Delegate Email Access in Google Apps

Delegated email account access is an excellent productivity tool for more efficient working.  There are many circumstances where it makes sense for your colleagues to be able to access, edit and reply to your emails, calendar events and tasks.  Here at BlueCompute, for example, our support team use delegate access to track communications of issues that are being handled by colleagues so that everyone is on the same page.  Other common reasons for delegating access include:

  • Allowing a secretary or PA to manage their boss’s email
  • Maintain situational awareness amongst small collaborative groups
  • Responding to a colleague’s email in their absence without using forwarding or Out-of-Office – this doesn’t reveal to the sender that the recipient is absent

To set up delegate access in Google Apps you’ll need to log into the web interface using your preferred browser (it can’t be enabled from another email client, eg. Outlook, Iphone.)  Go to Settings > Account > Grant access to your account.  Use the radio buttons to select your preferences for marking mail as read when it is opened by a delegated user and then click Add another account. gmail_delegate.1 Enter the email address of the person you want to share your account with and click Next step and confirm your selection on the next screen.  The user you delegate access to will receive an email with links allowing them to add the delegated account or reject the delegation request:


If the user clicks the ‘accept’ link they will receive confirmation like so:


And the delegated account(s) will shortly show up underneath their username in Gmail.  Clicking on the delegated account opens it in a new browser tab:


If you reply to an email in a delegated account, or send a new email from a delegated account, it will show up as being sent from ‘A on behalf of B’ or ‘from A, sent by B’.  In Gmail it looks like this:gmail_delegate.9

And in Outlook it looks like this: gmail_delegate.8

If you’re using the Google Apps Sync tool for MS Outlook, you will need to add the delegated account using the Sync tool.  Go to Start > All Programs > Google Apps sync > Add account for delegation and add the required account here:


And it will show up as an additional mailbox in Outlook: gmail_delegate.11

And that’s it – easy to set up and use, but an incredibly powerful productivity tool.  Do you delegate access to email?


    Leave a Comment