Migrating Shared Mailbox to O365 Group?

Valued Contributor

If we have a shared mailbox, lets say a years worth of history of emails, several folders in it, and we want to "migrate" over to an O365 Group:


  • Does the conversations/inbox of a group have folder capabilities like a Shared Mailbox?
  • Can you drag and drop/copy old emails into the group somehow?
  • Can you drag and drop/copy conversations into your mailbox somehow?


I had assumed the Group conversations acted like a shared mailbox, but now that we are testing it out, I dont really see that at all.



14 Replies
best response confirmed by Brent Ellis (Valued Contributor)

That's a no on all questions. If you are used to the way you dealt with messages in the shared mailbox, stick with it. If you want to add some group-based functinality, such as Planner, you will have to adapt to the conversation based style groups use, and forget about (sub)folders, rules, categories, etc.

These are really good questions I would like also to know...I thik the answer to most of them is no, but I would like a confirmation from someone of the team or the Groups gurus over here
Was a bit suprised by the answers, much of the marketing I've seen referred to a group as getting a shared mailbox, which I read to mean a "shared mailbox", might be better to refer to it as like a "shared conversation list" or something.

IMHO, you should look at Group conversations as a sort of Outlook version of Yammer group conversations. (In fact it will be soon possible to use indeed Yammer for such purpose...)

Outlook Group conversations, in practice, as you have already discovered, have nearly none of the usual functionalities of a real shared mailbox...

Well, don't trust on Marketing messages ^-^

I am a little confused about the answers here.  It seems to me the ,air function of office365 groups and shared mailboxes are the same.   


That is a mailbox that can be accessible between multiple users.  Okay groups don't support folders and rules.  I don't currently have that in my shared mailbox,  I have to believe there is some migration path from shared mailbox to office 365 groups.

The reality is that there is not such a migration path...for now Microsoft has only provided a way to migrate from distribution lists to Groups but not from Shared mailboxes to Groups. See this:

Understood, just a little crazy.  I did find a good enough solution for me.   Mount the group mailbox as a shared folder in OWA and then drag and drop.  I have very little groups.  And just simple mailbox, no subfolders, etc.

Microsoft doesn't associate Groups with Shared Mailboxes. They only associate Groups with Distribution Lists. (their words) That is a big reason for the feature disparity.

IMO the confusion stems from the fact that virtually all MS advertising (and also many technical documents) about Groups says that every Group has an associated shared mailbox.

This is technically true, but unfortunately the standard features of the associated shared mailbox are not accessible: no folders, no sent mail, no contacts, etc.

In practice the only accessible part of the underlying shared mailbox is the inbox, which is used to implement the Group conversation space. (The calendar is accessible too, but in a peculiar way...)

Moreover, the concept of "subscribing" to the Group makes the shared mailbox act in practice as a Distribution List.

All this said, will the features of the shared mailbox associated with a Group be ever fully accessible? I am afraid not, because this would require to change drastically the present implementation of the Group conversation space.

Hence I am afraid that we will never have a migration path from Shared Mailboxes to Groups.

But of course I could very well be wrong... ;)

Distribution lists don't hold email though, and if you mount the shared mailbox as a folder it does have sent items etc.  They don't work but under the hood it looks liek a shared folder.

Agree, that added to the confussion.  But I did find an easy way for it to work for me.  Seeing as how I don't have subfolders and the like and only a handfull of shared mailboxes I think it will be a pretty good alternative.


You can mount an office 365 group as a shared folder.  Then you can drag and drop from the shared mailbox (also mounted as a shared folder).  It seems you can also drag subfolders, but they will not show up in the group UI and I can't speak to if this will persist so I wouldnt do that.

This sounds like it could work for me. Could you briefly explain how you mounted the group mailbox as a shared folder?

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