Shared Accounts in U-M Google



A Shared Account allows units and organizations to use U-M Google accounts for email, calendars, and to share access to centrally owned files. It is owned by the unit or organization instead of an individual. Individuals manage the account through their own account and can transfer it to others as needed. With their own individual account, designated people can send and receive emails, post events, share calendars, and collaborate on files, all acting as the Shared Account. Instead of logging in to them, Shared Accounts are mainly managed through an individual’s own account.

Request a Shared Account through the Shared Account Request Form.

Related: Shared Accounts are created with a special type of MCommunity group. Refer to Managing MCommunity Groups and UMICH Passwords for Shared Accounts for more information.


  • Shared Accounts function as normal accounts and can be used with all U-M Google apps (core and non-core, including YouTube).
  • All email messages can be kept together in one mailbox and individuals can send email as the Shared Account from their own account using aliases.
  • Group events can be scheduled by a Shared Account instead of an individual who may leave the university.
  • Folders and files can be owned by a Shared Account, reducing the risk of data loss if an individual leaves the university.


Email sent to the Shared Account is also delivered to the members of the associated MCommunity group.

Send email from the Shared Account

  1. Add the Shared Account as an alias to your U-M Google Mail account:
    1. Click the gear icon and select Settings.
    2. Click Accounts.
    3. Under Send mail as, click Add another email address.
    4. Enter the account's display name and email address in the corresponding fields.
    5. Click Send Verification.
      Note: A verification code is sent to all members of the MCommunity group.
    6. Enter the verification code in the appropriate field and click Verify.
  2. Compose a message and use the drop-down list in the From field to select the Shared Account.

    Important: The message is not stored in the Shared Account’s Sent mail folder.

Access the Shared Account’s email as a delegate

  1. Log in to the Shared Account.
  2. Once delegation is set up, the Shared Account will appear as an alternate account under your account image in the upper-right corner. Click on the Shared Account to access.

Delegates can read, send, and delete messages on behalf of the account as well as access the account’s contacts. All activity done within the Shared Account window is attributed to the Shared Account.

Note: Sent mail is stored in the Shared Account’s Sent mail folder.

Important: Google vacation responder and auto-reply settings do not work with Shared Accounts.

Google Calendar

Important: Out-of-office features do not work with Shared Accounts.

While logged in to the Shared Account, create a calendar to be assigned to it. You can then share that calendar with individuals or MCommunity groups so they can manage it from within their own individual accounts.

Available permission settings are:

  • See only free/busy (hide details).
  • See all event details.
  • Make changes to events.
  • Make changes and manage sharing.

With the Make changes and manage sharing permission:

  • The calendar appears under My Calendars in the left sidebar.
  • The calendar is available from the Calendar drop-down list when creating events.
  • You can copy an event from another calendar when you click Options (three-dot icon).

Add the calendar via the link in the " has shared a calendar with you" notification email.

Note: New members of the associated MCommunity group do not receive a notification email.


  • When selected, events on shared calendars appear with those on individual calendars. When updating or deleting events, make sure you are on the correct calendar.
  • Because Shared Account MCommunity groups do not sync to U-M Google, inviting a Shared Account to a calendar event does not invite the members of its associated MCommunity group.

Google Drive

Google Drive allows units and departments to share and collaborate on files. However, files placed in Shared Account folders are owned by the author, not the Shared Account.

To change file ownership to a Shared Account:

  1. Create a folder to contain the files. Change the ownership of the folder to the Shared Account.
  2. Share the folder with your collaborators.
  3. Google Drive does not have cascading permissions, so inform collaborators to change the ownership of new files and subfolders they create to the Shared Account.

    Note: You cannot transfer ownership between UMICH and non-UMICH accounts.

Managing a Shared Account

It is only necessary to log in as the Shared Account to:

  • Delegate a Google mailbox.
  • Assign, make changes to, and manage sharing for Google Calendar permissions. Once someone has these permissions, they can assign them to others from their own individual account.
  • Create additional Google Calendars associated with the account and share them.
  • Transfer ownership of U-M Google Drive files and folders.
  • Configure the Shared Account’s settings.

Logging in to the Shared Account

Using a Chrome Incognito window (or different browser), log in with the Shared Account's email address and UMICH password.

Note: To reset the password for a Shared Account, contact the ITS Service Center or change it yourself.

Last Updated: 
Friday, June 24, 2022