Convert a Distribution Group to a Shared Mailbox

Aftab Alam    Aftab Alam     Updated On - 14 Feb 2019

The need for the conversion of a distribution Group to a shared mailbox arises in various situations. Before starting the conversion, let’s discuss a little about distribution group and shared mailbox.

Distribution Group

A distribution group is the mail-enabled Active Directory group used to send messages to multiple users. Though a distribution group has a only single email address, messages are delivered to multiple mailboxes in the group. Simply, it is a group of email recipients with a common email address. The advantage is that one need not enter email addresses of multiple users while sending emails. And users can be added or removed to the distribution group so that they receive or do not receive the messages sent to the distribution group.

Shared Mailbox

A shared mailbox allows multiple users to send or receive messages using the same mailbox. A shared mailbox has a generic email address like contact@yourcompany.com, support@yourcompany.com, complaint@yourcompany.com, etc. A shared mailbox does not have any username or password. Users access a shared mailbox by adding it to their Outlook profiles. Simply, it is a mailbox that can be used and managed by multiple users. And the Exchange Server administrator can provide Full Access, Send As, Send on Behalf permissions to various users to use 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 –
  2. Get-DistributionGroup “DistributionGroupName” | Select LegacyExchangeDN
  3. Now delete the distribution group.
  4. Create a new shared mailbox which has the same SMTP address.
  5. Include the LegacyExchangeDN of the distribution group as an X500 address to the new shared mailbox.

There are lots of complexities around this method. It is not easy to delete the distribution group and think that it will not affect the Exchange server functionalities. There are many settings which you need to perform after this method. But the most important drawback is that the data from the distribution list will be lost on its deletion. So, you need to back up the distribution group before deleting it.

Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery is a simple recovery tool by which you can backup your distribution group to a PST file. The tool can access the complete data of the Exchange database including the distribution group, provide a clean preview of the data, and then save to a PST file or Office 365 as desired. It can also rectify and kind of corruption, handle exchange server errors, and even access the deleted data.

Final Words

The manual conversion of the distribution group to a shared mailbox requires the deletion of the distribution group. To back up the distribution group data before deleting it, you can use Kernel for Exchange Server.