Default email format via recipient policies

31 May 2007

If you run Microsoft Exchange 2003 (should work with 2000/7) and wish for the email addresses of users to be setup automatically, in a specific format that is different to their username, then this article should help.

Say you want all your email addresses to be and then this:

1) Open ‘Exchange System Manager’

2) Expand the ‘Recipients’ folder on the left

3) Select ‘Recipient Policies’

4) Now you can create a new default policy, but that’s probably not necessary. Instead you will see to the right, a ‘default policy’, right click on it and select ‘Properties’.

5) Select the ‘E-mail Addresses (Policy)’ tab

6) Click ‘New’

7) Select ‘SMTP Address’

8) Where it says ‘Address’ enter ‘’ (without the quotes and replace with your domain name)

9) Click ‘OK’

10) Find the entry you just added in the list and ensure the tick box to the left is ticked

11) Select the entry you have entered

12) Click ‘Set as Primary’

13) Your entry will now turn bold

14) Click ‘OK’

15) When asked if you wish to automatically add this address type to all existing recipients, select ‘Yes’

16) Right click on ‘Default Policy’ or the name of the new policy you created and select ‘Apply this policy now’

17) Select ‘Yes’ on the confirmation dialog box that appears

This may take a little while to replicate through your system depending on how many domain controllers, exchange servers and users you have.


So if your user was called James McCarthy, their email address would display as:

Other variables

If is not what you want, you can use the below to create your own more suitable email format:

%g = givenName
%s = sn (Last name)
%4s = means first four letters of sn
%d = displayname
%m = Exchange alias

If you wish to only use the first 6 characters of their last name, or any other variable, then you could use %6s.

Or first 6 characters of their last name and first character of the first name you could use %1g


So if your user was called James McCarthy, their email address would display as:


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