Setting up email forwarding on former employees mailbox whose E3 license needs to be disabled?

Copper Contributor
I need to find a solution that will allow me to remove an E1/E3 license from a former employee and set up their mailbox to forward emails to a licensed user.
Changing the former employees mailbox to a shared mailbox could work but my manager doesn't want the person who is associated with the shared mailbox to be able to access the whole mailbox and it's past correspondence, the goal is just to get incoming emails to the former employees mailbox forwarded to their manager. 
Adding a mail flow rule may work but I'm not sure whether a rule can apply on a user with no license?
When I go to the Admin Center and click on a user whose license has been disabled it won't let me edit any mailbox settings, so I assume I would need to implement a solution before removing the E1 or E3 license? 
5 Replies
Just add the forwarding in that shared mailbox which will forward all of its email to the forwarding address..
You can do this by editing the shared mailbox in exchange admin center then navigate to mail flow and add forwarding there.. I hope this resolves your issue.

Hi @eearley_torch ,


Please see the step 2 in the following link 


In this resource you have the whole process to how to "Remove a former employee".


Note: You do not need to create a Transport rule, or you can add an alias to the other person.

This is really easy to achieve. You need to re-enable the user first and do this before removing the E1 or E3 licence and re-disabling the user

1.) In the Exchange Admin Centre, Convert the mailbox to shared
2.) In the Exchange Admin Centre, Put forwarding on the shared mailbox to the user's mailbox and set don't leave a copy
3.) In the Office 365 Admin centre Remove the licence and disable the user

As the other user is not accessing the mailbox no permissions need to be set. No mail flow or transport rules need to apply.

Best, Chris

You could place a hold on the mailbox (to keep around for eDiscovery purposes) and then delete the old user.

After the mailbox is gone you could then assign the email address to the other user as an Alias and then that person will get all email going to the old email address going forward without any access to the old mailbox.

@Cary Siemers 


that what we do but it messes with Team and Outlook display name. The old employee names shows up for the new employee with alias.


see also here: