Shared Accounts in U-M Box and U-M Google



A Shared Account allows units and organizations to use U-M Box and U-M Google accounts for email and 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 email, post events, share calendars, and collaborate on files, all acting as the Shared Account. Instead of logging into them, Shared Accounts are mainly managed through an individual’s own account.

Request a Shared Account through the Shared Account Request Form.

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

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 Box features and 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. Select Settings from the gear icon.
    2. Click Accounts.
    3. Under Send mail as, click Add another email address.
    4. Enter the account's display name and email address.
    5. Click Send Verification.
      Note: A verification code is sent to all members of the MCommunity group.
    6. Enter the verification code 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 into 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. Click on the Shared Account to access.
  3. Delegates can read, send, and delete messages on behalf of the account as well as access the account’s contacts.
  4. 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: Vacation responder, out of office, and auto-reply settings do not work with Shared Accounts.

Google Calendar

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

Available permission settings are:

  • 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.
  • The calendar is available from the Calendar drop-down list when creating events.
  • You can copy an event from another calendar under More Actions.

Access the calendar with:

  • the link in the notification email.

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

  • the calendar ID located on the calendar settings page. Click the drop-down list to the right of the calendar's entry under My calendars. View the calendar by entering its ID in the Search field under Other Calendars.


  • When selected, events on shared calendars appear with those on individual calendars. When updating or deleting events, make sure they 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 groups and departments to share files and allows for co-editing 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.


Items stored in a Shared Account’s U-M Box folder are owned by that Shared Account and stay available if the file creators leave the university. Shared Accounts are useful for: classes, workgroups, departments, teams, student groups, and more. You can add and remove collaborators as their roles change.

The Standard Folder

A Shared Account’s standard folder appears in the co-owners' individual U-M Box accounts, where they can manage its contents. Items in that folder are owned by U-M through the Shared Account and remain available if collaborators leave the university.

Sensitive data (such as PHI) must be stored in a U-M Box Shared Account’s folder. Follow the guidelines for Using Box at U-M Securely with Sensitive Data.

Note: Shared Accounts cannot use Box Sync or Box Drive, but collaborators with Editor or Co-owner permissions can sync items in the Shared Account’s folder.

Move Items from an Individual’s U-M Box Account into a Shared Account

Only folder Owners, not Co-owners, can move that folder's items. Open the folder you wish to move from the All Files view. The Owner displays at the top of the collaborator list. If you are the owner, you can move the folder from your individual account into the folder owned by the Shared Account.

Learn More: U-M Box Shared 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 one person has these permissions, they can assign them to others from their own account.
  • Create additional Google Calendars associated with the account and share them.
  • Transfer ownership of U-M Box folders and Google Drive files and folders.
  • Move items out of U-M Box’s trash that were deleted by someone else.
  • Configure the Shared Account’s settings.

Logging into the Shared Account

Using a Chrome Incognito window (or different browser), log in with the account's name and UMICH password.


Last Updated: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2020