Migrate mailing lists to Google Groups

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

As a G Suite Groups administrator, you can migrate your existing mailing lists (email groups) on an LDAP server to Google Groups, using either the Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) or Admin SDK’s Directory API.

Migrate mailing lists

Using Google Cloud Directory Sync

Use Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) to create new groups for any mailing lists on your LDAP server or Microsoft Active Directory that you want to use with your organization's G Suite account. GCDS synchronizes only groups and their memberships, not the contents or settings of the groups.

GCDS provides a one-way synchronization, so you can continue to maintain your groups on your LDAP server and then synchronize them with Google Groups periodically.

How synchronization works

Synchronization works only with groups that were created in the Google Admin console—that is, groups that either an administrator added directly or GCDS migrated from your LDAP server. If the Groups for Business service is enabled, GCDS ignores user-created groups.

Each time you run GCDS, it:

  • Overwrites the members list, owner, and description for groups that also exist on your LDAP server, but ignores the access settings for these groups
  • Deletes groups that don't also exist on your LDAP server

You can create exclusion rules in GCDS to prevent it from overwriting or deleting specific groups.

If Groups for Business is enabled

Each time you run GCDS, it:

  • Ignores all groups that users or administrators created using the Groups for Business user interface
  • Ignores any group's discussion archives and all settings that are available only in the Groups for Business service interface
  • Doesn't add any groups you created on your LDAP server that have the same address as a group that a user already created
Using Admin SDK's Directory API

Use this Directory API to create your own tool to synchronize mailing lists on your LDAP server with G Suite. This option requires programming expertise.

Default settings for migrated groups

Groups you migrate to Google Groups receive the following access settings that you can edit after migration:

Setting name Default setting
New Groups Classic Groups  
Who can see group Group visibility

Anyone in the organization and all group owners, managers, and members

Note: If the administrator sets a domain-wide setting to hide new groups, by default, only group owners, managers, and members can see new groups in the organization.

Who can view members View members All group owners, managers, and members
Who can join group Join the group Anyone in the organization
Allow external members Allow members external to this organization


Who can post Post

Anyone in the organization

Allow web posting Allow users to post to the group on the web Allowed
Who can manage members Manage members Group owners and managers only
Message moderation Moderate messages Disabled
Conversation history Archive messages to the group Disabled

If Groups for Business is enabled, all migrated groups use the Groups for Business sharing settings.

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