Allow or block access to external groups

As a Groups administrator, you can control whether users in your organization can access external groups from their Google Workspace account. External groups are created outside your organization and might include a public community group or a group for a club a user belongs to.

Controlled by the Google Groups additional service

You control access to external groups by turning on or off the Google Groups additional service—a legacy service in your Admin console that does only one thing: It allows or blocks users from accessing external groups from their Google Workspace account. This service has no effect on your organization's internal groups. 

If the Google Groups additional service is...

  • On—Users in your organization can join external groups with their Google Workspace account. They can then access those groups and manage their subscriptions from your organization's Google Groups app.

    Google Workspace for Education editions only—For users you indicate as under 18 years of age, those users have additional restrictions to public Google Groups ending in Learn more about these restrictions.

  • Off—Users can't access external groups from their Google Workspace account. However, they do continue to receive email digests from groups they're already subscribed to when you turn off the service. 

Note: To show or hide your organization's internal groups at Google Groups, use the Groups for Business service.

Turn Google Groups additional service on or off

By default, the Groups additional service is on, except for Google Workspace for Education primary and secondary organizations.

  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 Appsand thenAdditional Google services.

    Additional Google services.

  3. Scroll to Google Groups and click the service name to open its settings page.
  4. Select Off for everyone or On for everyone, then click Save.

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