How to Share Access to Your Gmail Account

Set up an assigned delegate to manage your Gmail on your behalf

You can grant access to a Gmail account that you own to another person, allowing them to read, send, and delete emails on your behalf and manage your contacts by naming them as a delegate on your account. This solution is more convenient and secure than giving another user your password to access your Gmail account.

Giving out your password presents several problems, and with a Google account, it also grants access to all of your Google services.

Confirm that the person you want to name as a delegate has a Gmail account with a Gmail.com email address. No one can serve as an assigned delegate without a Gmail account.

How to Assign a Delegate to Your Gmail Account

An assigned delegate can access your Gmail account for limited purposes. They can't view or change important account settings. Here's how to name a delegate.

  1. Click the Settings icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.

    Turn off Gmail conversation view
  2. Select Settings from the menu that appears.

    Turn off Gmail Conversation View
  3. Go to the Accounts and Import tab.

    Gmail hide sender
  4. In the Grant access to your account section, select Add another account.

    How to share Gmail account
  5. Enter the Gmail email address of the person to whom you want to entrust the handling your account in the Email address field, and then select Next Step.

    Next step button in Grant access to your account dialog box in Gmail via Chrome browser on macOS
  6. Select Send email to grant access.

    Send email to grant access in Gmail Are you sure? dialog box when granting email addresses access
  7. Wait for the recipient to accept the request. The recipient must accept your request before functioning as your email delegate.

How to Log In to a Gmail Account as a Delegate

To open a Gmail account to which you've been assigned a delegate:

  1. Open your Gmail account, then click your profile icon in the upper-right corner of the Gmail screen.

  2. Select the desired account under Delegated accounts.

    Accessing delegated account via Gmail profile button
  3. The owner and any other delegates who have access can read and send mail simultaneously through the delegated Gmail account.

What a Gmail Delegate Can and Can't Do

An assigned delegate to a Gmail account can perform several actions, including:

  • Read and send emails, including replies. When a delegate sends a message through the account, however, their email address is shown as the sender.
  • Delete messages.
  • Access and manage the account's Gmail contacts.

Being a delegate doesn't grant full access, however. They can't:

  • Chat with anyone using Hangouts.
  • Change your Gmail password.

How to Revoke Delegate Access to a Gmail Account

To remove a person from the list of delegates who have access to your Gmail account:

  1. Go to the Accounts and Import tab. Select the gear icon, then go to Settings > Accounts and Import.

  2. Under Grant access to your account, select delete next to the email address of the delegate from whom you want to revoke access.

    delete link to remove people who have access to your Gmail account, in the Accounts and Imports tab of Gmail settings
  3. Select OK.

    OK button to delete granted account in Gmail settings
  4. Any delegate who's accessing your Gmail account when you remove that person's delegate status can perform actions until they close their Gmail session.

Google may lock a Gmail account that grants delegate status to too many people in different locations.