What to create: Office 365 groups, shared mailboxes, security groups, and distribution lists
In the Groups section of the Office 365 admin center, you can create and manage these types of groups:
||When to choose
|Office 365 group
||Create an Office 365 group when you want to give people a place to collaborate. When you create a group, you automatically give its members permissions to a shared mailbox, calendar, files, SharePoint site, and more. Learn about Office 365 Groups.
You can also create a group if you want an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advantages of groups:
||Create a shared mailbox when you want a group of people to monitor and send email from a common email address, like email@example.com. When a person in the group replies to a message sent to the shared mailbox, the email appears to be from the shared mailbox, not from the individual user.
Notable benefits of shared mailboxes:
A few drawbacks:
||It's better to create an Office 365 group than a distribution list. The only reason to create a DL now is if your organization has Groups disabled.
You can upgrade existing distribution lists to Office 365 Groups in Outlook.
||Create a security group when you want to grant access permissions to a group of users. For example, you could create a group of designers for a SharePoint Online site and then assign read/write permissions to that group. Everyone in the group will be able to view and edit the site.
Another example is when setting up mobile device management (MDM), a security group is created for the security policy. Assigning permissions to groups is much faster and more efficient than assigning permissions to individual users one at a time.
If you have hundreds or thousands of users you're managing, you might be interested in using a security group to assign licenses. See Assign licenses to users by group membership in Azure Active Directory.
|Mail-enabled security group
||If you mail-enable the security group, you can send e-mail to all members of that group. For example, if you create a security group that gives members access to the computers in a specific server lab, you may want to send mail to that group to notify them of a power outage in the lab.
Note: You have to assign Exchange Online licenses to all users who you want to add to a mail-enabled security group.
To learn more, see Manage mail-enabled security groups.
Currently it's not possible to migrate a shared mailbox to an Office 365 Group. Is this something you want? Let us know. Vote here !
We use your feedback to prioritize which features we work on.
More articles about managing groups
Manage Office 365 Groups with PowerShell: this article introduces you to key cmdlets and provides examples