Bulk Adding Members to Virginia Tech Google Groups


This article describes the steps to take when bulk adding members to Virginia Tech Google Groups.

This service is being deprecated in Q1 2023. We are no longer accepting new customers at this time. If you would like to discuss potential options available to you for mass emailing, please submit a request to our CCS General Services consultation.


Bulk Add Members to Virginia Tech Google Groups

Currently, Virginia Tech Google Groups will not allow owners of a Virginia Tech Google Group to directly add more than a limited number of members / subscribers at a time. While we are developing an easy-to-use permanent solution to allow a large number of members to be added (often referred to as "bulk add"), currently our work around allows you access to a specifically formatted file in a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) folder which is automatically uploaded to your Google Group. To use this process:

  1. Create and configure the Google Group that users will be added to.

  2. Submit a request using the service catalog at Bulk Add Members to Google Groups.

    You will receive an email from the 4Help incident stating that your Hokies ID has been given access to a NAS folder located at: \\storage.vt.edu\GGbulkadd\<yourhokiesid>.
  3. Connect to your new NAS share folder at: \\storage.vt.edu\GGbulkadd\<yourhokiesid> by referencing the instructions at Accessing Your Virginia Tech Network-Attached Storage (NAS) in Mac OS or Windows but use the \\storage.vt.edu\GGbulkadd\<yourhokiesid> URL instead of the URL on the linked page.

    Make sure to use backslashes ( \ ) in the location.
  4. On your computer, create a .txt file containing the complete list of members' (not owners) email addresses you want to be in the Google Group. Save the file to your computer with the name: <groupname-g>.member.txt

    Each email address has to be on a separate line and look like:


  5. Similarly create a separate file called <groupname-g>.owner.txt containing a list of email addresses that you want to be owners of the Google Group.

    Each email address has to be on a separate line and look like:


    This bulk add process needs to have both the member and owner files updated for each Google Group folder or the process will fail.
  6. Copy the contents of your member and owner files into the corresponding named member and owner files in your NAS share folder.
  7. A one-way sync process runs daily at 6:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 6:15 p.m., and 11:15 p.m. to sync your Virginia Tech Google Group(s) members with your bulk add member/owner files. Please avoid modifying files in your folder during these process start times for 5 minutes to avoid potential sync errors (ex. 10:15 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.). 
    You will see the extension ".OLD" has been added to your file names indicating the automatic process has run or is running.

    For files that contain a large number of member email addresses (thousands), please allow up to four hours for the member/owners to be synced to your Virginia Tech Google Group before checking your Virginia Tech Google Group.
  8. Verify your Virginia Tech Google Group addresses have updated. To do this, go to Virginia Tech Google Groups and verify that the members and owners have been updated. You should see the date the member moved to the Google Groups to the right of their email address.

    For instructions on how to log on and view your Virginia Tech Google Group, see Virginia Tech Google Groups Introduction, How to, and FAQs.
  9. Continue to use the NAS share to manage "Bulk Adds" to replace the members and owners of your Virginia Tech Google Group as needed. Update the two .txt files in your NAS folders, one for members and one for owners. Be sure to include your email address in the list of owners files.

    When you are ready for the automatic process to run again, remove the old email addresses, insert the new email addresses, save the changes and rename your member and owner files - removing the ".OLD" and saving the change. The automatic process should run on your folders and update your Google Groups. Verify the change.
  10. If you have any problems at all, reply to your 4Help incident in which the NAS share was created or open a new 4Help incident detailing exactly what part of the process had a problem.

To obtain a member list from Banner, "student lists", have your departmental Banner representative submit a request for the list by doing the following:

  1. Go to the Enterprise Systems Service Catalog page.
  2. Click Academic Services.
  3. Click Academic Analysis & Reporting.
  4. Click Request Support.
  5. If prompted, type your credentials.
    1. In the Username text box, type your Virginia Tech Username, which is the first part of your @vt.edu email address.
      (If you do not know your Virginia Tech Username, follow the instructions at Forgot VT Username.)
    2. In the Password text box, type your Virginia Tech Username passphrase.
      (If you forgot your passphrase, follow the instructions at Reset VT Username (PID) Passphrase.)
    3. Click Login.
    4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete authentication with your second factor.
  6. Complete and submit the Web form.

The reports will be sent to you. Once you receive the report, copy ONLY the email addresses into your NAS text file (.txt) with a text editor program such as Notepad and save the file. Each email address has to be on a separate line and look like: