Each UCT staff member and student is allocated a dedicated mailbox, which they can use to send and receive emails from internal and external users. There are, however, instances where an email needs to be sent on behalf of a team or department, which is where a shared mailbox can be useful.

Shared mailboxes are managed by more than one person and are typically used by communications and marketing teams to share information, helpdesk teams to provide support, and reception desks to respond to queries. At UCT, most of the executive management group also have a shared mailbox, which they use to send information to campus. These individuals along with dedicated staff have access to the mailbox.

Each mailbox also comes with a calendar which can be used to manage team’s leave days, plan events and even schedule shifts.

A shared mailbox and calendar work the same way as standard ones, but just more people have access to it.

  • Multiple individuals can manage incoming and outgoing emails from one central location.
  • A general email address can be used to manage queries.
  • Shared mailboxes are separate from an individual’s mailbox and has its own storage space of 50GB.
  • Messages of up to 35MB in size can be sent.
  • A shared mailbox can be accessed via the Outlook desktop client, Outlook Web App as well as Apple and Android mobile devices.


  • Any individual who has access to the mailbox can delete emails in the mailbox.
  • All users who have permission to access the mailbox can do so without having to authenticate.
  • Only internal individuals can have access to the shared mailbox (i.e., they must have a UCT email address).
  • Where there are too many people who have permission to use the mailbox, they may experience issues accessing it. There is also a higher risk of duplication. We therefore recommend that no more than 25 individuals have access to a shared mailbox.

Create a shared mailbox

If you identify the need for a shared mailbox within your team, department or faculty, you can log an incident with the IT Helpdesk to create a new shared mailbox.

Upon completing the online form, you will need to provide:

  • Mailbox owner
  • Preferred shared mailbox name
  • Preferred email address (preferredname@uct.ac.za)
  • Permissions
  • Head of department who needs to approve the request
  • Additional information


There are two permission types that can be assigned to a shared mailbox:

  • Full access
  • Send as

Owners have full access permissions and can log a call with the IT Helpdesk to set permissions for additional members.

Full access

This is the same permission level as an owner. They can perform the following tasks, but can only send mail if they have been assigned the Send as role too:

  • create calendar items

  • read, view, delete, and change email messages
  • create tasks and calendar contacts
Send As

An individual impersonates the shared mailbox, so that it looks like the email is sent from a department instead of the individual actually sending it.

Mailbox storage space

Each shared mailbox is allocated 50GB in storage as well as an additional 50GB in online archiving space. You can monitor the mailbox size by following these instructions.

When a mailbox is 98% full, the owner receives an email warning that the mailbox is set to run out of space soon. At this point, we recommend the owner or an individual who has full access rights do a mailbox clean up.

When mailbox usage reaches 99% full, the owner receives a prohibit send notification. No new emails can be sent until the mailbox size limit is sufficiently reduced.

At 100% full, Prohibit Send/Receive Exchange online, rejects any incoming mail. Senders trying to communicate with you via the shared mailbox email address will get non-delivery reports. They will, however, get an option to resend the email at a later stage. The mailbox will need to be cleared and reduced to a suitable level for it to be functional again.

Tips for better email management
  • Delete emails that are irrelevant or that you no longer need.
  • Determine how long you need to keep an email before it can be deleted.
  • If the email content is saved in another format somewhere else, consider deleting the email.

Additionally, emails can also be archived and accessed the same way you use your personal mailbox.

Recover a deleted mailbox

Accidents happen and a shared mailbox may be unintentionally deleted. Log a call with the IT Helpdesk within 30 days from when the email(s) or mailbox was deleted, for it to be successfully recovered.

Get help

Log a call with the IT Helpdesk using of the options listed below to get assistance with a shared mailbox: