Create a group in your organization

For email & distribution lists, sharing, configuring settings & more

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

As a Groups administrator, you can create groups for departments, teams, or other sets of users in your organization.

Where can I do this? You can create a group and add members in your Google Admin console or Google Groups. However, only groups created in your Admin console can be used as a configuration group.

How you can use groups

You can use groups for collaboration or to set up a feature or service configuration. The best way to create a group is in your Admin console. Here, it can be easier to find group members or add a lot of members at once. If you create a group in Google Groups, it can’t be used to configure features or services.

Communication or collaboration (includes email lists)

Create a group in the Admin console or Google Groups so your users can:

  • Send email to all group members with a single address
  • Invite group members to a meeting
  • Share content with members, including documents, sites, videos, and calendars
  • Participate in discussions or a Collaborative Inbox in Google Groups (requires turning on Groups for Business)

Feature or service configuration

Group must be created in the Admin console, not using Google Groups.

In addition, you can use a group to:

Option 1: Use the Admin console to create a group

Expand all  |  Collapse all & go to top

For configuration or communication and collaboration groups (includes email lists)

If Groups for Business is turned on, you can later go to Google Groups to set up more features that aren't available in your Admin console.

Step 1: Create a group
  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 thenGroups.
  3. At the top, click Create group.
  4. Enter the following details:
    Group details Description
    Group name
    Enter a name that identifies the group in lists and messages. Use these guidelines:
    • Use up to 73 characters for the names.
    • Use names that make it easy to identify the group’s purpose.

    For groups that you create in the Google Admin console, don't use the equal sign (=) or brackets (<,>). These characters can only be used for groups that you create in

    Group email

    Enter an email address for the group. If more than one domain is displayed, select the appropriate domain from the list. Follow these guidelines:

    • Email addresses can be up to 63 characters long. This limit doesn't include the domain portion of the address, such as
    • Some words are reserved and can't be used as email addresses. View reserved words.

    If you're creating your group in a work or school account, your email address might include a suffix, such as -user-created. For example, if your group name is training, the actual email address might be training-user-created@your_domain.


    (Optional) To add information to the group’s About page, enter the purpose of the group or how it's used. You could include information about group members, group content, an FAQ, links to related groups, and so on.

    For groups that you create in the Google Admin console, don't use the equal sign (=) or brackets (<,>). These characters can only be used for groups that you create in

    Group owner(s) (Optional) To add users who will have the owner role for the group, search for and select the name or email address.
  5. Click Next.
  6. (Optional) To add the Security label to the group, check the Security box. Learn more about security groups.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Choose a group access type—Public, Team, Announcement only, or Restricted.
    Each type includes predefined permissions for group owners, managers, and members, as well as whether the group is open to the entire organization or people outside the organization.
  9. (Optional) To customize the access settings, click the table cells to select or deselect an option. Customizing any options changes the group access type to Custom.
    Refer to the following table for setting descriptions:



    Access settings

    Determine what people can do in the group. You can also set role-based permissions for the group in Google Groups at Learn more about group roles.

    The External category includes anyone outside your organization. External people can be group members or non-members.

    • Who can contact group owners—Specifies who can directly email group owners.
    • Who can view conversations—Specifies who can view conversations posted in the group. Non-members outside of your organization (External) can only view conversations if Groups for Business sharing options are set to Public on the Internet.
    • Who can post—Specifies who can publish messages to the group. 
    • Who can view members—Specifies who can view group members.
    • Who can join the group—Specifies who can add people, invite people, and approve requests for the group.

    Who can join the group

    Select how to add people to the group:

    • Anyone in the organization can ask—People in the organization must ask and then be approved before they can join the group.
    • Anyone in the organization can join—People in the organization can add themselves to the group directly.
    • Only invited users—People can join the group only if they’re invited.

    Allow members outside your organization

    Turn this setting off to prevent external people from being added to the group. Or, turn it on to allow external people in the group.

    If you’re an administrator, you can always add external people to groups in the Google Admin console, regardless of the external membership setting.


  10. Click Next.
  11. (Optional) To restrict who can be members of this group, select Restrict membership and add your query conditions. Learn more about restricting group membership.
  12. Click Create Group.
  13. Continue with the next steps to add group members.
Step 2: Add group members

Add just a few members

  1. Click Add members .
  2. Click Add members.
  3. For users or groups, enter the first few characters of the email address and select it.
  4. For service accounts, enter the entire email address.
  5. Repeat the previous steps as needed.
  6. Click Add To Group.

All new members get the Member role and the All email subscription.

Add many members at once

To add a lot of members, try one of these methods:

Invite people to join

Requires turning on Groups for Business

If you’d like to give people the option to join your group, send them an invitation. If they accept the invitation, they’re added to your group.

To invite people to join a group, follow the steps in the Learning Center to invite someone via email.

Option 2: Use Google Groups to create a group

Only for communication and collaboration groups. Requires turning on Groups for Business To use your group as a configuration group, follow the steps above on this page to instead create it in the Admin console. If you create a group in Google Groups, it can't be used to configure features or services.

Another way to create a communication or collaboration group, such as an email list, is using Google Groups. There, you can also add features such as for moderated discussions or a Collaborative Inbox.

To create a group in Google Groups, follow the steps in steps in the Learning Center to create a group.

After you create a group

  • It can take up to 24 hours for a new group to appear in your Groups directory, which all users can access. To hide a group from the directory, you need to allow group owners to hide groups. For more information, see Set organization-wide policies for using groups.
  • Wait a few minutes for your new group to become active before sending a message to it. Otherwise, you might get a notification that your message couldn't be delivered.

Advanced options for large organizations

Next steps

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