Transfer a group from Yahoo Groups to Groups.io
[Note: Transfers effective February 13, 2019 or later will require payment of a 1 year subscription at the Premium or Enterprise level.]
This page collects "best practice" advice for transferring a group from Yahoo Groups to Groups.io. Note that the word "transfer" is used to describe the process, but in fact the automatic Easy Group Transfer mechanism copies members, messages and other content from your Yahoo Group to your Groups.io group. It does not make any alterations to your Yahoo Group.
The group transfer process is a series of steps. Don't try to skip ahead, the steps must be performed one by one and in the given order or else the transfer may stall or fail.
This advice on preparing your groups is necessarily generic and some of it may not apply to the circumstances of your particular group, so use your best judgement about adopting this advice.
Note: the shorthand Y!group refers your existing Yahoo Group, and group@ refers to your new Groups.io group.
IMPORTANT!! While any owner of the group@ may initiate a transfer, only that owner will be able to manage it to completion. Other group owners will not have access to the transfer status via the Existing Transfers list. If you have owner role in the group by way of more than one log in address you can manage the transfer only via one of them.
ALSO IMPORTANT!! At Steps 2 and 3 of the process, someone must invite the transfer agent to your Y!group and promote it to Moderator. This does not need to be the same person who initiated and manages the transfer from the Groups.io side, but this person must be either the Owner of the Yahoo group, or a Moderator with invite and promote privileges. If you don't have this capability, and are not working with someone who does, work on getting these privileges now. Otherwise, the transfer cannot proceed.
Use this checklist as a guide to transferring your group on Yahoo Groups to Groups.io. There will be more detailed advice for these steps in the sections that follow, and choices in some sections may depend on information and choices in others.
☐ Review the Transfer Instructions.
☐ Review this page.
☐ Note groups.io storage allocations and limits (1 GB max for free groups).
☐ Step 0 — Create your group on Groups.io.
☐ Review the Settings page.
☐ Review the Default Subscriber Settings
☐ Create a custom Welcome notice for members copied from the Y!Group.
☐ Maybe create at least one subgroup (if you'll want any).
☐ Maybe remove your primary email address from your group@ (preserve your Join date).
☐ Maybe change all Y!group No Email to Moderated.
☐ Maybe change all Y!group No Email to Special Notices.
☐ Step 1 — Set up the transfer options and Start Group Transfer Process.
☐ Step 2 — Invite the transfer agent to your Y!group.
☐ Step 3 — Wait. When instructed promote the transfer agent to moderator.
☐ Send a Special Notice to the Y!group about the impending move.
☐ Maybe send all Y!group No Email that message off-list.
☐ Step 4 — Ready? Say "Go!"
☐ Wait for notification of completion.
☐ Set a "normal" Welcome member notice to Active.
☐ Maybe invite all Y!group Bouncing to the new group@.
☐ Maybe review and remove group@ Bounced members.
Review the Transfer Instructions and this page
To ensure that you're reading the latest version of the transfer instructions start with the link at the bottom of every Groups.io Page
That will take you to a page with some information, and a button at the bottom to take you to Yahoo Group Instructions:
Trite as it may seem, a familiarity with the instructions will help in understanding this page. And vice-versa. Pay particular attention to any green or red tinted notices on that page. Those will contain any updated information.
See also these helpful message posts:
- GMF #8697, 2018-05-23, Bruce Bowman, Step-by-step process
- GMF #8352, 2018-05-10, Shal Farley, Where to check status
- GMF #6662, 2018-03-26, Shal Farley, What is my status?
Step 0 — Create your group on Groups.io
This is Step 0 of the instructions because the transfer operation will not create your Groups.io for you, nor will it copy any of your Y!group's settings. So the group's cover image, description, and other settings you must set up manually. This includes any Member Notices - which in Y!Groups are files that have been scheduled to be sent by email under specific circumstances (Pending, Joining, Leaving, etc.).
Assess Group Storage Needs
There are limits to how much storage your group is allowed under the Basic (free) plan...see https://groups.io/static/pricing for details. Essentially, you are not allowed to have more than 1 GB of storage in use for Files and Photos without paying for some kind of an upgrade.
If your Yahoo group contains more than 1 GB of files and photos (10 GB for Premium), the transfer agent will stop the transfer at that point and send you an email asking what you want to do. This can result in delays and confusion, especially if the inquiry lands in your spam folder. It's usually better to take measures to mitigate this ahead of time; for example, you can set up your group to downscale oversize images, and this can be used to reduce your storage needs during the transfer itself. Limiting images to -- say -- 1024 pixels in the long dimension can significantly reduce your storage footprint while being more than adequate for viewing online.
Messages do not count against your storage allocation, but there is a limit (100,000) to how many messages the agent will transfer for you. If you need the agent to transfer more than that, you must pay for one year under the Premium plan ($110). Otherwise, the agent will transfer the most recent 100,000 messages and leave the remainder behind.
Customize your group's Welcome Member Notice
Your group@'s Settings page has a tab for Member Notices. There is a stock Welcome notice which you can edit. If you leave this notice Active it will be sent to the email address of each member of Y!group copied to group@, but it won't be sent if you uncheck the Active checkbox. You'll probably want to keep most of the stock text, but you may wish to personalize it a bit so that it sounds like a message that comes from you and relates specifically to your Y!group.
Additional things to tell your members in the Welcome message:
- If you simply wish to receive and post messages to the group by email then you're all set - no further action on your part is needed.
- If you click onto the Groups.io web site and you want to access members-only areas of our group@ you will need to log in using your email address (the same address used in the group). There are multiple ways to log in at Groups.io, but the easy way to start is to click the link to Log In, and since you don't have a password yet, click the "Email me a link to log in" button.
- The link in the email Groups.io sends you will log you in for 30 days. Any time you want you can request another log in email, so no worries if you log out, clear your browser cookies or let the 30 days expire. There's no need to ever set a password, unless you prefer to log in that way.
Here are some example Welcome Member Notices that others have used (usually as a temporary version).
Tell your group about the move to Groups.io
It may be a good idea to tell the members of Y!group about the upcoming move to group@ well in advance of the actual move, and let them know the reasons why, and what benefits you expect to have.
Immediately before starting the transfer process it is a good idea to tell (or remind) the members of the Y!group about the move. This can head off some panic when they receive the You have been added ... notice from Groups.io, and/or your Welcome notice. You may also want to warn the members that their spam filter may block those notices or other emails from the new group. Suggest checking their spam folder, adding the new group email address to their address book, or add groups.io to their spam white list.
Here are some example messages others have sent to their Y!Groups (usually as "Special Notices").
Group Transfer Process
The group transfer proceeds in steps, and those steps must be completed in the order given.
After you've read the instructions and are prepared to start the transfer, scroll down to the bottom of the instructions page and click the green Set Up New Transfer button.
This will bring you to Step 1 to set up and start the process. In later steps you will use the Existing Transfers drop-list to bring up the status of your transfer. You may have more than one transfer in progress, but only one per Y!Group. Your transfer(s) will be identified by the name of the Y!Group.
Step 1 — Set Up and Start the Transfer Process
Set Up the Transfer
Along with your Y!group's Manage Members list and Messages, you can choose to have the Files, Photos, Database, and Links copied to your group@ from your Y!group.
Note the text in the grey box. That text relates to the current status of your transfer. You may see messages in red at that location if there are problems with your transfer.
Yahoo Group Email Address In this box enter only the name part of the address. If your Y!Group is localized outside of the USA go ahead and enter just the name part, ignore the fixed @yahoogroups.com shown on the page.
Groups.io Group This drop-list will show only groups where you have the Owner role. You cannot initiate a transfer into a group which you only moderate or are only a member.
Transfer checkboxes These select which sections of your Y!Group you wish to have copied into your Groups.io group.
NOTE: The section must be enabled in your Y!Group so that the transfer agent can read it. On the Access Control tab of your Y!Group's Control Panel select any column other than Off for any section you wish to have copied.
NOTE: Attachments to messages will NOT be copied. This includes any photos in the Photomatic folder.
Don't worry too much if you're uncertain of your choices; you will have the option later of modifying your choices, at any point before Step 4.
Start Group Transfer Process Click this button when you've chosen your options and are ready to start.
Start the Transfer Process
When you've made your selections click the green Start Group Transfer Process button on the screen above to register your transfer request with Groups.io.
When you click the button the page will take a bit of time while it checks on the status of the Yahoo Group you named; that normally takes a few seconds. Assuming all is well the page will refresh to this one:
Yahoo Group Email Address The selection you made is locked in. If you change your mind use the red Delete Transfer Request button and set up a new request.
Groups.io Group You can change the destination Groups.io group by selecting another.
Transfer checkboxes You can change which sections to copy.
Send a message to your members when the transfer is complete This new checkbox controls whether Groups.io sends a notice to each member that was copied from the Yahoo Group and added to the Groups.io group. This You have been added... notice gives them the name of your Groups.io group and a link to it. It also offers them the option to opt-out of their subscription to your Groups.io group. It is generally recommended that you allow this notice to be sent.
Update Transfer Use this button if you've made any changes on this page.
Delete Transfer Request use this button if you've changed your mind about copying from the named Yahoo Group.
At this point you're ready for Step 2, and your next action is in your Yahoo Group. If you leave this page you can get back here via the Existing Transfers list on the transfer instructions page.
Monitor the Transfer Process
Any time you need to check the status of your transfer request(s) use the Existing Transfers drop-list found at the bottom of the transfer instructions page:
Click on the list to open it. Your Yahoo Group should be shown with the notation (needs your attention). If you transfer more Y!groups those transfer requests will add to this list, each request showing its current status after the group name.
Note: this list shows only transfers you initiated. If some other owner of your Groups.io group initiated the transfer you will not be able to monitor or manage it. This applies even the "other" owner is also you, when logged in using a different email address.
Click on the name of the Yahoo Group to open its transfer status page. If you don't see your Y!group name in the list make sure that you set up and started the transfer.
Step 2 — Invite the Transfer Agent
Be sure to invite email@example.com to your YAHOO group. Attempting to invite the transfer agent to your groups.io group is a common error.
Instructions on how to do this can be found at https://help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN2567.html. This action must be carried out by someone with the necessary privilege in the Yahoo Group to access the Management menu and select the Manage Invitations page:
After you send the invitation an automated process at Groups.io will receive it and update the Existing Transfers status page for this transfer. The page should be updated within a few minutes or hours from when you sent the invite:
If the status page doesn't update to show receipt of the invitation within a day or so, you may need to go back to the Yahoo Group and re-send it. Email messages (such as the invitation) can get "lost in the mail", and sometimes Yahoo fails to send them.
Once the page shows receipt be patient. Waiting for the transfer agent to accept the invitation is the longest step in the process (it could take a week or longer). It is not automated and requires the transfer agent to solve a CAPTCHA.
When the transfer agent accepts your invitation you're ready for Step 3. At that time your Existing Transfers status page will update again:
Note that you can still make changes to your transfer options. The new things here are the status text (grey box) and the green button.
Give Go Ahead To Transfer Don't click this until after you've completed Step 3, and you're sure about your options. Clicking this button will lock in the transfer options.
Step 3 — Promote the Transfer Agent to moderator
When you receive notice from your Y!Group that firstname.lastname@example.org has accepted your invitation, or when you see the Existing Transfers status page shown above, go into the Manage Members list of your Y!Group. This action must be carried out by someone with the necessary privilege in the Yahoo Group to access the Management menu, select the Manage Members page, and promote a member to moderator:
You can click on the Joined column heading to sort by joined date. This should sort the transfer agent to the top. If not, click again or use the Search Members box to find email@example.com.
Click on the transfer agent's row in the list, anywhere except the checkbox on the left, to bring up the transfer agent's Edit Member dialog:
In the Role drop-list select Moderator. This will open up lists of Notification and Moderator Privileges checkboxes. Uncheck them all (the transfer agent needs only basic moderator access). Click on the purple Save button at the bottom.
Step 4 — Give the Go-Ahead for the Transfer
After you've made the transfer agent a moderator of your Yahoo Group use the Existing Transfers list (shown above) return to the transfer status screen for the group in question. You can now click the green Give Go Ahead to Transfer button to get the copying underway. But just before you do that, you might want to make some "last minute" preparations:
Send a heads up to your Yahoo Group, perhaps as Special Notice, to warn your members that the copy process is about to start, and may take some time to complete. So it may be a few days before they receive the You have been added ... notice from Groups.io and the Welcome notice from your new group. If they happen look at your new group before they receive those notices they may find that they've been added to your group@ but all of their content may not be there yet. Urge patience.
Any messages posted to your group@ during the transfer may get mixed in with the messages being copied. There is no technical difficulty if that happens, but if members are already active in your group@ you may temporarily set your group@ Spam Control setting to Announcement Group, Moderated, or New Users Moderated to allow the copying of messages to complete before any member messages are accepted.
Any messages posted (or new content uploaded) to your Y!Group during the transfer may or may not be copied to your Groups.io group. There is no technical difficulty if some messages or content get "left behind" at your Y!Group, but if you want to prevent that you may wish to change the Moderation and/or Access Control settings in your Y!Group's Control Panel to prevent members from adding new content.
As mentioned previously, if transferred files and photos put you over your allotted storage allocation (1 GB for free groups), the transfer agent will stop the transfer and send you an email asking what you want to do.
Also, if your Y!Group has over 100,000 messages, and your group@ is Basic (free), then only the most recent 100,000 will be copied. If you want to have all of them copied you must upgrade your group@ to Premium on the pre-paid year plan before starting the transfer.
After you click the green Give Go Ahead to Transfer button the screen will refresh to this page:
At this point your transfer is locked in (all the controls are disabled) and the next thing that happens is that Groups.io actually does the work of copying content from your Y!group to your group@ and notifying your Y!group members (if you left that enabled). Now's your time to sit back, relax, and wait for it to complete.
When all is done you will receive a summary notice showing what the agent was able to copy (and/or what it was not able to copy):
From: Easy Group Transfer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Your group has been transfered
That notice will go to the address you used to log in to Groups.io when set up and started this transfer.
After the transfer is complete, returning to the Existing Transfers list will show the Y!group with (completed) status. Clicking on it will give you this page:
Delete Completed Transfer Use this button if you need to set up another transfer from the same Y!group. This would normally only be needed if you omitted some sections from the original transfer and now wish to copy them. Or if the transfer agent encountered difficulty accessing your Yahoo group and was unable to copy some of the content, an additional transfer may be attempted if it seems that Yahoo is functioning better.
Y!group after the transfer
"After I determined that the transfer was successful, I set the entire group default to moderated postings. Only 5 (out of 1600) members have tried to post after I sent a special notice that all posting would continue only on groups.io
By moderating posting of messages, files and photos the Yahoogroup will be static. Three times instead of approving a moderated request to post, I replied directly to the YG member that the group had moved. I also checked to make sure that their membership had transferred. After the first day the only activity on the old YG list has been members unsubscribing."
Groups.io after the transfer
Consider sending a follow-up "special notice" describing how the transfer went and providing useful account management information. Portions of the FAQ section beginning at https://groups.io/static/help#faq may be particularly useful to new groups.io members.
It's not unusual for a significant fraction of Y!G members' email addresses to begin bouncing after the transfer is complete. Many of these will be members previously on "no email" or "special notices" who perhaps got a new email address some time ago and found it easier to change their message delivery instead of unsubscribing. How much effort you want to spend chasing down these inactive accounts is up to you.
It's not unusual for a transfer to be incomplete, usually due to problems with Yahoo servers. The transfer agent will send an email to each of the groups.io group owner(s) explaining what it was able to transfer -- and what it was not.
If the left-behind content is extensive, you can start a new transfer to get the remaining group content, but you first have to delete the completed transfer request(s). On the Yahoogroups transfer page, select the groups affected one by one from the Existing Transfers menu and hit the red "Delete Completed Transfer" button on the resulting page. After doing so, you can initiate a new transfer. Be sure to select (with the checkboxes) only those group areas that were left behind the first time. Note that this will again involve some time patiently waiting in the transfer queue.
If there are only a few documents affected, it's usually easier to download them from the Y!G and upload them to GIO manually.
How long will this take?
That depends on the current demand for transfers, and the current performance of Yahoo Groups' servers in retrieving the group content.
There's about a two week backlog as of Thursday 2018-05-17.
What if the owner of Y!group can't be reached?
That depends on what privileges the active moderators have. See GMF #6118. If there are no active moderators your only option is to manually recreate the group.
Can I invite members to group@ before the transfer?
Yes. But note that those email addresses already in group@ at the time of the transfer won't have their membership settings copied from the Y!group. See GMF #6119, Also, anything they post won't be emailed to the members who haven't yet become members of group@.
Can I transfer the content without informing the members?
Yes. However there are some downsides. If you skip the automated notices you'll need to send messages yourself if and when you do want to inform the members. See the topic starting at GMF #6176. If Y!group remains active after the transfer any new messages posted or content uploaded to Y!group afterward won't be copied to group@.
- Specifically, each member who was not already a member of group@.
- As of January 6, 2017. Refer to Beta@ Message #12371.