Groups administrator FAQ

Below are common questions about managing Google Groups for a team of Google Apps users.

Overview

Who can create groups?

Google Apps administrators can create groups for your entire organization using the Groups control in the Admin console. With Groups for Business, you can optionally allow users to create groups.

Can I add members outside my Google Apps account to a group?

Yes. You can add external vendors, clients, or customers to a group.

Do groups appear on a user's Contacts page?

A group appears in Contacts, under All Contacts, only after you send a message to that group.

How do Groups differ from the groups feature in Contacts?

Contact groups in Google Contacts are lists of email addresses that users can assemble to create mailing lists for their own personal use. The lists that you create on your Contacts page aren't available for other people in the organization to use.

Can messages to a group be moderated?

Yes, but only if you use Groups for Business.

Can I migrate groups from my existing mail system?

Yes, you can use either Google Apps Directory Sync or the Google Provisioning API to migrate groups (mailing lists) on your LDAP server to Google Apps. Learn more

Is there an API for creating groups?

Yes, the Provisioning API (2.0 or later) supports provisioning of groups. Learn more

Groups for Business

What is Google Groups for Business?

Google Groups for Business is a service available with Google Apps that gives additional capabilites over the groups you can create using the Groups control in your Admin console. For details, see About Google Groups.

Can I use Groups for Business with the legacy Free edition of Google Apps? How does Groups for Business differ from Admin console Groups?

With Groups for Business, users can create and manage their own organization-wide groups. Plus, you can create collaborative inboxes, Web forums, and Q&A forums. For details, see About Google Groups.

Will ads appear in the Groups for Business service?

No.

What languages does Groups for Business support?

For users, the Groups for Business interface can be displayed in 42 languages. Group owners and managers can set the language in which a group's automated email messages appear.

For administrators, the Groups for Business settings in the Admin console are available in multiple languages. Learn more about setting a language in the Admin console.

What happens to my Admin console groups if I turn on Groups for Business?

If you created groups using the Groups control in the Admin console, and then turn on Google Groups for Business, all your existing groups are migrated to the new service and remain on the Groups page in your Admin console. All members, roles, and equivalent access settings are retained in these groups, and users can still send email to them.

Can I turn on Groups for Business for specific users?

Yes. First, separate users into different organizational units in the Admin console. Then turn on the Groups for Business service for just those organizations.

Can I use Groups for Business without turning on the Gmail service?

Yes, if you turn on Groups for Business for a domain that doesn't use Gmail, your users can still use Groups to:

  • Post messages on group discussion archives
  • Share content (Google documents, sites, videos, and calendars) with group addresses

Of course, in this case, email messages sent to groups won't be delivered.

Controls

Can I control how people use Groups for Business?

Yes. As a Google Apps administrator, you can turn on Groups for Business or disable it. If the service is on, you still retain full control over the groups in your organization. You can also prevent users from adding external members to their groups, edit or delete users' groups, or even stop users from creating their own groups altogether.

Can I enforce a user's membership in a group?

You can control whether users can add themselves to a specific group. But you can't prevent users from removing themselves from groups. To ensure that users remain members of specific groups (for example, an "all employees" group), maintain the group on an LDAP server, and use Google Apps Directory Sync to periodically synchronize those groups with Google Apps.

Are messages posted by administrators ever moderated?

No. Any messages that an administrator sends to a moderated group are not moderated, regardless of whether the administrator is a member of that group. This exception also applies to moderated groups created by other administrators.

What happens if a group owner leaves the company?

The group continues to work normally. As an administrator, you can manage the group or assign ownership to another user.

Can I disable the unsubscribe footer for external group members?

No, all messages to the group will include the unsubscribe footer for external members. This prevents domains from adding users to their groups who may not wish to be members, without giving them the option to unsubscribe.

Multiple domains

Can I create a group address in any of my organization's domains?

Yes. If your Google Apps account has multiple domains, then when you create a group, you can choose which domain to use for the group's email address.

Can a group have members from multiple domains?

Yes. If your Google Apps account has multiple domains, you can mix and match members from different domains in a single group.

Can users in any of my domains use Groups for Business?

Yes, if your Google Apps account has multiple domains, users in any of those domains can use Groups for Business.

Limits

Are there limits to group memberships or messages sent to groups?

Yes. To fight spam and email abuse, Google imposes limits including the maximum:

  • Number of groups per owner
  • Number of messages sent to a group within a short time period
  • Number of messages sent at once to external group members
  • Sending mesages to large groups
  • Message size sent to a group
  • And more

To see all limits, see Group message sending limits, Email sending limits, and Member limits.

Is there a limit to the number of groups a user can create?

There's no limit, but a user can be the owner of at most 1,000 groups. If a user creates a group, that user is automatically the owner of the group. However, users can edit their groups to remove their ownership at any time, so it's possible for a user to create any number of groups.

What is the maximum number of members a group can have?

With Google Apps, a group can have up to 100 members. With Google Apps for Work and Education, there's no limit to the number of members a group can have.

Is there a size limit for messages sent to a group?

Yes, the maximum size limit for messages sent to a group is 25 MB, including attachments (the normal Gmail limit). Group owners or managers can edit specific groups to set lower size limits. The default size for a message sent in Google Groups is 25 MB.

Are there any types of messages I can't send to a group?

You can't send or forward non-delivery receipts (NDRs), also called "bounce messages", to a group. Messages that resemble NDRs are also not permitted.

Does the Google Apps Service Level Agreement apply to Google Groups?

Yes, the Google Apps Service Level Agreement applies to the Google Groups component of your Google Apps service.

Security

How secure are user-managed groups?

With Groups for Business, you and users can set an appropriate security level for user-managed groups. For example, as an administrator, you can prevent users from adding external addresses to their groups, and you can edit or delete any groups that users create.

Are group discussion archives accessible to the outside world?

With Groups for Business, you can set sharing options to prevent people outside your organization from accessing any of your domain's group archives. Or, if you do allow outside access to archives, group owners and managers can still prevent outside access to their specific groups' archives.

If I use groups, will I get more spam?

You have the option of allowing people outside your domain to send messages to a group. If a malicious sender knows that group's address, members of the group might receive more spam. We strongly recommend that you carefully consider the options you choose for any groups you create.

To improve spam filtering for a specific group, you can change the group's spam moderation settings.

Do recipients of a message sent to a group see the member addresses in the To line?

No. If you send an email message or meeting invitation to a group, recipients see only the group name (rather than individual names or addresses) in the To line of the message or invitation.

If I send a meeting invitation to a group, can I see all group members in the invitation?

If you invite a group to a meeting, all of the group's members appear in the invitation on your calendar only if you have the appropriate access permissions for that group. This limitation upholds the privacy settings for a group, and it applies to both users and administrators.

Group and message retention

How long are email messages kept in group discussion archives?

A group's archive never expires, so messages remain in an archive until the group is deleted.

Does setting an email retention period delete group messages after that time?

No, the email retention feature doesn't affect messages in a group's archive. Messages remain in an archive until the group is deleted.

What happens to my groups if I disable Groups for Business?

If you disable Groups for Business, all the groups that you or your users created remain active, but the groups won't have any of the advanced features available with the Groups for Business service. If you re-enable Groups for Business, all the groups' settings are restored.

What happens to my groups if I downgrade to the legacy Free edition of Google Apps?

If you downgrade back to the legacy Free edition, all your groups remain active. However, if your groups exceed the group and membership limits for Google Apps, you can't add new groups or members until you bring your groups below those limits. Also, if the Google Groups for Business service is turned on before you downgrade, your groups won't have any of the advanced features available with that service.

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