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Manage Departmental Email with Gmail Delegation

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Do you have multiple people checking a departmental email account? You probably share the password with all of them. If staff leave or change job responsibilities you then have to reset the password and distribute a new one. You did change the password, didn't you?

Problems and a Solution

With Gmail, you can only easily access one email account per web browser. Checkers of departmental email may have to use multiple browsers to check personal email and departmental email at the same time, or even use a desktop email client.

If using a desktop email client, such as Thunderbird, the "reply-to" address must be set correctly, and often the person sending the mail must make sure to select the right "From" address.

If people don't sign their emails when responding to departmental email, it can be difficult to figure out who replied to what.

The solution to all of these problems is a feature called Gmail Delegation, now available in U of M Gmail accounts.

Delegation allows you to grant access to your departmental account (or your own account) to up to 10 other U of M Gmail accounts. Anyone who needs to respond to departmental email can be made into a delegate and can access the departmental account without needing to know the password. Delegates can access departmental accounts from the same browser they use to access their own account.

Add a Delegate to an Account

1. Log in to U of M Gmail with the departmental account.
2. Click on the Settings link in the upper right corner, and select the Accounts tab.
3. In the Grant access to your account section, click on Add another account.
4. Enter the email address of the person you'd like to delegate and click Next Step. Note that you will only be able to use U of M Google Apps addresses ending in
5. If everything looks good on the confirmation screen, click Send email to grant access.
6. The email address you specified will receive a verification email with links to accept or reject. Once the delegate confirms acceptance, you'll see the status of the account change from to Accepted.

Remove a Delegate from an Account

1. Log in to U of M Gmail with the departmental account.
2. Click on the Settings link at the top right, and select the Accounts tab.
3. In the Grant access to your account section click the delete link next to the delegate you want to remove.

Access Email You've Been Delegated

1. Log in to your U of M Gmail account.
2. Click the down-arrow next to your email address in the upper right corner. Click Switch account. Choose the email account you want to view the mail for. In this example you can see my email address and the departmental address delegated to me listed on the drop-down:

Delegation option step 1.

Delegation option step 2.


* Messages or replies sent by a delegate will list both the departmental account and the delegate's account as the sender, in the form of:

DeptEmail (sent by
claoit College of Liberal Arts OIT(sent by

* Delegates can work with Labels and Filters, and set a signature or a "vacation" message.

* Delegates can see entire email "threads", so it's easy for them to tell who replied to what.

* Delegates can access Contacts of the account.

* Replies to emails sent by delegates go back to the original account.

* Delegates cannot change passwords, add other delegates, or chat on behalf of the account.

* Someone still needs to manage the main account's settings and password, but now that can be just one person.


Contact the CLAOIT Service Desk at or call 612-624-4357 (4-HELP).

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