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Configure moderated recipients in Exchange Online

In your Exchange Online organization, messages that are sent to moderated recipients require the approval of a moderator before they're actually delivered. For more information, see Moderated recipients in Exchange Online.

This article described how to configure moderated groups in the Exchange admin center (EAC) and all recipient types in Exchange Online Powershell.

What do you need to know before you begin?

Use the EAC to configure a moderated distribution group


You can configure moderation for Microsoft 365 Groups using EAC and Exchange Online PowerShell using the Set-UnifiedGroup command.

Messages that the owner of the group sends to the distribution group do not need to be approved by a moderator

The following steps are basically the same for all other group types: distribution groups, dynamic distribution groups and mail-enabled security groups.

  1. In the EAC, click Recipients > Groups > Distribution list.

  2. In this example, we'll configure moderation for a distribution list called All employees. In the result pane, select All employees by clicking anywhere in the row other than the button option that appears in the blank area next to the Group name column.

  3. On the All Employees details page, click Settings > Edit Message approval and configure the following settings:

    • Click Require moderator approval for messages sent to this group check box. You need to do this to make the remaining settings available.
    • In the Group moderators list, search for users to add.
    • In the Add senders who don't require message approval list, search for users to add.
    • In the Notify a sender if their messages isn't approved, select as required.
  4. When you're finished, click Save changes.

Message approval settings for a distribution group.

Use Exchange Online PowerShell to configure a moderated recipient

Run the following command:

Set-<RecipientType> -Identity <Identity> -ModerationEnabled $true -ModeratedBy <recipient1,recipient2...> -ByPassModerationFromSendersOrMembers <recipient1,recipient2...> -SendModerationNotifications <Never | Always | Internal>

This example configures the following moderation settings for the distribution group named All Employees:

  • Enable moderation for the distribution group.
  • Designate David Hamilton and Yossi Ran as moderators.
  • Allow the members of the distribution group named HR to bypass moderation.
  • Notify internal senders if their message to the distribution group is rejected, but do not send any notifications to external senders.

To accomplish the tasks in this example scenario, run the following command:

Set-DistributionGroup -Identity "All Employees" -ModerationEnabled $true -ModeratedBy "David Hamilton","Yossi Ran" -ByPassModerationFromSendersOrMembers HR -SendModerationNotifications Internal

To add or remove users from the list of moderators or recipients who bypass moderation without affecting other entries, use the following syntax:

Set-<RecipientType> -Identity <Identity> -ModeratedBy @{Add="<recipient1>","<recipient2>"...; Remove="<recipient1>","<recipient2>"...} -ByPassModerationFromSendersOrMembers @{Add="<recipient1>","<recipient2>"...; Remove="<recipient1>","<recipient2>"...}

This example configures the following moderation settings for the distribution group named All Employees:

  • Add the user to the list of existing moderators.
  • Remove the user from the list of existing senders who bypass moderation.
Set-DistributionGroup -Identity "All Employees" -ModeratedBy @{Add=""} -ByPassModerationFromSendersOrMembers @{Remove="}"

How do you know this worked?

To verify that you have successfully configured a recipient for moderation, do the following steps:

  1. Send a test message to the moderated recipient.
  2. Verify the designated moderators receive notification.
  3. Verify the recipients who bypass moderation receive the message directly.