Unexpected change in group membership

Problem:  A group member disappears from the group, or has their email address change, without any action on your part as administrator.

Possible cause:  Changes to another Google account that's associated with the group member. You add a group member using their email address. However, if the email address you're adding is associated with a different Google account, either as a primary, secondary, or alternate email for that account, then that Google account is also linked to the group, and changes to that account will affect group membership.

Example:  You add a group member with the email address john.doe@yahoo.com. This address is also set up as the alternate email address of the Gmail account john.doe@gmail.com.

This now links the Google account associated with john.doe@gmail.com to the group. Here are some possible outcomes:

  • If John Doe deletes the Google account associated with john.doe@gmail.com, john.doe@yahoo.com will disappear as a member of the group.
  • If John Doe removes john.doe@yahoo.com as the alternate email address for john.doe@gmail.com, then john.doe@gmail.com (the primary email address of the underlying Google account) starts appearing as a member of the group. Also, messages sent to the group are now delivered to john.doe@gmail.com (not to john.doe@yahoo.com).

Investigate email removals or replacements

The way Google Groups manages memberships through accounts doesn’t affect members without an associated Google account. For them, only administrators or managers of G Suite domains can change their group membership.

Administrators can use the Groups audit log to help answer questions about changes to groups within the domain.

Still need help?

Contact G Suite support.
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