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Configuring Membership Approval for Distribution Groups in Exchange Server 2010

In the Exchange Server Pros LinkedIn group Ravindra asks:

How do you send the auto generated mails to the distribution group owner for any changes to the group like member addition or deletion. Is it an inbuilt feature of Exchange ?

Yes, it is a builtin feature of Exchange, but there is some configuration required depending on how you would like it to work.

The basic functionality is as follows. A group can have one of three membership approval settings for “joining”, and one of two settings for “leaving”.


Setting the group to Open obviously means that anyone can join or leave the group with no approval required. This would be suitable for distribution groups such as social clubs, buy/sell classified lists, low security discussion lists and so on.

For Ravindra’s case we would configure the group for Owner Approval. When a group is configured in that way the group owners/managers receive an email to approve or reject new group members.


If the manager is has the appropriate Exchange admin rights already then they can approve/reject the change.


The requesting user then receives a confirmation email with the result of their membership request.


However if the group manager is just another regular user, then there is additional configuration required to enable them to manage the membership requests for groups they are the owner/manager of.

All you need to do is go to the TechNet Script Gallery and grab a copy of the Manage-GroupManagementRole.ps1 script.

Run the script in the Exchange Management Shell.

This modifies the default role assignment to permit management of group membership without granting them the ability to create or remove distribution groups.

After you allow that change to take effect (just a few minutes for replication etc in my test lab) the group owner/manager that is not an Exchange admin should now be able to approve or reject membership requests.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.
Category: Exchange Server


  1. Mridul Anand says:

    is this option to join any group available in owa itself? as I am not able to see this option to join any group in outlook 2010.

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