The manage access requests feature is great for allowing users that don’t have permissions to a SharePoint site requests access. This link is exposed when users attempt to access a site they don’t have permission to.
Clicking on the link automatically sends an email to the email address specified within Manage Access Requests/Access Request Settings.
Setting up Manage Access Request
In order to setup Manage Access Request, you must have inbound/outbound email setup in SharePoint 2010.
Assuming email is setup, you may go to your preferred site and choose Site Actions, Site Settings, and choose Site permissions under Users and Permissions section. Manage Access Requests is exposed in the ribbon:
Clicking on Manage Access Requests will take you here:
Usually, the original Site Owner email address is specified here.
Are you sure you want to use Manage Access Requests feature?
I would take a serious look into whether or not Manage Access Requests feature is the right approach for a company with a large SharePoint farm and site collection owners change daily, weekly, or monthly. The assumption here is that a site collection owner email address is specified to receive access request emails. Let’s assume my site collection owner is contoso\admin and the Manage Access Requests email address is set to the same user: Admin@contoso.com. Contoso\Admin took another job within the same company but no longer owns or supports this particular SharePoint site. Contoso\Admin is replaced by Contoso\jrAdmin. Contoso\jrAdmin adds his account to Site Owners group while removing Contoso\Admin account from Site Owners group for this particular SharePoint site.
500 users are hired to this particular company and all are instructed to access this SharePoint site and requests access. 500 emails get sent to Contoso\Admin instead of Contoso\jrAdmin. When removing site owners, it has no effect on the email address specified within Manage Access Request. This can quickly become a nightmare for the company help desk if regular users are site owners and site owners change often in a large SharePoint farm. This behavior is by design for both SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. If the feature is important for your company and you must use it, I recommend adding technical documentation on how to fully remove site collection owners by adding a section on updating the Manage Access Requests email field to the new site collection owner.
Russ Maxwell, MSFT