How to share IMAP folders with other users


Well-Known Member
Mar 25, 2006
I would like to have shared IMAP folders with another email user.

So I can select a few folders in my IMAP structure and share them with an Administrative Assistant that has an email account on the same server, to help me sort messages as I drop them in the "to be sorted" folder.

How can this be achieved?
Would symlinks work?


Staff member
Mar 13, 2018
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Hello! At this time, shared mail folders aren't supported with cPanel as it's not something that can be implemented easily within the product without causing issues with authentication. I apologize for this inconvenience. With that said, we do have an open feature request on this topic:

Although I am not sure if this can be configured with symlinks, it should be something that can be configured with Dovecot customization:

If you're unsure of how to go about implementing this within Dovecot, I would recommend contacting a systems administrator for added guidance.


Well-Known Member
Nov 20, 2014
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
This could work in a fashion.
You both require access to the same IMAP mailbox.

Lets say you are the manager and you have your own private mailbox, only you have access.
But you both share access to the admin mailbox.
You could simply drop from your private mailbox to a folder on the admin mailbox.

Now you can both see the dropped email.
However, technically, you would have access to his complete mailbox.

Another way would be to create a whole new shared email account just for this purpose, where you would drag and drop.
Retaining the admins privicy.

Rachel S

Apr 28, 2022
United States
cPanel Access Level
Website Owner
Enable Mailbox Sharing
Below config may help to achieve this:

To enable mailbox sharing, you must check you have plugin acl enabled in Dovecot config file /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf as mentioned below:

For Dovecot-1.2:

# Part of file: /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf

protocol lda {
mail_plugins = ... acl

protocol imap {
mail_plugins = ... acl imap_acl

For Dovecot-2.x:

# Part of file: /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf

mail_plugins = ... acl

protocol imap {
mail_plugins = ... imap_acl

Restarting the Dovecot service is a must.

Test shared folder

Example: share [email protected]'s Sent folder to user [email protected]

Note: Dots must be inserted before each IMAP command.

# telnet localhost 143 # <- Type this.
* OK [...] Dovecot ready.

. login [email protected] passwd # <- Type this.
# Login with full email address and password
. OK [... ACL ..] Logged in

. SETACL Sent [email protected] rli # <- Type this.
# Share folder `Sent` with user [email protected],
# with permissions: read (r), lookup (l) and insert (i).
. OK Setacl complete.

^] # <- Press `Ctrl + ]` to exit telnet.
telnet> quit
Log into Roundcube webmail or SOGo as user [email protected], you should see the shared folder.

Some more details:

Once you shared the folder with the SETACL command, dovecot will insert a record in MySQL database.

With OpenLDAP backend, it's stored in iredadmin.share_folder.
With MySQL/MariaDB/PostgreSQL backends, it's stored in vmail.share_folder.
# mysql -uroot -p
mysql> USE vmail;
mysql> SELECT * FROM share_folder;
| from_user | to_user | dummy |
| [email protected] | [email protected] | 1 |
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