UW-Madison Google Workspace - Getting Started with Google Groups

This document provides a high-level introduction to UW-Madison Google Groups.


Introducing Google Groups

Google Groups is a free communication and collaboration service that gives you the ability to create the following:

  • Email list
  • Web forum (discussion board)
  • Q&A forum
  • Shared inbox
  • Manage group access to shared Google files (ex: Docs, Sheets, Shared Drive)

When you create a Google Group, the group’s email address will have the following name format: groupname@g-groups.wisc.edu .

Note: Google Groups is not a HIPAA approved mail-list service. Please contact the UW Health Security Team  or UW-Madison HIPAA Security Coordinators if you have any questions. Learn more.

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  • Faculty/staff
  • Students
  • Alumni

View terms of service.

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Types of Google Groups

UW-Madison Google Groups offers four types of groups:

Type Data-driven Data type Manually create Manually update 

1. Standard Group




Create a Standard Group


2. Custom Group




Request a Custom Group


3. Class Group


Course enrollment


Automatically assigned to instructors, TAs, and students.


4. Advisor Group




Automatically assigned to advisors and advisees.


*Custom Groups - The data-driven population cannot be manually changed, but guests can be added using the Google Group Administration site for Custom Groups

**Class Groups - The data-driven population (students) cannot be manually changed, but guests (additional TAs) can be added using the Google Groups Administration site for Class Groups.

***Advisor Groups - The data-driven population cannot be manually changed, but guests can be added using the Google Group Administration site for Advisor Groups

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  • Not owned by a single UW-Madison Google Workspace account.
  • Not affected by account deactivation.
  • Can be used to create permissions to manage group access to Google App files (ex: Docs, Shared Drive, etc).
  • Allows group moderation.
  • Allows membership to include both UW-Madison (internal) and non-UW-Madison (external) email addresses.

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The maximum number of members you can add to a Google Group is 50,000. The maximum number of external members you can add to a Google Group is 20,000. These limits are in place to prevent mail delivery issues caused by reaching per-group and per-organization sending limits.

Those wishing to distribute email to groups larger than allowed in Google Groups are advised to use an email marketing tool, such as Eloqua.

Service accounts won't work on the Google Groups Service Page.

View additional information about Google Group's policies and limits here.

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Quick start

  1. Log in to Google Groups or create a Google Group.

  2. Add members.

  3. Manage your Google Group.

Reminder: Make sure you are logged into your UW-Madison Google Workspace account, not your personal Gmail account, when accessing or managing your UW-Madison Google Group.

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Email delivery

You can email your Google Group at groupname@g-groups.wisc.edu to start collaborating with your colleagues. When you email your Google Group, that message will be delivered to the following inboxes:

Message delivery

  1. Google Group Archive inbox

    • Note: The archive feature may not be enabled by default. Learn how to view your Google Group’s archive feature status.
    • Archiving must be enabled to receive a copy of all messages sent to the Google Group.
    • Enabling archiving is beneficial when troubleshooting message delivery issues.
    • Note: The number of views and unread/read status for archived messages only reflects activity done on the Google Groups archive page. It does not reflect activity done by a recipient's email client. Google Groups does not offer email tracking.
  2. Mailbox associated with the email address used to add member to the Google Group

    • Message delivery will depend on the member’s Google Group email subscription setting (ex: daily notifications, email digest)
    • Message delivery can be affected by the member's email settings such as rules, filters, spam/junk, etc.

Suppressing "out of office" messages

  • Internal email address - out of office messages sent from an @wisc.edu address (ex: bucky@wisc.edu) will be suppressed.
  • External email address - out of office messages sent from a non @wisc.edu email addresses (ex: daniel@tech.com) will not be suppressed and will be sent to the Google Group.

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Learn more

UW-Madison Google Workspace account - Basics

Google Groups - Basics

Google Groups - Additional settings

Distribution lists

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Keywordsgoogle groups wisclist distribution list membership manage archive email tracking views unread read moderation join leave subscription permissions Google Workspace gsuite create a google group view email address members transition from wisclist compare distribution list personal google account switch account add members remove members manage permissions send email quick start suppressing out of office message archive inbox limits policies benefits email lists eligiblity Google Workspace log into in to direct link types of groups standard advisor class custom HIPAA PHI   Doc ID98121
OwnerChristina G.GroupUW Google Apps
Created2020-02-19 19:13:09Updated2024-07-12 14:56:17
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Google Apps
Feedback  21   2