needing extra licenses. This simplifies communication and presents a unified platform.

Within Microsoft 365, administrators hold the power to convert standard user mailboxes into shared mailboxes, expanding accessibility. Conversely, there are occasions when a shared mailbox must revert to a user mailbox. In this article, we will get into the step-by-step processes for both conversions with a guide to manage mailbox types in the Microsoft 365 environment.

Why do we convert a user mailbox to a shared mailbox?

The need for the conversion of a user mailbox to a shared mailbox arises in different situations:

  • For sharing information: When the workload increases, multiple people will have to perform the same task which was previously done by a single user. So, one naturally will have to share the previous data with all those people. An easy way to do this is to convert their mailbox into a shared one.
  • For backing up user data: After employee exits, it may be essential to share data with multiple users. This can be done by converting it to a shared mailbox that is accessible to the concerned users. Any important information about the previous employee will stay as it is in the Shared mailbox for any use in the future. Another advantage is that the user license can be removed from the mailbox after conversion.
  • Better time management: Since all the team members have access to each other’s calendar entries, it becomes easier to schedule meetings and events according to everybody’s availability. No time is wasted in inquiring about available time slots and then arranging the meeting calls.
  • Wrong migration: If you have mistakenly migrated shared mailbox data to a user mailbox, you can simply convert that user mailbox to a shared mailbox.
  • Reduction in response time: Generally, a shared mailbox is preferred by a customer support team. Since many users are available for a single client, the response time gets reduced which further makes for a satisfactory experience for them.
Conversion of a user mailbox to a shared mailbox

Converting a user mailbox into a shared mailbox does not result in an empty mailbox; existing contacts and emails persist within the shared mailbox. Instead of the owner, members can access its contents. Additionally, it’s possible to revert the shared mailbox back into a user mailbox at a later time.

Important points to remember

  • Only a licensed account user mailbox can be converted to a shared mailbox, otherwise the option for conversion will not be activated. If the user has removed the license from account, then it must be reattached before creating a shared mailbox.
  • A shared mailbox without license gets a storage space up to 50 GB. To increase the storage quota to 100GB, you need to have a valid license. Otherwise, you will have to remove all the large sized attachments and messages.
  • There is no need to set a new password. If you don’t reset it, the same username and password will carry in the Shared mailbox even after the conversion.
  • The inbox rules which have been applied to the original mailbox remain as it is.
  • Shared mailbox does not appear on mobile devices since their support is limited.
  • Do not delete the old account as it is required to anchor the shared mailbox.

NOTE: To convert a user mailbox into a shared mailbox, it’s essential that the user mailbox is assigned a license; without a license, the conversion option won’t be accessible. Once converted, the license can be removed, as shared mailboxes do not require a license if their data size is within the 50 GB limit. However, if you wish to store more than 50 GB of data, a license must be assigned to the mailbox.

Rules remain as it is even after the mailbox is converted to a shared mailbox.

Steps to convert regular mailbox to shared mailbox

Shared mailboxes offer valuable benefits, particularly when collaborating with a team on a shared project. They enable seamless communication with external parties through a unified email address, promoting efficient collaboration among employees for smooth workflow.

To convert a regular mailbox to a shared mailbox, follow the given simple steps:

  1. Login to Microsoft 365 and click on Admin on Admin option
  2. In the Admin Centers list, choose the Exchange option.choose Exchange option
  3. Choose the mailbox whom you want to change to a shared mailbox. Click on more option and select ‘convert to shared mailbox.’convert to shared mailbox
  4. The wizard will ask you to confirm that if you want to share a regular mailbox to a shared one. Click on yes.confirm that you want to share regular mailbox to shared one
How to convert a regular mailbox to a shared mailbox using PowerShell?

Users must connect to the Exchange Online PowerShell first using the following procedure.

  1. Run the Windows PowerShell as an administrator.
  2. Execute this command.
    $UserCredential = Get-Credential

    A dialogue box asking to enter Microsoft 365 account credentials will get open. Provide the global administrator credentials and click on OK.

  3. Next, execute the command as follows.
    $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

    Wait for the connection to be established.

  4. Now, run the final command as follows.
    Import-PSSession $Session -DisableNameChecking
  5. Now, you are connected to the Exchange Online PowerShell.
  6. Microsoft 365 users can use the below command syntax to convert a regular user mailbox to a shared one through Exchange Online PowerShell.
    Set-Mailbox -Identity <user mailbox name@domainname> -Type:Shared

Note: Users must be a member of the Recipient Management or Organization Management Role group to run the above command.

We will now move to see how a shared mailbox can be converted to a regular mailbox in Microsoft 365.

Steps to convert a shared mailbox back to a regular mailbox

After accomplishing the intended goal of the shared mailbox, administrators have the option to revert those mailboxes to regular ones. This process ensures the privacy of an individual’s work, contacts, and calendar by avoiding the sharing of those details with other employees

It only takes a few minutes to set up the user’s account correctly. Once they log into their mailbox, the previous calendar entries and emails from the shared mailbox will seamlessly appear.

One can convert a shared mailbox to a regular mailbox easily by following the steps:

  1. Log in to your Office 365 account as an administrator. Navigate to Microsoft 365 Admin Center and select Exchange.
    Office 365 account
  2. Go to Recipients>>Shared. Select the shared mailbox and then click Convert under Convert to regular mailbox.
    Select the shared mailbox
  3. A warning message will pop up, asking for confirmation. Click Yes to continue.
    warning message
    Note: You need to assign a license and reset the password for the mailbox after conversion.
  4. The conversion will take a little time. After that, a completion message is displayed. Once completed, click Close to exit.
    conversion process

    conversion process

  5. When you sign in to Microsoft 365 again, you can find that this shared mailbox has been converted to a regular mailbox. The converted mailbox contains all the data of the shared mailbox.

Note: The Exchange Online PowerShell command syntax to convert a shared user mailbox to a regular mailbox is.

Set-Mailbox -Identity <user mailbox name@domainname> -Type:Regular


Microsoft 365 offers versatile mailbox options for both standard and shared communication needs. Shared mailboxes foster easy collaboration, while standard user mailboxes address individual requirements. We have provided a guide on converting between these mailbox types within Microsoft 365.

For added data security consider Kernel Export Office 365 to PST software. It enables you to securely back up Microsoft 365 mailboxes, including shared, archive, and regular ones, to Outlook PST files. It also export Office 365 Groups to PST. Moreover, this tool provides selective data migration with filters like date and item type so that your data remains protected throughout the migration process.