As an owner of a Google Group or the admin of the group’s domain, you are given detailed controls over who can:

  • Join the group – Anyone, anyone can ask, or invite only
  • Post messages – Anyone, group members, group managers, or only group owners
  • View topics – Anyone, group members, group managers, or only group owners

Two types of permissions:

Group-wide permissions

These permissions affect anyone (both members and visitors) that try to access your group. When you set permissions to “Anyone” it is these permissions that are being applied.

Role-specific permissions

These permissions are assigned to a grouping of people within a Google Group. By default there are three roles (Owner, Manager, Member), but you can add additional roles for more granular control over group permissions.

Owner
Group owners have the highest level of permissions. Some likely tasks of a group owner are:

  • Add new roles or edit current roles
  • Enable/disable specific group permissions
  • Determine the structure for certain types of groups and create this structure by changing permissions/authorizations
  • Delegate other users as Manager so they can handle the day-to-day group management

Manager
Group managers have similar permissions as group owners, except they cannot add/remove owners or managers of the group or delete the group.
As their name suggests, managers are often involved in the more day-to-day management of the group, which might include tasks such as:

  • adding/deleting members
  • moderating web and Q&A forums, including tasks such as marking the best answers and keeping suggested tags up-to-date

Member
The default role assigned to all group members.
The roles of members will vary by group type, but they will generally be allowed to read discussions in the group and post in some situations. Members, however, should be restricted from changing group settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

The numerous options for different group permissions available in Google Apps are described on this page.
Yes. You can set certain groups to be available only to users with an @yourdomain.com email address.
Yes. You can choose whether or not outside users can send emails to an email list email address.

Additional Resources

Google Support – Groups Permissions

FlashPanel – View Groups Information

BetterCloud Blog – Managing Groups in Google Apps