Create email distribution lists with Google Workspace

If you use Google Workspace (formerly G Suite, and before that, Google Apps), you can create email distribution lists that will send to multiple email addresses inside and outside the organization. You can even allow people outside the organization to send to the distribution list.

Let's say your small business wants to publish an email address that anyone in the world can email, such as [email protected], and you want emails sent to that address to go to a group of people. Here's how to create a group in Google Apps to do that.

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google apps group for email distribution list
  1. Log into the Google Workspace Admin Console for your domain.
  2. Click Groups. If you don't see it, click More Controls at the bottom of the page.
  3. Click the Create group link.
  4. Enter the Name of the group.
  5. Optionally add a description in the Description field.
  6. Enter an email address in the Group email field.
  7. Optionally set the Group owner(s).
  8. Click Next.
  9. Choose an Access type. If you want anyone on the Internet to be able to send to this group, choose PublicLearn more about access types.
  10. Set Who can join the group.
  11. Optionally set Allow members outside your organization.
  12. Click Create.
  13. Click Add members to [group name]. Click the plus button to add individuals. Or, to create a group that includes all users in your domain, click Advanced, and check the box for Add all current and future users … You can even add email addresses from outside your domain. Learn more about editing a group.

For more details, see the Google Workspace article Ways to create groups.

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12 comments on “Create email distribution lists with Google Workspace”

  1. Thanks for the post. I get it, but when setting the access level it refers to managers. Who is a manager? The other hang-up I have is that I'd like a Restricted Public Dropbox type of access. Where anybody in or out of the domain can post to it and only members, either in or out of the domain, can see membership and access content. Any guidance?

    1. Dan, I don't see managers when I create a group, but according to the Google Apps Support article About group roles, The manager role is available only if Google Groups for Business is enabled. A group manager can do everything an owner can do, except make another member an owner or delete the group.

      Regarding a restricted public dropbox, I haven't needed to do that, so I can't answer specifically. One of the access level options is Restricted - Only members can post messages and view the members list. If that doesn't do it, I also see a Custom level which you can configure. See the Google Apps Support article Access settings for Google Groups. Sorry I don't have a better answer, but that's beyond my experience.

      1. Thank you for the quick reply. I wound up creating Restricted as you indicated. Then I went through and tweaked the custom settings - there are a lot available. I think I have what I need. All of this wasn't obvious or available at time of creation (nor should it have been, that process should be simple).

  2. Chad, after creating a distribution list, how do my users view the available distribution lists, send mail to a distribution list and view the members please? Thanks in advance

    1. garobertsGiles, you can see the group's email address when you view the group in the Groups tab in your Google Apps admin. By default, it's groupname@domain.

      I don't have the Google Groups for Business service enabled, so I don't have a lot of the functionality. There's a Google Apps support article Hide/Show group in the Groups directory that tells how to show a group in your Groups directory. Once it's there, I believe you can view members.

  3. Nice post! I wanted to know if there's a way to allow access to all domain members to view all mail groups and their members, and if there is, where would members view the list. Thanks in advance.

  4. Thank you very much for great info. I have one question if you don't mind, I'm confused with the Groups (mailing list , Form Admin Panel) and the other Groups ( !!

    what I want is simply a mailing list that receives any email from anyone outside my domain and distributed it certain users , on the other hand I don't want my users to user Groups (


    1. Jamal, I don't know if there's a way to limit a group to email and prevent users from accessing it via the Web. I've never tried, so I've never looked into it. I suggest checking the Google Groups section of Google Apps Administrator Help. The Groups for Business administrator FAQ answers the question, How does the Google Groups for Business service differ from the free version of Google Groups?

      Sorry that I can't simply answer your question, but I don't have the necessary experience. I hope you can find an answer in Google's help or by googling. If you find an answer, please comment here with your findings.

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