Office 365, Email, Exchange, Distribution Groups, What information is needed to request a mail-enabled Exchange Distribution group

What are distribution groups? What information is needed to request a distribution group to be mail-enabled?

For IT Pros


Follow these steps to create a UOFI Active Directory distribution group in order to manage group access permissions to resources and communicate with a group.

Exchange allows distribution groups of "Universal" scope and "Security" type to be mail enabled.  This allows mail addressed to the group to flow to each member of the group, and also allows members of the group to be given specific levels of control over resource mailboxes (such as those used to manage rooms and equipment).

If you are a faculty or staff member who wants a distribution group for resource management, contact your departmental IT Pros for assistance.

If you are a departmental IT Pro with access to the UOFI AD forest, the instructions on this page are for you.

Creating a Distribution Group

  1. Create a new universal security group in the UOFI domain.
    (See "Why Universal Security Groups?" below for the reason behind this choice.)
  2. Populate the new group with the correct user membership.
  3. Email exchange@illinois.edu with the following information:
    1. The distribution group name
    2. Desired delivery restrictions (none, Exchange only, group members only)
    3. (Optional:) Any additional email addresses that should be added to the group (such as @illinois.edu or @dept.illinois.edu)
    4. (Optional:) The NetID of a user who will manage Tech Services Spam Control settings for the group

Why Universal Security Groups?

When you create a distribution group in Active Directory, you have three choices for scope (domain-local, global, or universal) and two choices for type (security or distribution). 

The only group scope that Exchange can mail enable is Universal.  Exchange can mail enable a Universal Security or Universal Distribution group type. 

A Universal Security group can be mail enabled AND used for permissions.  A Universal Distribution group can only be mail enabled, it cannot be used for permissions.  So Tech Services asks for new groups to be created as Universal Security groups since that option offers the most flexibility.

Distribution groups vs. mailing lists

There are several distinctions between distribution groups and traditional mailing lists.

Distribution groups are better suited for:

Mailing lists are better suited for: