How to share Google Contacts using Google contacts delegation feature

In some paid editIons some of Google Workspace, a user can delegate full access to her/his contacts. It does not offer all the unlimited possibilities of our shared contacts manager, but it can be enough if you want an assistant to enter contacts on your behalf in your Google address book.

Time needed: 5 minutes.

  1. Log on Google Contacts Interface (GCM)


    You can find the quick access from the Google launcher in Gmail or from this URL : contacts.google.com

    Open Google Contacts from Gmail Google launcher

  2. On the Contacts settings icon, click on “Delegate access”


    You will find this icon next to the Google search bar.

    Google Contacts Delegation Feature in Google Workspace and G Suite

  3. At prompt, click on “Invite Delegate”


    Delegate access to your Google Contacts

  4. Select the people who need to manage your contacts



    You can select only individual, but not groups of users. To share Google Contacts with a groups of users, check this tutorial.

    You cannot either delegate access to people outside of or your domain either. To share Google Contacts with users outside of your own domain, please check this tutorial.

    Once you are happy with your selection, write a personnalized message in the text box and click on the “Send” button to validate your choice.

    Share Google Contacts through Google Contacts Delegation : Invite delegates


  5. Now you can see your delegates, remove them or add new ones


    Add delegates to your Google Contacts by clicking “Invite Delegates” or Remove delegates by clicking on the cross.

    Add delegates to your Google Contacts by clicking "Invite Delegates" or Remove delegates by clicking on the cross

  6. Your delegates will receive a notification in their mailbox with a link to access your Google contacts



    When you delegate your Google Contacts to your colleagues, they receive a notification

  7. Your delegates can now access your contact book from their Google Contacts interface



    The delegated users can see the contacts that have been delegated to them on the left pane of their Google Contacts manager

Limitations of Google Contacts Delegation feature

The delegation feature by Google is not really for sharing Google Contacts, but more to give access to your Google contacts to someone you entrust to manage contact details like phone, address etc.

Typically, it is used for admin assistants to enter business cards into the system of their supervisor.

However, the delegate can not really use the contacts for their own use, and this for the following reasons:

  • Delegates can only access your contacts in Google Contacts web interface (contacts.google.com)
  • They cannot see your contacts in their mobile phones,
  • They cannot find your contacts in Gmail autocomplete when they need to send an email, or to Google calendar to set an appointment with them or simply to share a document with them in Google Drive.
  • They cannot find your contacts by search engine, they need to sort them and scroll down until they find the contact they need to see or edit
  • They can add new contacts to your contacts or update and delete existing ones on your behalf.
  • You cannot limit their access to “View Only”

If you need to share Google Contacts for people who will actually use these contacts, you may want to follow that tutorial on how shared contacts manager.

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