After migration to MSS2010, we realized that the alerts, that we used to send to a distribution group in our company, do not work. There was an option to create alert for the group (e. g. group_all), assign an e-mail to the group and add permissions for this group to the web site and the alerts started working. When I do that in Sharepoint 2010, nothing is sent, not even the initial e-mail.

3 Answers 3


Sending SharePoint 2010 alerts to an Exchange distribution list.

  1. Create the distribution list/group in Active Directory and assign an email address. Do not use any dashes "-" in the group name.
  2. Edit the properties of the group to change its Group Type to Security (from Distribution). Make sure the group is a Universal group. Only security groups show up in SharePoint's address book. They show up as "domain groups" in SharePoint.
  3. Give the domain group at least visitor permissions on the list that are you are creating the alerts for in SharePoint. Alerts won't be sent if the domain group doesn't have appropriate permissions.
  4. Then setup the alert and use the address book to locate the domain group.
  5. Test out your alerts. If you have "require approval" turned on for the list, make sure you approve the items so alerts will be sent.
  • MJams, Let's say I set up an alert on a distribution group, not knowing that. If I add the SharePoint permission to the list at a later time, would that work? Or would I have to re-do the alert altogether?
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 20:49
  • What is it about dashes in names that makes emails stop working ?
    – Amit Naidu
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 21:39

Were any other changes made outside of SharePoint? I know Exchange has an option to set distribution groups to only be available for use by "authenticated or trusted senders" (this prevents email/spam from the internet from being sent to internal distro groups). We ran into this problem, because SharePoint does not "authenticate" to the Exchange server, it is not, by default, trusted/authenticated.

  • Kudos to lwbecker2. Going into the distribution group properties and unchecking "Require that all senders are authenticated" resolved this issue for me. Thanks!
    – user6259
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 16:47
  • @Byron: Don't forget to upvote an answer that is helpful to you!
    – Kit Menke
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 19:20
  • I tried to fix this by making the sharepoint's sender address into a Mail-User account and adding it to the accounts allowed to post to the list. Didn't work though - I'm not sure what to do. What do I do (I'm in SPO, however)?
    – bgmCoder
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 14:54

Did you check the outgoing email settings to be sure that they migrated? Also, is the timer job started?

  • Yes, of course. Other alerts work normally. Thanks anyway :)
    – user1667
    Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 8:45
  • Ravie-thanks for not being offended that I started with a simple response. :). I wasn't sure how experienced you are. Other things I have seen are the emails getting stopped by antivirus or spam filter. Since other emails work, I doubt this is the case unless the spam filter recognizes it as a bulk email. Do the ULS logs or Windows Event Viewer shed additional light? Also, search for my responses that mention SMTP4DEV and see if that tool will help you debug where the disconnect is.
    – Rob Wilson
    Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 15:31
  • No problem :). I have some experience with Sharepoint (5 years), but this problem is still a mystery to me. I thought that if the user has an e-mail, permissions and also other alerts work normally, it should work as well. The only difference is that this "user" is an e-mail enabled security group, which should not make any difference if the group is a site member. The cols in EventLog and EventCache seem fine. TestSMTP works. I will try SMTP4DEV.
    – user1667
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 10:10

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