How to Manage Settings in Google Groups

By James T. Cains

Google Groups has a lot more settings than those you set when you create a new group. To manage your group’s settings, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Google Groups and open the group you want to manage.

  2. Click the gear icon at the top right and choose Group Settings.

  3. In the left navigation, expand the Settings section.

You see Email Options, Identity, and Moderation. The sections below describe what these settings do.

Set e-mail options

You can control how your group’s e-mails appear with these settings:

  • Subject prefix: The post name appears in the subject line of each e-mail; however, you may want to preface this with the name of the group, so that your members know where the e-mail is coming from. The standard format for this is your group name in square brackets, like so: [my-group-name].

  • Email footer: You can choose to display instructions on how to post to the group, the URL of the group, and the URL of the posted message. You’ll notice that the boxes for how to unsubscribe and opt-out URL are checked by default and grayed out. You actually can’t uncheck these options because, by law, e-mail lists must have unsubscribe and opt-out links. You can also add your own custom text to the footer. A preview of your footer text appears below the custom text field.

  • Post replies: You can unilaterally decide where all replies to e-mails go, such as to the entire group, to just the owners, and so on. By default, you probably want to leave this up to the user.

Set identity options

You can determine the requirements for users when they register:

  • Required forms of identity: This option determines whether you require members to have a Google profile or not. If you choose Display Name Only, it’s not required to have a Google provide. By default, requiring either a display name or a Google profile is enabled, which allows either case.

  • Display names and email addresses: If you want all of your members’ display names to be unique, then check this box. This might be a good idea, because you may end up with ten members with the name “John Smith,” which could be a tad confusing.

Set moderation options

How much you moderate your group is up to you — meaning you can keep a tight lid on it, let it be a free for all, or somewhere in between. Use these setting to determine how much you want to moderate your group:

  • Moderate messages: First, decide if you want to moderate or not by checking or not checking the Moderate All Messages box. If you check it, you can choose to moderate only non-members (assuming you trust your members).

  • New member restrictions: You can set restrictions on new members, allowing them to post freely, post with moderation, or not post at all. You may want to let them post with moderation until you determine whether they’re going to behave themselves.

  • Rejected author notification: You can create a standardized message for when you reject a post, so that you don’t have to keep typing the same rejection note over and over again.

  • Spam messages: Google Groups does monitor for spam messages (though that doesn’t mean some spam won’t squeak through). You can decide how to deal with them. You can send them to await moderation (if you’re concerned that bona fide messages are being flagged as spam) or you can have them deleted immediately (if you just don’t want to deal with it).

Most of these options come in handy when you have an open group. If you have a restricted or private group, you may not have to worry about spam or moderation so much.