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Office365 – Distribution list blank return path

When you are using Office365, you may find that external email addresses in a distrbution list do not recieve mails sent to the distribution list email address.

Many spam filters will block emails with a blank or empty return path, but Office365 sets this blank as default, to prevent email bounce loops.

This is normal behaviour – a large¬†distribution list shouldn’t distribute a bounce/DSN report to the entire¬†membership.

For a single membership list for use with Zendesk, Help Scout or other similar mailbox monitoring applications, it may be necessary.

Here is how to enable the return path for a distribution list:

Connect to Office365 with PowerShell:
$LiveCred = Get-Credential
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $Session

Check to see which return paths are enabled/disabled:
Get-DistributionGroup <Name Of DL> | fl *report*

When running this command, you should see:
ReportToManagerEnabled : False
ReportToOriginatorEnabled : False

Enable return path to originator if disabled:
Set-DistributionGroup <Name Of DL> -ReportToOriginatorEnabled $true

When the command is run again:
Get-DistributionGroup <Name Of DL> | fl *report*

You should see:
ReportToManagerEnabled : False
ReportToOriginatorEnabled : True

Disconnect from the Office365 server:
Remove-PSSession $Session
exit

You will then have a populated return-path (with the email address of the distribution list).

DamianOffice365 – Distribution list blank return path
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  • Peter van Kekem - October 15, 2013 reply

    Hi there,

    We were using this page to setup email forwarding to uservoice. However, it seems there is one typo in this page:

    Enable return path to originator if disabled: Get-DistributionGroup -ReportToOriginatorEnabled $true

    This has to be a “SET” command, so it should be:

    Set-DistributionGroup -ReportToOriginatorEnabled $true

    Can you change that please? Thank you

    Damian - October 15, 2013 reply

    Peter Thankyou – I have updated the instructions as per your comment.

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