Accessing a Google Group

Google Groups don’t require a GMail account

You can access Google Groups without needing to use Google Mail as your email provider, or starting a new Google Mail account. However, you do need a Google Account (subtly different to Google Mail: does need a username and password) to access the groups.

The sign up process for a Google Account can be a bit confusing, so this guide attempts to run through the process as you may encounter it. The reason for the steps is to try to avoid creating a new Google account if at all possible. If you have one already, we should use it.

NB a Google Account username should be the email address you want to use for the group (e.g. personal vs work email address). The password is specific for the Google Account and probably should not be your work or personal email password (but that’s your choice).

Responding to an email invitation to join a group

You have probably been signed up to a Google Group and most likely will have received an invitation from the group owner.

Email invitation

The invitation should have a section like this in the email:

 ---------------------- Google Groups Information ----------------------

  You can accept this invitation by clicking the following URL:<wbr>group/*GROUP NAME*/sub?s=<wbr>UFOdbBQAAAAZKeAehAAW9Os5K8Ycdz<wbr>m2owd3eIKLzUYRiy2Gq4ii1g&amp;hl=<wbr>en-GB</wbr></wbr></wbr></wbr>

or it could look like this from the updated version of groups:

Accepting the invitation

Click on the link and you should get a screen like this:

If you have clicked the email link already, you will get this screen.

Visit the group homepage

Either way, click on the visit group’s homepage link and you may be asked to sign in (if you are not, you will have been signed in with an existing Google account – you can see which at the top right of the page):

Sign in to your Google Account

First of all, try signing in to your Google Account using the email address you wish to use for the group and your password (option 1). Hopefully this will work and you will have access to the group.

If you get an error “The username or password you have entered is incorrect“, you can try the “Can’t access your account?” link.

If you do not have a Google Account for this email address, you will get a screen like this:

In this case, you must sign up for a new account by following the link at number 2 in the screen above.

Sign up for new Google Account if neccessary

On the first page, choose the relevant email provider (most likely other).

Then fill out the short form that follows. NB you can untick the boxes circled in red if you are concerned about privacy or making changes to your web browser and internet settings. For most people they shouldn’t make any difference.

Once you have signed up and verified your email (you will get another email from Google to verify the new account) you should be ready to visit the Group home page and all should be working fine. You should only have to log in the next time you wish to access the group pages.