How to Convert an Office 365 Mailbox to a Shared Mailbox

Let’s say a user has retired or quit. You, as administrator, want to convert the mailbox to a shared mailbox to free up the license the mailbox was using but keep the departed user’s important communications available or his or her successor to view and to intercept any emails that should now be addressed to that successor.

First, here are some really important things to you need to know:

  • The user mailbox you’re converting needs an Office 365 license assigned to it before you convert it to a shared mailbox. Otherwise, you won’t see the option to convert the mailbox.  If you’ve removed the license, add it back so you can convert the mailbox. After converting the mailbox to a shared one, you can remove the license from the user’s account.
  • Shared mailboxes can have up to 50GB of data without a license assigned to them. To hold more data than that, you need a license assigned to it.  You may need to delete a bunch of large emails (say, ones with attachments) from the shared mailbox to shrink it down so you can remove the license.
  • Don’t delete the old user’s account. That’s required to anchor the shared mailbox.  If you’ve already deleted the user account, see Convert the mailbox of a deleted user.

A license is not required for a shared mailbox provided you do not enable In-place Archive. If you are converting a user mailbox with an In-place archive to a shared mailbox, you’ll need export the archive to a pst before converting the mailbox.

Note: It’s probably a good idea to export the mailbox to a .pst file before converting, just in case the conversion doesn’t “take” properly.

Here’s how you convert a mailbox to a shared mailbox:

  1. Sign in with your Office 365 admin account at
  2. On the Active users page, select the user whose mailbox you want to convert.
  3. On the user’s page, expand Mail Settings and click Convert to shared mailbox. You won’t see this option if the user doesn’t have an Office 365 license assigned to them.
  4. Click Convert to complete the conversion. 
  5. If the mailbox is smaller than 50GB, you can remove the license from the user, and stop paying for it. Don’t delete the user’s old mailbox. The shared mailbox needs it there as an anchor. The user won’t be able to sign in using the old account.
  6. For everything else you need to know about shared mailboxes, please see Create a shared mailbox.

It will take a few minutes to convert the mailbox to shared. Once finished, if the mailbox is smaller than 50GB, remove the license from the mailbox in the Office 365 Admin center. Select the account, then click Edit next to the Assign license information on the right.


To Remove a License from Users in Office 365 Business

  1. In the Office 365 admin center, go to the Active users page, or choose Users > Active users.
  2. Select the box for the name of the user from whom you want to remove a license.
  3. On the right, in the Product licenses row, choose Edit.
  4. In the Product licenses pane, switch the toggle to the Off position for the license you want to remove from the user.
  5. At the bottom of the Product licenses pane, choose Save > Close > Close.  

Source 1: Diane Poremsky

Source 2: Diane Faigel

Source 2:

Zoom Not Working in Word 2016 Print Layout View

All of a sudden today, my print layout view in Word 2016 was teeny tiny and the zoom slider on the lower right of the screen was grayed out.  On the view tab, the Zoom section only had “Thumbnails”, which effectively made the view even smaller.

Maybe that’s OK for a Millennial’s eyesight, but for those of us who started out in WordStar back in the early ’80s, this is a major impediment.

It turns out that this is a “feature” and not a bug.

Here’s the explanation and fix from Jay Freedman, a Community Moderator on, responding to questions from Debra Hollinrake and Anthony Cooney:

“Anthony, I suspect that both you and Debra have run into the problem with one of Word’s new “features”, side-to-side scrolling. I can tell from Debra’s screen shot — because of the presence of the Zoom group containing only a Thumbnails button, that her Word is set to side-to-side. If your View tab looks like this, it’s also the cause of your problem: When side-to-side is turned on, all zooming is disabled except for the thumbnails view (which makes the pages even smaller).”


Click the Vertical button to return to “normal”, and the zoom will be re-enabled.

A huge thank you to Jay!

How to Implement Secure Emails in Office 365

When people ask me how secure email is, I tell them, “Never put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want posted on a public bulletin board.” In other words, email really isn’t secure.

So, can I send sensitive information (account numbers, social security numbers, credit card information, bank accounts, etc.) through email?

Yes, you can, if you implement a secure email system. For those of us with Office 365, that’s called the “Azure Information Protection client“, (AIPC) an inexpensive add-on to O365 from Microsoft.

Your O365 dealer (or Microsoft) can sell you this add-on for $2/month/email address that needs the protection. (Not every email address you have in O365 has to have the protection.)

Installation of Azure Information Protection

You will need administrative rights to your Office 365 account to do this.

  1. Purchase Azure Information Protection from Microsoft or your dealer.
  2. Log in to
  3. Click the “waffle” waffle icon in the upper left-hand corner of the portal screen.
  4. Click the Admin icon Office Portal Admin Icon in the left-hand menu.
  5. Click “Users” and then “Active Users” in the left-hand menu 
  6. In the list of users that will appear, click the email account to which you want to add the Azure Information Protection.
  7. In the mailbox detail pop-up, click the “Edit” link in the Product Licenses area.
  8. In the Product licenses pop-up click the “Off” switch of “Azure Information Protection Plan 1” to turn it on. 
  9. Click “Save”.
  10. Close the mailbox detail pop-up.
  11. You may log out of the portal.
  12. On the PC where you already have Office 365 installed, download and install the Azure Information Protection Client
    • Go to this website: then click the “Download” button. (Note: if you’re going to be doing more than one installation, chose the MSI installation file, which you can put on a thumb drive or a shared drive. That way you only have to download the software once. See the Azure Information Protection Client Administrator Guide for details.)
    • Select and download AZInfoProtection.exe
    • Double-click the file to start the installation
    • Select Install a demo policy if you want to experience Azure Information Protection labeling by using a demo policy that doesn’t require connecting to Azure
    • Click I agree to install the client.
    • When the installation completes, click Finish.
    • If you had Office application open (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), close and restart them to view the Information Protection bar.
  13. Configure your Azure Information Protection policy:

[More to come]


How to Add an Office 365 Email Account to the iOS Mail App

Microsoft’s latest rev of the Outlook for iOS app has promise, but I still find the iPhone’s built-in Mail App is easier to use and much better integrated into the iPhone  and iPad ecosystem of emails, calendars and contacts.

Go to your device’s Settings, scroll down and tap Mail > Accounts >Add Account.

Device Settings > Mail

Add Account

Select Exchange.

Choose Exchange

Enter your Office 365 email address, password, and a description of your account. Tap Next.

NOTE: Your email address should be your Office 365 business account or school account. Such as,, or

Exchange Sign In

If you’re prompted to enter server settings, enter the following and tap Next.

  • Email: your full email address.
  • Server:
  • Username: your full email address.
  • Password: email account password.

The Mail app may request certain permissions such as accessing your calendar and contacts. To agree, tap Yes.

Then choose the apps you want your email account to sync with your iOS device and tap Save.

Now you’re all set to go!

Please note: When you first add the Outlook 365 account to the Mail App, depending on how man emails you have in your account, it may take 5-15 minutes to sync up and work properly.  You’ll know this because the list of emails may be complete, but clicking on any email, the contents will come up blank.   Don’t panic.  Just go off and have a cup of coffee and then try again later.


How to Add a Shared Outlook 365 Email Account to an iPhone

None of the Microsoft options to do this work as simply and elegantly as the iPhone’s built in mail app. The Outlook for iOS app is pretty good but does not, as of this writing, allow for shared email accounts. The OWA for iOS app claims to handle shared but it’s really slow with larger volumes of mail.
Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts and Calendars > Add Account. From the choices available, go to the bottom and choose “Other” to manually set up the shared mailbox account.


On the Other screen, select “Add Mail Account.” In the new screen, you will enter:

  • Name – The name that will be displayed to recipients on email
  • Email – The shared mailbox’s email (example:
  • Password – Your personal email password
  • Description – Anything you choose to describe the account on your device


Select “Next” to get to the full settings. Make sure that at the top of the new screen the type of account highlighted is IMAP.


Scroll down to the “Incoming Mail Server” section, where you will enter:

  • Host Name –
  • User Name – [your email name]@[your domain name]/[the shared mailbox’s name] (example: if your name is ed and if your organization has a shared email account named (and you have rights to it) you would enter )
  • Password – Your personal email password


Scroll down again to the “Outgoing Mail Server” section, where you will enter:

  • Host Name –
  • User Name – [Your email name] (example:
  • Password – Your personal email password


Select “Next” and wait for the server to verify your settings. When complete, you will be presented with the option of what you want to sync. Make your choices, and select “Save.”


Now you will find the shared account in your Mail app, under Mailboxes, with the description name you gave it.