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You can get help with Groups.io from the articles below. If you'd like more assistance or have questions, please check out the Group Managers Forum.

Account

An account consists of all the groups.io-associated information about a user, such as which group or groups they subscribe to, their password, and all of their preferences and settings. An account is identified by its email address.

Archive

The archive of a group consists of all messages posted to the group, except messages that have been deleted. It is displayed in a chronological list by clicking on “Messages” on the group’s home page.

Bounce

A bounce happens when an email message cannot be delivered. Possible reasons include an incorrect email address, a full mailbox, or a problem connecting to an email server.

Hashtag

A hashtag is a word or unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash character, #. You tag a message with a hashtag by including it within or at the end of the subject line of the message.

Integration

An integration is a connection from a groups.io group to another service such as Facebook, Dropbox, Instagram, and Github.

Moderator

A group moderator is a member of the group who has permission to perform certain actions to help run the group, such as approving messages or memberships, editing the archive, etc. A group may have more than one moderator.

Owner

A group owner is a moderator who has all possible permissions, and therefore, complete control over the group. A group may have more than one owner.

Subgroup

A subgroup is a group within another group. All of the members of subgroup are members of the group that contains it.

Topic

A topic is a message combined with any replies to that message (and replies to those replies).

Hashtags

A hashtag is a word or unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash character, #.

Applying hashtags to messages

You “tag” a message with a hashtag by including it somewhere in the subject line of the message. For example:

  • My name is Mark #intro
  • Seeking #advice for a #rosebush with blackened leaves

Hashtags already in use in the group can be applied to a message by selecting from the “Add Tags” dropdown menu that appears below the subject line. Or, they can simply be typed into the subject line. Typing a hashtag into a subject line will create a new hashtag for the group if it did not exist before. A new hashtag can also be created by clicking on “Create Hashtag” at the bottom of the hashtag list.

A hashtag has an effect only if placed on the first message in a topic, and will be applied to all messages within the topic. (Note that although it is possible to add a hashtag to the subject of an emailed reply by editing the subject, this has no effect; the hashtag will be included in the subject line for members receiving messages via email, but will not be included in the subject line of the archived message or of any other messages within the topic.)

Display of hashtags in the group archive

To make hashtags stand out better in the archive, any hashtags placed at the beginning or middle (rather than at the end) of a message’s subject will be duplicated at the end of the subject, using whatever background color was chosen for the hashtag. Thus, the subject of the message in the second example above would be displayed in the archive as

  • Seeking #advice for a #rosebush with blackened leaves #advice #rosebush

Uses of hashtags

Hashtags have several uses within groups.io, including searching and controlling certain behaviors of topics and messages.

Searching: Hashtags can be searched on to easily find all messages tagged with it. If a group uses a hashtag called #intro for new member introductions, for example, then clicking on it in the hashtag list will produce all messages in which new group members have introduced themselves.

Muting: Group members who read their messages via email can click on “Mute” for any hashtag at the bottom of the email to stop receiving messages tagged with that hashtag. (Note: hashtags set to “Special” cannot be muted. See below.)

Automatic time-out: If a hashtag’s Topic Duration is set, topics tagged with it will be deleted (or, if specified, locked) after that period of time. This can be a useful feature when a topic will be obsolete after a certain amount of time, for example messages about items for sale.

Special notices: If a hashtag is set to Special, all messages tagged with it will be sent as Special Notices. (Note: hashtags set to Special cannot be muted.)

No Email: If a hashtag is set to No Email, all messages tagged with it will be posted to the web but not sent out as emails.

Moderated: If a hashtag is set to Moderated, messages sent to topics tagged with it will require approval by a moderator.

Reply to sender: If a hashtag is set to Reply to Sender, all responses will go privately to the sender and not to the group.

Controlling use and creation of hashtags

Use by moderators only: A hashtag set to Use by Mods Only can be applied to messages only by moderators. This can be useful for sending administrative notices, for example. Such hashtags will appear in the Add Tags dropdown only if a moderator is creating the message.

A hashtag set to Use by Mods Only can be further set to Replies by Mods Only so that only moderators may reply to the message.

Requiring hashtags: In a group set to Hashtags Required, all messages sent to a group must be tagged with at least one hashtag.

Creating hashtags: In a group set to Only Moderators Can Create Hashtags, only moderators will be able to create new hashtags.

Subgroups

Groups.io supports subgroups. A subgroup is a group within another group. When viewing your group on the website, you can create a subgroup by clicking the 'Subgroup' tab on the left side. The email address of a subgroup is of the form subgroup@subdomain.groups.io.

Subgroups have all the functionality of normal groups, with the exceptions that to be a member of a subgroup, you must be a member of the parent group, and you cannot invite people to join subgroups.

Once a person is a member of the parent group, they can subscribe directly to the subgroup if it's permitted, they can be added directly to the subgroup, or they can ask to join the subgroup if it is restricted.

Bounce Handling

Bounces and Types of Bounces

When a group email sent to an account cannot be delivered, it is called a bounce.

If the bounce was caused by a problem that is expected to resolve automatically after some period of time, such as a temporarily unavailable email server, it is called a soft bounce. If it was caused by something that would require human intervention to fix, such as an invalid email address or a full inbox, it is called a hard bounce. Sometimes it is difficult for us to determine whether a bounce is soft or hard. In that case, we treat it as a soft bounce.

Overview of Bounce Handling

The first step after we get a bounce is to try to determine, by a combination of the type of bounce and the frequency of the bouncing, whether or not the account is bouncing frequently and seriously enough to require action. If so, our second step is to set the account’s status to Bouncing, stop sending group emails to it, and begin trying to reach the account holder via emails notifying them that the account is Bouncing. If there is a response to one of the notifications, the account is taken out of bounce handling and goes back to normal. But if there is no response within a certain period of time, our final step is to set the account’s status to Bounced and stop sending emails of any kind to it.

When an account is Bouncing or Bounced, we log entries in the activity logs of all its groups that email to the account is bouncing, to inform group moderators. We also display a blue “B” (for a Bouncing account) or red “B” (for a Bounced account) next to the account’s email address in the members list of all its groups, and we include the account in the “Bouncing” member lists of its groups. (It continues to appear in the regular member lists as well.) Users themselves are notified that they are Bouncing or Bounced, and are given a chance to unbounce their account, via a banner that we display at the top of the groups.io site whenever they are logged on.

Detailed Description of Bounce Handling

When we get a bounce, we first try to determine whether it is a hard or soft bounce. If we can’t determine which it is, we treat it as a soft bounce. The account then goes through one or more of the following steps:

Step 1: There has been one bounce: determine if the bouncing is serious and ongoing

The goal in this step is to determine whether the bouncing is ongoing or serious enough for us to take action. If one of the two following two criteria hold, we conclude that it is:

(1) the bounce was a hard bounce

or

(2) following the first bounce,

(a) we see either a hard bounce or a total of 4 days of soft bounces (including the day of the first bounce) for at least one group the account is subscribed to;

and also

(b) bouncing has not stopped, as determined by there being at least one bounce in every span of 4 consecutive days. (If there is a span of 4 consecutive days with no bouncing, we conclude that the bouncing has been resolved and we take the account out of bounce handling – until the next possible bounce, in which case the process starts over again.)

If either (1) or (2) hold, we conclude that the account is experiencing serious or ongoing bouncing and continue to Step 2.

Notes:

  • We don’t conclude that bouncing has stopped after seeing one seemingly successful email delivery to the account, because emails may bounce belatedly; instead, to be on the safe side, we draw this conclusion only if there are 4 consecutive days with no bounces.
  • Failing a hard bounce at the beginning, it is possible (although unlikely) for an account to stay in Step 1 for a long period of time. This could happen if the account continues to have consecutive spans of 3 days or less of soft bounces, interspersed with 1-3-day spans of no bounces, with the result that it takes a long time to show either the 4 consecutive days of zero bounces that would rule out ongoing bouncing and move the account out of bounce handling, or the 4 total days of bounces that would establish ongoing bouncing and move it into Step 2. This could be caused, for example, by an email server having ongoing but sporadic problems. But this situation would not affect the account vis-à-vis its groups in any way, since we don’t log or mark the account as bouncing and we continue to send group emails to it (even though they are sporadically bouncing).
Step 2: Log the bouncing and attempt to send bounce notifications to the account holder

We have determined that the bouncing is serious and ongoing enough to take action. We now

  • Internally set the account’s status to Bouncing;
  • stop sending group emails to it;
  • start sending bounce-notification emails (also called “bounce probes”) to the account every three days for a maximum of 15 days. The bounce probes inform the account holder that their account is bouncing and contain a link allowing them to “unbounce” their account by affirmatively showing that they received the email;
  • display a banner whenever the account holder is logged onto the site, containing the information that their account is bouncing and a link to click on to unbounce the account;
  • display a blue uppercase “B” next to the account’s email address in all of its groups;
  • display the account in the Bouncing Members list in all of its groups (it stays in the regular Members list as well); and
  • log the account as bouncing in the activity logs of all of its groups.

If we get a response to a bounce probe within 15 days, the account’s Bouncing status is removed, the account is taken out of bounce handling and the account goes back to normal. If there is no response within 15 days, we go to Step 3.

During this time, group moderators, who can now see that the account is bouncing, may send extra bounce probes to the account if they wish, by clicking on the Send Bounce Probe action from the member’s page.

Step 3: Give up trying to reach the account holder

There has been no response to 15 days’ worth of bounce probes every 3 days. At this stage we

  • internally set the account status to Bounced;
  • continue to display a banner whenever the account holder is logged onto the site, containing the information that their account is bouncing and a link to click to unbounce the account;
  • stop sending bounce probes to it; and
  • change the blue “B” to a red “B” next to the account’s email address in all of its groups.

The account now sits in virtual limbo in its groups. Group moderators may elect to issue further bounce probes to it by clicking on “Send Bounce Probe” from the member’s page, or they may try to reach the account holder through a different email address if one is available. Or they may decide to simply remove the account from their groups.

Note that bouncing activity information is accessible to individual users as well as group moderators. Any user can view their own bounce history by going into the Subscription page of their groups and clicking on Email Delivery History, or by going into their Account page and clicking on Recent Bounces.

Subscription Options

Groups.io offers several options to control how much, if any, email to receive from your groups. To change your subscription, go to Your Subscriptions page and then click the link in the Delivery column for the group you're interested in changing.

Email Delivery

The Email Delivery options control how you wish to receive group emails. All Messages will send each email individually, as soon as it's posted. Daily Digest will group the days messages into a single message. As soon as 12 messages are sent to the group, or every evening, whichever comes first, a digest message will be sent to you. You can also opt to not receive any email.

Advanced Preferences

Clicking Advanced Preferences will expose additional options. These options filter the types of emails that you will receive.

Muting and Following

In addition to the above subscription options, you have the option to mute individual discussion threads and hashtags. In the footer of each email is a link to mute the thread. And from the website, you can mute hashtags.

Integrations

Integrations allow you to connect your Groups.io group with an outside service. There are two types of integrations, Group Integrations and Member Integrations.

Group Integrations

Group integrations allow outside content to be automatically sent to your Groups.io group. Group integrations are configured by the moderators and are not controlled by the group members. Group integrations can be moderated, which means that any integration messages must be approved before they are sent to the group.

One example of a group integration is the Feed integration. The feed integration allows you to post items from RSS feeds to your group. Is there a blog associated with your group? Use the Feed integration to automatically have new blog posts be sent to your group.

Groups.io supports several different group integrations and we're always looking to add more.

Member Integrations

Member integrations allow your members to export content automatically from the group. One example of this is the Google Drive integration. With it, your members can have attachments that are sent to the group be automatically saved to their Google Drive account. There are options to specify the type(s) of attachments to save, and whether the messages should be tagged with a specific hashtag.

Member integrations are accessed in the Subscription area of the Group.

How Can I Change My Email Address

To change your email address, log into Groups.io. Then look for the dropdown in the top right corner of the page, which will be either your name or email address. Click that and then click Account.

On the edit profile page, you can change your email address. Once you do so, you will receive a new confirmation email. Once you reply to that, you will be all set.

If the email address you wish to change to is already a registered member on Groups.io, you will need to have your accounts merged. To do so, email support@groups.io and specify the address you wish to merge from and the address you wish to merge into.

I Have Forgotten My Password/I Don't Have A Password

To log in without a password, go to the login page and click the 'Email me a link to log in' button. Once you enter your email address, you'll immediately be sent an email with a link that will automatically log you into Groups.io. You will stay logged in for up to 30 days, unless you log out. You can then set a password if you wish, or you can continue to utilize the Email me a link to log in function to log in when needed.

I Am On Gmail And I Don't Like Getting Copies Of My Messages

To turn off duplicate emails, log into your account. Then look for the dropdown in the top right corner of the page, which will be either your name or email address. Click that and then click Account. From your Account page, click the Preferences sidebar tab. Look for the 'I always want copies of my own messages' checkbox and uncheck that. Then click the Update Preferences button.

I Never Received My Confirmation Email

Please check your spam folder to see if the confirmation email ended up there. We can confirm your account for you if you wish, but if you're not receiving emails from us, it won't do much good.

How Do I Change The Cover Photo For My Group?

To change the cover photo for your group, go to the Settings page under the Admin menu dropdown. Then click the Cover Photo button at the top of the page.

Why Are Emails From Some People Changed To Be 'via Groups.io'?

The reason that some email addresses are changed to be 'via Groups.io' is because of something called DMARC. Some email services, like Yahoo and AOL, have set up their DMARC profiles so that we have to change all their users' email addresses to this form, otherwise the messages would bounce. This is not limited to Groups.io, all email groups services have to do this.

How Can I Delete My Group?

To delete your group, go into the Settings page for your group. At the bottom of the page is a Delete Group button. Click that and follow the instructions.

Once you delete your group, the group name will not be able to be reused for some time. If you're interested in renaming your group instead, you can do that through the Settings page as well.

How Can I Delete My Account?

We're sorry to see you go, but we will be happy to delete your account. Simply contact support@groups.io from the email address you wish to delete, and we will delete your account. Note that we will not be able to delete your account if you are the only owner of at least one group. If that's the case, you should either transfer ownership to someone else, or delete the group before requesting that your account be deleted.

What Is Counted Towards The Storage Limits For My Group?

The following are counted towards the storage limits for your group:

  • Files
  • Photos
  • Images in databases
  • Images in wiki pages
  • Message attachments

Messages themselves are not counted towards the storage limits, only any attachments.

How Do I Set Up A Signature For My Account?

To set a signature for your account, go to the Subscription page for your group (it's the 'Subscription' tab in the left hand sidebar when viewing your group). On the subscription page, look for the 'Use Signature For Web Posting' checkbox and check that. Then you will be able to add a signature. Once complete, click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

How Can I Add Moderators To My Group?

Groups.io supports groups with multiple moderators and owners, along with a full permissions system. To add someone as a moderator, they must first be a member of your group.

Navigate to the group on Groups.io and click on Admin/Members in the left sidebar. From there, click on the member you would like to make a moderator. After opening the record of the person to be made a moderator, click on the selector "Role". It offers three options: Owner, Moderator, and Member. Select moderator. Click "save" at the bottom of the screen after making your selection. Each person can have only one role; the owner has all permissions, the moderator more limited permissions.

How Can I Invite People To Join My Group?

Groups.io provides an invite system, where you can submit the email addresses of your members. We will send an email invitation to each user. To join the group, each member simply has to click on the link within the invitation, or reply to the invitation.

You can track each invitation and see whether it's been accepted or not.

If you wish to directly add your members to your group without the invitation step, we offer that feature (called direct add) with our premium groups.

How Can I Download My Member List And Message Archive?

On Groups.io, navigate to your group. To download your complete member list, click on the Members tab under the Admin tab in the sidebar. From there you will be able to download your member list.

To download your complete message archive, click on the Settings tab under the Admin tab in the sidebar. From there you will be able to download your message archives.

What Are The Available Email Commands?

You can send a blank email to the following email addresses (substituting your group name for GROUPNAME):

GROUPNAME+subscribe@groups.io
To join a group
GROUPNAME+unsubscribe@groups.io
To unsubscribe from a group
GROUPNAME+help@groups.io
To receive an email containing a list of these commands
GROUPNAME+digest@groups.io
To receive plain digests instead of individual messages
GROUPNAME+fulldigest@groups.io
To receive full featured digests instead of individual messages
GROUPNAME+summary@groups.io
To receive a daily summary instead of individual messages
GROUPNAME+single@groups.io
To receive individual messages instead of digests or a summary
GROUPNAME+special@groups.io
To only receive special messages
GROUPNAME+nomail@groups.io
To stop receiving messages via email (you may still read messages on the Web)
GROUPNAME+owner@groups.io
To contact the owners of a group

Found a bug? We work hard to make sure there aren't any bugs, but some do slip past us. Please contact us at support@groups.io. Any and all information you can provide to help us reproduce the bug is appreciated.

Alternatively, if you have a question about something, the best place to start is with the Group Managers Forum, which is a collection of experienced group owners. They're great people and should be able to help.

Finally, if you have a suggestion for a new feature or improvement to the service, check out the Beta group. We talk about upcoming features and what's going on on the development side of Groups.io