How to add additional mailboxes – Microsoft Exchange Server

Quite often in organisations that run Microsoft Exchange Server as their email system, one email user needs access to another email user's mailbox.  This how to shows you how to do that.

There are two parts to this process. First the user who is allowing another user to access their mailbox has to give permission to the other user.  They do this by visiting the top level mailbox and giving the other user permission to access it.  Because some users may only want to grant the other user access to say their inbox and their calendar Microsoft have made it that you have to grant access to each top level folder (ie the ones that show below the main mailbox like inbox, outbox, sent items, Junk etc).

So we start with the user granting permission to another person to access their folders.

The first step is to switch from "Mail" view to "Folder List" view, so click the "Folder List" icon as shown in the image below:

Switch To Folder List View

When you do that the view changes so that you see a folder hierarchy with all the different aspects of an Exchange mailbox showing.  This makes it easier to select the folders you want and to add permissions:

Folder List View Showing Calendar And Contacts

Now that you can see all the folders, select the mailbox at the top of the tree. NB: you have to grant access to the mailbox itself otherwise the user you are giving permissions to cannot get to the actual folders they need access to because they are all subfolders of the mailbox. As mentioned above, because Microsoft force you to set permissions on each folder at the level below mailbox as well, granting access to the mailbox does not grant automatic access to all its subfolders as you might expect.

Grant Permission To Access Main Mailbox

When you click "Folder Permissions" you get to this screen:
Mailbox Current Permissions

So initially the predefined permissions are for no permissions to the "Default" user and "Anonymous" users. We need to select the person we want to grant permissions to and then set the level of permissions we want to give them.  So the first step is to click "Add ...":

Select User To Grant Permissions To

Select the user you want to add from the list, click "Add ->" to add them to the box at the bottom of the dialog. Then click "OK":

Once Selected No Permissions Granted

So the user Lynn is added but she has no permissions, so we need to grant some using the dropdown list "Permission Level" or you can just tick the options you want:

I have selected "Owner" which grants the other user the same permissions as you have, if you don't want to give them so much control, then select one of the other options from the list or just manually tick the options you want.  The drop list just gives you common configurations of permissions to save you manually ticking the options one by one.

After Adding Owner Permission

Once you have granted what you want then click "OK" to save the changes.

You then must repeat the process for all other folders beneath the mailbox that you want to grant access to the other user.  Let's give them access to the Calendar.  So as with the main mailbox we select the Calendar and then right click it and select "Properties" (More modern versions of Outlook will say "Permissions" but in the 2010 version I am using here it was labelled "Properties"?):

Repeat For Calendar And Other Folders

Again you will see the dialog showing no permissions assigned and you can add the user and then give them the relevant permissions:

Calendar set owner and permissions results

And basically "rinse and repeat" for all folders beneath the main mailbox you want to allow the other user access to.

The next step is to then go to the user who is being given the access permissions and add the mailbox of the user who is allowing access to their folders to that users account list.  You do that by clicking "File" on the main page of Outlook:

File Account Settings

On the Account Settings button, select the "Account Settings" menu item, this page will appear:

Email Accounts Change

Click the "Change" icon.

This page will appear:
Server Settings More Settings

Click the "More Settings" button at the bottom right of the dialog.

Advanced Mailbox Settings Additional Mailboxes

As shown above, select the "Advanced" tab, here you can add one or more mailboxes of other users who's mailboxes you want to open in your mailbox tree. So in this example Lynn is now opening my mailbox in here tree.  So she needs to add me using the "Add ..." button show above.  This dialog appears:

Select User To Add

Then click "OK" to add the other user's mailbox to your tree:

Additional User Added

So now Lynn has added me to her list. When she clicks "OK" she will return to the Account Settings dialog, click "Next" there and you will be taken to this screen:

Final Screen

Click "Finish" to close this dialog and click "Close" to close out of the "Account Settings" screen and you have added the additional Account to your folder tree in the left pane of Outlook.

When you click on the account folder of the person you have added, you will be able to expand it out and all the subfolders the other user granted you will be visible. You can then open and view the folders they have granted you access to.

That concludes this how to.