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Share Your Mail Folder(s)

This article applies to: Outlook 2016 for Windows


Sharing lets you give others access to your mail folders. You specify which folder, and the level of access, that is, whether the delegate can simply see items in a folder, or whether they can create, edit, and/or delete items.

Note: Items in any existing sub-folders of the folder you share are not available to the person unless you change the sharing permissions on each sub-folder. However, new sub-folders (created after sharing rights were set) inherit the folder access permissions of the parent folder.

If you are sharing any folder other than your Inbox, be sure to follow the steps in both part one and part two below.

Part One - Sharing the Contents of a Folder

This example shares your Inbox, but you can share any mail folder on the Exchange server. If you share a folder other than your Inbox, be sure also to follow the steps in Part Two below.

  1. Right-click the folder you want to share. (You can only share folders on the Exchange server, not local folders.) From the menu that appears, click Properties. A Properties dialog box will open.
  2. Click the Permissions tab.
  3. If the person (or group) you are going to share with is listed on the Permissions tab, skip down to step 8.
    If they are not listed, continue with step 4.
  4. Click Add.
  5. Make sure the More columns button is selected.
  6. In the search field near the top of the Add Users dialog box, type all or part of the person’s name, then click Go.
  7. Highlight their name in the resulting list, click Add, then click OK. You should now see their name displayed in the Properties dialog box.
  8. Highlight the person's name.
  9. From the Permission Level dropdown list, select the desired level of access. (What do the choices mean?) Short version:
    Reviewer - the person can read items in the manager's folder, but can't add, delete, or change anything.
    Author - the person can read and create items, and can modify and delete items that he or she creates. For example, the person can create task requests and meeting requests directly in the manager's Calendar folder. The person cannot modify or delete something the manager created.
    Editor - the person can do everything that an Author has permission to do and can modify and delete the items that the manager created.
  10. Click OK.

Part Two - Making Higher-Level Folders Visible

If you shared your Inbox in Part One above, you do not need to read any further or do any of the steps here in Part Two.

If you shared something other than your Inbox, that is, a folder lower in the hierarchy, you'll also need to make the "parents" of that folder visible, right up to the Inbox. Your delegate will not be able to see the items in each folder (unless you use the steps above), but they need to be able to see the folders themselves in order to see the sub-folder where you want them to see the contents.

For example, in the screenshot shown here, assume we wanted to share the 2nd quarter folder. For this folder to be visible, we need to make all of its parents visible: 2007, Proposals, and Inbox. We’d need to complete the steps below three times, once for each of those folders.

The steps here are similar to part one (above), but step 6 is where it gets different.

  1. Right-click the folder you want to make visible. From the menu that appears, click Properties. A Properties dialog box will open.
  2. Click the Permissions tab. If the person (or group) you're sharing with is already listed, skip to step 6.
  3. On the Properties dialog box, click Add.
  4. In the Add Users dialog box, type all or part of the person’s name, then click Go.
  5. Highlight their name in the resulting list, click Add, then click OK. You should now see their name displayed in the Properties dialog box.
  6. Click on the person's name, then click to put a checkmark next to Folder Visible in the Other section. Do not change the Permission level.
  7. Click OK.

Repeat these steps as necessary to make each “parent” level visible.

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