Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Share one Mail account between multiple users Apps
After lots of toil, I finally was able to get multiple users to share one set of mailboxes in This is great if you have multiple users who are sharing one e-mail account, as it keeps each user from having to delete every single junk e-mail.

To start off with, you should probably backup each user's ~/Library -> Preferences -> file. You also need to have one user whose box setup will provide the model for the rest of the users. Once you've decided who's going to provide the "model box set," copy their ~/Library -> Mail directory to /Users -> Shared.

Now you need edit each user's ~/Library -> Preferences -> file so that will be directed to the new location. I used TextEdit while logged in as root, and used Find/Change to change all of the ~/Library/ entries to /Users/Shared. The last thing that you need to do is change the permissions on the Mail directory so that all users can modify it. In the Terminal, type sudo chmod -R 777 /Users/Shared/Mail, and enter your admin password.

At this point, you can have the users test out the "new" If you don't like the results, just go back to your ~/Library -> Preferences -> file, and change all of the /Users/Shared entries back to ~/Library. Then you'll be back to the old fashioned as before the changes were made.

[Editor's note: There are probably some security concerns to consider with the Mail directory being world readable and writable. If this concerns you, you could create a new group in NetInfo Manager to allow access ony by specific people, though I haven't tried that myself. You may also want to back up the Mail directories before you try this, especially for the person who will serve as the "model" mailbox for all to use.]
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (5 votes cast)

Share one Mail account between multiple users | 7 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Share one Mail account between multiple users' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Is Mail smart enough to share?
Authored by: pcunix on Jan 27, '03 02:54:22PM

I'd wonder if Mail itself is smart enough to handle the concurrent access.

I'm not saying it is or isn't; just wondering.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is Mail smart enough to share?
Authored by: _merlin on Jan 27, '03 05:18:34PM

If you're accessing a mailbox from one account, and another user tries to open it, Mail will give you a warning, and ask if you really want to go ahead.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Authored by: Ketil on Jan 27, '03 04:50:36PM

Or your could use imap.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Authored by: davidnorton on Jan 28, '03 08:20:42AM

if your hosting/mail service supports IMAP. :-(

[ Reply to This | # ]
Authored by: freddles on Jan 28, '03 12:13:11AM

Does anyone know if a similar technique would work with Entourage?

[ Reply to This | # ]
Authored by: spaceMan on Mar 25, '03 05:05:31PM

I didn't use this particular method, but do share Entourage among 2 users on my Mac OSX system.

abstract description:
First ensure you have a working Entourage setup.
2nd: locate the Microsoft User Data folder (most likely in your yourname/documents folder)
3rd - move this to a 'sharable' location, such as users/shared/documents, or another partition
-might have to update permissions for who gets access-
4th - make an alias in the original yourname/documents/Microsoft User Data to the new shared location
Verify everything still works before changing 2nd user.
5th - logout, login as 2nd user.
6th - replace (backup the 2nduser/documents/Microsoft User Data folder first) with an alias to the shared one.

It has been a while since I set this up, so I am going by memory - I will check at home later to see if anything else is needed.

- Hal -


[ Reply to This | # ]
Share one Mail account between multiple users
Authored by: crios on May 02, '04 09:32:45PM

I had one problem with this... When I sent a test from "my" user it went through great and the other user recieved it and was able to access all the other mailboxes and stuff, but then they couldn't send email. There was a message that said "can't access outbox" or something similiar to that. I scrapped the mailboxes and went back to the original setup and tried it again, I even looked through the mail prefs to make sure I swapped out all the correct directories. Again it worked except for when I tried to send email. This time I sent the test email from the "other" user and then recieved it with "my" user. It worked until I tried to send mail from "my" user, then I got the "can't access outbox" message again. I followed the directions to the letter and everything went as described. Did anybody else have this problem. Does anybody know of a fix?


[ Reply to This | # ]