Groups administrator FAQ

This article is for G Suite administrators. To manage your own groups, visit the Google Groups help." "

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Who can create groups?
As a G Suite Groups administrator, you control who can create groups in your organization. You do this by turning the Groups for Business service ON or OFF and choosing Groups for Business sharing settings.
Can I add people outside my G Suite account to groups?

Yes. You can add external vendors, clients, customers, and others to your groups. You can do this in the Google Admin console. Other people can add external members to groups if you allow external members in the Groups for Business sharing settings

Do groups appear on a user's Contacts page?

Yes, but only after a user sends a message to the group. Groups a user has sent messages to appear under All Contacts. 

Learn more about Google Contacts

How do Groups differ from the groups feature in Google Contacts?

Both Google Groups and Google Contacts make it easy to email groups of people using mailing lists. The difference is that you can't share mailing lists you create in Contacts. Contact mailing lists are for individual use. Google Groups have email addresses that can be used by anyone.

Learn more about Google Contacts

Can messages to a group be moderated?

Yes, you can review messages before allowing them to be posted to the group. To moderate messages you need to:

Can I migrate groups from my existing mail system?

Yes, you can use Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) to migrate groups (mailing lists) on your LDAP server to G Suite. Learn more about GCDS

Is there an API for creating and managing groups?

Yes, you can use the Directory API. Learn more about the Directory API

Groups for Business

What is Google Groups for Business?

Google Groups for Business is a G Suite core service. As an administrator, you control your organization's settings for this service in the Google Admin console. Groups for Business settings and your G Suite license type determine what your organization can do in the Google Groups interface (

Learn more about Groups for Business

Can I use Groups for Business with the legacy Free edition of G Suite?
Yes. However, some features require G Suite Basic or higher. Learn more about license requirements
How do groups created in the Admin console differ from groups created in

Groups created in Admin console and in can be used as mailing lists, Collaborative Inboxes, and Q&A forums if Groups for Business is ON.

In addition, groups created in the Admin console, Directory API, or Google Cloud Directory Sync can be used to:

  • Turn on G Suite services for group members—You can turn on G Suite services, such as Google Drive, for a group of users rather than an entire organizational unit. Learn about access groups.
  • Configure G Suite services for group members—Apply settings for G Suite services, such as Google Meet, to a group of users rather than an entire organizational unit. Learn about configuring services using a group.

Note: Only groups created in the Admin console can be used to turn on services. Groups created in Google Groups ( can't be used to turn on or configure G Suite services.

Learn more Groups for Business settings and Groups interfaces

Will ads appear in Google Groups?


What languages does Google Groups support?

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

For administrators, the Admin console is available in multiple languages. Learn about setting a language in the Admin console

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


After you turn on Google Groups for Business, any groups that you already created with the Groups control in the Google Admin console become visible in your corporate Groups directory, depending on each group's visibility settings. (It might take up to 24 hours for the groups to appear.) Your existing groups keep their current sharing settings.

If you later turn Groups for Business back on:

  • Access to Google Groups is restored—You and your users can access advanced settings for your groups at 

  • Deleted groups aren't restored—If you delete any groups after turning off Groups for Business, those groups are not restored.

  • Access to archived messages is restored—For groups that had message archiving turned on, the archive includes group messages that were posted when Groups for Business was off. Turning Groups for Business off or on doesn’t affect message archiving for groups. However, users can access the message archive only if Groups for Business is on.


Learn more about turning Groups for Business ON or OFF

Can I turn on Groups for Business for specific users?


To turn on or off a service only for users in an organizational unit:

  1. At the left, select the organizational unit.
  2. Select On or Off.
  3. To keep the service turned on or off even when the service is turned on or off for the parent organizational unit, click Override.
  4. If the organization's status is already Overridden, choose an option:
    • Inherit—Reverts to the same setting as its parent.
    • Save—Saves your new setting (even if the parent setting changes).

Learn more about organizational structure.

To turn on a service for a set of users across or within organizational units, select an access group. For details, go to turn on a service for a group.
Can I use Groups for Business without turning on the Gmail service?

Yes. If a domain doesn't use Gmail, and your Groups for Business settings allow, your users can still:

  • Send and receive messages to the group using other email clients, such as Microsoft® Outlook® 
  • Post messages in the Google Groups interface,
  • Share content, such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar, and videos, with group addresses


Can I control how people use Groups for Business?

Yes. As a G Suite 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 Cloud Directory Sync to periodically synchronize those groups with G Suite.

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.

Multiple domains

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

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

Can a group have members from multiple domains?

Yes. If your G Suite 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 G Suite account has multiple domains, users in any of those domains can use Groups for Business.


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
  • Messages sent to a group within a short time period
  • Messages sent at once to external group members

To see all limits, see Understand Groups policies and 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?

Groups in G Suite editions can have an unlimited number of members. 

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).

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 G Suite Service Level Agreement apply to Google Groups?

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


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.

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 & 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?

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 G Suite, 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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