Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Turn Google+ on or off for users

As a Google Apps administrator, you can control who in your organization uses Google+ from their managed account. Google+ is turned on by default for new Google Apps customers, but administrators have the ability to control whether Google+ is on or off for users in a domain or an organizational unit.

Users who have Google+ enabled can use it for social networking at your company or school, and can also use Google+ for sharing beyond your domain.

Before you begin, carefully review the following requirements and considerations:

Before disabling Google+

Notes:

  • If you disable Google+, your users can no longer create new Google+ content, but they can still access existing content using the direct link. This includes content restricted to your organization.
  • If you disable Google+, your users can no longer sign in to Google+, but some Google+ data will still be visible unless users first delete their Google+ profile. For example, if the user’s Google+ profile is not deleted, public Google+ content created by that user can still be viewed. Domain restricted content is still shown in domains where Google+ is disabled. Users cannot create new content or modify existing content.

 

Tell your users about the coming changes

  • Let your users know when they'll no longer be able to sign in to Google+ using their Google accounts. When Google+ is turned off, users cannot create new Google+ posts, but they can still access existing content using the direct link. This includes content restricted to your organization. 
  • If Google+ is turned on again, all content can be accessed normally and users can create new posts. This includes public posts, posts restricted to your domain, and privately shared posts.
  • To permanently delete all visible Google+ data, the user or administrator must delete the user’s Google+ profile. Profile data will not be accessible even if the Google+ service is turned on again.
Note: Users can delete their Google+ profile only if Google+ is still enabled.  Administrators can always delete Google+ profiles, even if Google+ is turned off.
 

Data that is still visible after Google+ is turned off

Users can visit the downgrade page without deleting their profile to learn more about the data that is deleted or not deleted. For example:

If a user’s Google+ profile is not deleted when Google+ is turned off, the following Google+ data is still visible to others:

  • Google+ Profiles: The sections of users’ profiles that they shared publicly are still visible to anyone on the web.
  • Posts: All of a user’s posts (text, photos, and videos) are still visible to anyone with whom they shared them.

Even if a user’s Google+ profile is deleted, some data is still visible.  For example:

  • Any photos and videos that users shared through Google Photos are not deleted, even if users delete their Google+ profile.
    • Users can still access their photos and videos in Google Photos, unless you also disable that service.
    • If you also disable Google Photos, users’ photos are not deleted. Anyone with whom users have shared photos can still view those photos.
    • Even if Google Photos is disabled, the users’ photos are still available using the Google album archive, which is never disabled.

Before enabling Google+

Before you turn on Google+ for your organization, review the following information to understand the requirements and impact.

Check if Google+ is already turned on

Google+ is automatically turned on for new Google Apps for Work domains.

To check if Google+ is on or off for your existing domain:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Appsand thenGoogle Appsand thenGoogle+.
  3. The status is displayed next to the G+ icon:
    • On for everyone
    • Off (for everyone)
    • On for some organizations

For example, Google+ may be turned on if all of the following applied when Google+ was released:

Use organizational units to turn on Google+ for specific users
To turn the service on or off for select groups of users, put their accounts in an organizational unit.

Users must have a Google+ profile

Users must have a Google+ profile to use Google+.

Users must must be 13 or older

To join Google+, users must be 13 or older. If people who don't meet this age requirement try to join Google+, their entire account -- including Gmail and other services -- will be suspended. Learn more
Don't turn on Google+ for users who don't meet Google+ age requirements. Turn on Google+ only in organizational units where all users meet the requirements. If an underage user tries to sign up for Google+, his or her entire Google Apps account—including Gmail and other services—is disabled.

Users should use their common name in Google+

To make it easier for people can find one another on Google+, users should sign up for Google+ using the name they're most commonly known by. Learn more

Security considerations

Users can share information with others outside your domain

To use Google+, users must have a Google+ Profile, which is publicly visible to anyone on the web. Profiles can be restricted from being indexed by search engines to make them harder to find, but the basic Google+ profile, which is created by administrators and includes only the user’s name, is always visible to anyone with the user’s profile URL.

Profiles can be restricted from being indexed by search engines

Visibility of additional information

If a user also adds an (optional) profile photo, tagline, or cover photo, that information will also be visible to anyone with the user’s profile URL (these fields can't be restricted to the organization’s domain). The other profile fields can be restricted to your organization’s domain, and even to specific people within the domain. See Manage your Google+ for Work profile for more information.

Users can share content outside your domain

Users can share content, including text messages, photos, and videos, with other Google+ users outside your domain. They can also make any content they share publicly visible to anyone on the web. However, you can make the default setting for new posts restricted to your domain.  Learn more about restricting posts

Users can sign in to apps built by third parties

Google+ Sign-In lets users use their existing Google credentials to safely sign in to apps built by third parties. Users can then selectively share their online activity through their circles. Learn more.

Users can export or transfer their Google+ data

Users can export or transfer their Google+ data using Google Takeout, even if you’ve disabled Google+ for their accounts, if Google Takeout is turned on for their accounts (it's on by default). This data includes profiles, streams, circles, contacts, and photos. Learn more

Note: You can control access to Google Takeout using your Admin console. You'll find the on/off setting under Apps > Additional Google services > Google Takeout. For details, see Turn Additional Google Services on or off.

Legal requirements

In using Google+, your organization is solely responsible for complying with all laws and regulations that might be applicable to the provision of Google+ to your organization's end users. This includes but is not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Turn Google+ on or off

Disable Google+ in the Admin console
  1. Review the considerations before disabling Google+, and inform your users of the changes.
    1. Tell users about the Google+ data that will be deleted, and what data will still available.
    2. Ask users to delete their Google+ profile (or delete it for them), if necessary.
  2. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  3. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Appsand thenGoogle Appsand thenGoogle+.
  4. At the top of the gray box, click More More and choose Off to turn off the service for all users.
  5. Click again to confirm.
Enable Google+ in the Admin console

Before you begin: To turn the service on or off for select groups of users, put their accounts in an organizational unit.

  1. Review the considerations before enabling Google+.
  2. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  3. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Appsand thenGoogle Appsand thenGoogle+.
  4. At the top of the gray box, click More Settingsand choose:
    • On for everyone to turn on the service for all users (click again to confirm).
    • Off to turn off the service for all users (click again to confirm).
    • On for some organizations to change the setting only for some users.
  5. If you chose On for some organizations:
    1. Select the organization that contains the users whose settings you want to change.
    2. Click Override or Inherit, whichever appears.

      Override makes the setting stay the same, even if the parent setting changes.
      Inherit reverts to the same setting as its parent.

    3. If you clicked Override, click On On or Off Off to change the setting.
    4. Click Apply twice to confirm.

    Learn more about the organizational structure.

  6. Check the box to acknowledge Google+ conditions of use. Then click Turn Google+ on.
  7. Make sure users' required services are also turned on.
  8. Get users started with Google+.
Was this article helpful?
Sign in to your account

Get account-specific help by signing in with your Apps for Work account email address, or learn how to get started with Apps for Work.