Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (2024)

Sharing in Outlook

Sharing overview

  • About sharing
  • About delegates

Shared mailboxes

  • Use a shared mailbox

Shared calendars

  • Share view-only calendars
  • Allow edit and delegate access
  • Receive notifications

Shared folders

  • Share folders or a mailbox
  • Delegate access for folders

Learn more

  • More to explore

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You can access another person’s mailbox if you have been granted the appropriate permissions to their mailbox.

Consider these scenarios:

  • A manager needs an assistant to monitor a specific folder on his or her mailbox. In this scenario, an assistant is granted the appropriate permissions to a folder in a manager’s mailbox, but depending on the permissions granted, if they respond to a messagethey can only respond as themselves.

  • A manager needs an assistant to monitor email on his or her behalf. In this scenario, an assistant is granted the appropriate permissions to a manager’s folder or mailbox, but when they respond to messages, their responses are shown as coming on behalf of the manager. This type of sharing requires Delegate access permissions. For help with setting up delegate permissions, seeAllow messages to be sent on your behalf when sharing a folder or mailbox.

Note:Sharing folders or mailboxes can only be done using work or school account with qualifying Microsoft 365 subscriptions, or work or school accounts hosted by Exchange Online.

Select a tab option below for the version of Outlook you're using. What version of Outlook do I have?

New OutlookClassic OutlookOutlook on the web

Note:If the steps under this New Outlook tab don't work, you may notbe using new Outlook for Windows yet. Select the Classic Outlooktab and follow those steps instead.

Share and access a folder or mailbox in new Outlook

There are two ways to interact with shared folders: you can be the owner of a mailbox who wants to share one or more folder or their entire mailbox.

Owner of folder or mailbox: Share a folder or mailbox with others

To share one or more folders or to share your entire mailbox with others in your organization, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the folder you want to share.

  2. Right-click on the folder and choose Sharing and permissions.

  3. In the Permissions for the folder window, if the person isn't already included in the list of people you're sharing with, select Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (1)to add them.

  4. Enter the name or email address of the person you're giving permission to, and then selectAdd.

  5. From the list of names on the Permissions for the folder window, select the name of the person you just added.

  6. In the Permissions section, select the Permission level dropdown and select the permissions you want to grant to this user. If you're not sure what permission level to select, see the section belowOptions for sharing a folder.

    Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (2)

  7. Confirm the sharing settings and click OK. The person you're sharing with will receive an email to let them know you shared a folder with them.

    Tip:If you want to share a subfolder you need to follow the same process, but alsoshare the parent folder(s).

Owner of folder or mailbox: Remove sharing privileges

  1. Navigate to the folder you're sharing.

  2. Right-click the folder and choose Sharing and permissions.

  3. Select the person you're sharing with, and then select Delete icon.

Invitee: Accept and view a folder or mailbox shared with you

When someone shares a folder with you an email is sent to let you know. You can now add this to your folder pane so you can access.

  1. In the folder pane, right-click Shared with me.

  2. Select Add shared folder or mailbox.

  3. Enter the email address or name of the person that shared a folder with you and click Add.

  4. The name of the person will appear under the node Shared with me. Expand the node to view all folders that person shared with you.

Invitee: Remove the shared folder or mailbox from your folder pane

If you decide that you no longer want to see the other person’s mailbox or folder every time you open new Outlook, right-click the folder, and selectRemove shared folder.

Options for sharing a folder

When you share a folder, you can set permissions that define what each user who accesses the folder can do. Selecting an option from the Permission level dropdown, triggers the selection of Read, Write, Other, and Delete access permissions. The screenshot to the right, shows what level of permissions are automatically chosen when selecting a Permission level of Publishing editor.

Tip:If you remove one of those checkboxes associated with a permission level, the level changes to Custom.

Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (3)

The table below details the type of permission granted depending on the Permission level you set.

Permission level

Activities that a sharing user can perform

Owner

Create, read, modify, and delete all items in the shared folder. As an owner, a user can change the permission levels that others have for the folder.

Publishing Editor

Create, read, modify, and delete all items, and create subfolders.

Editor

Create, read, modify, and delete all items.

Publishing Author

Create and read items, create subfolders, and modify and delete items that you create.

Author

Create and read items, and modify and delete items that you create.

Nonediting Author

Create and read items, and delete items that you create.

Reviewer

Read items only.

Contributor

Create items only.

None

Can't perform any activity. The user remains on the permissions list but has no permission and cannot open the folder.

Custom

Perform activities defined by the folder owner.

Owner of folder or mailbox: Grant permissions to a folder

  1. In the Folder Pane, right-click the folder you want to share, and then selectProperties.

  2. To find the users or contact groups you want to share the folder with, on the Permissions tab, under Permissions, select Add.

  3. In the Global Address List, select the users and contact groups you want, clicking Add after selecting each one. As you add users or groups, they appear in the box to the right of the Add button. When you're finished adding users, click OK.

    Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (4)

  4. Select the user you want to share with, and choose permissions level from the dropdown list.

  5. Permissions descend from Owner, with all the rights, to Contributor, with the fewest rights.

  6. After you choose a permissions level, you can fine-tune the permissions by selecting buttons or checking and unchecking boxes. If you do that, the Permission Level for the user or group will change to Custom.

    In the example shown here, Diane and Kim have the built-in Author and Publishing Editor permission levels. Vernon was assigned to the Editor level, which was then customized to allow him to delete his own items.

    Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (5)

  7. Set different permissions for other users or groups by repeating steps 2 through 6.

  8. Click OK.

Invitee: Access another person’s folder or mailbox in classic Outlook

If you're using classic Outlook, the mailbox you were granted access to automatically displays in your folder list. In the example below, Adam Barr was granted access to the mailbox of Kim Akers. Kim’s mailbox displays automatically in Adam’s folder list.

Note:If you were recently granted access to the mailbox, it may take a few hours for the other user’s mailbox to display in your folder list.

Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (6)

What you can do in this mailbox depends on the permission levels you were granted by the person sharing their mailbox with you.

Share and access a folder or mailbox in Outlook on the web

There are two ways to interact with shared folders: you can be the owner of a mailbox who wants to share one or more folder or their entire mailbox.

  • Folder or mailbox owner: You own the folder and decide to share it with others. You set the appropriate permission levels for those you want to share the folder with.

  • Invitee:When someone shares a folder or mailbox with you, you'll receive an invitation to share a folder. When you accept the invitation, the folder appears in your folder pane. What you can do in a shared folder, depends on the permission levels set.

Owner of folder or mailbox: Share a folder or mailbox with others

To share one or more folders or to share your entire mailbox with others in your organization, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the folder you want to share.

  2. Right-click on the folder and choose Sharing and permissions.

  3. In the Permissions for the folder window, if the person isn't already included in the list of people you're sharing with, select Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (7)to add them.

  4. Enter the name or email address of the person you're giving permission to, and then selectAdd.

  5. From the list of names on the Permissions for the folder window, select the name of the person you just added.

  6. In the Permissions section, select the Permission level dropdown and select the permissions you want to grant to this user. If you're not sure what permission level to select, see the section belowOptions for sharing a folder.

    Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (8)

  7. Confirm the sharing settings and click OK. The person you're sharing with will receive an email to let them know you shared a folder with them.

    Tip:If you want to share a subfolder you need to follow the same process, but alsoshare the parent folder(s).

Owner of folder or mailbox: Remove sharing privileges

  1. Navigate to the folder you're sharing.

  2. Right-click the folder and choose Sharing and permissions.

  3. Select the person you're sharing with, and then select Delete icon.

Invitee: Accept and view a folder or mailbox shared with you

When someone shares a folder with you an email is sent to let you know. You can now add this to your folder pane so you can access.

  1. In the folder pane, right-click Shared with me.

  2. Select Add shared folder or mailbox.

  3. Enter the email address or name of the person that shared a folder with you and click Add.

  4. The name of the person will appear under the node Shared with me. Expand the node to view all folders that person shared with you.

Invitee: Remove the shared folder or mailbox from your folder pane

If you decide that you no longer want to see the other person’s mailbox or folder every time you open new Outlook, right-click the folder, and click Remove shared folder.

Options for sharing a folder

When you share a folder, you can set permissions that define what each user who accesses the folder can do. Selecting an option from the Permission level dropdown, triggers the selection of Read, Write, Other, and Delete access permissions. The screenshot to the right, shows what level of permissions are automatically chosen when selecting a Permission level of Publishing editor.

Tip:If you remove one of those checkboxes associated with a permission level, the level changes to Custom.

Share and access another person's mailbox or folder in Outlook (9)

The table below details the type of permission granted depending on the Permission level you set.

Permission level

Activities that a sharing user can perform

Owner

Create, read, modify, and delete all items in the shared folder. As an owner, a user can change the permission levels that others have for the folder.

Publishing Editor

Create, read, modify, and delete all items, and create subfolders.

Editor

Create, read, modify, and delete all items.

Publishing Author

Create and read items, create subfolders, and modify and delete items that you create.

Author

Create and read items, and modify and delete items that you create.

Nonediting Author

Create and read items, and delete items that you create.

Reviewer

Read items only.

Contributor

Create items only.

None

Can't perform any activity. The user remains on the permissions list but has no permission and cannot open the folder.

Custom

Perform activities defined by the folder owner.

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