Using aliases & groups with Google Apps

Forwarding messages to another account

Forward mail to someone else if a staff member will be unavailable for a time and someone else is filling in. It can also be helpful when transitioning from a former employee to their replacement. Note that you may still need to pay for the original email account until it is deleted. See instructions.

Creating aliases

An alias allows a user to receive email at more than one email address on an ongoing basis. It’s helpful when an email address might be confusing or if people change names. For example, Kate Smith Barnes has an email address, and aliases, and All incoming messages arrive in one inbox, because she really only has one email address – And all outgoing emails come from that address.

Aliases also help when a position in your company changes regularly. Suppose Jenny is the company receptionist and has the address You might create an alias for her called All messages sent to that address go directly to Jenny and her replies are sent from If Jenny leaves the company and Brad replaces her, remove the alias from Jenny and apply it to Brad. The will then redirect to him. Aliases are a bit like forwarding but they don't require the cost of a separate Google account.

  1. Sign into Google Apps admin at
  2. Click Users. Click a user’s name.
  3. Click Profile. Add an alias.
  4. Type a new email address. Click Save Changes.

Working with groups (distribution lists)

With groups, users can send mail to a list of people at once. Perhaps would go to all board members, and each person replies from their own account. We recommend a group for all staff. You might create groups for writers, designers, developers, producers, editors, board, etc.

Groups can also be used for inquiries. For example, might be directed to a group of people who share responsibilities for those requests. If you display group names on web pages and printed materials it’s easier for the public to contact you. You can easily change the group members at any time.

  1. Sign into Google Apps admin at
  2. Click Groups. If you don’t see the Groups button, click More.
  3. To make a new group, click the + sign.  Or to delete a group, click the name in the group list. Then click the trash icon.
  4. Type a name for the group. Set the access level to Team and Also allow anyone on the Internet to post messages. Then click Create.
  5. Or select an existing group to edit it.
  6. Whether you’ve created a new group or edited one, click Manage users.
  7. To add people to a group click in the box and type the names or email addresses of each staff member separated by commas. Then click Add as member.
  8. To remove members, check the boxes next to the names and click Remove members.
  9. Return to the admin menu by clicking the left arrow next to Groups, sign out by clicking your email address in the upper-right, or simply close the window.

Getting a complete list of all active email addresses

This function shows all email addresses, including aliases and who they point to.

  1. Sign into Google Apps admin at
  2. Click Google Apps and Gmail.
  3. Click Email addresses.

Creating a Send Mail As address

If a user has more than one address (a personal account, alias, distribution list or multiple domains) on the same Google Apps account, you can add these addresses so when they send messages from the web interface it appears to be coming from the selected address. This only works on the web – you can’t use the Send Mail As function from an app like Apple Mail or Outlook.

  1. Sign into Google. Make sure you’re using the user’s account.
  2. Click the gear icon and choose Mail Settings, then click Accounts.
  3. Click Add another email address you own. Enter the other email address and click Next.
  4. Confirmation may be required. If so, log out of the originating account, then log into the forwarding account and click to confirm. 
  5. After confirmation, sign out. Then sign into Gmail with the originating email address and password.
  6. Click the gear icon and choose Mail Settings, then click Accounts.
  7. Select the address you would like to be the default for most outgoing messages.

Learn more about Google Workspace administration.

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