Groups log events

View changes to groups, group memberships, and group messages

Depending on your Google Workspace edition, you might have access to the security investigation tool, which has more advanced features. For example, super admins can identify, triage, and take action on security and privacy issues. Learn more

As your organization's administrator, you can run searches and take action on security issues related to Groups log events. For example, you can track changes to groups, group memberships, and group messages for users in your organization. You can also troubleshoot when users in your domain notice discrepancies and unexpected changes to their group activities. Entries usually appear within half an hour of the user action.

Note: To view actions performed within the Google Admin console, Google Cloud console, Admin SDK API, Cloud Identity API, and Google Groups user interface, go to Groups Enterprise log events.

For a full list of services and activities that you can investigate, such as Google Drive or user activity, see Run a search in the audit and investigation page.

Types of changes you can track

  • Group creation and deletion—You can verify that a group exists and was not recently deleted.
  • Member addition, removal, and banning—If a user didn't receive a group message, you can check the log event data to see if the user is a group member. If the user was removed or banned, the data also shows who removed or banned them and when. 
  • User invitations and join request approvals—You can verify whether a user received an invitation to join a group and whether the invitation was accepted or denied. You can also track whether a user’s request to join a group was approved or denied.
  • Group posting permission changes—Users may unexpectedly receive a bounce message saying that they're not permitted to post. Log event data shows any changes to the posting permissions that would prevent the user to post.
  • Spam moderation settings—If messages are sent to the moderation queue instead of being posted, log event data will show if message moderation was a recent settings change.
  • Other settings—When other settings are changed, log event data provides details about the changes.

Groups log events are only for the Google Groups interface. Event data tracks both user and admin actions executed using the Google Groups interface. Google Groups actions performed by administrators using the Admin console or the Admin SDK directory API are logged in Admin log events and Groups Enterprise log events.

Forward log event data to Google Cloud

You can opt in to share log event data with Google Cloud. If you turn on sharing, data is forwarded to Cloud Logging where you can query and view your logs and control how you route and store your logs.

The type of log event data you can share with Google Cloud depends on your Google Workspace, Cloud Identity, or Essentials account.

Run a search for log events

Your ability to run a search depends on your Google edition, your administrative privileges, and the data source. You can run a search on all users, regardless of their Google Workspace edition.

Audit and investigation tool

To run a search for log events, first choose a data source. Then, choose one or more filters for your search.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Reportingand thenAudit and investigationand thenGroups log events.
  3. Click Add a filter, and then select an attribute.
  4. In the pop-up window, select an operatorand thenselect a valueand thenclick Apply.
    • (Optional) To create multiple filters for your search, repeat this step.
    • (Optional) To add a search operator, above Add a filter, select AND or OR.
  5. Click Search.

    Note: Using the Filter tab, you can include simple parameter and value pairs to filter the search results. You can also use the Condition builder tab, where the filters are represented as conditions with AND/OR operators.

Security investigation tool
Supported editions for this feature: Frontline Standard, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, Enterprise Essentials Plus, Cloud Identity Premium. Compare your edition

To run a search in the security investigation tool, first choose a data source. Then, choose one or more conditions for your search. For each condition, choose an attribute, an operator, and a value

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Securityand thenSecurity centerand thenInvestigation tool.
  3. Click Data source and select Groups log events.
  4. Click Add Condition.
    Tip: You can include one or more conditions in your search or customize your search with nested queries. For details, go to Customize your search with nested queries.
  5. Click Attributeand thenselect an option.
    For a complete list of attributes, go to the Attribute descriptions section (later on this page).
  6. Select an operator.
  7. Enter a value or select a value from the list.
  8. (Optional) To add more search conditions, repeat steps 4–7.
  9. Click Search.
    You can review the search results from the investigation tool in a table at the bottom of the page.
  10. (Optional) To save your investigation, click Save and thenenter a title and descriptionand thenclick Save.

Notes

  • In the Condition builder tab, filters are represented as conditions with AND/OR operators. You can also use the Filter tab to include simple parameter and value pairs to filter the search results.
  • If you gave a user a new name, you will not see query results with the user's old name. For example, if you rename OldName@example.com to NewName@example.com, you will not see results for events related to OldName@example.com.

Attribute descriptions

For this data source, you can use the following attributes when searching log event data:

Attribute Description
Actor Email address of the user who performed the action
Actor group name

Group name of the actor. For more information, go to Filtering results by Google Group.

To add a group to your filtering groups allowlist:

  1. Select Actor group name.
  2. Click Filtering groups.
    The Filtering groups page displays.
  3. Click Add Groups.
  4. Search for a group by entering the first few characters of its name or email address. When you see the group you want, select it.
  5. (Optional) To add another group, search for and select the group.
  6. When you finish selecting groups, click Add.
  7. (Optional) To remove a group, click Remove group .
  8. Click Save.
Actor organizational unit Organizational unit of the actor
Date Date and time the event occurred (displayed in your browser's default time zone)
Event The logged event action, such as Create group, Invite user, or Reject join request.
Group email Email address of the group
Group permission setting Group permission setting for the actor—for example, Can add members, Can post, Can invite members, or Can delete topics
Info setting value Value of an update to the Group info setting
Message ID For messages sent by the actor, the unique message ID located in the message header
Message moderation Action taken by the actor to approve or reject a post/message
New value* New setting value after an action is taken by the actor
Old value* Old setting value after an action is taken by the actor
Role Actor's role in the group—for example, Manager, Member, or Owner
Setting* Action taken by the actor. For example, to allow external members, allow web posting, set the maximum message size, or specify the Group name.
Status Status of the action taken by the author—Succeeded or Failed
Target Email address of the target user
* You cannot create reporting rules with these filters. Learn more about reporting rules versus activity rules.

Note: If you gave a user a new name, you will not see query results with the user's old name. For example, if you rename OldName@example.com to NewName@example.com, you will not see results for events related to OldName@example.com.

Manage log event data

Manage search results column data

You can control which data columns appear in your search results.

  1. At the top-right of the search results table, click Manage columns .
  2. (Optional) To remove current columns, click Remove .
  3. (Optional) To add columns, next to Add new column, click the Down arrow  and select the data column.
    Repeat as needed.
  4. (Optional) To change the order of the columns, drag the data column names.
  5. Click Save.

Export search result data

You can export search results to Google Sheets or to a CSV file.

  1. At the top of the search results table, click Export all.
  2. Enter a name and then click Export.
    The export displays below the search results table under Export action results.
  3. To view the data, click the name of your export.
    The export opens in Google Sheets.

Export limits vary:

  • The total results of the export are limited to 100,000 rows (except for Gmail message searches, which are limited to 10,000 rows).
  • Supported editions for this feature: Frontline Standard, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, Enterprise Essentials Plus, Cloud Identity Premium. Compare your edition

    If you have the security investigation tool, the total results of the export are limited to 30 million rows (except for Gmail message searches, which are limited to 10,000 rows).

For more information, see Export search results.

When and how long is data available?

Take action based on search results

Create activity rules & set up alerts
  • You can set up alerts based on log event data using reporting rules. For instructions, see Create and manage reporting rules.
  • Supported editions for this feature: Frontline Standard, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, Enterprise Essentials Plus, Cloud Identity Premium. Compare your edition

    To help prevent, detect, and remediate security issues efficiently, you can automate actions in the security investigation tool and set up alerts by creating activity rules. To set up a rule, set up conditions for the rule, and then specify what actions to perform when the conditions are met. For details and instructions, see Create and manage activity rules.

Take action based on search results

Supported editions for this feature: Frontline Standard, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, Enterprise Essentials Plus, Cloud Identity Premium. Compare your edition

After you run a search in the security investigation tool, you can act on your search results. For example, you can run a search based on Gmail log events and then use the tool to delete specific messages, send messages to quarantine, or send messages to users' inboxes. For more details, go to Take action based on search results.

Manage your investigations

Supported editions for this feature: Frontline Standard, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, Enterprise Essentials Plus, Cloud Identity Premium. Compare your edition

View your list of investigations

To view a list of the investigations that you own and that were shared with you, click View investigations . The investigation list includes the names, descriptions, and owners of the investigations, and the date last modified. 

From this list, you can take action on any investigations that you own—for example, to delete an investigation. Check the box for an investigation, and then click Actions.

Note: Directly above your list of investigations, under Quick access, you can view recently saved investigations.

Configure settings for your investigations

As a super administrator, click Settings  to :

  • Change the time zone for your investigations. The time zone applies to search conditions and results.
  • Turn on or off Require reviewer. For more details, go to Require reviewers for bulk actions.
  • Turn on or off View content. This setting allows admins with the appropriate privileges to view content.
  • Turn on or off Enable action justification.

For instructions and details, go to Configure settings for your investigations.

Share, delete, and duplicate investigations

To save your search criteria or share it with others, you can create and save an investigation, and then share, duplicate, or delete it.

For details, go to Save, share, delete, and duplicate investigations.

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