Delegate permissions vs. Folder permissions

When I want to grant someone permissions to my Exchange mailbox, I found that I can either do this via the Delegates options dialog or via a right click on the folder-> Properties-> tab: Permissions.

I noticed that the people for which I set the permissions per folder do not show up in the Delegates dialog. Is that correct?

What are the differences between setting the permissions via the Delegate dialog and the Permissions tab?

Permissions buttonOften, people prefer to grant permissions via the Delegates dialog as it allows them to set the permissions on multiple folders such as the Inbox, Calendar and Contacts folder in one go and Outlook automatically informs the user about it via email.

However, by doing so, you also grant these people the permission to send out emails on your behalf (via the From field), which often isn’t desired. This is the main thing and difference to be aware of.

Opening the Delegates permissions dialog

Delegates buttonTo open the Delegates dialog:

  • Outlook 2007 and previous
    Tools-> Options…-> tab Delegates
  • Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
    Select the Inbox folder of your Exchange mailbox.
    File-> Account Settings-> Delegate Access

Delegates can send items on your behalf, including creating and responding to meeting requests.
Delegates are people who are allowed to send on behalf of you.

Calendar permissions

If you want your colleague to be able to process your meeting requests and responses, then you need to use the Delegates dialog as well.

There is a general setting in the main Delegates dialog (see image above) to control whether or not you will still receive these messages yourself as well.

In addition, you can also control whether or not a delegate will receive these messages on a per-delegate basis.

Delegate Permissions - Delegate receives copies of meeting-related messages sent to me
You can override the default setting for processing meeting requests and responses for each delegate that you configure.

Private items

Private buttonDelegate permissions are also required when you want to grant your colleague the permission to see items which are marked as Private. You can grant this permission in the Delegate Permissions dialog of each delegate via the option: Delegate can see my private items (see image above).

There is no way to grant this permission on a per-folder basis.

Fine tune Delegate permissions with Folder permissions

When you add someone as a Delegate, you only have a limited amount of permission sets to choose from:

  • None
  • Reviewer (can read items)
  • Author (can read and create items)
  • Editor (can read, create, and modify items)

You are free to fine-tune these permissions on a per-folder basis afterwards if that fits your needs better. For instance to only show the subject and location in your Calendar or grant someone “Contributor” or “Nonediting Author” permissions.

Folder Permissions Calendar
The Folder Permissions tab gives you more control than the Delegates dialog.

Subfolders and inheritance of permissions

Subfolders buttonWhen you would like to grant permissions to other default folders or subfolders, then you’ll need to set this via folder-level permissions as well.

Permissions which you set on or modify for a folder aren’t directly inherited by any subfolders; you’ll have to specifically set them on any subfolder as well if you want to allow access to it.

However, when you create a new subfolder, any permission that is set on the parent folder will automatically be set on this new subfolder as well.

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