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Catch-all email not supported with Microsoft 365

A catch-all email is used to deliver mail when the address isn't spelled correctly, or the recipient doesn't exist. This can result in unwanted mail, including spam, being delivered as well. To prevent the risk of phishing attacks and other security threats, Microsoft 365 doesn't allow catch-all email.

If you used a catch-all with Workspace Email, it will no longer work after your move to Microsoft 365. However, Microsoft 365 includes several features you can use after your move. Choose which feature works best for you.

We strongly recommend using any of the following instead of catch-all email:

  • Alias: Create an address that sends all mail to another inbox of your choosing. For example, if your address is jane@coolexample.com, and you set up the alias sales@coolexample.com, all mail sent to either jane@ or sales@ will automatically go to jane@coolexample.com. Here's how to create an alias.
  • Distribution group: Communicate with a group of people, such as a department or team working on a project. Instead of including each individual recipient, you can send mail to the distribution group and every member will get it. Here's how to create a distribution group.
  • Shared mailbox: Allow a group of people to read and send messages from a common email address. For example, you can set up the shared mailbox questions@coolexample.com so employees who have access can receive and respond to its messages. Here's how to create a shared mailbox.

If your business needs catch-all email, you can create a similar experience where mail sent to any of your account's domains goes to a single mailbox. Please keep in mind that Microsoft doesn't support using catch-all email and we recommend using one of the options above instead.

Required: You need admin permissions to follow these steps. For more info, see admin roles from Microsoft.

Step 1: Change the domain status

You'll first change the domain status so it accepts messages to recipients that don't already exist in your organization (aren't valid users).

  1. Sign in to the Exchange admin center. Use your Microsoft 365 email address and password (your GoDaddy username and password won't work here).
  2. Select Mail flow > Accepted domains.
    Mail flow menu open with Accepted domains option
  3. Select your domain. On the right, select Internal relay, then select Save.
    Domain and internal relay selected
  4. Required: If you have multiple domains in your Microsoft email plan, they're listed here. You must change every domain you want to work with the catch-all email to Internal Relay.

Step 2: Create a shared mailbox

Next, create a shared mailbox to check mail caught by the catch-all.

  1. Select Recipients > Mailboxes.
    Recipients menu open with Mailboxes option
  2. Select People icon with plus sign Add a shared mailbox.
  3. Enter the following:
    • Display name: This is what recipients will see when they get mail from this address.
    • Email address: Name the email address catchall before the @, and then select your domain from the list.
  4. Select Create. It can take about 15 minutes for the shared mailbox to become available.

Step 3: Create a dynamic distribution group

Then, create a group of valid users so their mail is still sent to them and doesn't go to the catch-all.

  1. Select Recipients > Groups.
    Recipients menu open with Groups option
  2. Select Person icon with plus sign Add a group.
  3. Under Choose a group type, select Dynamic distribution, then select Next.
  4. For the Name, enter All users. You can leave the description blank. Select Next.
  5. For the Owner, choose a user to manage this group, such as the account admin.
  6. Select All recipient types, and then select Next.
    Owner as California Flower Farms and all recipient types selected
  7. For the Group email address, enter allusers. You can keep the default onmicrosoft domain. Select Next.
    Group email address
  8. Select Create group

Step 4: Create a rule to catch mail

Your next step is to create a rule so mail sent to an unassigned email address goes to the catchall@ shared mailbox.

  1. Select Mail flow > Rules.
    Mail flow menu open with Rules option
  2. Select Plus New > Create a new rule. A new window will open.
    Plus sign menu open to show create rule option
  3. For Name, enter Catch-All.
  4. At the bottom of the window, select More options.
    More options
  5. Choose the following:
    • Apply this rule if: Select The sender > is external/internal > Outside the organization > OK.
    • Do the following: Select Redirect the message to > these recipients > your shared mailbox > OK.
    • Except if: Select add exception > The recipient > is a member of this group > allusers (your dynamic distribution list) > OK.
    • Name Catch-All Alternative, Apply this rule if the sender is located outside the organization, Do the following redirect the message to Contact US, Except if the recipient is a member of all users
  6. Select Save. Now all mail from outside of your organization will be delivered to this mailbox if the recipient isn't a member of your allusers distribution list. You can come back anytime and change these settings.

Step 5: Choose how to access the catch-all

Lastly, use one of these options to choose how you'll see the catch-all's email. Select a tab to see instructions:


Follow these steps to deliver mail to a specific user. This is most like the Workspace Email experience since you won't have to check the shared mailbox separately.

  1. In the upper-right corner, select your profile and View another mailbox.
    Profile icon and View another mailbox
  2. Select your catchall@ shared mailbox. A new tab will open.
  3. Select Forward your email.
    Start forwarding
  4. Enter the email address you want to receive all catch-all messages, and then select start forwarding.
  5. Select Save.

The specified email address will now receive all email caught by the catch-all.

Related step

More info