Show as conversation in shared mailbox

Steel Contributor



In Outlook online (O365) it is possible to open a shared mailbox and see the sent messages grouped together with the incoming messages in conversations. The same functionality is not available in Outlook 2016. Anyone know if this is coming or if there is a setting that we have missed?

25 Replies
best response confirmed by Par Linderoth (Steel Contributor)

@Par Linderoth  You didnt miss a setting - it's not possible in Outlook desktop because of the way search works in shared mailboxes. Instant search is limited to one folder at a time. 

Do you know if this is something that that MS is working on?

It's not in development but it is a popular request, so maybe eventually, years from now.  

@Par Linderoth The is an Outlook UserVoice for this feature but it doesn't have many votes. Perhaps we could all upvote it?

I could have sworn that I have seen conversation working in this way in an additional mailbox before. Could it be the nature of the additional mailbox and how it is shared?
If the mailbox is added as an account, it supports the full conversation view. If it's added as a shared mailbox, it does not - conversation view is available but only shows conversations for messages in the folder, not from other folders. This is because search is per folder in shared mailboxes, and the full conversation view uses search to find the messages that belong together.
Thank you Diane. This is exactly the confirmation I have been needing. I've been wrestling with this dilemma with my clients a lot lately. Maybe because of O365, these mailboxes are more commonly set up as shared these days, whereas in the past we may have come across more mailboxes set up with an account. Is there an easy way for me to spot the difference?

Conversation view is such a bonus when there are several people tending to a shared mailbox as it can show everyone what has transpired on each email.

I think the workaround that I will suggest is to create a rule; when I send an email from the shared mailbox, a copy is sent to the shared inbox. That way they will get, almost, the equivalent of conversation view in a proper mailbox. Do you think that will work?

... we have the same problem or challenge that the conversation view no longer works in shared mailboxes.


Are there any workarounds available or ideas?

>> Is there an easy way for me to spot the difference?
Shared mailboxes are in the folder list using their display name, not their email address.

The rule won't work - you can only use server-side rules and need to set them up in Outlook on the web or creating a profile for the shared mailbox and creating server-side rules (which is any rule that does not say "(client only)".

While you could add the shared box to your profile, if the mailbox shows up automatically when you add your account to a profile, the mailbox is auto mapped - when its auto mapped and added as an account, it is buggy.

To add the mailbox as an account, you need to sign into it using your user/password.

Your other option is using a macro to copy the sent messages, if work allows it. (I have a macro that does this.)

@Diane PoremskyCan you share this macro with me - thank you.

If you run Outlook against Exchange online (Office 365), you can create a Power Automate flow that will do what you want.
I fixed this problem in two steps, the latter being a bit of a faff.

(1) Add a password to the user account created for the Share Mailbox.
(2) Add that user account mailbox to Outlook instead of the Shared Mailbox (see notes).

Note 1: You have open, then close, then re-open Outlook, otherwise emails will *not* be sent from the new user/shared mailbox (get stuck in Outbox).
Note 2: If you Favourite a folder in this user/shared mailbox e.g. Inbox, it is lost every time you restart Outlook.

Is this faff worth the effort of having a Shared Mailbox with conversation threads and full search? That's up to you. For me, it is. After a while you just get used to it.



Thank you very much for the shared solution.


I tryed it on my organization but I am having some troubles.


I configured the share mail box account on the outlook to "default" and added as well the user e-mail but when I am fowarding e-mails or replying some from the share mail box account it get stuck on outbox and sometimes it goes to the sent items of the user personal account (i sent from the sharemail box) and on the outlook online they do not appear anywhere.


Thank you!

Is the shared box automapped to your address? That will cause problems if your account is also in the profile. Autopmapping needs to be disabled.

@RuiBessa Yes, that is the exact problem. You will know when it's worked when you open Outlook and there are no 'stuck' emails in the Outbox. As I said, it is a faff but you get used to it after a while.


Wrt emails not appearing in the Sent Items of the Shared Mailbox, there's a hack for that here:

Hello, is still not possible to view messages grouped in conversations in a shared mailbox added to your mail account.

The full conversation view is supported if the mailbox is added as an account. It does not if it is added as a shared mailbox because the conversation view only displays  for messages in the folder and not for messages from other folders. This is so that the full conversation view can find the messages that belong together since search is per folder in shared mailboxes.