With more advanced features in the latest versions, such as Outlook 2016 and Outlook 2019, users got many facilities to work more efficiently in an organization where Exchange Server is used. One such amazing feature is sharing Outlook folders that we will discuss in detail in this blog, helping users manage their Outlook more conveniently.

Things to Know Before Sharing the Outlook Folder

  • Outlook folder sharing feature can be utilized by users within the organization only
  • If the Share option is not enabled for any Outlook Calendar/Contacts/Tasks in Outlook 2016 or Outlook 2019, follow the steps given below.
    1. Select the particular item (for example – Calendar) icon, right-click on the right-side blank space on the top Home ribbon and select the Customize the Ribbon option
      select the Customize the Ribbon
      or go to Outlook options directly and select Customize Ribbon option from the left panel.select Customize Ribbon option from the left panel
    2. Next, move to the Choose commands section on the right panel, and select All Commands from the drop-down list.move to the Choose commands section on the right panel
    3. Scroll down and select the Share option.
      Note: Users first need to create a New Group under the Calendar section by selecting it (with the given option on the bottom of the right panel).
    4. After creating the group, select the Share and Share Calendar option one by one and click Add to add it to the created group.select the Share and Share Calendar option
    5. Finally, click OK.
    6. Now, the share option is highlighted for the calendar or the chosen item.

Sharing Outlook 2016/2019 Folder by Sending an Invitation

If you want to share your Outlook Calendar, Tasks, or Contacts folder by invitation to the user within the organization or on the hosting Exchange Server, you need to perform these steps.

  1. Open your Outlook application, select the Calendar section from the bottom.
  2. Select and right-click on the calendar that you want to share, select the Share option from the drop-down list and then select the Share Calendar or after selecting the Calendar icon, select the Share Calendar option from the top right of the page.
  3. Go to the To section of the mail metadata, select the user address(es) to whom you want to send the share invitation. Choose what details you want to send and then click the Send option.
    Note: Ensure that the user address to which you want to send the invitation is added under the Global Address List under the Address Book.
  4. The invitation will be sent to the user’s email address; he/she can access the folder now.

Note: If you want to modify the permissions for the shared folder, select it (here calendar), right-click on it, and then follow Share>Folder Permissions. Under the Permissions tab, select the user name for which you want to modify the permission. Then move to the Permissions section, select desired option from the Permission Level, set permissions, or do it as per your choice. Once done, click OK.

Sharing Outlook 2016/2019 Folder Without Sending an Invitation

Using this process, you can share your Inbox and other top-level folders or subfolders to another user without sending any mail invitation.

  1. Select the folder to be shared, right-click on it, and select the Properties option.
  2. From the Permissions tab, click the Add option to add the user from the Address Book by selecting it and clicking the Add option.
  3. Then, go to the Permissions section, choose the Permission Level, and set permissions like – Read, Write, Delete Items, and Other. Click OK.
  4. The next task is to make the top container and top-level folder visible to let users on the other side open your shared inbox or custom top-level folder and other folders (calendar, contacts), subfolders, respectively.For top container visibility permission, you need to right-click on the respective email address and select the Folder Permissions option. Next, add the desired user and ensure that the Folder visible checkbox is selected. Click OK.
    To make the parent folder visible, right-click on the respective folder and perform similar steps to assign folder visibility permission.
  5. Hence, now intended users can open a shared folder in Outlook easily.

So, these were the processes that users can use to share their Outlook folders with other users in the same organization. However, if they wish to share folders like the calendar to external users, they can utilize the Publish a calendar feature in the Outlook application.

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Wrapping Up

Sharing of folders in Outlook, whether the top container or subfolders in Outlook 2016 and Outlook 2019, requires certain pre-requirements along with Folder access permission for users. And users have full flexibility to grant permissions to the user with whom the folder will be shared and the choice of sending or not sending an invitation with the folder sharing.