Groups

Managing Distribution Groups in Office 365

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A Distribution group (formerly known as mailing list) in Office 365 is a uniquely named email address that consists of multiple users and is managed by a designated owner. Distribution groups are intended to easily facilitate ongoing communications between a large and relatively fixed group of people.

There are a few important concepts to understand about distribution groups before we get started with group management:

  • Emails sent to a distribution group are distributed to all members of that distribution group.
  • Only users granted permission by the Distribution Group Owner can send emails to a particular distribution group.  Permission to post (send emails) to a group is managed by USAN, and Group Owners should open a ticket with the Fairleigh Dickinson University Technical Assistance Center (UTAC) to change members that can post to the group.
  • A distribution group can be configured in such a way that emails sent to it can be held for approval and specific users can be made approvers (also known as moderators).
  • A distribution group has a unique email address attached to it. Users granted permission to send email to this email address can do so from any email client such as Outlook on the Web or Outlook installed in your computer, laptop, tablet or phone, Mozilla Thunderbird, Mac Mail and more.
  • You can request a distribution group by submitting the Distribution List/Shared Mailbox Request form located at FDU Forms Portal.
  • As a Distribution Group owner, you can change the group’s settings via the group’s management page on your Office 365 account (Outlook on the web).
  • As a Distribution Group owner, you can add or remove members (recipients) from your group via your group’s management page. This can be accomplished via Outlook on the web or by using the Outlook application installed on your machine.
Adding and Removing Distribution Group Users in Outlook for Windows
  1. Open “Outlook” on your computer
  1. Open “Address Book

You can open Address Book in two different ways:

  • One way is to click the “Address Book” icon located at the top when “Home” tab is selected:
  • The second way is by composing/creating a new email and clicking the “To” button:
  1. Select “All Distribution Lists” from the drop-down menu located under Address Book:
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  1. Select “More Columns” and enter the name or email address of your distribution group in the search field as shown in the first screen capture below. If you see your distribution group on the list, highlight it and double click it. If you do not find your list using “More Columns”, then it might be easier to find by using the “Name only
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  1. Click on “Modify Members…
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  1. If you want to remove a member, then select the member from the members list, click “Remove” button and then click “OK
  1. If you want to add a member, click “Add” button
  1. Select “More columns” and enter the new member’s name in the search field
  1. You should see the user in the list. Select “Name only” to search again if you are unable to locate the user. Once you have found the user, highlight the record and click “OK
  1. Verify that the new member is in the member’s list and click “OK
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  1. Click “Apply” and then click “OK
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Adding and Removing Distribution Group Users in Outlook on the Web
  1. Go to “fdu.edu” in the browser of your choice
  2. Go to “Shortcuts” menu
  3. Click “Office 365 and Email
  4. Sign-in with your NetID and password
  5. Go to online Outlook app by clicking on the “Outlook” icon
  1. Go to Settings by clicking on the “Settings” icon
  1. Click on “View all Outlook settings
  1. Click “General
  1. Click on “Distribution groups

Here you see the list of distribution groups that you belong to and the list of distribution groups that you own

How to open the Configuration page for a particular Distribution Group that you own in Outlook on the Web

  1. Select the distribution group that you would like to make changes to and then click “Edit” (Pencil Icon)
  1. You should see the distribution group configuration page

How to see the list of recipients (members) for this Distribution Group in Outlook on the Web

  1. Click on “membership

How to add recipients (members) to this Distribution Group in Outlook on the Web

  1. Click on “+” icon (Plus Icon)
  1. Click “All Users
  1. Please enter the name or NetID of the user that you would like to add to this distribution group in the search text box
  1. Click “+” button beside the user that you would like to add from the search results (you can search and select more users if you would like)
  1. Click “Save” when you are done

Remove recipients (members) from this Distribution Group in Outlook on the Web

  1. Go to the membership list as shown in Step: 3 How to see the list of recipients (members) for this distribution group
  1. Click on the recipient (member) that you would like to remove

Tip

Press “Control” button while selecting recipient if you would like to select multiple recipients from the list.

  1. To select a range of adjacent recipients on the list, click the first recipient from that part. Now, press the “Shift” key and click last recipient in this part
  1. Click “” button at the top located below the “Members” title
  1. Click “Save” when you are done
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Enabling Distribution Group Moderation and Adding Group Moderators
  1. Follow Step 1 & 2 in “Adding and Removing Distribution Group Users in Outlook on the Web
  1. Click “Message Approval
  1. Check (select) “Messages sent to this group have to be approved by a moderator”.
  1. Click “+” button under “Group Moderators

Note

By default, emails sent to the distribution group will be sent to the group owner for approval if you enable message approval and do not select any moderators.

  1. Click “All Users
  1. Please enter the name or NetID of the user that you’d like to add to this distribution group in the search text box
  1. Click “+” button beside the user that you’d like to add from the search results (you can search and select more users if you’d like)
  1. Click “Save” when you’re done. You’ll be taken to “Message Approval” screen
  1. You can add users’ emails from who do NOT require any approval by clicking “+” under “Senders who don’t require message approval” and following the same process as above
  1. You can choose who should be notified when an email sent to this distribution group has been held for approval -or- you can choose to disable these notifications as shown:
  1. Click “Save” again on “Message Approval” screen

Note

An email will NOT be held for approval from a group moderator who is allowed to send emails to the distribution group.

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Microsoft 365 Group Expiration Policy

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Unused Teams and Groups can accumulate and become a burden to resources over time. To prevent this from happening, Fairleigh Dickinson University has implemented an expiration policy for Teams and Groups. This article will explain the expiration policy and provide you with information regarding renewal.

What is the FDU expiration policy for Teams and Groups

  1. Any Team or Group inactive for 365 days or more will expire
  2. Team and Group owners will be notified 30 days, 15 days, and 1 day before the team’s expiration date. If the Team or Group is not renewed before expiration, it will be deleted.

Note

Expiration notices for groups used in Teams appear in the Teams Owners feed.

  1. The expiration period of 365 days begins at the creation of the Team or Group, or the date it was last renewed

Note

When the policy goes into effect, all groups that have already passed the 365 days period will expire. Affected group owners will be notified to renew.

How to renew a Team or Group

There are two methods to prevent the Microsoft 365 group from being deleted.

  1. The group owner can manually renew the group by clicking the button in the warning message
  1. A member of the group can perform a monitored user activity:
    • SharePoint: view, edit, download, move, share, or upload files (viewing a SharePoint page does not count as an action for automatic renewal)
    • Outlook: join or edit group, read or write group messages from the group, and like a message (Outlook on the web)
    • Teams: visit a teams channel
    • Yammer: view a post within a Yammer community or an interactive email in Outlook
    • Forms: view, create, or edit forms, or submit a response to a form
  2. When the team owner receives the expiration notification, go to the Team’s group “Manage team” option and click on Renew now as shown below

Whenever the Microsoft 365 group is renewed by any of the methods mentioned, the group’s lifetime will be extended for another period of 365 days.

What are Microsoft 365 Groups

Microsoft 365 groups are created from a variety of tools including Outlook, SharePoint, Planner, and Teams. Microsoft 365 groups allow you to choose a set of people to collaborate with. You can use Microsoft 365 groups to communicate with others, share files, and apply permissions to shared resources.

Who are Group Owners

When a Microsoft 365 group is created, the person creating the group is designated as the owner. After adding members to the group, the primary owner can also promote other members to owner status. We suggest that when practical, Microsoft 365 groups have at least 2 owners. This can be important as only the group owner will receive the warning messages. In some cases, the group owner may have removed themselves from the group or left the university entirely. If you find yourself a member of a Microsoft 365 group without an owner, please contact support by creating a SAMI Support Request.

Groups without Owners

Ownerless or orphaned Groups may be deleted by USAN. USAN will notify Group members prior to deletion, but if they receive no response, the Group will be deleted. If USAN deletes a Group, all the records associated with the Group’s shared space will be deleted as well

Automatic Renewal

Groups that are actively in use are renewed automatically setting the days to zero. Any of the following actions will auto-renew a group:

  • SharePoint – view, edit, download, move, share, or upload files. (Viewing a SharePoint page does not count as an action for automatic renewal.)
  • Outlook – join the group, read or write group messages from the group, and like a message (Outlook on the web).
  • Teams – visiting the Teams channel.

Recover Deleted Teams or Groups

When the 365 days limit hits, the Microsoft 365 group will expire and be put into a “Soft-deleted” state. Which means it can still be recovered for up to 30 days. To have the Microsoft 365 group recovered please contact support by creating a SAMI Support Request and include the Microsoft 365 group or Team name to be recovered.

Where to Get Help

For assistance with Microsoft 365 groups, please contact support by creating a SAMI Support Request. We can answer questions about the expiration policy, renewing groups, and updating group owners.

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