Create a group

For email & distribution lists, sharing, configuring settings, and 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 groups of users in your organization.

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

How a group can be used

A group you create as shown here can be used in any of the following ways.

Communication or collaboration (includes email lists)

With a group, 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 at 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, Admins can use a group to:

Option 1: Use the Admin console to create a group

For communication and collaboration groups (includes email lists), and configuration groups.

The best way to create a group is in your Admin console. Here, it might be easier to find group members or add a lot of members at once. Your group can also be used in many ways.

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. On the Admin console Home page, go to Groups.
  3. In the upper-left corner, click Create group.
  4. Enter the following information, then click Next:
    Setting Description
    Enter a name that identifies the group in lists and messages. Use these guidelines:
    • Names can be up to 73 characters long.
    • 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


    Enter the purpose of the group or how it's used. The information appears on the group’s About page. 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 email

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

    Group owner(s) (Optional) Search for the name or email address of users who will have the owner role for this group.
  5. 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.
  6. (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 this table for descriptions of each setting:



    Access settings

    Choose settings for each category of users. These settings form the basis of what people are allowed to do in the group. However, you can also set role-based permissions for the group in Google Groups, Learn about group roles.

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

    • Contact owners—Who is allowed to email group owners directly.
    • View members—Who is allowed to view group members.
    • View conversations—Who is allowed to view conversations posted in the group. Non-members outside your organization (External) can only view conversations if Groups for Business sharing options are set to Public on the Internet.
    • Publish posts—Who is allowed to publish messages to the group. 

    Membership settings

    Choose whether group members who have the owner, manager, or member role can add people to the group directly, invite people to join the group, and approve requests to join the group.

    Who can join the group

    Choose 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 the setting on to allow external people in the group.

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


  7. Click Create Group.
  8. 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.
  9. Continue with the next steps to add group members.
Step 2: Add group members

Add just a few members

  1. Follow steps above to create your group.
  2. After creating the group, at the bottom, click the link to add members to your new group.
  3. Point to Add "" and click Add members.
  4. For users or groups, enter the first few characters of their email address. When you see the user or group you want, select them.
    For service accounts, enter the entire email address.
  5. Repeat the previous step to find more members.
  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, you might prefer 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. Only if they accept the invitation are they added to your group.

Get steps at the Learning Center: Invite people and respond to requests

Option 2: Use Google Groups

Requires turning on Groups for Business.

For communication and collaboration groups, only. To use your group as a configuration group, follow steps above to instead create it in the Admin console. Groups created in the Google Groups app 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.

Get steps at the Learning Center: Create a group using Google Groups

Using a recently created group

Send a group message

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. 

If you send a message to the group, it is posted in the group's Conversations and emailed to members who are subscribed to the group. The message is not emailed to the sender, even if the sender is subscribed to the group. 

Wait for the group to appear in users' Groups directory

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.

Learn more: Set organization-wide policies for using groups.

Advanced options for large organizations

Next steps

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