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 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.

    The Settings gear in Gmail
  2. Select See all settings from the menu that appears.

    The "See All Settings" button in Gmail
  3. Go to the Accounts and Import tab.

    The Accounts and Import tab
  4. In the Grant access to your account section, select Add another account.

    The "Add another account" command
  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.

    An email and the Next Step button
  6. Select Send email to grant access.

    The "Send email to grant access" button
  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.

    Profile pic in Gmail
  2. Select the desired account, which will have a "Delegated" label next to it.

    A delegated account in Gmail
  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, the original 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. Select the gear icon.

    The Settings gear in Gmail
  2. Click See all settings.

    The "See All Settings" button in Gmail
  3. Go to the Accounts and Import tab.

    The Accounts and Import tab
  4. Under Grant access to your account, select delete next to the email address of the delegate from whom you want to revoke access.

    The Delete link next to "Grant access to your account"
  5. Select OK.

  6. 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.

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