Generic Mailbox versus Email Alias


Sometimes a program or group will have a need for a generic email address. This may be used for a program, service requirement or special event. This can be helpful in advertising as the email address does not have to be updated just because the person responsible has changed. There are two ways a generic email address can be set up; as a Generic Mailbox or Email Alias. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

Email Alias


  • All email sent to this address is forwarded (aliased) to one specific user.
  • Easy to manage (everything is in one mailbox).
  • Mail sent to the aliased address will count against the specific user's email quota.

  • Mail can not be sent from this address.
  • Email sent to an alias can not be differentiated from email sent to the user (the alias will resolve to the user's name).
  • If the specific user is away, mail sent to this address can not be checked by others (unless the specific user has shared this mail or set up a rule to forward it).

Generic Mailbox


  • Easy for more than one person to access the mail sent to this address.
  • If requested, the address can be set up so that email can beent from this address.
  • If one or more people who check this mailbox are away other users can easily be given access to this mailbox.
  • This mailbox would be subject to its own email quota and would need to be managed.
  • Monitoring is a little harder than with an alias as this mailbox appears as another set of folders in the user's Outlook.


How do I request or access this service?

The decision as to which method to use depends on a user's particular circumstances. The IT Helpdesk can assist you in determining which method is best for you.

If you have permissions to a generic mailbox, another user's mailbox, or specific folders, you can add them to your folder list in Outlook® for easy access. 

Who can use this service?


When is this service available?

Support for this service is available: M-F 8:00 - 4:30

Service is available: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except during scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.

Our technology advisory page provides up-to-date information about the operations of Vancouver Island University's Information Technology systems and services. 

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