GSUITE / Google Workspace – How to transform a user account into a group and keep all e-mails

Edit (15/02): Thanks to hjkimbrian for warning that there is no way to backup emails from a group.

Do you have user accounts in your org that are “shared” between your employees?
If you do, that’s a big no no. Account sharing is a horrible practice and is basically a ticking clock to some security incident – maybe a disgruntled ex-employee still has access to a shared account and decides to do something with it? Hmmmm…

Unfortunately, native GSuite doesn’t allow you to transform a user account into a group and keep all e-mails. Very fortunately, There is a wonderful tool called GYB (Got Your Back) that allows you to do this.

IMPORTANT: This will only work if you’re a workspace admin. You may also need additional admin privileges.

SUPER IMPORTANT: There is no way to backup emails from a Group. This means you can’t transform a group back into a user.

Step 1 – Install and Configure GYB:

Check GYB’s tutorial here:

Follow the “WORKSPACE ADMINS” tutorial. You don’t need to follow the normal installation tutorial.

Step 2 – Backup all messages for the user:

Use this command:

gyb –email username@domain –service-account

It may take a while! Also, notice that the backed-up emails will be stored on your computer.

Step 3 – Delete the user OR rename it and delete the alias

Enter the user’s page via Google’s admin console and either:

1 – Delete them completely

OR (safer alternative):

1 – Rename the user
2 – Go back to their page and delete the alias that was created for their old address. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to create the group.

Step 4 – Create the group

Just go to and create the google using the same name as the user you just deleted/renamed.

Step 5 – Restore e-mails to the group

Use this command:

gyb –email username@domain –action restore-group –service-account –use-admin youremail@domain

“youremail@domain” should be substituted for your e-mail address, which should be an admin.

Recovering the backup may take a while.

Don’t forget to delete the backed-up emails from your computer afterwards!

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