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Shared, or Departmental Mailboxes

What is a "shared mailbox?"

A shared mailbox is a mailbox not assigned to any one individual; it is one that multiple people have access to. The most common use for a shared mailbox is when a unit or department needs to communicate as an entity itself, and wants to have multiple people in the office able to check and send email from the account at any time. A shared mailbox will also have a calendar associated with it that may be used by multiple individuals.

A shared mailbox may also be referred to as a "departmental mailbox" in the case of mailboxes used by departments at Ross.

How do I get one?

Request Form

Questions, contact ITS Service Center at 734-764-4357 or by email at or visit

How do people access them?

One of two ways: as a delegate, or by logging in directly.

Delegates were given "rights" by the shared mailbox administrators to access the mailbox as a supplement to their own. Delegates with the proper rights can do this by logging into their own Google mailboxes, clicking their name in the upper corner, and clicking the shared mailbox in the list. The shared mailbox will open in a new browser tab. Delegates can send and receive mail on behalf of the department, organization, or club, but can't do much else.

Google Apps can be accessed as a delegate, you do NOT have to log directly into a Shared Account to access Drive, etc. (delegates can do this from the App Launcher in the email account).

You can log directly into the account if you have the account password. Logging in directly allows you to change or modify delegate rights, such as when a new employee needs access to the shared mailbox. Logging in directly also opens up the possibility of using the 40+ other "Google Apps" that come with a standard Google account, which might be useful if a club wants to run their own Google+ social networking page, or if a department wants a place to store their files using Google Drive.

How to access the mailbox as a delegate.

The easiest and most common way to use a shared mailbox is to open it up from within your own email account. If you are given access to a shared mailbox, clicking your email address as it displays in the upper right corner will present you with a drop down menu listing the accounts you have permissions to access. Clicking that account will open it up in a separate tab or browser window.

Doing this is referred to accessing the shared mailbox as a delegate. As a delegate, you can send and receive email from the shared account, and not much else.

Logging in directly to the shared mailbox.

The shared mailbox actually has a password, just like your own. Unlike your own, however, you'll need to go to a different web address in order to log into it. If you don't have the password to the shared mailbox and believe you need to log in using this method, please contact the director or unit lead for the mailbox.

We recommend using another web browser than the one you usually use, just to make sure you are not logged in to your own mailbox at the same time.  If you're not completely logged out from your own Gmail account, you can easily get confused between the two accounts when making the changes detailed further down this page, and it may even appear impossible to log in to the shared mailbox at all. So either sign out of your own mailbox completely, use your web browser's incognito mode, or use a different web browser than the one you use to sign in to your own mailbox.

Once you do, the address you'll need to visit to sign into shared mailboxes is

Upon visiting the log in page, you'll simply type the name and password of the shared mailbox, as seen below. Note that you must include the full email address, such as:

Once you're logged in, click "Gmail" to open the mailbox.



How to add or remove delegate access, once logged in

Once you're logged in to the shared mailbox directly, you have the ability to change the permissions to who has access to the account as a delegate. To begin, click the "Gear" icon, and then go into Settings.

Next, click the Accounts tab, and modify the permissions as needed. You can grant or remove access to anyone with an email address. Doing so will affect their ability to open the mailbox as a delegate while logged in to their own account, as described above. The person will receive a message indicating they have been added, but will not be told when they are removed.


Problems logging in to the shared mailbox?

  • If you are sure you have the correct password and it is not working, you're likely still signed into your own mailbox and should take steps to sign out completely.
  • You can have the password reset by calling the Google team at ITS Service Center at 734-764-4357 or you can also contact by email at or at The Ross Helpdesk does not administer or maintain passwords for these accounts, so while you can start with us we will only refer you to this contact information.