Departmental NetID Account VS Shared Mailbox

How to Choose

Choosing the best collaboration tools for your department or group is important to ensure good communication and productivity. For most organizational units and groups, a mailbox is all that is needed to facilitate shared communications. For others, there may be a need to share resources in addition to a mailbox. OIT has two options available to help meet the needs of collaborative workgroups and departments. To help guide you on deciding which option best meets your needs, check out the guide below!

My Department or Group needs... My Department or Group needs...
  • a common email address we can all share and access
  • the ability to easily add or remove people from the mailbox
  • a way to share an email account WITHOUT sharing a password
  • an email account that doesn't require managing two-factor authentication devices
  • a common email address that represents our department/group
  • an account that allows us to use Mail Merge to send mail
  • the ability to configure complex mail rules to organize our mail
  • access to the UT Vault secure courier to send confidential documents and messages
Shared Mailbox is recommended! A Departmental NetID is recommended!

Shared Mailboxes

Request a Shared Mailbox

A shared mailbox is a mailbox created in Office 365 that can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously across a variety of mail clients. There are two levels of permissions possible on a UTK shared mailbox. 'Full Mailbox' permissions grant a person access to open the mailbox and view the contents while 'Send As' permissions grant a person the ability to send mail from the mailbox. In order to access the shared mailbox and send mail from the account, a person would need both 'Full Mailbox' and 'Send As' permissions. Having these two levels of permissions gives you better control over who will be able to view messages and who can respond to messages. 

A shared mailbox is recommended for groups or departments that only need a common mailbox to use. Key features that make a shared mailbox ideal for departmental or group email collaboration are outlined below.

Key Features of Shared Mailboxes:

  • Log in with YOUR NetID and password to access the shared mailbox.
    *Available on Outlook for the PC, Outlook for the Mac, Outlook on the Web, and the Outlook mobile app (iOS and Android).
  • Send and receive email normally from the shared mailbox.
  • Option to forward an email to an alternate email address.
  • Permissions are managed easily through Active Directory (AD) groups.
  • Option to convert an existing departmental NetID to a shared mailbox.

Departmental NetIDs

Request a Departmental NetID

A departmental NetID is a NetID account that has been created to represent a department or group and can be used for multi-user access to UT systems and services, with the exception of services that require named licensing such as Adobe Creative Cloud. Departmental NetID accounts require two-factor authentication and use the same password policy requirements as a personal NetID with eligibility for non-expiring passwords if the password is at least 12 characters in length (Password expires every 6 months if the password is less than 12 characters in length). 

Departmental NetID accounts are recommended when a department or group needs more than just an email account. In addition to an email account, a departmental NetID includes these additional features compared to a shared mailbox alone:

  • Ability to use Mail Merge to send emails from the departmental NetID email account.
  • Option to set up complicated rules for managing your email.
  • Send and receive secure emails through the UT Vault Secure Courier.
  • The owner of the departmental NetID can manage two-factor access for the account online at
    *Detailed instructions are available in the OIT Knowledge Base.


Article ID: 128542
Tue 2/23/21 1:56 PM
Fri 3/25/22 1:16 PM