Google Chat "rooms" are being renamed "spaces." It may take time for the name change to appear everywhere. Learn more.

Delegate and collaborate on email

In Gmail, delegated accounts and shared inboxes are the same thing. Use them to grant people (delegates) access to your Gmail account, resulting in an inbox with benefits such as:

  • Automatically sorting email with filters (rules)
  • Keeping a record of correspondence by archiving email
  • Tracking the status of email messages using labels
  • Showing or hiding the delegate’s name as the sender

Delegates can read, send, and delete your email messages. They can’t chat with anyone for you or change your Gmail password. When they send a message, their email address appears.

Difference between these accounts or inboxes & Collaborative Inboxes

A Collaborative Inbox is a type of group you create in Google Groups.

  • Members can send messages, assign conversations to each other, and track conversations as tasks.
  • A Collaborative Inbox has an email address. People can send and receive Collaborative Inbox messages using email clients such as Gmail. For details, visit Send emails from a different address or alias.

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Add or remove a delegate

Add a delegate

You can add up to 10 delegates. If you're using Gmail through your work, school, or other organization, you can add up to 1000 delegates within your organization.

  1. On your computer, open Gmail. You can't add delegates from the Gmail app.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then See all settings.
  3. Click the Accounts and Import or Accounts tab.
  4. In the "Grant access to your account" section, click Add another account. If you’re using Gmail through your work or school, your organization may restrict email delegation. If you don’t see this setting, contact your admin.
  5. Enter the email address of the person you want to add. The account you're delegating must have "Require user to change password at next sign-in" disabled.
  6. Click Next Step and then Send email to grant access.

The person you added will get an email asking them to confirm. It may take up to 24 hours for you to see them as a delegate after they confirm.

Note: The invitation expires after a week.

Remove a delegate
  1. On your computer, open Gmail. You can't set up delegates from the Gmail app.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then See all settings.
  3. Click the Accounts and Import tab.
  4. In the "Grant access to your account" section, click Delete next to the account you want to remove.

Troubleshoot problems

There's a delegate on my account that I didn't add
If there's a delegate on your account that you didn't add, change your password immediately. Your account may have been accessed by a hacker through phishing or malware.
I can't add a delegate

If you're adding a delegate at your work, school, or other organization, you can only add other people in your organization as your delegate.

If the person is in your organization but you can't add them, ask your admin to set up your group's MX records.

I have a delegate, and got locked out of my account
If you have multiple people at your organization signing in to the same Gmail account from various locations, Gmail might temporarily lock down your account.
The bookmark to access your delegated account is no longer valid
To access a delegated account, you can use the account switcher to switch between your account and other delegated accounts that you have access to.

For best results, delete any saved bookmarks.
A delegate I added can't access my account
If a delegate can't access your account and gets an error instead, check if your delegated account is set to "Require user to change password at next sign-in."
  1. Before delegates can access your account, you need to log in and reset your password.
  2. Make sure your account has "Require user to change password at next sign-in" disabled.

Note: It can take some time, usually up to an hour, before delegates can access your account.

If you can't access a delegated account using a Google Workspace domain, learn how to turn mail delegation on or off.

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