How to Modify the Default OU for New Distribution Groups in Exchange 2010

When creating a new distribution group with the Exchange Management Shell or Console in Exchange 2010, it will by default attempt to place the group in the Domain\Users (CN=Users,DC=domain,DC=com) folder.

While it is simple enough to specify the organizational unit (OU) while creating the distribution list, it is sometimes difficult for delegates to remember to specify the OU.

The solution is to use the Set-OrganizationConfig in order to change the default OU to whatever you want it to be.  Just launch the Exchange Management Console and run the following command:


Set-OrganizationConfig –DistributionGroupDefaultOU “[distinguishedName of OU]”

If you’re unfamiliar with how to retrieve the distinguishedName of the OU, just go to Active Directory Users & Computers and select View – Advanced Features.

Now, find the OU and right-click on it to select Properties.  There should be an Attribute Editor tab displayed which will list out all of the attributes for the OU, including the distinguishedName (you can double-click on it in order to copy/paste it in to your command).

If you would like to do the same thing for new mailboxes that are created, you can’t (at least as of SP1). The only way to enable similar funcationality for mailboxes is to use mailbox templates, which then require that you create all new mailboxes from the Exchange Management Shell instead of the console.

About Rebecca Harness

Rebecca Harness is a Business Information Security Officer (BISO) for a publicly-traded, global information solutions company. As BISO, she champions security initiatives and recommends strategies to mitigate risk, facilitating innovation and new product development. She’s also responsible for representing the business unit’s security program in client facing engagements, conferences, and industry forums. Prior to her current role, she was an influential cybersecurity leader for one of the world’s largest transportation providers, known for transforming information security efforts into well-orchestrated programs. There, she developed an innovative methodology for delivering key information security priorities as a service model, leading to quicker adoption enterprise-wide while significantly reducing operational costs. She also led and modernized their global, multi-brand PCI Assessment and other compliance initiatives. In the early 2000’s, Rebecca developed one of St. Louis' leading Managed Services Providers from a startup in a spare bedroom into a mature consulting company with 30+ employees and 150+ clients in the Greater St. Louis Area. Rebecca holds many certifications, including; ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA); ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); and GIAC Security Leadership Certified (GSLC). She’s also a proud alumni of Hastings College and a longtime member of the Society of American Magicians.

One Response to “How to Modify the Default OU for New Distribution Groups in Exchange 2010”

  1. Thanks for this article. this saved me after hours of searching for an RBAC solution that would place newly created distribution groups in the right OU. Setting a RBAC write scope does apparently not mean that new objects will be created in that OU.
    This is a good and easy workaround.

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