Google Mail allows you to provide other people with access to your email account. This is useful for people who have assistants or staff who need to help manage their inboxes. It's also useful if you want to give a co-worker access to your account while you're away on vacation.

Lastly, it's useful for giving members of the organization access to commonly-used email accounts, accounts that aren't just used by a single individual. In the article below, I'll explain how to delegate access to an account and cover what delegates can do with your email, once they have access.

1. Log into your Google Mail account, then click on the gear icon, and select 'See all settings'.

2. Next, you'll need to click on 'Accounts and Import':

3. At the bottom of this settings panel, you'll see the option to grant access to your account. You'll want to click "Add another account".

4. This will give you a yellow pop-up window, where you enter the email address of the person to whom you'll delegate access. Click "Next Step >>", then agree to send them an email. Your recipient will receive an email notifying them that you've granted access to your email account. They'll have to click on a link to approve this.

5. Now you're all set. If you navigate back to the 'Accounts and Import' section of your settings, you can see if your recipient has accepted your request. You can also use this panel to revoke their access.

What Can Delegated Users Do With My Email?

Almost anything. To access your account, now the delegated user needs to click on their Google profile picture in the upper right-hand corner of Gmail, then scroll down and click on your account. 

Delegated users can send messages, organize messages, and label, archive, or delete messages. They can set up (or delete) email filters and access a limited selection of settings. A delegated user CANNOT, however, delegate access to others, or access most of the settings panels for the account. 

One more important note: by default, when a delegated user sends an email on your behalf, recipients will see (if they look carefully) who actually sent the email. Keep this in mind as you compose and send emails on someone else's behalf.

If you want to change this behavior (i.e., allow delegated users to send messages on your behalf without recipients seeing the real sender), go to Settings -> Accounts and Import -> Sender Information and check the box: "show this address only".