Overview: Set up and manage the Directory

As a Directory administrator, you can store profile information for users in your organization, email and group addresses, and shared external contacts in the Directory. This information helps your users find and communicate with each other and understand their roles in the organization. You can add user information and control user visibility in Google Contacts and other Google services.

When the Directory is turned on (the default setting):

  • Individual and group addresses autocomplete as users enter them in Google services like Gmail, Google Docs, and Drive
  • Calendar intelligently suggests meeting rooms based on the location and number of guests (requires Calendar setup)
  • Users can find profile information in Contacts and other Google services. For example, when users point at or tap someone’s profile photo, they open a person information card.

You might turn off the Directory when you first set up Directory or to troubleshoot.

Set up Directory

To start, Directory might contain only names and email addresses. Add information to a user's profile.

Some other setup options:

  • Add custom fields to Directory. Learn more
  • Allow people to change some or none of their profile information. Learn more
  • Set which email addresses (alias, secondary, domain) show in Directory. Learn more
  • Add shared external contacts to the Directory. Learn more
  • Let third-party apps access Directory data. Learn more

Customize directories for teams or groups

By default, people in your organization can find the profile information of everyone else. To let some users in your organization find only a subset of users in your organization, assign them a custom directory.

  • Share everyone—You might choose this option if you’re a small organization where everyone needs to connect with everyone else.
  • Share a customized directory—You might want to let people in one organizational unit find only people in certain groups, while other organizational units can find everyone. You might choose this option if you’re a large organization where you want to restrict access to some contacts for some people. For example, you might let full-time employees find everyone in the Directory but let interns find only the people in their team.

Learn how to create custom directories.

Keep user information up-to-date

Use the Admin console, the Admin SDK Directory API, or Google Cloud Directory Sync to update the Directory when a person’s profile information or situation changes.

Related topics

Train people in your organization to use Contacts

How you set up Directory affects which contacts users can find in Contacts. To help people in your organization learn how to use Contacts, share these training resources.

When people use Contacts for work or school, they can let other users manage their contacts.

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