Manage membership automatically with dynamic groups

Populate groups based on department or other conditions

This page is for administrators. To manage groups for your own account, visit Google Groups help.

Supported editions for this feature: Enterprise; Education Standard and Plus Compare your edition


As a Groups administrator, you can create groups that manage membership automatically. Create dynamic groups to add and remove members automatically, based on a membership query you create. This helps keep groups up to date, especially if your organization has many locations or changing team members.

Use dynamic groups as:

  • Email and distribution lists
  • Moderated groups and Collaborative Inboxes
  • Security groups
Where can I do this? You create a dynamic group in the Google Admin console and the Cloud Identity API. You can edit the membership query and certain settings in the Admin console. You can edit additional settings, such as message moderation, in Google Groups.

Understand dynamic group membership

Membership in dynamic groups differs from other groups in that:

  • You can’t add people to the group manually—To change members, change the membership query.
  • Everyone has the member role—Everyone in a dynamic group is a member. There are no owners or managers. Google Workspace admins can manage dynamic groups and change membership queries.
  • Only users can be members—Groups can’t meet membership conditions, so you can’t add a group to a dynamic group. You also can’t add a dynamic group to any other group.

Create a dynamic group

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. On the Admin console Home page, go to Groups.
  3. Click Create dynamic group.
  4. Enter the following information:
    Field Description
    Name

    Name that identifies the group in lists and messages. Use these guidelines:

    • Names can be up to 73 characters long.
    • Use names that make it easy to identify the group’s purpose.
    Description Purpose of the group. The information appears on the group’s About page. You could include information about group members, group content, an FAQ, and links to related groups.
    Group email

    ​Email address used for the group. If more than one domain appears, select the appropriate domain from the list. Email addresses can be up to 63 characters long. This limit doesn't include the address domain, such as @example.com.

    Some words are reserved and can't be used as email addresses. Visit Words that can't be used in email addresses.

  5. Build your membership query. In the:
    1. Condition list—Select the criteria to use for membership.
      For example, to set up a group for people in your organization who work in a certain department, choose User department.
    2. Value field—Enter the value you want to use.
      You can only create one query for each group. 
  6. (Optional) Use multiple condition-value pairs to build your membership query. To include people who meet:
    • All conditions—From the list, select And.
    • At least one of the conditions—From the list, select Or.
  7. Click Next.
  8. (Optional) Change access settings to suit your needs.
  9. Click Create Group.
  10. Click Done.
    You can create up to 100 dynamic groups per customer. This limit can be increased on a case-by-case basis—contact Google Workspace Support with your specific use case to request an increase.

Automate security policies using dynamic security groups

You can enforce policies using dynamic groups by first adding a security label to them.

For example, you might set policies for everyone at your company who works in a specific geographic location. 

  1. Create a dynamic group of everyone with that location in their user profiles.
    As employees move and change their location in their profile, the system automatically adds or removes them from the dynamic group. 
  2. Add a security label to the dynamic group.
    Doing so allows you to apply policies to dynamic groups.
  3. Create a policy and choose which policies take precedence by following the steps in Customize service settings with configuration groups.

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