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Unexpected changes in group membership

This page is for administrators. To manage groups for your own account, visit Google Groups help.

When users change their personal account information, you might see unexpected changes in group membership. For example, a member might disappear, or their email address might switch from an alternate to primary address.

For example, if you add a group member with the email address (the alternate email address of the Gmail account

  • When John Doe deletes the Google Account associated with, the alternate address,, disappears from the group.
  • When John Doe removes as the alternate email address for, (the primary email address of the account) appears as a group member. Messages sent to the group are now delivered to, not to
  • If John Doe belonged to any groups using his alternate email address and you create a user account for him using that address, he retains membership in his groups, but it appears with his primary address. Messages to the group are delivered to, not

Investigate email removals or replacements

The way Google Groups manages memberships through accounts doesn’t affect members without associated Google Accounts. For them, only administrators or managers of Google Workspace organizations can change their group memberships.

To review changes to groups, use the Groups audit log.

Investigate group type

Membership in dynamic groups is based on a membership query you or another administrator sets up. If the query changes, membership in the group changes automatically. If a member's profile changes so they no longer meet the conditions for a dynamic group’s query, the system automatically removes them from the group.

For more details, visit Manage membership automatically with dynamic groups.

Still need help?

Contact Google Workspace support.

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