Groups for Business administrator FAQ

Overview

What is the Google Groups for Business service? Which Google Apps editions have the Google Groups for Business service?

The service is available for Google Apps for Business and Education. If you're using Google Apps and want to take advantage of the new Google Groups for Business service, you can upgrade to Google Apps for Business.

How does the Google Groups for Business service differ from the free version of Google Groups?

The Google Groups for Business service is similar to the free version of Google Groups but was designed to work specifically with the enterprise environment. See the Groups FAQ for administrators for questions related to the free version.

Here are the primary differences:

  • Sharing options: As a Google Apps administrator, you can set sharing options for the Google Groups for Business service to limit what users can do. For example, you can prevent users from adding members who are outside their domain and prevent people outside their domain from sending email to groups.
     
  • Profile page: The Google Groups for Business service also lets your users view a Profile page for any other user. This page lists all the groups the user is a member of, except for private groups.
     
  • Groups directory: The Google Groups for Business service includes a company Groups directory, which lists only the groups for your domain.
How is the Google Groups for Business service different from the "groups" feature in Contacts?

Contact groups in Google Contacts are simply lists of email addresses that let users quickly enter multiple addresses at once in their email messages, meeting invitations, and so on. Although groups that users create using Google Groups for Business are also lists of email addresses, they have their own group email address, so anyone with permission can send messages to that address. Also, users can share content -- such as Google documents and sites -- with group addresses. And, unlike contact groups, the Google Groups for Business groups service includes advanced features, such as discussion archives and moderation controls.

Will ads appear in the Google Groups for Business service?

No, your users won't see any ads in the Google Groups for Business service for Google Apps for Business or Education.

What languages does the Google Groups for Business service support?

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

For administrators, the Google Groups for Business settings in the Admin console are available in multiple languages, if you're using the "Current version" Admin console. Learn more about setting a language in the Admin console

Enabling Google Groups for Business

What happens to my existing groups if I enable Google Groups for Business?

All of your existing groups are migrated to the new service and remain on the Groups page in your admin panel. They also receive different default access settings, depending on whether the groups were created before or after the Google Groups for Business service was released. Learn more

Can I turn on Google Groups for Business for specific users?

Yes. To turn on Google Groups for Business for specific users, separate users into different organizational units in the Admin console, and then turn the Google Groups for Business service on or off for those organizations. Learn more about creating organizational units

My organization's Google Apps account has multiple domains. Can users in any of our domains use the Google Groups for Business service?

Yes, users in any of your domains can use the Google Groups for Business service interface to manage or create groups or view group information, such as members and archives. Also, groups can contain members in any of your domains, and users in any of your domains can send and receive messages to and from groups. Learn more about using multiple domains

Can we use Google Groups for Business without the Google Apps Email service?

Yes, if you enable Google Groups for Business for a domain that doesn't use the Google Email service, your users can still use Google 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 get delivered.

User and administrator controls

Can I prevent users from adding or removing themselves to or from a group?

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

If a user-created group is moderated, are messages from administrators to the group 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.

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 happens if a user is the only owner of a group and that user leaves the company?

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

What happens to a group if all the members are removed?

The group continues to work normally. As an administrator, you can add new members to the group or even allow other users to subscribe on their own.

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.

Security and privacy

How secure are groups that users manage?

The Google Groups for Business service includes several options so 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. Learn more

Are group discussion archives accessible to the outside world?

As an administrator, you can 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. Learn more

Group and message retention

For 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.

If I set an email retention period for my domain -- for example, for 12 months -- will messages in a group's discussion archive be deleted after 12 months?

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 Google 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 Google Groups for Business service. If you re-enable Google Groups for Business, all the groups' settings are restored. Learn more

What happens to my groups if I downgrade to Google Apps from Google Apps for Business?

If you downgrade your Google Apps domain to Google Apps, 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 enabled before you downgrade, your groups won't have any of the advanced features available with that service. Learn more