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Use these instructions to grant a colleague access to your Outlook mailbox including your Inbox, Sent Items and Deleted Items folders. Access can be read only, or read/write, which will allow your colleague to send mail from your mailbox on your behalf.

To do this, both you and the person receiving access both need to change some settings in your accounts. There are three parts to this process:

  1. Grant delegate access
  2. Grant folder access
  3. View a colleagues Mailbox

Section 1 - Grant Delegate Access

Please note: The person who wants to share their Mailbox needs to follow all steps of Sections 1 and 2.

1. To add delegates to your account, navigate to File > Info > Account Settings > Delegate Access.

2. In the Delegates window, click the Add button.

3. In the Offline Global Address list, find and select your colleague's name with whom you want to share your Mailbox. Either double-click their name or click on the Add button in the bottom left hand corner.

4. Once selected click the OK button.

5. The Delegate Permissions window will open. You will notice all permissions are set to none (unless you have previously granted calendar permissions, in which case your previously selected options will be remembered).

Click on the down arrow next to each item (E.g. Calendar, Tasks, etc) and select Editor. This will grant your colleague full Editor access. However, you can choose which options suit you depending on your requirements for the delegate.
Tip: Each permission has a brief explanation as to the level of access in brackets. (Note that only Inbox permissions at an editor permission level are required if you would like the delegate to be able to send emails on your behalf.)

6. Tick the check box at the bottom of the window "Automatically send a message to the delegate summarizing these permissions" to do exactly that. An email will be sent to your colleague informing them of their new access rights to your account. Click OK when done.

7. Your colleague will now be listed in the Delegates window. Select the desired radio button to choose where to send meeting requests.

The top option is the recommended and most common choice: My delegates only, but send a copy of meeting requests and responses to me (recommended).

Section 2 - Granting Folder Access

The next Part is to grant folder access to your delegate. Following these steps will enable you to customize what folders you would like your colleague to actually see from within their own account.

  1. In the navigation page, navigate to your Mail view. Right-mouse-click on your mailbox name, located at the top of the navigation tree.

From the pop up list, choose Folder Permissions.
Tip: As this is the mailbox, we need to grant permissions here first. This is paramount. We will then go on to grant permissions on additional folders underneath the mailbox.

2. The next screen you will see is the Mailbox Properties window and Outlook should direct you to the Permissions Tab automatically.

3. Click the Add button

This will open the Address Book window. Locate the delegate you added in Part 1. Once you've found them either double click their name or click the Add button to add their name to the box at the bottom of the window. Click OK when done.

4. You will be returned back to the mailbox properties window. Click on the delegate's name to highlight it, and from the box next to Permission Level, select the permissions required for this delegate.

5. For full access, use Publishing Editor rights.
Although Reviewer rights enable the delegate to be able to access everything within your mailbox. Publishing Editor rights can allow them:

  • Full Read access to email,
  • Modification rights to the mailbox structure including creating sub-folders
  • Full Delete capability

Tip: As you change your permission level the corresponding boxed sections at the bottom of the window respond and tick the necessary fields. Experiment and view the additional permissions and options for levels such as Owner, Reviewer and Publishing Author.

6. Click Apply then OK when you have made your choice.

7. Outlook will take you back to the Mail window. You will need to repeat the process for the Inbox.

8. Right-mouse-click on the Inbox this time, and choose the Properties option. This will open the Inbox Properties window. Select the Permissions tab.

Please note: In the case of the Inbox, you will notice that the delegate is already present within the permissions box. This was because when we gave them delegate access in Part 1.

9. Select the delegate and change the permission level to Publishing Editor. Click Apply and OK when done.
10. Repeat the above process for any additional folders you would like the delegate to see within their own email account. For example, Sent Items and Deleted Items.

IMPORTANT:
You have now completed the two Parts required to grant access for another colleague to view your mailbox. Now ask your colleague to follow the steps for Part 3 - Viewing a colleague's mailbox.

Please note: Any NEW folders that you create will also be seen by your delegate(s). This is a feature of Outlook 2010. OLD folders are not affected. If you wish to keep any NEW folders that you create private, right click on the folder, select Properties and the Permissions tab. Remove the delegate(s) by selecting their name and click on the Remove button.

Section 3 - Viewing a Colleague's Mailbox

IMPORTANT: Before attempting to follow these instructions, ensure the owner of the mailbox you wish to see has granted you delegate and mailbox access - as described in Sections 1 and 2.

Dependent on the permissions you've been granted by your colleague in Parts 1 and 2, you may now be able to read/modify/delete and send on behalf of the email account owner.

  1. Within your Outlook account navigate to File > Info > Account Settings > Account Settings.

Account settings options

2. Highlight your Microsoft Exchange account and click the Change button.

3. Click the More Settings option.

4. Within the MS Exchange Window click the Advanced Tab.

5. Under the Mailboxes section click the Add button to add the additional mailbox you have access to add the owner of the Mailbox.

6. In the Add Mailbox window type the name of the owner of the required mailbox. Click OK.

7. Click Apply and then OK.

Please note: At this point, you may be prompted to restart Outlook. If you are, click OK to the message and proceed to Step 11.

8. Navigate your way out of previous windows by clicking Next on the Change Account window and then Finish.

9. Click Close on the Account Settings window.

10. Close and re-start Outlook.

11. When you have re-started outlook. Click on the Mail button in the Navigation pane. In the folder list, you will see the additional account you just added underneath your own.

To expand the new account and display the additional folders that you were given access rights to, click the small triangle next to the mailbox name
New account in Mail view.

You have now been successfully granted Delegate/Mailbox permissions and opened an additional Mailbox within your email account.

Tips To Remember:
If you have followed the steps above but still think you have gone wrong somewhere then remember the most important points below.

  • It is paramount that Permissions are granted to the Mailbox FIRST and additional folders like the inbox/sent items after. Failure to only grant permissions to the inbox sent mail and deleted items will mean the mailbox cannot be opened as an additional mailbox.
  • Delegate Access to the Inbox (minimum editor Level) is required for "Send on Behalf Of" rights to another mailbox. Basically enabling you to send email on behalf of another.
  • Check the permissions you have granted and make sure that neither too little or too much has been set.