Exchange 2016: Email Address Policies


Recipients (that include users, contacts, resources, and groups) are any mail-enabled object present in Active Directory to which Microsoft Exchange may deliver or route messages.


  • For sending or receiving email messages, the recipient should have an email address. And the Email address policies generate the primary and secondary email addresses for your recipients such that they can receive and send email.

  • Automatically, by default, Exchange consists of an email address policy for every mail-enabled user. This default policy mentions the recipient’s alias as the local part of the email address and usually uses the default accepted domain.

  • The local portion of an email address is the name which appears before the at sign (@). But, you can alter how your recipients’ email addresses will display.

  • For instance, you can mention that the addresses display as [email protected]

  • Moreover, if you wish to specify additional email addresses for all recipients or just a subset, you are allowed to modify the default policy or create additional policies.

  • For instance, the user mailbox for Robin Adwards can get email messages addressed to [email protected] and [email protected]


Properties and behaviors of recipient policies

Exchange deploys a policy to all recipients which match the recipient filtering criteria:


  • Recipient policies are applicable in order from the highest priority to lowest priority. In the situation of a conflict between two or more policies, the policy having the highest priority will be applicable.

  • And the default recipient policy is always has the lowest priority and will be applicable if no other policies are matched.

  • When you create a recipient policy however don’t explicitly mention a priority, it is going to be added as the highest priority.

  • In case you mention a priority which is already related with an existing policy, the existing policy and all policies with a lower priority will be shifted down by one.

  • The new policy will be inserted at the priority you mentioned.

  • The recipient policy functionality is categorized into two features: email address policies and accepted domains.

  • When you execute the Update-EmailAddressPolicy cmdlet in the Exchange Management Shell, the recipient object is then updated with the email address policy.

  • Every time a recipient object is edited and saved, Exchange enforces the accurate application of the email address criteria and settings.

  • When an email address policy is edited and saved, all related recipients are updated with the change.

  • Moreover, if a recipient object is modified, that recipient’s email address policy membership is reanalyzed and enforced.


Designing email address policies

When an email address policy is created, you can use the following email address categories:


  • Precanned SMTP email address. Precanned SMTP email addresses are generally used email address categories that are provided for you.

  • Custom SMTP email address. In case you don’t wish to use one of the precanned SMTP email addresses, you can mention a custom SMTP email address.

  • When a custom SMTP email address is created, then you are allowed to use the variables in the following shown table to specify the alternate values for the local part of the email address.





Given name (first name)


Middle initial


Surname (last name)


Display name


Exchange alias


Uses the first x letters of the surname. For instance, in case x = 2, the first two letters of the surname are used.


Uses the first x letters of the given name. For instance, if x = 2, the first two letters of the given name are used.


Non-SMTP email address.

The following categories of non-SMTP email addresses are generally supported:


  • EX (Legacy DN Proxy Address Prefix DisplayName)

  • X.500

  • X.400

  • MSMail

  • CcMail

  • Lotus Notes

  • Novell GroupWise

  • Exchange Unified Messaging proxy address (EUM proxy address)


In Exchange, almost all non-SMTP email addresses are considered custom addresses. Exchange doesn’t offer unique dialog boxes or property pages for X.400, GroupWise, or Lotus Notes email address types. In case you append a non-SMTP custom email address, you should have the appropriate dynamic-link library (DLL) files. In case you don’t offer the appropriate DLL files, then you will not be able to create a customized email address policy. Then, the following error will be logged in Event Viewer: “The email address description object in the Microsoft Exchange directory for the ‘SADF’ address type on ‘i386’ machines are missing.”


Kristin is a content strategist at Techarex Networks. Kristin follows the B2B technology space closely and loves to write on the latest changes in technology, futuretech and fixes for day to day how to issues. Besides writing Kristin also loves music, moves and skating.

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