Get started with advanced Groups features

Set Groups for Business sharing options


This article is for administrators. To manage your own groups, visit the Google Groups help.
This feature requires turning on Google Groups for Business.""

Groups for Business sharing options determine if:

  • People outside your organization can view and participate in your organization's groups
  • Users in your organization can create their own groups
  • Group owners can add people outside your organization to groups

Note: If Groups for Business is ON, group members can manage their own group memberships. Depending on the group's settings, they can add themselves to groups and opt in or out of receiving group messages in email.


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How to set sharing options

If you change your group sharing options, the new settings affect only groups that are created after you make the change. Existing groups keep the sharing settings they had before the change.

Using the Admin console

This feature requires turning on Google Groups for Business.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGroups for Business.
  3. Click Sharing settings.
  4. Select your preferences in the Sharing settings section. Sharing options reference.

Sharing options reference

Accessing groups from outside this organization

You have these options for controlling external access to your groups:

  • Public on the Internet—Anyone inside or outside your organization can view the list of groups in your Groups directory. People can do the following, depending on a group's settings:
    • View the group's information page, including its discussion archive
    • Manage their subscriptions to the group
    • Post messages to the group

    If you select Public on the Internet, consider also selecting the following options:

    • Group owners can allow external members—Group owners can add members with external addresses to their groups. Owners can also allow people outside your organization to join their groups. If you later turn off this option, any external addresses already added to users' groups remain in those groups.
    • Group owners can allow incoming email from outside the organization—Group owners can allow people outside your organization to send email to their groups.
  • Private—Only people in your organization can access your organization's groups in Google Groups. However, if any groups already have external members, those members can still send email to their groups.
Creating groups

You have these options for creating groups:

Option Description
Only organization admins can create groups Any administrator in your organization can create groups in the Admin console. Users can't create their own groups, but they can access their My Groups page and your Groups directory to manage their group subscriptions at groups.google.com.
Anyone in the organization can create groups Only users in your organization can create groups using your Groups service at groups.google.com. If you later turn off this option, existing user-created groups remain active. Messages can still be sent to user-created groups.
Anyone on the internet can create groups Users in your organization, and anyone on the internet, can create groups using your Groups service at groups.google.com. This setting applies only if Public on the Internet is selected for group access.
Default for permission to view conversations

You can set the default for who can view conversations. Group owners and managers can keep or change the default setting.

This setting is not available for groups created in the Admin console or Cloud Directory APIs.

Option Description
Owners only Only people with the owner role can view the group’s conversations.
Owners and managers Only people with owner or manager roles can view the group’s conversations.
All group members Anyone with the member role can view the group’s conversations.
All organization users Anyone in your domain can view the group’s conversations, regardless of whether they're group members.*
Anyone on the internet Anyone can view the group’s conversations, including people outside your organization.**

* If you change the Accessing groups from outside this organization setting from Public to Private, the Default for permission to view conversations setting automatically changes from Anyone on the internet to All organization users.

** If you selected Private for the setting, Accessing groups from outside this organization, this option is automatically turned off.

Group visibility

As an administrator, you can select the default visibility settings for new groups created in your organization. Group visibility settings determine whether groups appear in search results and in your organization's directory. The directory is a browsable listing of all the groups in your G Suite account. 

You can set two group visibility options:

  • Group owners can hide groups from the directory—Let group owners restrict group visibility. When this is selected, only group members can view the group in the Groups directory.
  • Hide newly created groups from the directory—Automatically restrict new groups visibility only to members.

Group owners can change the visibility settings for their own groups.  

Note: Group members can always see the groups they belong to in the directory. 

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