Shared Mailbox Office 365 – Adding Shared Calendar To Mobile Devices

You decided to move your email to office 365! Good job, in fact this is great step towards unifying and integrating communication systems.
The possibilities are enormous but when you are in the implementation stage, you realize there are some caveats and you will have to apply some Jugaads ( Jugaad is called DIY or INNOVATIVE thinking in Hindi and Punjabi). One of the many challenges you may face is with non-user mailboxes.

These were probably created as a standard user mailbox for a team on exchange server and when you decided to move them to Exchange Online, they found a place in Shared Mailboxes. Very Apt place for what you are trying to do until you realize that you will have to do couple of extra steps if you mainly used it for sharing a common calendar. These steps are not intuitive are not found in the numerous KB articles at microsoft because, nobody thinks of sharing a Calendar on a shared mailbox, expect for you. Do not worry, I am with you. We had the same requirement and after struggling for few days and trial and error, here is the solution:

How to add a Calendar from a shared mailbox?
You will have to share the calendar and get a Link in the form of an URL – .ICS link. It sounds really simple until you realize that to generate that .ics link for a shared mailbox is impossible with their default GUI (OWA or Outlook). So how do we achieve it – Simple Round About Way!

First make sure you have the Permissions Set Right:
Log into the Office 365 Admin Portal, click on Shared Mailbox.
exchnage-admin-center

 

Under Mailbox Delegation, check for permissions, make sure you have assigned the appropriate permissions for the user. (Full Access is Prefered)

mailboxdelegation

Now, let’s make sure that this mailbox is not Hidden from address lists

Now, in order to have the Calendar Shared ( also to verify that the calendar is shared with desired editing, viewing rights, we turn to OWA.

Go to : https://outlook.office.com/owa/  and login into your regular Email Account, and then click on your Profile Icon, and select Open another mailbox

Enter the shared mailbox name in the search and if it does not automatically find it, click on Search Directory

openmail2

Click on the Shared Mailbox, as soon as you do, OWA will load it. But wait! the page is missing the Calendar Menu.

missingcalendar

Dead end? Not really, here is the Jugaad for opening the calendar. From your regular mailbox page (Hope  you did not close it, if you did, open a new TAB and login), Open your Calendar and then copy this part from the Regular Mail Box URL.

Regular Mail Box URL:

url1


The Part of the Path you want to copy

url2


The Shared Mailbox Path:

url4


Modified Shared Mailbox Path:

url3


Now hit ENTER!

You will now see the Calendar Open for the shared mailbox directly on your screen.

calendar-menu

Now, Right click on Calendar and click on Share. Here you run into another issue, when you share the calendar with internal email address (which BTW has permissions to view the calendar) it sends out this email and this one is of no use to what we are trying to do, remember we need the .ICS link and not .eml or xml etc.

Shared with Internal Email: When you share internally you get a donut (No ICS Link), see below:

sharedtointernal

 

Shared with External Email: When you share externally, you get the ICS link!!, see below:

icssuccess

Only Three more steps remaining.. don’t give up yet.

Now, for the FINALE,

Open the Regular Mailbox 

You can do this on Outlook or OWA. Just so we do not get confused or overwhelmed. Please close all your browser windows (Except for this one DUH! ) and proceed to either log into the OWA for the regular mailbox that needs to have this Shared Calendar opened on a phone (Apple or Android Devices).

Go to Calendar, and Right Click on Calendar and Select Open Calendar.

opening-and-adding-a-shared

 

Now, enter the shared calendar name, and click Ok. This will open the calendar. You may want to rename the calendar. 

rename-calendar

Now wait for few minutes, and you will notice on your Phone or Tablet, the Shared Calendar is an option on the regular email account.

 

calendar-final

Note: The sync may not be instant, it may take few minutes to show up. In any case you have an answer, if you liked this article, please subscribe to my blog.

 

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