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Part 1: Exchange Server mailbox-enabled and mail-enabled recipients

Tutorial: Managing Exchange Server 2003 recipient objects -- part 1 of 4.

There is a world of difference between an Exchange Server mailbox-enabled recipient object and a mail-enabled recipient...

object. An Exchange Server mailbox-enabled recipient object is a user who actually has a user account on your system. On the other hand, a mail-enabled recipient object is a user who does not have a valid user account, but who does have an email address that reflects your organization's domain.

You would typically create a mail-enabled Exchange Server recipient object for someone who doesn't actually work for your company, but who needs to maintain the appearance of working there.

By using a mail-enabled recipient object, you would be able to publish an external user's email address as [email protected] Any email messages sent to that address would pass through your Exchange server and be forwarded to that person's normal email account in his own domain.

The process for creating an Exchange Server mail-enabled user is fairly similar to the procedure for creating a mailbox-enabled user. Both processes start with creating a user account. Exchange Server extends the user creation wizard and gives you a chance to create an Exchange Server mailbox for the user, as shown in Figure A.

If you wanted to create a mailbox-enabled user, you would create an Exchange Server mailbox for the new user and then complete the account creation process in the normal way.

Figure A: Set up an Exchange mailbox to create a mailbox-enabled user object.
Figure A

If you are creating a mail-enabled recipient though, you would deselect the "Create an Exchange Mailbox" checkbox shown in Figure A prior to completing the account creation process.

Since a mail-enabled recipient is someone who has no business logging onto your network, you also need to disable that user account right away. To disable an Exchange Server mail-enabled recipient, right click on the user account in the Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) console and select the "Disable Account" command.

Now it's time to mail-enable the user account:

  1. Right click on the account and select the Exchange Tasks command to launch the Exchange Tasks Wizard.

  2. Click Next to bypass the wizard's Welcome screen and you will see a list of the tasks that can be applied to the user object.

  3. Select the "Establish Email Address" option from the list and click Next to see the screen shown in Figure B.

    Figure B: You must enter the user's external email address.
    Figure B

    As you can see in Figure B, the user's alias is filled in automatically. However, you must enter the user's external email address. This is the user's real email address where he normally receives his email.

  4. Click the modify button and you will be prompted to select the type of address that you want to enter.

  5. Select the SMTP Address option and click OK.

  6. Enter the user's external email address and click OK once again. The "External Email Address" field on the screen shown in Figure B will now be filled in.

  7. Click Next, followed by Finish, to complete the process.

You will be able to tell that the process was successful because the newly mail-enabled user will now appear in the Exchange Server Global Address List (GAL).


 Home: Introduction
 Part 1: Exchange Server mailbox-enabled and mail-enabled recipients
 Part 2: Exchange Server contact recipients
 Part 3: Exchange Server group recipients
 Part 4: Exchange Server public folder recipients

Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at

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