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How to Delegate Email In Gmail

Ken from SC asks:

What’s “Delegation” in Gmail?

Gmail has some really useful features that allow you to keep track of your multiple email accounts. We’ve covered quite a few in the past: filters [1], multiple account sign in [2], and auto-forwarding [3].

Delegation is yet another feature which the ingenious Gmail developers have designed. It allows you to grant account access to another user, so they can read, send, and delete emails on your behalf. This delegate user cannot, however, chat or change the account password or settings.

How would this be useful? For example, you can delegate personal emails to a spouse, child, or other family member. Other possible uses could include delegating to a supervisor or boss in an organization, or the opposite, delegating to a personal assistance. The possibilities are endless!

To begin using Gmail delegation:

Log in to your Gmail account, and click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner, followed by Mail Settings.

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Next select the Accounts and Import tab.

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Scroll down to the Grant access to your account section, and click Add another account.

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Enter in the email address of the person you’d like to delegate email to, and press Next Step.

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Confirm your decision by choosing Send email to grant access.

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The email that gets sent to the delegate explains the privileges being granted. It contains both the options to accept or reject.

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If the delegate accepts, they will see a new arrow next to their name in the corner of their Gmail screen. From this menu, they select Switch account, and can open the primary account and read and send message, but once again, they cannot chat or change settings.

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Any message that a delegate sends from the primary account will appear to be sent from the primary account, but it will also contain both names.


Finally, if you’d like to revoke this privilege, the option can be found in the Accounts and Imports tab of the Mail settings page. Gmail delegation works for up to 10 people, and is a cinch to setup.


~ Jay Neil Patel