Create and manage room mailboxes


Applies to: Exchange Online, Exchange Server 2016

Topic Last Modified: 2017-12-20

Summary: How to create a resource mailbox called a room mailbox, a room list, and how to change room mailbox properties.

A room mailbox is a resource mailbox that’s assigned to a physical location, such as a conference room, an auditorium, or a training room. With room mailboxes, users can easily reserve these rooms by including room mailboxes in their meeting requests. When they do this, the room mailbox uses options you can configure to decide whether the invite should be accepted or denied.

To create a room mailbox, you need to be an administrator who's a member of either the Organization Management or Recipient Management role groups.

If you want to grant someone access to a room mailbox so they can directly manage its calendar (for example, an assistant who needs to make room for an executive meeting), you can do so using the instructions in Manage permissions for recipients. After a user's been granted permissions to access a room mailbox, they can open the mailbox using the instructions in Open and use a shared mailbox in Outlook 2016 and Outlook 2013.

Room mailboxes should never be set as the organizer of a meeting, nor should room mailboxes be accessed directly by users in order to make changes to a meeting. Rooms should only be added to meetings in the Attendee or Location fields. Otherwise you will override the Resource Booking Assistant (RBA), which manages and processes all calendar items sent to the room mailbox, and unexpected errors may occur.
If your organization has one or more users who need to manage a room and its mailbox, then assign users to the room as resource delegates for the room mailbox, as described later in this article. When a delegate is assigned, all items sent to the room's mailbox will be directed to the booking delegate, who can then accept or decline from their own Inbox. If your organization wants to use a room mailbox like a team calendar, consider using Exchange's shared calendar features.

If you want to learn about the types of recipients that are available in Exchange 2016, check out Recipients. For info about another type of resource mailbox, check out Manage equipment mailboxes.

  • Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes.

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the"Recipient Provisioning Permissions" section in the Recipients Permissions topic.

  • For information about keyboard shortcuts that may apply to the procedures in this topic, see Keyboard shortcuts in the Exchange admin center.

  • If you're using room or equipment mailboxes in Office 365, see this article.

If you’re running Exchange 2013 in a hybrid scenario, make sure you create the room mailboxes in the appropriate place. Create your room mailboxes for your on-premises organization on-premises, and room mailboxes for Exchange Online should be created in the cloud.
Having problems? Ask for help in the Exchange forums. Visit the forums at: Exchange Server, Exchange Online, or Exchange Online Protection.

  1. In the Exchange Admin Center, navigate to Recipients  > Resources.

  2. To create a room mailbox, click New Add icon > Room mailbox.

  3. Use the options on the page to specify the settings for the new resource mailbox.

    • * Room name   Use this box to type a name for the room mailbox. This is the name that's listed in the resource mailbox list in the Exchange Admin Center and in your organization’s address book. This name is required and it can't exceed 64 characters.

      Although there are other fields that describe the details of the room, for example, Location and Capacity, consider summarizing the most important details in the room name using a consistent naming convention. Why? So users can easily see the details when they select the room from the address book in the meeting request.
    • * Alias   A room mailbox has an email address so it can receive booking requests. The email address consists of an alias on the left side of the @ symbol, which must be unique in the forest, and your domain name on the right. The alias is required.

    • Location, Phone, Capacity   You can use these fields to enter details about the room. However, as explained earlier, you can include some or all of this information in the room name so users can see it.

  4. When you're finished, click Save to create the room mailbox.

After you've created a room mailbox, you can change how it handles meeting requests (including whether it responds automatically or someone needs to decide what to do). By default, it'll automatically accept or decline requests depending on whether the requests conflict with any existing meetings on its calendar. It'll also allow meetings that repeat, and allow meetings up to 180 days from the current date (and decline any requests beyond that) that are up to 24 hours in duration. If you want to change other options, head down to Change other room mailbox properties.

For information on how to create a room mailbox using the Exchange Management shell, see Examples 2 and 3 in New-Mailbox.

  1. In the Exchange Admin Center, navigate to Recipients  > Resources.

  2. In the list of resource mailboxes, click the room mailbox that you want to change the properties for, and then click Edit Edit icon.

  3. On the room mailbox properties page, click Booking Delegates (allow automatic responses or not) or Booking Options (allow repeating meetings, decline meetings that are scheduled too far out, etc).

Use the Booking Delegates section to view or change how the room mailbox handles meeting requests and to define who can accept or decline booking requests if it isn’t done automatically.

  • Select one of the following options to handle meeting requests.

    • Accept or decline booking requests automatically   If this is selected, the meeting request will automatically be declined if there's a scheduling conflict with an existing reservation, or if the booking request violates the scheduling limits of the resource, for example, the reservation duration is too long.

    • Select delegates who can accept or decline booking requests   If this is selected, one of the people you added to the Delegates list below will be responsible for accepting or declining meeting requests that are sent to the room mailbox. If you assign more than one resource delegate, only one of them has to act on a specific meeting request.

Use the Booking Options section to view or change the settings for the booking policy that defines when the room can be scheduled, how long it can be reserved, and how far in advance it can be reserved.

  • Allow repeating meetings   This setting allows or prevents repeating meetings for the room.

  • Allow scheduling only during working hours   This setting accepts or declines meeting requests that aren't during the working hours defined for the room, which are, by default, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. You can configure the working hours of the room mailbox either by logging into the mailbox using Outlook on the web and going to the Options > Calendar > Calendar appearance page, or by using Set-MailboxCalendarConfiguration.

  • Always decline if the end date is beyond this limit   This setting controls the behavior of repeating meetings that extend beyond the date specified by the maximum booking lead time setting.

    • If you enable this setting, a repeating booking request is automatically declined if the bookings start on or before the date specified by the value in the Maximum booking lead time box, and they extend beyond the specified date. This is the default setting.

    • If you disable this setting, a repeating booking request is automatically accepted if booking requests start on or before the date specified by the value in the Maximum booking lead time box, and they extend beyond the specified date. However, the number of bookings is reduced so bookings won’t occur after the specified date.

  • Maximum booking lead time (days)   This setting specifies the maximum number of days in advance that the room can be booked. Valid input is an integer between 0 and 1080. The default value is 180 days.

  • Maximum duration (hours)   This setting specifies the maximum duration that the room can be reserved in a booking request. The default value is 24 hours.

    For repeating booking requests, the maximum booking duration applies to the length of each instance of the repeating booking request.

There’s also a box on this page that you can use to write a message that will be sent to users who send booking requests to reserve the room.

After you create a room mailbox, you can make changes and set additional properties by using the Exchange Admin Center or Exchange PowerShell.

  1. In the Exchange Admin Center, navigate to Recipients  > Resources.

  2. In the list of resource mailboxes, click the room mailbox that you want to change the properties for, and then click Edit Edit icon.

  3. On the room mailbox properties page, click one of the following sections to view or change properties (for booking options, see Change how a room mailbox handles meeting requests).

Use the General section to view or change basic information about the resource.

  • * Room name   This name appears in the resource mailbox list in the Exchange Admin CenterExchange Admin Center and in your organization’s address book. It can't exceed 64 characters if you change it.

  • * Email address   This read-only box displays the email address for the room mailbox. You can change it in the Email Address section.

  • Capacity   Use this box to enter the maximum number of people who can safely occupy the room.

Click More options to view or change these additional properties:

  • Organizational unit   This read-only box displays the organizational unit (OU) that contains the account for the room mailbox. You have to use Active Directory Users and Computers to move the account to a different OU.

  • Mailbox database   This read-only box displays the name of the mailbox database that hosts the room mailbox. Use the Migration page in the Exchange Admin Center to move the mailbox to a different database.

  • * Alias Use this box to change the alias for the room mailbox.

  • Hide from address lists   Select this check box to prevent the room mailbox from appearing in the address book and other address lists that are defined in your Exchange organization. After you select this check box, users can still send booking messages to the room mailbox by using the email address.

  • Department   Use this box to specify a department name that the room is associated with. You can use this property to create recipient conditions for dynamic distribution groups and address lists.

  • Company   Use this box to specify a company that the room is associated with, if applicable. Like the Department property, you can use this property to create recipient conditions for dynamic distribution groups and address lists.

  • Address book policy   Use this option to specify an address book policy (ABP) for the room mailbox. ABPs contain a global address list (GAL), an offline address book (OAB), a room list, and a set of address lists. To learn more, see Address book policies in Exchange 2016.

    In the drop-down list, select the policy that you want associated with this mailbox.

  • Custom attributes   This section displays the custom attributes defined for the room mailbox. To specify custom attribute values, click Edit Edit icon. You can specify up to 15 custom attributes for the recipient.

Use the Contact Information section to view or change the contact information for the room. The information on this page is displayed in the address book.

You can use the State/Province box to create recipient conditions for dynamic distribution groups, email address policies, or address lists.

Use the Email Address section to view or change the email addresses associated with the room mailbox. This includes the mailbox’s primary SMTP address and any associated proxy addresses. The primary SMTP address (also known as the reply address) is displayed in bold text in the address list, with the uppercase SMTP value in the Type column.

  • Add    Click Add Add icon to add a new email address for this mailbox. Select one of following address types:

    • SMTP   This is the default address type. Click this button and then type the new SMTP address in the * Email address box.

    • EUM   An EUM (Exchange Unified Messaging) address is used by the Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging service to locate UM-enabled recipients within an Exchange organization. EUM addresses consist of the extension number and the UM dial plan for the UM-enabled user. Click this button and type the extension number in the Address/Extension box. Then click Browse and select a dial plan for the mailbox.

    • Custom address type   Click this button and type one of the supported non-SMTP email address types in the * Email address box.

      With the exception of X.400 addresses, Exchange doesn't validate custom addresses for correct formatting. You must make sure that the custom address you specify complies with the format requirements for that address type.
    When you add a new email address, you have the option to make it the primary SMTP address.

  • Automatically update email addresses based on the email address policy applied to this recipient   Select this check box to have the recipient's email addresses automatically updated based on changes made to email address policies in your organization.

Use the MailTip section to add a MailTip to alert users of potential issues before they send a booking request to the room mailbox. A MailTip is text that’s displayed in the InfoBar when this recipient is added to the To, Cc, or Bcc lines of a new email message.

MailTips can include HTML tags, but scripts aren't allowed. The length of a custom MailTip can't exceed 175 displayed characters. HTML tags aren't counted in the limit.

Use the following sets of cmdlets to view and change room mailbox properties:Get-Mailbox and Set-Mailbox cmdlets to view and change general properties and email addresses for room mailboxes. Use the Get-CalendarProcessing and Set-CalendarProcessing cmdlets to view and change delegates and booking options.

  • Get-User and Set-User   Use these cmdlets to view and set general properties such as location, department, and company names.

  • Get-Mailbox and Set-Mailbox   Use these cmdlets to view and set mailbox properties, such as email addresses and the mailbox database.

  • Get-CalendarProcessing and Set-CalendarProcessing   Use these cmdlets to view and set booking options and delegates.

For information about these cmdlets, see the following topics:

Here are some examples of using Exchange PowerShell to change room mailbox properties.

This example changes the display name, the primary SMTP address (called the default reply address), and the room capacity. Also, the previous reply address is kept as a proxy address.

Set-Mailbox "Conf Room 123" -DisplayName "Conf Room 31/123 (12)" -EmailAddresses, -ResourceCapacity 12

This example configures room mailboxes to allow booking requests to be scheduled only during working hours and sets a maximum duration of 9 hours.

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'RoomMailbox')} | Set-CalendarProcessing -ScheduleOnlyDuringWorkHours $true -MaximumDurationInMinutes 540

This example uses the Get-User cmdlet to find all room mailboxes that correspond to private conference rooms, and then uses the Set-CalendarProcessing cmdlet to send booking requests to a delegate named Robin Wood to accept or decline.

Get-User -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'RoomMailbox') -and (DisplayName -like 'Private*')} | Set-CalendarProcessing -AllBookInPolicy $false -AllRequestInPolicy $true -ResourceDelegates "Robin Wood"

If you’re planning to have more than a hundred rooms, or already have more than a hundred rooms created, use a room list to help you organize your rooms. If your company has several buildings with rooms that can be booked for meetings, it might help to create room lists for each building. Room lists are specially marked distribution groups that you can use the same way you use distribution groups. However, you can only create room lists using the Exchange Management Shell.

This example creates a room list for building 32.

New-DistributionGroup -Name "Building 32 Conference Rooms" -OrganizationalUnit "" -RoomList

This example adds confroom3223 to the building 32 room list.

Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity "Building 32 Conference Rooms" -Member

You may already have created distribution groups in the past that contain your conference rooms. You don't need to recreate them; we can convert them quickly into a room list.

This example converts the distribution group, building 34 conference rooms, to a room list.

Set-DistributionGroup -Identity "Building 34 Conference Rooms" -RoomList

To verify that you’ve successfully changed properties for a room mailbox, do the following:

  • In the Exchange Admin Center, select the mailbox and then click Edit Edit icon to view the property or feature that you changed. Depending on the property that you changed, it might be displayed in the Details pane for the selected mailbox.

  • In Exchange PowerShell, use the Get-Mailbox cmdlet to verify the changes. One advantage of using Exchange PowerShell is that you can view multiple properties for multiple mailboxes. In the example above where booking requests could be scheduled only during working hours and have a maximum duration of 9 hours, run the following command to verify the new values.

    Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'RoomMailbox')} | Get-CalendarProcessing | fl Identity,ScheduleOnlyDuringWorkHours,MaximumDurationInMinutes