Configuring Active Directory to allow contacts to show up in the Outlook Address book

At this point, you will need to go to your Domain Controller and make some changes to Active Directory to allow contacts to be created within an organizational unit so that they show up in the Outlook Address Book after they are created.

Go to your Domain Controller and open the Active Directory Users and Computers.

Active Directory Users and Computers

First, create an Organizational Unit as shown.

Organizational Unit

Give the Organizational Unit a name (e.g. Sp Contacts), then click OK.

new organizational unit

Next, change the permissions of that Organizational Unit by right-clicking it and selecting Delegate Control.

delegate control of organizational unit

When the welcome screen of the Delegation of Control Wizard appears, click Next.

delegation of control wizard

You will want to delegate control to the account that controls the SharePoint Central administration application pool, which, in this case, is the SP Admin account. Click the Add button.

delegation of control wizard users or groups

Enter spadmin in the text field labeled “Enter the object names to select”, then click OK.

select users computers or groups

In the next screen, select its corresponding item and click Next.

delegation of control wizard spadmin

You’ll then be asked whether you want to delegate a set of common tasks or create a custom task to delegate. Select the second option and click Next.

create custom task to delegate

When asked to indicate the scope of the task you want to delegate, select “This folder, existing objects in this folder, and creation of new objects in this folder.” Click Next.

scope of tasks you want to delegate

In selecting the permissions you want to delegate, first check General and Creation/deletion of specific child objects. Then, in the Permissions list, check Create All Child Objects and Delete All Child Objects. Click Next.

select permissions you want to delegate

If all goes well, you will have reached the end of the Delegation of Control wizard. If so, click Finish.

complete delegation of control wizard

One last thing you need to do within Active Directory is to enable the SP Admin account with the Delete Subtree permission. To do that, go to the View menu and select Advanced Features.

active directory advanced features

This will show more items on the right-hand panel. Right-click on the SharePoint contacts organizational unit you created earlier and select Properties.

organizational unit properties

In the properties window, navigate to the Security tab and click the Advanced button.

 properties security advanced

In the Advanced Security Settings window, select the SPADMIN account.

advanced security settings

This is where you will then find the Delete subtree permission. Check its Allow checkbox.

delete subtree

Click OK to close that window, then click the OK button of each window you encounter until you’re back to the Active Directory Users and Computers window.

Active Directory Users and Computers

With that, you’re done setting what needs to be set in Active Directory so that your contacts will show up in your Outlook address book. The final step is to do an IIS reset on your SharePoint server.

Go back now to the SharePoint server. Right-click on the PowerShell quick-launch icon then click Run as Administrator.

power shell run as admin

When the dialog window appears, click Yes.

user account control

In the PowerShell, type in iisreset to start the reset process. Wait until the reset completes, then close the window.


Although you’re already done with this phase, the next few steps will still be performed in the SharePoint server environment, so keep it open.

Configuring Incoming Email Settings in Central Administration

You’re now ready to configure incoming email settings from inside Central Administration. To begin, launch the SharePoint Central Administration.

sharepoint central administration

Once inside the Central Administration, go to the left side of the screen and click System Settings.

central administration window

Under E-Mail and Text Messages (SMS), click Configure incoming e-mail settings.

configuring incoming email settings

On the right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see a bunch of option buttons, text fields, and checkboxes that will allow you to specify certain configuration settings. Apply the following settings:

  • Enable sites on this server to receive e-mail?

Select Yes

  • Settings mode:

Select Automatic

  • Use the SharePoint Directory Management Service to create distribution groups and contacts?

Select Yes

 Central Administration 1

  • Active Directory container where new distribution groups and contacts will be created:

Enter the name of the container using this format:
OU=[ContainerName], DC=[domain], DC=[com],
wherein ContainerName is the name of the Organizational Unit you created earlier, domain is the second-level domain, and com is the top-level domain.

For example: OU=SP Contacts, DC=carvedrockfitness, DC=com

  • SMTP mail server for incoming mail:

This is usually filled in automatically, so just check if it is correct.

  • Accept messages from authenticated users only?

Select No

  • Allow creation of distribution groups from SharePoint sites?

Select No. One offshoot of selecting this option is that you won’t need the approval settings that follow. This is why you’ll then see the check boxes being grayed out.

Central Administration 2

  • E-mail server display address:

Leave as is.

  • Select Accept mail from all e-mail servers

When you’re done with all these, click OK.

Central Administration 3

With the configurations you just did, certain changes are expected to automatically take effect on the Drop folder. Thus, you can verify whether the configuration process all went well by checking the Drop folder to see whether those changes did in fact take effect.

To do that, navigate to Start > Computer > C: > inetpub > mailroot. There you’ll find the drop folder.

drop folder

Right-click on the Drop folder and select Properties.

drop folder properties

When the Drop Properties window appears, navigate to the Security tab. Scroll down the list of Group or user names and see if the items “WSS_ADMIN_WPG…” and “WSS_WPG…” are present. If they are, then you’re good to go.

drop properties

Configurations to add a library as a contact under your organizational unit

Before you can go to the main process of checking whether your SharePoint incoming email feature is working, you’ll need to perform just a few more configuration steps. Go now to a client system, open a Web browser and navigate to your SharePoint site.

Next, go to the Libraries section and click a link to a library (we assume you already have some in there). In our example, the library we’re about to open is called Recipes.

sharepoint site

To change the settings of that library, go to the Library tab and click Library Settings.

library settings

Go to the Communications section and click the link named Incoming e-mail settings.

Communications incoming e-mail settings

On the right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see another bunch of option buttons and text fields that will allow you to specify configuration settings for this library. Apply the following settings:

  • Allow this document library to receive e-mail?

Select Yes.

  • E-mail address:

Assign a name for the e-mail address.

  • Group attachments in folders?

Select an option that’s best suited for you.

  • Overwrite files with the same name?

Select No.

incoming email settings

  • Save original e-mail?

Select Yes.

  • Save meeting invitations?

Select No.

  • E-mail security policy:

At this point, just select Accept e-mail messages from any sender. However, in a real-world scenario, you might want to choose the first option.

incoming email settings 2

When you’re done with all those settings, click OK. After that, the library whose settings you just configured will automatically be added as a contact under the Organizational Unit created earlier. This is now a result of all those numerous steps you went through.


Go now to Active Directory Users and Computers and navigate to the Organizational Unit in question (‘SP Contacts’, in our case). You should see the library there now.

newly added contacts in Active Directory OU

You’ll also see that contact in Exchange Server. Go to Exchange Server now, launch the Exchange Management Console, and navigate to Recipient Configuration > Mail Contact. You should see the library contact there as well.

 library mail contact in exchange

Testing if the SharePoint Incoming Email feature actually works

It’s finally payback time. You’re finally ready to perform a basic test on the feature you’ve taken so long to configure.

Get back to your client system, launch Microsoft Outlook, and create a New email.

create a new email in MS Outlook

In the To: field, enter the email address of the library that was newly added as a contact. Enter a subject, put some text into the body, attach a file, and send.

creating an email

If you go back to the SharePoint site and open the library, you should be able to see both the email and the attached file. If they’re there, then heave a sigh of relief. This means, you have just accomplished what you have set out to do in the first part of this tutorial, and that is to configure SharePoint for Incoming Email.

checking the email in the SharePoint library