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Google Groups

Related pages

Google Groups makes it easy to communicate and collaborate with groups of people, such as project teams and departments.

A group is like a mailing list as it contains the email addresses of its members, but it also has its own address.

Using the email address for the group, you can:

  • Email group members
  • Invite group members to meetings via Calendar
  • Share content and access with group members, including Google Docs, Sites, videos, and calendars

Sign in to Groups »



Google Groups is provided all members of the University as part of their account registration.

Only Departmental Computing Officers (DCOs) are able to request a Google Group be created whose email address omits the usual "-group" suffix.

Google Groups lets you create a group and add members to it. Members are usually people at the University, but a group can also contain people elsewhere.

Google Groups includes these useful features:

  • My Groups - lists all the groups you belong to and allows you to manage your own group memberships
  • Groups Directory - lists all the groups at the University. You can use the directory to view information about groups and also join new groups (requests to join new groups may need to be approved by an administrator)
  • Discussion archives - records all the communications between group members. It allows you to post new messages and read and reply to group messages

Subscribing to a group

You can subscribe to a group through the web page or via email.

To subscribe to a group from the web page: 

  • Go to the University of York Google Groups page
  • Find a group by using the Search for a group box, or selecting Browse all groups.
  • Click the Apply for membership link

To subscribe to a group via email:

  • Send an email to [Groupname]
    For example, if you wanted to join a group called google-friends, you'd send an email to

Note: for restricted membership groups, the group owner will need to approve your subscription request before you can join.

Google Groups vs Google Contacts

Google Groups should not be confused with Google Contacts:

  • Group has its own email address, which will be shared in the Groups directory allowing others to send messages to it.
  • Your Contact groups are for your personal use, to send emails and meeting invitations to a list of contacts. Contact groups don't have their own email address, so no one else can send messages to them.
    For more information see Google Contacts.

Creating & managing a group

Google Group Tool

The Teaching and Learning team in Library Services have developed a tool for bulk managing members of a Google Group via a Google Sheet.

Link to the Google Group Tool Shared drive folder

Creating groups

Groups can be created by anyone at the University of York, and we expect that most groups will be created in this way.

Each group should have one or more owners, who will be responsible for managing its settings and membership.

Self-created groups

Official bodies and individuals needing a new group should normally create it themselves, following our naming guidelines.

Self-created groups will have a suffix of '-group' on their name, eg

For more information on how to set up your own group, see:

Note: Some people have experienced problems when inviting a large number of members to join a group. Splitting the list of invitees into smaller groups of between 20 and 50 at a time often solves this.

Groups created by IT Services

Occasionally, an official University body or team may require a group that doesn't include the standard '-group' suffix.

Such groups cannot be self-created, but must instead be created centrally by IT Services. An official body or team requiring one should contact the IT Support. Please allow three working days for this to be set up.

The names of centrally created groups will be based on the naming conventions currently in place (and agreed through discussion with the requester).

Although IT Services create these groups, their owners will still be responsible for managing their settings and membership.

Managing a group

A group is automatically owned by the person who created it and invited the first members.

The group's owner can select a member of the group to be a manager and both the owner and the manager can:

  • approve posts
  • invite new members
  • create managers
  • change the group's management settings

Only the owner, however, can:

  • create a co-owner
  • transfer ownership to another user
  • remove the group

The group's owner can also moderate group messages and membership. The Management Tasks area of the Google Groups site allows messages be reviewed prior to being posted and also allows managers to change the access rights for members (including banning members).

More information on managing groups can be found on the Google Groups page.

Groups can be customised by changing the settings. Some of the areas which you can administer include:

  • General Information - including the group name and description
  • Access - manage group membership and access rights
  • Appearance - fonts and colours can be changed to distinguish your group
  • Navigation - change navigation on the group page
  • Email delivery - set mail delivery preferences for emails sent to the group

Help & troubleshooting


Library & IT Help Desk

If you're having problems using Google Groups, get in touch with the IT Support.

Our commitments

Service status Live and supported service.
Hours of service 24/7
Service support

For help and support with this service, contact the IT Support.

As part of the Google Apps for Education suite this service is owned and managed by Google, who will monitor for, identify and fix all faults.

Hours of support Help from the Library & IT Help Desk is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Target availability

General IT Services targets:

  • Information Services Service Standards
Service Level Agreement Google Apps Service Level Agreement
Our performance

Our service standards have been produced in consultation with our customers, and monitor the quality, timeliness and access to facilities and services:

  • Information Services Service Standards

Complaints procedure

If you wish to give us general feedback on this service, please see our Feedback page for ways to get in touch.

If you wish to make a complaint, please see our complaints procedure.

Your responsibilities

We expect you to:

  • maintain the membership of your Google Groups responsibly, adding people only with their knowledge/agreement
  • ensure there are sufficient owners/managers for each of your groups, so that others can deal with enquiries or issues in your absence
  • delete your group when it is no longer needed