Manage settings for your organization

Set up sharing in Groups for Business


This article is for administrators. To manage your own groups, visit the Google Groups help.This feature requires turning on Google Groups for Business.

Groups for Business sharing options determine how users access and work in groups, including if:

  • People outside your organization can view and participate in your organization's groups.
  • Users in your organization can create their own groups.
  • Group owners can add people outside your organization to groups.

These options set the organization-wide defaults and available options for group owners. Owners can also set group-level settings, and group members can manage their own group memberships. See Manage your own subscriptions & global settings.

Step 1: Open sharing options

First, access sharing options.

  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 Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGroups for Business.
  3. Click Sharing settings.

Step 2: Apply your settings

Next, select your preferences.

Accessing groups from outside this organization

Your options for controlling external access to your groups are:

  • Public on the Internet—Anyone inside or outside your organization can view the list of groups in your Groups directory. Depending on a group's settings, people can:
    • View the group's information page, including its discussion archive.
    • Manage their subscriptions to the group.
    • Post messages to the group.
  • Private—Only people in your organization can access your organization's groups in Google Groups. External members, if allowed, can access groups by email only.

If you change these access settings, the change affects new and existing groups. If you change the access from public to private and any existing groups have external members, those members can:

  • No longer access their groups in Google Groups, regardless of the group settings
  • Still send email to and receive email from their groups, depending on the group settings

Creating groups

Option Description
Only organization admins can create groups Any administrator in your organization can create groups in the Admin console. Members can't create groups, but they can access their own groups and your Groups directory.
Anyone in the organization can create groups Users in your organization can create groups. If you change this option to only allow admins to create groups:
  • Existing user-created groups remain active.
  • Messages can still be sent to user-created groups.
Anyone on the internet can create groups Users in your organization and anyone on the web can create groups. This setting is available if the organization-wide group access option is set to public.

External user options

Using the options in the table below, you can let group owners allow (at the group level) members or emails from outside the organization. Selecting the options doesn't set them as a default or mean owners must give these permissions. Leaving the options unchecked means that group owners cannot allow external group members or emails. Changing them affects only groups created in the future, not existing groups.

If you set the organization-wide group access setting to private and choose these external user options:

Group owners can allow external members Group owners can allow incoming email from outside the organization Result
Both organization and external users can become group members and post messages to the group. External members can post by email only.
  Both organization and external users can become group members, but only organization members can post messages to the group.

Example: A feature testing group where you want external members to receive messages from the group but only provide feedback through specific channels, not through the group

  Only organization users can become group members, but both organization and external users can post messages to the group. External users can post by email only and can’t view messages from the group.

Example: A customer support team group where you want external users to be able to submit messages but not see the group content

    Only organization users can become members and post messages to the group.

Default for permission to view conversations

You can set the default for who can view conversations in your organization’s groups. Group owners and managers can change the default setting for any individual group.

This setting is not available for groups created in the Admin console or Cloud Directory APIs.

Option Who can view conversations
Owners only Only people with the owner role
Owners and managers Only people with the owner or manager role
All group members Anyone with the member role

(If you set the organization-wide group access setting to private, external group members, if allowed, can only view conversations by email.)

All organization users Anyone in your organization, regardless of whether they're group members
Anyone on the internet Anyone, including people outside your organization

Setting the organization-wide group access setting to private:

  • Automatically disables this option
  • Changes this option (if selected) to All organization users

Group visibility

For groups created in your organization, default group visibility settings determine whether groups appear in search results and in your organization's directory. Group members can always see the groups they belong to in the directory. Changes to default settings apply only to groups created in the future, not existing groups.

If you choose the Group owners can hide groups from the directory option:

  • Group owners can choose to allow only members to view their group in the directory. (If you leave it unchecked, then your public or private organization-wide group access setting determines group visibility.)
  • You can use the Hide newly created groups from the directory option to set the default visibility for new groups:
    • Checked—Only members can see new groups. Depending on your organization-wide group access settings, group owners can let all organization members or anyone on the web see their groups.
    • Unchecked—Depending on your organization-wide group access settings, all organization members or anyone on the web can see new groups. Group owners can let only members see their groups.
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