Message Moderation In Exchange 2010…

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All of us have received emails of no interest like "I am leaving the company", "Has anyone found my mobile?" etc, just because we are part of the distribution group. Most of the time, the emails are sent to large distribution groups like "All Staff". Previous versions of exchange gave administrator the option to configure which user can actually send an email to these distribution groups. Exchange 2007 took it a step further by blocking all emails from outside by default. Read one of my previous articles for more info.

Exchange 2010 makes things much easier with the concept of moderated transport. Using this, administrator can assign a moderator for distribution groups and he/she can approve/reject messages sent to the group. This makes it easier as the administrator doesn’t have to manually update who can send to the group as and when a user joins/leaves.

Let me explain this with an example. I have a distribution group named "Senior Management" and I have configured myself as the moderator. To do so, take the properties of the distribution group, navigate to Mail Flow Settings -> Message Moderation -> Properties.


Check the box and add the account of the moderator. You can also add users who can bypass or doesn’t require approval from the moderator.


Now, my colleague Mitesh Vasani is sending an email to the distribution group "Senior Management". The following happens (from technet):

  • Mitesh sends the email to the group. While trying to send, MailTips come into play (if sent from Outlook or OWA 2010) and warns the user that the group is moderated.


  • The categorizer intercepts the message, marks it for moderation, and then re-routes it to the arbitration mailbox.
  • The store driver stores the message in the arbitration mailbox and sends an approval request to the moderator, Rajith. The sender is always “Microsoft Exchange Approval Assistant” sending on behalf of the original sender.


  • The moderator uses the buttons in the approval request to either accept or reject the message. Once the decision is made, email gets deleted automatically from the moderator’s inbox.
  • The store driver marks the moderator’s decision on the original message stored in the arbitration mailbox.
  • The Information Assistant reads the approval status on the message stored in the arbitration mailbox and then processes the message depending on the moderator’s decision.
  • If the moderator has approved the message, the Information Assistant resubmits the message to the submission queue and the message is delivered to the recipient.
  • If the moderator has rejected the message, the Information Assistant deletes the message from the arbitration mailbox and notifies the sender that the message was rejected.

What are you waiting for? Enable message moderation on your distribution groups and put an end to those unwanted emails!

Another reason to upgrade to 2010!

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About the author: UC Architect, Blogger, Husband & Dad. I have been in IT for the last 12 years, with Exchange Server becoming the prime area in the last few years. I am active on Experts Exchange & TechNet forums and I am a technical author for SearchExchange.

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