Configuring your Exchange account in MS Outlook can offer you multiple advantages, such as it makes it easy to manage all mailboxes, access shared mailboxes, or shared folders. If you have configured MS Outlook with your Exchange or Office 365 account, then you can even share your mailbox folders and calendars with other users in your organization. The shared folder makes working easier for a team, as it allows quick communication and collaboration with access to shared data.

In this article, we are going to talk about how to create and open a shared folder in MS Outlook.

Note: To open another person’s shared folder, make sure that the person has permitted you to access it.

Creating a Shared Folder

To creating a shared folder in MS Outlook, you can follow the below steps:

  1. Open MS Outlook and select the folder that you want to share.
  2. After selecting the folder, right-click on it and select Properties.
  3. When the Properties window appears on the screen, select the Permissions tab.
  4. On the Permission tab, click Add.
  5. The list of email addresses on the server will appear on display, select the email addresses with whom you want to share a folder.

Sharing folders with other members does allow them to open and view the content in it, but they are not allowed to send emails on your behalf. While setting permissions for shared folders, you can determine how much access you want to give to a specific user.

Permissions available for Shared Folders in MS Outlook

You can give following permissions to users to access the shared folders:

  • Owner – Provide full access to the mailbox, including assigning permissions
  • Editor – Create, read, edit, and delete all items
  • Publishing Editor – Allow to create, read, edit, and delete all items
  • Publishing Author – Allow user to create and read topics, as well as edit and delete items that they have created
  • Author – Give rights to create and read items, and edit & delete items that they have created
  • Reviewer – Only allow to read items
  • Contributor – Permit to create items
  • None – Provide no permissions for the selected accounts on the specified folder

Opening a Shared Folder

Once you are given permission to access shared folder, restart MS Outlook. The shared folder will automatically appear in your folder pane in MS Outlook. However, if you’re unable to access the shared folder, then you can follow the below steps to access it.

  1. Close and restart MS Outlook.
  2. Now, go to the File tab and click the Account Settings section.
  3. From the menu, select Account Settings, and then select the Email tab.
  4. Ensure that the right account is highlighted that is added to the shared folder.
  5. Now, click Change, and then click More Settings in the right corner.
  6. Go to the Advanced tab and click Add.
  7. Type the email address with the permission and click OK to go to the previous window.
  8. On the Change Account Wizard, select Next and then click Finish. Now, close and restart MS Outlook.
  9. The shared folder will display in your mailbox list on the left-hand side along with other folders.

And that’s how you can easily open a shared folder with MS Outlook.


Shared folders can be very helpful to share your data with others. It helps them share the data while communicating with each other directly. But it depends on the permission you are assigned on the shared folder. In this article, we have described how users could create, open, and read emails from a shared folder via MS Outlook.