Giving one user access to another's mailbox via PowerShell

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There are plenty of reasons why you might want to give one user access to another user’s mailbox. The first user may be in the hospital, or under HR review, or maybe they’ve been dropping the ball lately and management need to make sure that certain projects have been followed up on. It’s not really our job to care. The fact is, Bill in management has requested that you give Paul Stanley access to Gene Simmon’s mailbox, and for various reasons, logging on to Gene’s mailbox to set these permissions up is not a good option. For one, you’d only be able to delegate access to certain primary folders, not to the whole mailbox, and second, you’d have to know Gene’s password to do that. Because you are a smart admin, you tell Bill you can take care of it easily from the server. And here’s how you do it with Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010:

Using this powershell command, you can give one user the permission to open and view another user’s entire mailbox. They won’t be able to send mail from that mailbox though, unless you add the SendAs permission:

Add-MailboxPermission user1 -User user2 -AccessRights fullaccess

So if you wanted to give Paul Stanley access to Gene Simmons’ mailbox, you would do this:

Add-MailboxPermission gsimmons -user pstanley -AccessRights fullaccess

To add sending functionality, you would do this:

Add-MailboxPermission gsimmons -User pstanley -AccessRights sendas

Make sure you run the Exchange Management Shell as Admin (escalated) or you may not get the results you were expecting.

If you want to verify the permissions you’ve given Paul, you can run this command:

Get-MailboxPermission gsimmons -User pstanley | fl

After you tell Bill that you’ve taken care of it, he asks you what Paul is supposed to do to view the mailbox. You send him the following instructions:

In Outlook, go into Tools -> Account Settingss and open up the properties on your Exchange email account. Choose More Settings, and when you get to the tabbed window, choose the Advanced tab.

On the Advanced tab, you will see the option to open additional mailboxes. Click Add and type the name of the user whose mailbox you want to open. In this case, Paul could type “Gene Simmons” or “gsimmons”. OK all the way out, and you should see another root mailbox for Gene Simmons added to Paul’s Outlook.

And yes, this can be done in the Exchange Management Console, but PowerShell is quicker!

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