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Office 365 - How to access a Service Account

This document describes the different ways a service account can be accessed both in Outlook on the web and within an Outlook desktop client.


  • Office 365 service accounts can only access certain UW-Madison applications/services. For Office 365 access, you can only access the service account using the following processes listed below.
  • All service accounts, when created, are hidden from the Global Address List (GAL). This means that they will not be searchable from any client using the GAL.

  •  Access the Service Account via linking - browser

    • Important: If the service account was just created or updated by your administrator, it may take up to 60 minutes before you can access the account. If you receive the following error, please wait about an hour and try again.

      This method can be used by individuals to access a service account's mailbox in the Outlook on the web client. This process requires that the NetID account you login to Office 365 with is linked to the service account that you wish to access.

      1. Open a browser and navigate to Outlook on the web by logging into your account using your NetID and password.
      2. On the linked account login screen, select your service account from your list of linked accounts.

        linked account login screen

      Note: When opening a Service account via linked login, you will occasionally be directed to the linked NetID mailbox.

      To workaround this, try again in a new browser. If the issue persists, clear your cache and cookies.

  •  Access the Service Account via add shared folder - browser

  •  Access the Service Account via linking - desktop client

    • Important: If the service account was just created or updated by your administrator, it may take up to 60 minutes before you can access the account.

      • Outlook for Windows: the Service account will automatically be mapped into your profile. Learn more.
      • Outlook for Mac: the Service account will need to be manually configured/opened. Learn more.

  •  Log in to the Service Account using the Service Account credentials (browser)

    • Once you have set a password for the service account:

      1. Open a browser session that is not currently logged into the campus NetID login service.
      2. Go to Outlook on the web login screen.
      3. Enter the log in credentials for the Service Account: name_domain.

        netid login screen

        E.g. Service Account: - Service Account NetID: help_doit.

      Note: If you do not know the Service Account credentials, contact your domain administrator.

  •  Access the service account via 'Open Mailbox' feature in Outlook on the web (browser)

    • To access a service account via the 'Open Another Mailbox' feature in Outlook on the web, the account you are logging in with must have full mailbox permissions to the service account and the service account must be searchable in the GAL.

      1. Login to Outlook on the web with the account which has full mailbox permissions to the service account.
      2. After logging in, select your profile picture in the top right, pictured below, to get the dropdown menu and choose open another mailbox:

        Clicking on profile picture will provide drop-down menu with 'open another mailbox' feature.

      3. This will give you a window to search for the account mailbox you are trying to open. Please type in the display name (or the email address) for the service account to find it in the GAL. Left click the account you wish to open

        Note: Because there will be many service accounts in the Office 365 system, please type in the display name as accurately as possible to ensure you can easily find the correct service account.

        open mailbox search results

      4. After left-clicking the account, it should be selected and give you an option to open the account as pictured below. Please choose the open option.

        Note: if you experience an error at this step, please review our Office 365 (Outlook on the web | Outlook for Windows | Mac) - Account Access Error document

        select open

      5. A new window/tab for Outlook on the web should appear in your browser for the service account.

  •  Access Service Account in a desktop/mobile client via its credentials
    • By default, when a Service Account is created, it can only be accessed via the account that was linked to it. This is the recommended way to access a service account. However, if you want to configure the service account directly within a desktop/mobile client, then you need to set a password on the service account. Once the service account has a password, use the Office 365 - Configuring your client documentation to configure it.

      IMPORTANT: Service Accounts are not licensed for Office ProPlus (Office desktop applications). With the release of Office 2019, you will not be able to configure a service account as the default account within an Outlook profile - you will need to access the service account via one of the other options listed above.

See Also:

Keywords:microsoft office365 o365 logging into how use using netid directly outlook on the web app owa accessing desktop client open subscribe desktop client 2016 2019 proplus windows macintosh how to access service account login desktop mobile browser   Doc ID:39838
Owner:O365 S.Group:Office 365
Created:2014-05-07 12:20 CSTUpdated:2021-02-24 13:39 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Office 365
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