Sharing folders

How to share a personal folder:

These instructions are for Outlook via the web.  If you normally use the desktop application, we recommend logging into the web version for this.  If you're trying to share folders on a shared mailbox, you will have to open that shared mailbox first - see the section at the end of this article for more information on that.

Before you start: This is rarely something that is needed.  Normally we recommend using shared mailboxes to share email folders.  Sharing folders from your own account can be a bit complex, but we have documented all the steps below.


To set permissions on a folder:

  1. Right click on the folder that you want to share and choose Sharing and permissions.
  2. Click the at the top left to add a person.  Type their address and click Add.
  3. Set the Permission Level to an appropriate level (for example, "Reviewer" for typical read-only access, or "Editor" for typical read-write access).
  4. The permissions should look like the following (with the "Permission Level" being different depending on the access you're looking to grant).  The screenshot below is an example:
    Screenshot of folder permissions window


Folder Hierarchy and Permissions

Unfortunately - there's still more to do.  You need to understand that Outlook folder permissions are hierarchical.  You can only access a shared folder - if you have some level of access to the folders all the way up to the root.  If you are sharing a sub-folder of your Inbox - then think of it like a closet in a room in a building.  You can only get to the closet if you can access both the building, and the room in the building where the closet is.


It's easier to demonstrate this with an example.

Let's say you have a folder you want to share called "To Do" and that folder is a subfolder of your Inbox.  This looks like the following screenshot:
Screenshot showing a folder and subfolder structure with the Inbox and root levell "Folders" folder highlighted

In the screenshot above - the following are highlighted:

  1. "To Do" - the folder you want to share
  2. Inbox - as the "To Do" folder is a subfolder of the Inbox.
  3. Folders - the root folder of the mailbox.

In order to make the "To Do" folder accessible to another person - the following permissions must be set:

  1. On the "To Do" folder - give the permissions you need (as per the "Set Permissions on a folder".
  2. Repeat this for the "Inbox" folder - but instead of setting the permission level - set it to "Folder Visible" as in the screenshot below.  The "Folder Visible" permissions is required for anyone to see a subfolder.
    Screenshot demonstrating the folder visible permission
  3. Repeat step 2 for the root folder.  This is just listed as "Folders" and is labeled in red as the number 3 (two screenshots up).

A couple of additional notes.

  • If the folder you want to share were not a subfolder of "Inbox" but were in the main list of folders - you would only need to do steps 1 & 3 above.
  • If instead - you wanted to share the folder called "Project A" (which is a subfolder of "Class A") - you'd need an additional step (as the folder visible permission needs to be set for FoldersInbox, and Class A.


To share a folder in a shared mailbox:

The instructions below are for shared mailboxes.  These are typically department mailboxes - or those for a specific task/function.

  1. Click your account icon at the top right (this will be either a profile image if you've uploaded one - or just your initials).
  2. Choose "Open another mailbox"
  3. Enter the email address of the shared mailbox and click Open.

 Screenshot showing the "Open another mailbox" button


3) Follow the steps outlined in the "How to share a personal folder" section at the top of the article.



To add a shared folder to your account:


  1. Right click on "Folders" (the root folder above your Inbox) and click "Add shared folder"
  2. Type the email address of the individual or shared mailbox that you've been granted access to.
  3. Click Add


The folder will now appear at the bottom of your Folders list!

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Article ID: 17917
Mon 10/31/16 4:38 PM
Mon 5/13/24 2:07 PM