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Sharing an Email Folder with Someone Else - Knowledgebase / Client Services / Communication & Collaboration - SOMTech (Technology Services) - VCU School of Medicine

Sharing an Email Folder with Someone Else

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This page walks you through sharing a folder with another user. Any new emails added to this folder will be visible to them as well. This does not automatically apply to subfolders that currently exist within the folder. If you are looking to share all of your email, you likely would be better to delegate access to your account.


These steps must be completed by the person who is sharing the folder with someone else.

The instructions and screenshots below are from Outlook 2019 on Windows, but may also translate to the web or on a Mac.

  1. Set the Permissions on the Email Account
    In order for someone to be able to access any folder in your email, you must first grant them a base level access to be able to view your account. Once these steps are completed, any new top-level folders (same level as Inbox, Sent Items, etc.) created will be visible by the person being shared with, but they will not be able to see emails in them.
    1. Right-click on the name of your email account and choose Folder Permissions.
    2. Click the Add... button and locate the individual that you want to share a folder with. Use the More columns option to make it easier to find the person. Click the Add button followed by OK on the Add Users window.
    3. With the new user selected, set the permissions as shown below. You should leave everything as the default except for Folder visible. Click OK to apply the settings and close the window.
  2. Set the Permissions on the Shared Folder
    Once these steps are completed, any new subfolders and emails added to the shared folder will have the same permissions as those set in step 2c. If there are currently any subfolders that already exist, repeat step 2 for each subfolder.
    1. Find the folder that you want to share. If it is inside of another folder, you must apply the same view permissions as we did in step 1c to those parent folders. Right-click on the folder you want to share and choose Properties... and then click the Permissions tab in the new window. In my example, I am sharing the Ant Farm folder.
    2. Click the Add... button in the Properties window. In the new Add Users window, find the user again that you want to share the folder with, click Add and then click OK.
    3. With the new user selected, choose one of the following Permissions levels depending on what you are trying to achieve. Selecting an item from the dropdown will set the rest of the visible permissions options (this is expected).
      • Reviewer - read all emails in this folder.
      • Publishing Editor - Can read all emails in this folder and make changes to the emails including creating new folders and moving emails into them.
      • Contributor - Cannot see emails, but can add new emails to the folder. (May be useful if copying emails from their own email account.)
      • The other options available are described on this Microsoft page.

It may take up to 30 minutes for the permissions to apply depending on how many emails are in the shared folder. After that, the person being shared with should follow the steps on this page to add the email account and shared folder to their Outlook.

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