Accessing other people’s mailboxes in Office 365

What does this guide do?

Explains how to assign access permissions to a user mailbox, to multiple mailboxes and to individual users in Office 365.

Who is it for?

Office 365 administrators who help set up access permissions for users to open other people’s mailboxes.

How does it work?

We’ll begin by asking you the task you want to do. Then we’ll take you through a series of steps that are specific to your situation.

Estimated time of completion:

10-15 minutes.

Welcome to the guide

Select the scenario that you are trying to configure for your users. Once you select the appropriate scenario below, the step-by-step instructions will be provided.

Welcome to the guide

Select the scenario that you are trying to configure for your users. Once you select the appropriate scenario below, the step-by-step instructions will be provided.

Which Office 365 Plan do you use?

Please select the plan that your organization subscribes to in Office 365. 

Not sure which Office 365 plan your organization uses? Go to http://portal.microsoftonline.com and login using your Office 365 administrator credentials.

 If you see the below administrative interface, then you are using the Small Business plan.

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If you see the below administrative interface, then you are using the Enterprise/Midsize or Education plan.

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How do I access the mailbox? (Small Business)

Use the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) to assign permissions

The following procedure shows how to assign full permissions to a user mailbox:

Before you begin, sign in to the Exchange admin center (EAC) at https://outlook.office365.com/ecp/ using your Office 365 tenant administrator credentials. As an Office 365 Small Business admin, you need to access EAC by using the direct URL. The Office 365 Small Business Microsoft Online Portal does not have an option to access EAC. For more information, see How to log into the Exchange admin Center (EAC) in Office 365 for small business.

  1. In the EAC, navigate to Recipients > Mailboxes.
  2. In the list of mailboxes, click the mailbox that you want to assign permissions for, and then click Edit
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    .
  3. On the mailbox properties page, click Mailbox Delegation.
  4. To assign permissions to delegates, click Add
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    under Full Access to display a page that lists all recipients in your Exchange organization that can be assigned the permission. Select the recipients you want, add them to the list, and then click OK. You can also search for a specific recipient by typing the recipient’s name in the search box and then clicking Search
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    .To remove a permission for a recipient, under the appropriate permission, select the recipient and then click Remove
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    .
  5. Click Save to save your changes.

How do I access the mailbox?

Depending on the email client you choose, the detailed instructions for accessing the mailbox that you have Full Access permissions to are listed below:

Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2010, the mailbox for which you have been granted access automatically display in your folder list. In the example below, Adam Barr has been granted access to the mailbox of Kim Akers. Kim’s mailbox displays automatically in Adam’s folder list in Outlook 2013.

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.

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Outlook Web App

After you complete this procedure, the person’s mailbox for which you have been provided access to will display in your Outlook Web App folder list every time you open Outlook Web App.

  1. Log in to your mailbox using Outlook Web App.
  2. Right-click your name in the folder list, and click Add shared folder.                
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  3. In the Add shared folder dialog box, type the name of the mailbox that you have been provided access, and click Add.

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  4. The mailbox appears in your Outlook Web App folder list.

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    If you have only been provided access to specific folders in the other user’s mailbox, you will only see the folders for which you have been granted access.

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

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Did this resolve your issue?

How do I access the mailbox? (Enterprise | Midsize | Education)

Use the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) to assign permissions

The following procedure shows how to assign full permissions to a user mailbox: 

Before you begin, sign in to the Exchange admin center (EAC) at https://outlook.office365.com/ecp/ using your Office 365 tenant administrator credentials. As an Office 365 admin for Enterprises, Midsize, or Education, you can also access EAC by clicking Admin > Exchange in the Microsoft Online Portal.

  1. In the EAC, navigate to Recipients > Mailboxes.
  2. In the list of mailboxes, click the mailbox that you want to assign permissions for, and then click Edit
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    .
  3. On the mailbox properties page, click Mailbox Delegation.
  4. To assign permissions to delegates, click Add 
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    under Full Access to display a page that lists all recipients in your Exchange organization that can be assigned the permission. Select the recipients you want, add them to the list, and then click OK. You can also search for a specific recipient by typing the recipient’s name in the search box and then clicking Search 
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    .
    The Full Access permission allows a delegate to open a user's mailbox and access the contents of the mailbox. 
    Note: Assigning the Full Access permission doesn't allow the delegate to send email from the mailbox.You have to assign the delegate the Send As or the Send on Behalf permission to send email.
  5. Click Save to save your changes.

How do I access the mailbox?

Depending on the email client you choose, the detailed instructions for accessing the mailbox that you have Full Access permissions to are listed below:

Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2010, the mailbox for which you have been granted access automatically display in your folder list. In the example below, Adam Barr has been granted access to the mailbox of Kim Akers. Kim’s mailbox displays automatically in Adam’s folder list in Outlook 2013.

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.

3703_image9
 

Outlook Web App

After you complete this procedure, the person’s mailbox for which you have been provided access to will display in your Outlook Web App folder list every time you open Outlook Web App.

  1. Log in to your mailbox using Outlook Web App.
  2. Right-click your name in the folder list, and click Add shared folder
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  3. In the Add shared folder dialog box, type the name of the mailbox that you have been provided access, and click Add.
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  4. The mailbox appears in your Outlook Web App folder list.
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If you decide that you no longer want to see the other person’s mailbox every time you open Outlook Web App, right-click the folder, and click Remove shared folder.

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Did this resolve your issue? 

Set up permissions to access multiple mailboxes

You can assign access permissions to multiple mailboxes for the entire mailbox or specific folders in the mailbox. You can also choose to assign access permissions to individual user or group.

Please select if you would like permissions to be assigned on the mailbox level (access to all of the mailbox folders) or just specific folders within the mailbox (access only folders specifically shared).

How do I access the mailbox?(Entire Mailbox)

Assign permissions to the entire mailbox

You may want to perform this procedure as if an administrator in your organization needs to have access to all mailboxes in the organization.

  1. Connect to Exchange Online by using remote PowerShell. For info about how to do this, go to the following Microsoft website:

    Connect to Exchange Online Using Remote PowerShell

  2. Type the following command, and then press Enter:
    Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'UserMailbox') -and (Alias -ne 'Admin')} | Add-MailboxPermission -User AdministratorAccount@contoso.com -AccessRights fullaccess -InheritanceType all 

After you perform these steps, the specified user will be able to access all user mailboxes in Office 365. The user will be able to view the contents of the mailboxes from either Outlook or Outlook Web App.

For more details refer to the article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2685435.

How do I access the mailbox?

You can access user’s mailboxes by using Outlook or Outlook Web App. Use the following steps to open the mailboxes for which you have been granted access. Depending on the email client you choose, the detailed instructions for accessing the shared mailbox are listed below:

Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2010, the mailbox for which you have been granted access automatically display in your folder list. In the example below, Adam Barr has been granted access to the mailbox of Kim Akers. Kim’s mailbox displays automatically in Adam’s folder list in Outlook 2013.

Note:

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Outlook Web App

After you complete this procedure, the person’s mailbox for which you have been provided access to will display in your Outlook Web App folder list every time you open Outlook Web App.

  1. Log in to your mailbox using Outlook Web App.
  2. Right-click your name in the folder list, and click Add shared folder
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  3. In the Add shared folder dialog box, type the name of the mailbox that you have been provided access, and click Add.
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  4. The mailbox appears in your Outlook Web App folder list.
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If you have only been provided access to specific folders in the other user’s mailbox, you will only see the folders for which you have been granted access.

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

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Did this resolve your issue?

Assign access to specific folders in a user’s mailbox

Assign access to specific folders in a user’s mailbox

This example assigns permissions for a user to access specific folders in another user’s mailbox in an Exchange Online or Office 365 environment. Do the following:

  1. Connect to Exchange Online by using remote PowerShell. For info about how to do this, go to the following Microsoft website:

    Connect to Exchange Online Using Remote PowerShell

  2. Enter a command using the following syntax to assign access permissions to the specific folder:
    Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity <SMTP address or alias of recipient> : <Folder path>-AccessRights <Permission you want to grant the recipient> -User <SMTP address or alias of recipient to be granted access>
  3. This example assigns permissions for Ed to access Ayla's Marketing mailbox folder and applies the Owner role to his access of that folder.
    Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity ayla@contoso.com:\Marketing -User Ed@contoso.com -AccessRights Owner

For more detailed information refer to the following article: Add-MailboxFolderPermission


Did this resolve your issue?

Congratulations! Your scenario is complete
The issue was not resolved

Sorry, we couldn’t resolve your issue with this guide. Please provide feedback on this walkthrough, and then use the resources below to continue troubleshooting. 
Visit the Office 365 Community for self-help support. Do one of the following:

  • Use search to find a solution to your issue.
  • Use the Help Center or the Troubleshooting tool that are both available from the top of every community page.
  • Sign in with your Office 365 admin credentials, and then post a question to the community.

Visit the Contact Office 365 support page for information about how to submit a support service request.

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Article ID: 10048 - Last Review: May 13, 2016 - Revision: 40

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