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Summary: The content discusses the need for collaborative email management, explains distribution groups and shared mailboxes in Office 365, and suggests using Kernel Office 365 Migration for seamless migrations within Office 365.

In today’s business landscape, there is a growing need for collaborative email management platforms, and Office 365 offers a plethora of features to meet this demand. Notably, while a distribution group facilitates the sending of emails to multiple recipients, a shared mailbox goes a step further by enabling both sending and receiving of emails. This distinction often prompts administrators to consider converting a distribution group into a shared mailbox.

Distribution Group

A distribution group is a mail-enabled Active Directory group designed for the purpose of sending messages to multiple users simultaneously. Despite having just one email address, a distribution group ensures that messages are delivered to multiple mailboxes within the group. In essence, it functions as a collective of email recipients who share a common email address. This approach offers the advantage of simplifying the email-sending process, eliminating the need to input multiple individual email addresses when sending messages. Furthermore, users can be easily added to or removed from the distribution group, granting administrators control over who does or doesn’t receive messages sent to the group.

Shared Mailbox

A shared mailbox serves as a centralized inbox that enables multiple users to both send and receive messages through a common email address, typically with a generic format such as,, or Unlike regular user mailboxes, a shared mailbox does not possess its own unique username and password. Instead, users gain access to a shared mailbox by adding it to their Outlook profiles. Essentially, it functions as a mailbox that can be collectively utilized and managed by multiple users. Exchange Server administrators have the flexibility to grant various permissions, such as Full Access, Send As, and Send on Behalf, to different users, allowing them to effectively utilize and interact with shared mailboxes.

Convert a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox

There is no native method available to convert a distribution group to a shared mailbox, but you can certainly achieve your motive by applying the following workaround –

  1. Get the LegacyExchangeDN of your distribution group by running the following command in the Exchange Management Shell –
    Get-DistributionGroup “DistributionGroupName” | Select LegacyExchangeDN
  2. Now delete the distribution group.
  3. Create a new shared mailbox that has the same SMTP address.
  4. Include the LegacyExchangeDN of the distribution group as an X500 address to the new shared mailbox.

This approach comes with a number of complexities. Simply deleting the distribution group without taking additional steps can have significant consequences on Exchange server functionalities. There are various settings that require attention and configuration after the deletion process. However, perhaps the most critical drawback is the loss of data associated with the distribution list upon its deletion. Consequently, it is highly advisable to perform a backup of the distribution group before proceeding with its deletion.

Migrate a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox

When it becomes necessary to migrate a distribution group into a shared mailbox, you can achieve this seamlessly by utilizing a professional tool such as Kernel Office 365 Migration. This process allows you to keep the shared mailbox within the same Office 365 account. The steps are straightforward: designate the distribution list as the source and the shared mailbox as the destination, and then proceed to migrate the data while applying any necessary filtering. This migration process is typically completed in just three steps. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the Kernel Office 365 Migration tool is compatible with all Office 365 plans, ensuring versatility and compatibility for various scenarios.

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Final Words

While manual methods do exist for converting a distribution group to a shared mailbox, for a smoother and more efficient process, it is advisable to leverage professional tools such as Kernel Office 365 Migration. These tools not only facilitate the conversion but also offer additional functionalities, such as assisting in Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free transition between environments.

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