About Google Groups

This article is for G Suite administrators. To manage your own groups, visit the Google Groups help.

There are 2 Google Groups services in G Suite: Google Groups for Business and Google Groups. These 2 services let you control what users in your organization can do on groups.google.com

The Google Groups interface

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About the 2 services

Groups for Business (G Suite core service)

Groups for Business is a G Suite core service. As an administrator, you control your organization's settings for this service in the Admin console. Groups for Business settings, and your G Suite license type, determine what your organization can do in Google Groups (groups.google.com).

Groups for Business turned on

If Groups for Business is ON and you have any G Suite license:

If Groups for Business is ON and you have a G Suite Basic license or higher:

Groups for Business turned off

If Groups for Business is OFF:

  • Your organization doesn't have access to the Google Groups interface, Google Groups.
  • You can’t use web forums or collaborative inboxes in your organization because they require the Google Groups interface.
  • Non-administrators can’t create their own groups in your organization. 
  • As an administrator, you can still create and manage groups in the Admin console, the Directory API, or Google Cloud Directory Sync.
  • Users in your organization might be able to view consumer groups from their organization accounts. Access depends on whether the Google Groups additional service is OFF or ON.

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Google Groups (additional Google service)
Groups logo

Google Groups is an additional Google service. This service controls whether users in your organization can view consumer groups from their organization accounts. By default, the Groups additional service is ON, but you can turn it OFF if necessary.

Note: Users can always get to consumer groups from accounts outside your organization.

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What you can do with groups 

Use groups to collaborate

Using groups, you can:

Mailing list groups
Web forum groups
  • Create groups that are Q&A forums—Create online forums for members to ask and answer questions. To use Q&A forums in your organization, you need a G Suite Basic license and you need to turn on Groups for Business.
Collaborative inbox groups
  • Set up groups that are collaborative inboxes—Assign and track requests or support tickets from group members, coworkers, or customers. To use collaborative inboxes in your organization, you need to turn on Groups for Business.
How administrators use groups

The following table shows what you can do with Groups as a G Suite Groups administrator.

Task Description
Manage all your groups You can manage all your organization's groups in the Admin console and the Directory API. Learn how to manage groups.
Create groups that include all users in your organization Use these groups to send organization-wide email announcements. Learn how to create organization-wide groups.
Choose sharing settings Decide who can view or join groups and control whether users can create their own groups in your organization. Learn about Groups for Business sharing settings.
Use a group to turn on or configure G Suite services To turn on a service, such as Drive, for users in different organizational units, create a group for those users. Then turn on the service for the group. Learn about turning on services using a group.
Migrate or sync mailing lists from your LDAP server If you have an LDAP server for your organization, you can migrate or sync data on that server with Google Groups. Learn about migrating mailing lists.

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If Groups for Business is ON

Overview
Groups for Business turned on

If Groups for Business is ON, you can:

  • Use the Google Groups interface, Google Groups
  • Create groups with advanced features, or let users create their own groups.
  • Advanced features include web forums, collaborative inboxes, and member management settings. As an administrator, you can also create groups in the Admin console when Groups for Business is ON.
Create email lists, forums & collaborative inboxes
Mailing list groups

Email lists

Groups can be set up as email lists, also known as mailing lists. Email list groups are useful for departments, project teams, classes, office locations, and special-interest groups. Using the group's email address, you can:

  • Send email to all group members
  • Invite group members to meetings
  • Share content with group members, including documents, sites, videos, and calendars

Learn how to create email lists.

Collaborative inbox groups

Collaborative inboxes

Collaborative inboxes are online discussion groups that let members:

  • Take a topic they volunteer to resolve
  • Assign a topic to another group member
  • Mark a topic as a duplicate
  • Mark a topic as resolved

Learn how to create collaborative inboxes.

Q&A forum groups

Q&A forums

Q&A forums are similar to web forums but they're focused on finding answers to questions. Using Q&A forums you can:

  • Set up a default question template that users fill in when they create topics
  • Mark a response to a question as the best answer

Learn how to create Q&A forums.

Let users create & manage their own groups

As a Groups administrator, you decide who can create groups in your organization. You might want to restrict group creation to administrators, or let users create and manage their own groups. You also control whether people outside your organization can participate in your groups. You choose these options in the Groups for Business sharing settings in the Admin console. Learn about Groups for Business sharing settings.

Assign roles & permissions to members

You can assign roles to group members to control what they can and can't do in Google Groups. Default roles include member, manager, and owner. Learn about group roles.

Search, filter & tag content

You can use search operators to search for content in Google Groups, and save common search queries for future use. Also, you can organize topics by tagging them, and filter topics by their tags. Or, filter a group's topics by date, resolution status, assignee, and other options. Learn how to tag content.

Archive conversations

You can turn on archiving to let members view topics in online forums. If archiving is off, members can view topics only in email. Learn how to turn archiving on or off.

Use groups to turn on or configure G Suite services

Groups created in the Admin console, Directory API, or Google Cloud Directory Sync can be used to:

  • Turn on G Suite services for group members—You can turn on G Suite services, such as Drive, for a group of users rather than an entire organizational unit. Learn about access groups.
  • Configure G Suite services for group members—Apply settings for G Suite services, such as Hangouts Meet, to a group of users rather than an entire organizational unit. Learn about configuring services using a group.

Note: Only groups created in the Admin console can be used to turn on services. Groups created in the Google Groups interface, Google Groups, can't be used to turn on or configure G Suite services.

If Groups for Business is OFF

Overview
Groups for Business turned off

If Groups for Business is OFF:

  • The Google Groups interface, Google Groups, isn't available to your organization.
  • You can still create and manage groups in the Admin console, the Directory API, or Google Cloud Directory Sync. However, you can’t use groups as web forums or collaborative inboxes, and users can’t create their own groups in your organization.

 

Create groups for communication & collaboration
Use groups to turn on or configure G Suite services
  • Turn on G Suite services for group members—You can turn on G Suite services, such as Drive, for a group of users rather than an entire organizational unit. Learn about access groups.
  • Configure G Suite services for group members—Apply settings for G Suite services, such as Hangouts Meet, to a group of users rather than an entire organizational unit. Learn about configuring services using a group.

Note: Only groups created in the Admin console can be used to turn on services. Groups created in the Google Groups interface, Google Groups, can't be used to turn on or configure G Suite services.

Groups interfaces

Admin console & groups.google.com

The following table describes the user interfaces for Google Groups.

Interface Used by Description

The Groups list in the Admin console:

Appsand thenGroups

G Suite admins Shows all groups in your organization. You can create, view, and manage your groups via the Groups list. Regardless of Google Groups service settings, you can always view the Groups list in the Admin console.

Groups added through Google Cloud Directory Sync appear on this list, but are read-only; they can’t be changed via the Admin console.

Groups for Business settings in the Admin console:

Appsand thenG Suiteand thenGroups for Business

G Suite admins

Controls settings for groups.google.com/a/
<mydomain>.com/forum
.

As a Groups administrator, you control advanced features by turning Groups for Business OFF or ON.

Google Groups additional service settings in the Admin console:

Appsand thenAdditional Google servicesand thenGoogle Groups

 

G Suite admins

Controls access to groups outside your organization from accounts inside your organization at groups.google.com/forum.

By default, the Google Groups additional service is ON, but you can turn it OFF if necessary.

Groups in your organization:

groups.google.com/a/
<mydomain>/forum

G Suite admins & users

Provides access to your organization’s email lists, collaborative inboxes, web forums, and Q&A forum groups.

This interface is accessible only if your organization has Groups for Business turned ON.

Groups outside your organization (consumer groups):

groups.google.com/forum

Anyone on the web

Provides access to consumer groups. This interface is accessible to accounts in your organization only if the Google Groups additional service is ON.

By default, the Google Groups additional service is ON, but you can turn it OFF if necessary.

Users can always get to this interface from accounts outside your organization.

Where you create groups

The following table shows the types of groups you can create, where you create them, and whether they require Groups for Business.

Interface where you create groups in your organization Types of groups you can create in the interface
Access & config. groups Mailing-list-only groups Collaborative inboxes & discussion forums (internal & external)
Admin consoleHomeand thenGroups Yes Yes Yes. However, after you create these groups in the Admin console, you need to select the group type in the Google Groups interface,
groups.google.com/a/<mydomain>.com/forum. That interface is available only if Groups for Business is ON.
Yes Yes Yes. However, to access these groups, in groups.google.com/a/<mydomain>.com/forum, Groups for Business must be ON.
groups.google.com/a/
<mydomain>.com/forum

(available only if Groups for Business is ON)
No Yes Yes

Sharing settings 

As an administrator, you can control these sharing settings for individual groups in your organization:

  • Who can view or join a group
  • Who can post messages to a group
  • Whether people outside your organization can view or join a group

If Groups for Business is ON, you can choose sharing settings for your entire organization. Learn about sharing settings.

In addition, you can turn on content moderation, manage member roles, and set group permissions. Learn about content moderation and member roles.

Limits on group messages

Google has limits on message activity, group size, invitations, and membership. If you reach one of the limits, your activity is temporarily restricted. Learn about policies and limits.

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