Customize a directory for a team or group

Example of user visibility for a custom directory

By default, users in your organization can find the profile information of everyone else. To limit who users can find in autocomplete lists, Contacts, and searches, set up a custom directory. Assign directories by organizational unit, so some users get a custom directory while some get all contacts in the Directory or none. Learn more about visibility settings.

For example, you can set up a custom directory for temporary employees that includes only people in their team and let full-time employees find all users in the Directory.

You can create up to 100 custom directories.

Required privileges

To create custom directories, you need all the following administrator privileges:

  • Services > Services Settings
  • Admin API Privileges > Groups > Read (minimum required if groups are already set up). If you need to create or edit groups, you'll need those additional Groups privileges.

Step 1: Hide the Directory

If you don’t want users to find contact information until you set up your custom directories, turn off contact sharing.

Step 2: Organize your users

Set up organizational units and groups to use custom directories. To add users to a custom directory, you put the users in groups and add those groups to the custom directory. You then assign custom directories to organizational units.

  1. Create organizational units that correspond to the sets of users who you'll assign custom directories to. For example, if you want full-time employees to use a different directory than interns, create an organizational unit for each set of employees.
  2. Add users to organizational units.

  3. Create Google groups and add users to them. You use these groups to populate custom directories. For example, you could create groups of executives, full-time employees, interns, and vendors.
    Note: Dynamic Groups cannot be added to a custom directory.

Tip: To hide the members of a group, set the group’s access level to Restricted. To hide the group email address from users who aren't group members, hide the group from the Groups directory.

Step 3: Create a custom directory

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu ""and then"" Directoryand thenDirectory settings.
  3. Click Visibility settings.
  4. On the left, select the organizational unit you want to create the directory for.
  5. In the Directory visibility section, select Users in a custom directory.
  6. At the bottom, click Create New.
  7. Enter a name for the custom directory.
  8. In the Include groups section, check the boxes next to the groups you want to include in the custom directory. To go directly to a group, enter the name of the group and click Search.

    Note: When you add a group to a custom directory, the group is not hidden from other users. Everyone can find the Group address and view group members if group access levels allow it. Learn more about how to manage groups.

  9. Click Create, and then click Save.

Step 4: Show the Directory

To let people in your organization find and use contact information, turn on contact sharing. Now:

  • Users that are assigned a custom directory can find only people in that custom directory. They can find all shared external contacts. They can also find all Groups that are visible to them.
  • Users in organizational units that aren’t assigned a custom directory can find either:
    • Everyone in the Directory, if their organizational unit doesn’t inherit a custom directory, or
    • Only people in a custom directory, if their organizational unit inherits a custom directory from a parent organizational unit.

It can take up to 24 hours for changes to custom directories to become available.

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