Multiple Exchange accounts in Outlook 2010 and 2013

We have added a lot of new email domains at my company recently and one most common request from our users is to work with multiple Exchange mailboxes within Outlook 2010. This would normally be accomplished by giving the user full access to whatever additional mailbox they need access to. But this method had some drawbacks for our users, mainly:

  • The user has to manually select the outgoing  email address of another mailbox they had full access to if they want to send as that account
    • The preferred behavior is that when they select the mail box from the Outlook tree and create a new email it will default to the outgoing address for that mailbox. This is not the behavior when granted full access to a mailbox, instead the outgoing email will always default to the primary Exchange account.
  • If the user requires separate signatures for each additional mailbox they have to manually specify them since the signature used will be the one for the main Exchange account. While you can create multiple signatures you can only attach one signature each for new email and reply to the main Exchange account and not the additional mailboxes the user was granted access to.

These might not seem like huge issues, but when these additional mailboxes are treated as if they came from separate companies it turn into a huge issue when a user accidentally sends an email intended for a client working with Company A with the outgoing email and signature from Company B. So in searching for a solution I came across this Microsoft Article detailing how to carry out adding multiple Exchange accounts to an Outlook profile. The problem is that it requires volume licenses of Office 2010 and a fairly complicated process to a get the additional accounts added. All the office licenses at my company are Medialess License Kits (MLK) so that ruled out this method. Originally it appears that the ability to add multiple accounts existed in the preview of Outlook 2010, but the method describe in the article no longer worked. And since there was an article detailing the process for retail release I assumed this feature was dropped. When the Office 2013 preview came out one of the 1st things I did was test its ability to add multiple accounts and surprisingly it worked! All I need to do was:

  1. After adding the first account in Outlook 2013 go to the File Tab.
  2. Under Info click on the +Add Account button
  3. From there fill in the info for the 2nd Exchange Account and it will be added to your Account Tree

This method allowed me to address the issues my users were having with managing additional mailboxes and didn’t require the user to have full access granted to the mailbox. Wondering if this worked in Outlook 2010 as well, I tried it and delighted it worked despite the documentation from Microsoft detailing a much more involved process to do so. I have since tested it up to 3 different Exchange accounts on the same Exchange server with no issues. I’m not sure what the limit is but I assume it might be 3 accounts per Outlook profile, like originally specified in the preview build of Outlook 2010.  

 

Posted in Exchange 2010, Outlook | Leave a comment
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