Outlook for Mac and public folder access
Published Jul 25 2016 12:11 PM 12K Views

Exchange Server 2013 introduced modern public folders and also shift in the way clients access the public folders. Ever since, the Outlook for Mac client had limited or no support for public folders. This article provides an update on how Outlook 2016 for Mac clients can access public folders in various topologies.

Current Scenario

The Outlook for Mac clients could not access public folders if: Co-existence with legacy public folders
  • Legacy public folders deployed on Exchange Server 2010 SP3 and user mailbox present on Exchange Server 2013/Exchange server 2016 in same organization.
Modern public folder access in Hybrid topology
  • Exchange Server 2013/Exchange Server 2016 in hybrid mode with an Office365 tenant.
    • Scenario1 – Modern PF’s deployed on-premises – on-premises users, with mailbox on Exchange Online, accessing modern public folders deployed in Exchange on-premises.
    • Scenario2 – Modern PF’s deployed in Office 365 – on-premises users, with mailbox on Exchange on-premises as well, accessing modern public folders deployed in Office 365 tenant


The April 2016 update of Outlook 2016 for Mac clients, along with changes in Cumulative Update for Exchange Server, will make public folders in above scenarios work for Outlook 2016 for Mac. The following table summarizes access state for Outlook 2016 for Mac (post April 2016 update) access to public folder deployments, as well as the minimum Exchange CU required to enable access:  
Public folder deployed on User mailbox on E2010 SP3+ User mailbox on E2013 User mailbox on E2016 User mailbox on Office 365 (EXO tenant)
Exchange Server 2010 SP3+ Yes Yes Yes Not supported
Exchange Server 2013 CU14 Not supported Yes Yes Yes
Exchange Server 2016 CU2 Not supported Yes Yes Yes
Office 365 tenant Not supported Yes Yes Yes
We’ll take a look at one of the common scenarios and explain the steps required. TechNet has detailed steps on how to configure public folder access in hybrid as well as for co-existence scenarios.


EXO users accessing modern public folders hosted in on-premises organization.


Make sure all of the following pre-requisites are met before making any changes to your configuration:
Client side:
Make sure the Outlook 2016 for Mac client is installed with the April 2016 update, at the minimum. It’s recommended to install the latest available update.
Server side:
1) Exchange organization is configured in hybrid with Office 365 tenant, and DirSync is working and the mail sync script is performed. 2) The on-premises Exchange Servers, hosting public folder mailbox must be on or above:
  1. Exchange Server 2013 CU14
  2. Exchange Server 2016 CU2
3) Make sure the user that will be accessing public folders has a user account on-premises and mailbox in EXO. You should be able to see the user listed in Get-RemoteMailbox: On-premises: image Note: Pure EXO user mailboxes cannot access public folders hosted on-premises. 4) Make sure the PF mailbox from on-premises shows as Mail User: On-premises: image Office 365 tenant: image


1) Configure public folder access settings at EXO Tenant: Command:

Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFoldersEnabled Remote -RemotePublicFolderMailboxes <Mail User representing on-premises PF>


Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFoldersEnabled Remote -RemotePublicFolderMailboxes OP1

2) The EXO User mailboxes are automatically assigned with DefaultPublicFolderMailbox: image That’s it! Now Outlook 2016 for Mac can subscribe and access public folders.

Related articles

Detailed configuration steps for each scenario are in following articles: Co-existence with legacy public folders User mailboxes are on Exchange 2013/Exchange 2016 servers accessing legacy public folders on Exchange Server 2010 https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn690134(v=exchg.150).aspx Hybrid topology Scenario1 – modern PF’s deployed on-premises On-premises users, with mailbox on Exchange Online, accessing modern public folders deployed Exchange on-premises: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn986544(v=exchg.150).aspx Scenario2 – modern PF’s deployed in Office 365 On-premises users, with mailbox on Exchange on-premises as well, accessing modern public folders deployed in an Office 365 tenant: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt729076(v=exchg.150).aspx Public Folder Team
Version history
Last update:
‎Jul 01 2019 04:27 PM
Updated by: