Manage Google Groups

Topics covered on this page:
  • Change Group Settings
  • Managed Topics
  • Manage Group Members


Change Group Settings

You can use Google Groups to create an online group for your team, organization, class, or other group to do things like:

  • Email each other

  • Organize meetings

You can also change your group's description, and choose who can join, post, and view topics.

Change your group’s description & email settings

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage. A menu appears on the left.

  4. On the left, click Information and then General information.

  5. Make your changes.

  6. Click Save.

Set features included in every email

You can set a subject prefix, email footer, and how users view their emails from your group.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage. A menu appears on the left.

  4. On the left, click Settings  and then  Email Options.

  5. Make your changes.

  6. Click Save.

Set how members display their identity

You can allow members to post with a display name or require that each member be linked to their Google profile.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage. A menu appears on the left.

  4. On the left, click Settings and then Identity.

  5. Select one of the required forms of identity.

  6. Click Save.

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Create & respond to posts

You can start or join conversations in Google Groups by posting a new topic or responding to posts in your groups.

Start a new topic

Start a group discussion about a topic you’re interested in.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. At the top, click New topic.

  4. Enter your message.

  5. Click Post.

Read and respond to posts

You can read and respond to posts using the web forum or email, depending on whether the group is set up as a list of topics online or sends emails to your address.

Respond via the online forum

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Click the topic you want to read.

  4. You can reply to the group or individually:

    1. To reply to the group, next to the date of the post, click Post reply Reply all . Your reply will be the last post in the thread.

    2. To reply only to the person who posted, at the top right of the post, click the Down arrow Down Arrow . Click Reply privately to author. This option is only available if you’re using a Google Account.

    3. To forward a message, at the top right of the post, click the Down arrow Down Arrow. Click Forward.

  5. Click Post, Reply, or Forward.

Respond via email

  1. Click the post in your inbox. You can select any email in the topic thread to reply to.

  2. To respond only to the person who posted, select Reply. To respond to the whole group, select Reply to all.

More posting options

Choose who will receive your posts

You can decide whether an email is automatically sent to the entire group or to certain members of the group.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage.

  4. On the left, click Settings and then Email options.

  5. To make changes, next to "Post replies," use the Down arrow Down Arrow.

  6. Click Save.


Post a discussion, announcement, or question

Depending on the settings of your group, you can select different types of posts:

  • Discussion Discussion: A general thread. A discussion is the default post type for most groups.

  • Announcement Announcement: A topic containing important information from the administrators for all members.

  • Question Question: A discussion that can have a workflow or be assigned to specific members. This post type is available in Q&A or web forum group types.

Attach files or photos:

  • To attach a file to your post, click Attach a file. On the "Select a file" box that appears, click Select files from your computer, find your file, and click Open or Choose.

  • To include a photo, on the formatting bar, click Insert image Insert image.

Delete a post

If you posted something, you can remove it. If you're a moderator, you can remove any post.

  1. Open the post you’d like to delete.

  2. At the top right of the message, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.

  3. Select Delete post.

  4. In the confirmation box, click OK.


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Manage Selected Topics

You can allow topics and questions to be assigned to people in a Google Group.

Allow topics to be taken and assigned

To allow topics to be taken and assigned, you'll need to turn these settings on and decide who will be able to take and assign topics. Keep in mind that only owners, managers, and members can take or assign topics.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage.

  4. On the left, click Permissions and then Moderation permissions.

  5. Next to "Take topic," select who should be allowed to take topics and click Save.

  6. On the left, click Permissions and then Posting permissions.

  7. Next to "Assign topic," select who should be allowed to assign topics to people and click Save.

Take a topic

People who have the "Take topic" permission can take topics.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Select topics by checking the box beside them.

  4. At the top, click Actions.

  5. Select Take. The name of the person the topic is assigned to appears in the box at the top of the topic.

Assign a topic

People with with the "Assign topic" permission can assign topics.

Click My Groups.

  1. Choose a group.

  2. Select topics by checking the box beside them.

  3. At the top, click Actions.

  4. Select Assign.

  5. Next to the name of a member, click Assign.

View topics that are assigned to you

People with the "Filter topic" permission can view topics assigned to them.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. At the top, click Filters.

  4. Next to "Assigned to me," select the button.

  5. Click Apply selected filters.

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Manage Group Members

You can add someone to your group in three ways:

  • Invite someone via email

  • Add someone without getting their approval

  • Approve people who applied to join

Invite people to your group

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage.

  4. On the left, click Members and then Invite members.

  5. Enter the email addresses of people to invite.

    • Optional: Enter text in the "Write an invitation message" field.

  6. Click Send invites.

To change pending invitations, click Manage and then Join requests. Click Resend invitation or Revoke invitation.

Add members to your Group

You can directly add up to 10 people to your Group at once. Only 25 people can be directly added to a Group.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage.

  4. On the left, click Members and then Direct add members.

  5. Enter the email addresses of the people to add.

  6. Enter a welcome message.

  7. Set how members will get email from the group.

  8. Click Add.

Accept requests to join your Group

You can view requests to join your group and accept or deny them on an individual basis.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage.

  4. On the left, click Members and then Join requests.

  5. Check the box next to the person who wishes to join your group. Click Approve applicant or Reject applicant.

View all members of a group

You can view all members, including members who have been banned.

  1. Click My Groups.

  2. Choose a group.

  3. Near the top right, click Manage.

    1. To see a list of current members, near the top left, click Members.

    2. To see a list of all banned members, near the top left, click Banned.

  4. To search by role, whether members are banned, and other features, use the search bar on the "Group Members" page. You need the "View members permission" to search by role.


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Set who can view, post, and moderate

You can assign roles with the same set of permissions to members of your group and allow certain roles to view, post, or moderate.

Set default roles for what group members can do

There are 3 default roles for every Google group, and they cannot be removed:

The Owner role

The Owner role has the highest level of permissions. Owners can:

People with the Owner role have the greatest control over the group, so we recommend keeping the number of Owners low.

The Manager role

People with the Manager role can:

  • Have member and message management responsibilities

  • Add or remove managers

The Member role

Everyone in a group has the Member role by default. Features of the Member role:

  • Any permissions set for the Member role are automatically given to all other roles

  • Permissions set for the Member role are grayed out in the other roles because they're already applied

Set permissions for what owners, managers, and members can do

You can customize what owners, managers, and members can do in your group, like approve messages, view members, or delete posts.

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.

  2. Click My Groups.

  3. Choose a group.

  4. Near the top right, click Manage.

  5. On the left, click Roles  and then Roles.

  6. Choose a role.

  7. Next to "Permissions," click Edit.

  8. Check the boxes next to the permissions you’d like to grant to this role.

  9. Click Done.

View all permissions

View a detailed list of all the permissions that exist, and then assign relevant permissions to a role.

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.

  2. Click My Groups.

  3. Choose a group.

  4. Near the top right, click Manage.

  5. On the left, click Permissions. Choose a category of permissions to view and edit:

    • Basic permissions let certain people join and post to the group.

    • Posting permissions let members use custom features to post topics.

    • Moderation permissions let members monitor other members, posts, and roles.

    • Access permissions control who can view the group, members, and member email addresses.

  6. Make your changes.

  7. Click Save.

Note: A nested group is a group that's a member of another group. You can only assign permissions to individual members, not to nested groups.

Create a new role

If you want a role that's different from the default roles, you can create a custom role with specific permissions.

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.

  2. Click My Groups.

  3. Choose a group.

  4. Near the top right, click Manage.

  5. On the left, click Roles  and then Roles.

  6. Click Create.

  7. Enter information for the new role. Name the role something that can be shared publicly and is singular (for example, "Contributor," not "Contributors").

    • Optional: To add someone from your group to the new role, click Add members.

  8. To change what people in this role can view, post, or moderate, next to the description of a permission, click Edit.

  9. When you're finished, click Done.

  10. Click Save.

Members who can "Modify members sets" can create a role, assign permissions, and delete roles. Certain permissions can only be given to owners, managers, and members, and not to custom roles.

Change roles and settings for individual members

You can make these changes for individual members of your group:

  • Add or remove someone from a role

  • Ban someone

  • Decide when someone gets emailed

  • Change when someone can post

To change settings for a member:

  1. On the left, click Members and then All members.

  2. Check the box next to the member or members whose settings you want to change.

  3. Near the top of the screen, click Actions.

  4. Choose the setting you want to change.