Common Outlook inbox for different accounts?

I’m setting up a new PC using XP Pro with Office Student. I’d like to have separate accounts for everyone in my family, but I’d like to share an email account with my kids. Is this possible, and how?

Do you mean that you want everyone to be able to access a certain email account (and its email) from their separate user logons?

Just tell the email connection to not delete mail from the server and everyone will get the same mail.

it’s fairly easy to set up different profiles for each member of your family within outlook, but I don’t know how it would be possible to split the mails your e-mail address. You could use rules, but that would rely on the mail coming in having certain trigger words to set of the rules.

If you collect emails from several different accounts/profiles, could Outlook not distinguish between them using the “To:” field of the email??


It’s not clear what you want to do, exactly. The thread title and the text of your post are contradictory.

How’s about you make it a bit clearer:

Do you want to have:

a) an email address called cornflakesandfamily which can be accessed by the separate accounts cornflakes, sonofcornflakes, daughterofcornflakes, etc, or

b) email addresses called cornflakes, sonofcornflakes, daughterofcornflakes, which can all be accessed by the common account cornflakesandfamily?

If (a), then boofy_bloke’s suggestion is a good one.

If (b), then you just need to tell Outlook the email addresses and passwords that it needs to check. (Tools->Accounts). When creating emails, all of you would need to remember to use the drop-down “from” box, so that the email came from cornflakes, sonofcornflakes, daughterofcornflakes, as appropriate.

I read the OP as (a) in the above post. If so, boofy_bloke has the right idea. But - if you have a lot of large files coming in via email and slow internet connection, or your mail server doesn’t like the idea of you leaving messages on it, here is another option which gets the job done, but its a little more involved.

This is assuming you’re using Office XP (this will work for outlook 98 upwards).

Setup the account for the shared e-mail address in outlook. Then, Click File->New->Personal Folders file. Place the new personal folders file in a shared location.

You will need to do the following for all profiles:

Add the new folder to the list

Right click Outlook Today (if this does not appear, click view->folder list)
Click “open personal folders file”.
Find the personal folders file we created earlier.

Setup a mail rule

Click Tools->Rules Wizard
New rule
Check Check Messages when they arrive, next
Check Sent to people or distribution list (at this point, you may need to make a contact for yourself - just make sure it contains the shared email address).
Check Move to the specified folder
Click on the “specified” part of the sentence, then click on your personal folders file.

This will mean any emails sent to the shared email address will be automatically moved to the personal folders file, regardless of who is actually accessing the email. Anyone with the folder in their folder list can read all of the emails sent to that address.

A variation of SimonLee’s method:

  1. Login as yourself, open Outlook and create the new personal files folder (*.pst) as SimonLee stated above. Right-click on the new “Personal Folders” file in Folder View and select “Close Personal Folders”. Close Outlook.

  2. Outlook by default will create a PST file for each user in the following directory (Windows XP): C:\Documents and Settings%UserName%\Local Settings\Application Data\Outlook. Delete the PST file found therein.

  3. Reopen Outlook. When it complains that it can’t find the default PSt file, point it to the one you created in step 1.

  4. Login as each user open and close Outlook and repeat steps 2 and 3 for each as necessary.

Thanks all for your help. I think I’ll try deleting all .PST’s except one (thanks Rex and Simon.) We’ve been using the administrator account to send/receive mail. Copying this account into a public folder should work, right?

That’s the problem. We’re still on dialup and we all share a common home email address, so it makes sense to direct all incoming mail to a common folder, regardless of who is logged into XP at the time. Also, I’ve got two smallish children and I’d like to monitor their inboxes. Using a common inbox should simplify junk mail filtering as well.