How to Share a Folder in Outlook

Shared folders are great, but you need an Exchange Server to make them work

Two people working on separate laptops

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There are many ways to share a folder in Outlook with others. It can make working with a team or on a project much easier when all communications are in one place, and it can be a great way to manage household activities, finances, and so much more. Learn how to make Outlook shared folders and organize your work.

You need to have access to the Exchange Server. This is the only way you can manage or share your Outlook folders. 

How to Share a Folder in Outlook 2016

Something you want to check before you try to share a folder is if your admin allows you to do so. If so, here's what you need to do: 

  1. Open Outlook as you normally would.

  2. Find the folder you'd like to share with someone.

  3. Once located, right-click the folder, then select Properties

    Outlook Inbox screenshot
  4. In the properties window, select the Permissions tab. 

    Outlook Screenshot
  5. Select Add

  6. From the list of email addresses on the server, select the one you’d like to share the folder with in Outlook. 

    Outlook screenshot of Inbox

How to Open a Shared Folder in Outlook

If another person has shared a folder with you, make sure they've given you the correct permissions. You'll most likely get a sharing invitation through email and all you need to do is select Open this Notes/Tasks/Journal/Contacts/Calendar in the top left corner.

Consider keeping the invite email for the shared folder. 

If you delete the invite email the shared content is still accessible to you, there are just some extra steps. Just select the Folder tab, then select Open shared Calendar/Contacts/Journal/Notes/Tasks.

This works on Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, and Outlook 2019

How to Remove a Shared Folder 

Whether you're sharing a folder or removing a shared folder, the process is about the same. If a folder was shared with you, the easiest way to get rid of it would be to ask the person who granted you access to revoke all permissions.

If you need to remove someone from viewing your shared folder, then follow these few steps:

  1. Right-click the shared folder in Outlook, then select Properties.

  2. Select the Folder Sharing tab.

  3. Choose which user you don't want to share the folder with anymore, then select Remove.

Permission Levels in Shared Folders in Outlook

There’s a way to limit what people can do within a shared folder using a whole range of permission guidelines.

Open Outlook, right-click the folder you want to share, then select Properties > Permissions. From there, select the Permission Level drop-down menu and choose a different level for each different person you might share the folder with. 

For example, if you select Owner, that person can do anything and everything, but if you select Reviewer, the only thing they can do is read the items and nothing else. 

drop down menu for permissions in outlook