Incoming Email Distribution Group Approval

With Distribution Group approval, despite approving the Distribution Group in the Central Administration Distribution Groups List, I never saw the DGs created in Active Directory. After watching the timer job a few times (named “job-pending-distribution-list”), it was apparent that the DGs were never leaving the “Pending” status.

In working with Microsoft, there is an undocumented “correct” way of approving DGs if DG approval is turned on in the Incoming Email settings. Create your SharePoint Group and email-enable it as your normally would. In Central Administration, the DG will be in the Pending approval state:


One would think that simply highlighting the List item and hitting the Approve/Reject on the ribbon or selecting Approve/Reject from the drop down would function as expected. But it doesn’t. Instead, highlight the List item and select View item. On the View item pop up, there is a Distribution Approval:


Click on Distribution Approval, and select Approved. The DG will be created in Active Directory, and once the timer job named job-pending-distribution-list runs (by default, every 5 minutes), the status of “Creation request pending” on the SharePoint Group’s email address will disappear.

Trevor Seward is a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP who specializes in SharePoint Server administration, hybrid scenarios, and SharePoint Online. He has been working with SharePoint for 16 years from SharePoint 2003 on up, managing environments with terabytes of content for 150,000+ user organizations. Trevor is an author of Deploying SharePoint 2016 and Deploying SharePoint 2019. You can find him at /r/sharepoint.