How do I use groups?

Groups can help you communicate and coordinate with several people at one time.

A group can be added to a conversation, so you can quickly start a collaboration with several people. Or you can add a group as a member to a folder, letting you quickly share the contents of that folder with others. Content types can also be shared with groups, the same way they’re shared with individuals.


You can’t share a public or member link with a group and you can’t share a collection with a group.

You can create your own groups, or groups may have already been created for your organization by your service administrator.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating and using groups:
  • Don’t duplicate groups. Use the Find Public Groups option on the Group menu to see if a group already exists that might be useful for your purpose.

  • Use a meaningful name. Don’t use acronyms or abbreviations for your group name. Make it meaningful so people will understand its purpose.

  • Choose the right privacy control for your group. You can control who can see or use the group, and you can control if someone can add themselves to a group. There are three kinds of groups:

    • Public group. A public group is visible to anyone and anyone can add themselves to the group. You should use this kind of group sparingly. For example, you may have a rollout of a project and you’d like to gather feedback from anyone who used the project. You can open up a group to everyone and let people add themselves so they can add feedback about that specific project.

    • Private group. A private group is one that can be seen by everyone but people can’t add themselves to the group. This can be useful when you want to limit a group to a subset of people. People could discover the group exists and use the group to share information with those people. For example, you can create a group for the Engineering department. Anyone who needs to collaborate or share with that department can add that group as a member to a conversation or folder.

    • Closed group. This type of group gives you the tightest control on membership. No one will be able to see the group unless they’re already a member and no one can add themselves to the group. For example, perhaps a small set of people need to discuss an upcoming acquisition or project. No one else in the organization needs to know about this, so by creating a group for restricted members, you control who can see the information.

  • You can add a group as a member to a conversation, content type, or folder. If you add someone to a group or remove someone from a group, they will be added or removed from the conversation, content type, or folder. If an individual was added as an individual but not as part of a group, they remain a member unless removed as an individual.

  • If a group is deleted, access to any shared folder, content type or conversation is removed from the people in that group.

  • You can use groups on your mobile device and with the desktop app, but you manage groups using the web browser interface.

To use a group, select it just like you’d select a person to share with. For example, when sharing a folder or conversation, type the name of a group in the Members dialog. Choose the permissions (View, Contributor, and so on) for the individuals in the group then add the group as a member to the folder or conversation.

Take a quick tour about groups (English only).