Is it possible to delegate read-only access to a Google Apps Gmail account to a Google Group? I tried it and got errors.

The scenario: I want to set up a departmental read-only common account so that I can authorize people to read it based on Group membership instead of manually managing delegation through that specific read-only Apps Gmail account. So, if department members change, I an authorize and deauthorize people through Groups and not the delegation settings for the read-only account.

Edition: Google Apps for Education

1 Answer 1


user334918, Google's "delegate" feature does not include a way to provide read-only access to a mailbox. The user gaining access to the delegated account will have full permission to read email, send email, and view contacts. Additionally, I don't think the Google account can be delegated to a group, only to individual users.

However, this is another way to accomplish this using Google Groups. Simply configure the email address for the account as a group. The members of the group will receive emails from the department "account" (really a group) in their mailbox, but mail they send to the group will be rejected. You could even create custom filters for all the users that would send mails from the department "group" into a certain label.

Here's how you would configure the following:

  1. Create a group (suspend or change the email address of the existing account first). You'll want to use an "email list" group.
  2. Configure the basic permissions - I recommend setting View Topics to "All Members of the Group", and Post to "All members of the group, All organization members" so that everyone you need to can email the group. Feel free to limit it as needed.
  3. Add members to the group
  4. So long as the "Post as a Group" permission is set to "None selected", no member of the group will be able to reply to anyone as the group. You can check this permission here (https://groups.google.com/a/<yourdomain>/forum/#!groupsettings/<yourgroupname>/postingpermissions) or in the group management page, under Permissions > Posting Permissions.
  5. Optional: You can configure filters across multiple users by utilizing the amazing Google Apps Manager. You'll need to use a command like the following (full syntax): gam group <groupname> filter to <group email address> label <groupname> neverspam

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