How to Share Access to Your Gmail Account

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

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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 a lot of problems, and with a Google account, it also grants access to all your Google services.

With a simple change to your Gmail settings, you can assign a delegate for your Gmail email cleanly without giving them full access to all your Google services.

Assigning a Delegate to Your Gmail Account

An assigned delegate can access your Gmail account for limited purposes. They cannot view or change crucial account settings, which only you can change. Here's how to name an assigned delegate.

  1. 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.

  2. Click or tap the Settings icon in the top right corner of the Gmail screen. It resembles a gear.

  3. Select Settings from the menu that appears.

    Settings menu in Gmail on Chrome web browser for macOS
  4. Click or tap the Accounts and Import tab.

  5. In the Grant access to your account section, click or tap Add another account.

    Add another account link in Gmail Settings, Accounts and Import tab
  6. Enter the Gmail email address of the person to whom you want to entrust the handling your account in the Email address field.

  7. Click or tap Next Step.

    Next step button in
  8. Click or tap Send email to grant access.

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

Logging In to a Gmail Account as a Delegate

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

  1. Click or tap 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

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 messages sent to you, send emails, and reply to emails that have been sent to you. When a delegate sends a message through the account, however, their email address is shown as the sender.

A delegate may delete messages sent to you and also access and manage your Gmail contacts.

A Gmail delegate may not chat with anyone for you, nor are they able to change your Gmail password.

Revoking Delegate Access to a Gmail Account

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

  1. Click or tap the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the Gmail screen.

  2. Select Settings from the menu.

  3. Click the Accounts and Import tab.

  4. Under Grant access to your account, click or tap delete next to the email address of the delegate for 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
  5. Click or tap OK.

    OK button to delete granted account in Gmail settings

Any delegate who is accessing your Gmail account when you remove that person's delegate status can perform actions until they close their Gmail session.

Since Gmail is designed for individual email use, if you allow many users to access the account often and from different locations, these actions can cause an account to be locked by Google.