If you have a Microsoft Exchange server at your business, Microsoft Outlook has the ability to access more than one mailbox at a time. This is a useful feature if multiple users need to share access to the same email address, or if someone needs to cover another person’s email (when an auto-responder won’t suffice) while on vacation.
By default, you cannot access anyone’s mailbox except your own. Your system administrator or the owner of the mailbox must grant this right, and before that, you should verify that accessing another user’s mailbox is within your company policies and you have proper permission to do so. It’s also nice to let the user who owns the mailbox that you will be accessing it in advance.
Note that, especially in small businesses, this is usually done by the one person logging in as the other user. This is always a bad idea, as you lose all accountability. In other words, if Bob logs on as Sue and does something wrong, it looks like Sue did it, and she can’t prove otherwise. Passwords should not be shared. If you think you need another user’s password, then you do not have the appropriate permissions to do your job. Again, see your supervisor and system administrator if you believe this is the case.
Once you have been granted access to the other user’s mailbox, you can access it in two ways. If you will only be doing so occasionally, and generally only require access to a single folder (e.g., the Inbox) then this method is simpler.
Logged in with your own account, open Microsoft Outlook. Click File | Open | Other User’s Folder…
Enter the name of the user, e.g., “Joe Smith” or “Orders,” (whatever the name or email address of the user) whose folder you want to open. Note that you can click the “Folder type” menu if you want to open something else, like the user’s Calendar or Contacts.
Once the name is in place, simply click “OK”. You are now looking at the other user’s Inbox!
If you will be frequently referring to the other user’s Inbox (or other folders), then it makes sense to add their mailbox to your Outlook configuration so that it opens every time. If you use the navigation bar, their mailbox will show up there every time you open Outlook, and you can simply click on the folders you want to browse.
To do this, you again need to get proper permission and authorization from your system administrator and management.
Once this is done, logged in with your own account, open Microsoft Outlook.
If you are using Outlook 2007, click Click “Tools” | “Account Settings…” then click on your Microsoft Exchange account, and click “Change…”
If you are using Outlook 2003, click “Tools” | “Email Accounts…”, make sure that “View or change existing e-mail accounts” is selected, then click Next.
Click “More Settings…”
Under “Mailboxes,” click the “Add…” button. Enter the name of the user whose mailbox you wish to access, then click “OK.” Click “OK” again, then “Next,” then “Finish.”
The other users folders will now appear in the navigation pane on the left side of Outlook, and you can refer back and forth between their mailbox and yours any time.