Managing MCommunity Groups and UMICH Passwords for Shared Accounts

Shared accounts allow a group to have a U-M Google account that is owned by that group rather than by an individual. This document provides information about:

  1. Managing the MCommunity Directory group profile associated with a shared account.
  2. Changing the UMICH password used for a shared account.

About Shared Accounts

Shared accounts are used when a department, unit, project, work group, or student group needs a shared U-M Google account for university business that several people can use and that is owned by the department or group rather than by an individual.

For more information about requesting and using shared accounts, see Shared Accounts in U-M Google.

Logging into the Shared Account

Using a Chrome Incognito window (or a completely different browser), log in with the account's name and UMICH password.


About the MCommunity Group Associated with a Shared Account

Each shared account has an associated group in the MCommunity Directory. When you request a shared account from the ITS Service Center, an MCommunity group for your account is created for you.

The MCommunity group allows email to be sent to the shared account using an address. It is also used to allow certain individuals (the group's owners) to change the UMICH password associated with the shared account.

Here are some things you may notice about the MCommunity group profile for your shared account:

The Rules Summary in the MCommunity profile says the group has not been sent to Google. This is normal for shared accounts. They are linked with an account in U-M Google in a different way from other MCommunity groups and are not synchronized like regular groups. In the Group Info box on your group's profile page, you will see this:

The MCommunity group associated with a shared account will be public and will show the group as not sent to Google UMICH.

The owners of the group will be the owners of the shared account.

There will be one external member listed with an email address made up of your shared account name plus This external group member must be in your group in order for your shared account to receive email.

No individuals will be listed as group members. The shared account owners can delegate access to the shared account through other means. (See U-M Google Shared Accounts for information about giving people access to shared accounts.)

Managing the MCommunity Group for a Shared Account

Be aware that the MCommunity group is required to allow email to be sent to the shared account. It is also required to give certain individuals (the MCommunity group owners) the ability to change the UMICH password for the shared account.

  1. Do not delete the group from MCommunity. If the group is deleted, the shared account cannot receive email.

  2. Do not delete the external group member. The external group member, an address ending in, is used for delivering email to the shared account. It allows your shared account to receive mail sent to it at its address. If you delete the external group member from the MCommunity group, the shared account will not be able to receive email.

  3. Do not change the group settings. Do not make the group private or moderated or make any other changes. Such changes can stop email from being delivered to your shared account.

  4. Renew the group on an annual basis. This ensures that the group does not expire. The group owners will be notified via email 90 days and 30 days before the group is to expire to remind them to renew it.

  5. Make sure there are always several group owners. The group owners can renew the group, add and remove group owners, and change the password for the shared account. Having several group owners makes it more likely there will be someone available to take care of these tasks as needed, even when an individual owner is away from the office.

Changing the UMICH Password for a Shared Account

Be aware that when your shared account password is changed, the change is not synchronized to Box and Google. You must take action to initiate the synchronization

  • This does not change the Google password used on a mobile device or desktop client. Contact the ITS Service Center to request that the password be sychronized to U-M Google.
  • Go to to reset the external Box password used for SFTP or WebDAV.

Contact the Service Center

The easiest way to change the password for a shared U-M Google account is to contact the ITS Service Center and request a shared account password change.

If you are comfortable using terminal programs and the ITS Login Service, you can change it yourself if you wish. To change the password for a shared U-M Google account, you must be an owner of the MCommunity group associated with that account.

Tip: See Choosing and Changing a Secure UMICH Password for information about choosing a strong password.

Do It Yourself

  1. Open a secure terminal program and connect to the ITS Login Service ( Log in with your own uniqname and UMICH password (not the name and UMICH password for your shared account).
    Note: If you get "access denied", it may be due to not having an account. For automatic provisioning, please use the AFS Self-Provisioning Tool. Please allow up to an hour for the account to be set up. Dearborn users can use instead of

    Windows Users: See Use PuTTY to Connect to Host Computers [Windows] for instructions.

    Mac Users: Use the Terminal program, which is included as part of Mac OS. In your Applications folder, open the Utilities folder to find Terminal. Double-click Terminal to open it. Then type the appropriate ssh command:

    If your machine name is your uniqname, you can enter this command: ssh

    If your machine name is something different, you will need to enter this command: ssh (where you have replaced youruniqname with your own uniqname.

    Screenshot of the $ prompt followed by the command: ssh

    You will be prompted for your password. Type your UMICH password, then press the Return/Enter key. (You will not see anything on the screen when you type your password.)

    You will see the name of the Login Service machine you are connected to followed by a percent sign. This is the prompt at which you can enter commands.

  2. At the Login Service % prompt, enter kpasswd, followed by the name of your shared account, then press the Return/Enter key. (Kpasswd is the command indicating that you wish to change a UMICH password)

    For example, if your shared account name were its-test, you would type this: kpasswd its-test

    Screenshot of the % prompt and command typed after it.
  3. At the Password for yoursharedaccount@UMICH.EDU prompt, enter the current UMICH password for your shared account and press the Return/Enter key.

  4. At the Enter new password prompt, enter the new password you wish to use and press the Return/Enter key.

  5. At the Enter it again prompt, enter your new password again and press the Return/Enter key.

  6. You will see the words Password changed.

  7. Type logout and press the Return/Enter key.

  8. Exit or quit your terminal connection program.

Communicating Your Shared Account Password Securely

If you change the UMICH password for your shared account, it is your responsibility to convey the new password securely to your shared account co-owners.

It is most secure for you to convey the password verbally, either in person or by phone.

Do not send a password via email.

If you are on the phone, be sure you are speaking to the right person.

Do not leave the password in voicemail that someone other than the intended recipient might be able to access.

Last Updated: 
Friday, April 16, 2021