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Introduction to Workspace user management

In this guide we’re going to look at the various ways of adding users to a Workspace for business account.

If you’re following the guides in order, you’ll remember in the last one we created organisational units. Today we’re going to add users to those units.

Users can be added individually in the users’ section of the admin area, or uploaded in bulk using a comma separated values (CSV) file. The template that Google provides contains a lot of unwanted fields, so I’ll show you how to make an abbreviated version.

By default, the account creator is a super admin, but for medium to large sized companies, it’s often wise to have several administrators. We can create different levels of admin with varying abilities.

Although it's good to have more than one, not everyone needs, or should be granted, super admin status.

How to add users to Workspace individually

When adding users, whichever method we use, we obviously have to provide at least some user details. However: not all of the information we can add is required, some is optional, and a little is often not applicable.

The required information for adding new users to Workspace for business is:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address - john@acme.com
  • Password - to be changed upon first logging in
  • Org Unit Path - this was covered in the previous guide

You may find some of the optional information also useful. Particularly if you wish to compile an easily accessible record of all users’ contact details.

How to add Workspace users one at a time

On the admin home page locate the box titled Users, it's usually the first one. Manage takes us straight to the users admin area, where you can click the option to Add new user in the row near the top.

The users section of the Google Workspace admin homepage

We also have two other options on the user box: clicking the round user icon with the plus sign, or the Add a user link just below that.

Whichever route we take, we still end up at the same place. Note the Primary email input field. This should be unique to the person. Here’s a few suggestions using variations of a name:

  • johnsmith
  • smithjohn
  • jsmith
  • smithj

Note: Google will automatically add the first name to the username. You may edit this. As this is only a temporary account I’m going to leave it.

Input fields for adding a single Workspace user

Although Google doesn’t emphasise it, adding a secondary email is a real time saver. We don’t have to worry about setting and saving passwords as the new user will receive an email with a link to create one.

Below those input fields, open the dropdown by clicking on Manage user’s password, org unit and photo

Dropsown that appears when creating a new user allowing admins to choose organisation unit and choice of setting a password or have on generated

If you followed along with the previous guide, you’ll have already created some organisational units. In the Manage user’s password, org unit and photo dropdown we get the option to set the OU. otherwise the user will be assigned to the root OU.

If you don’t have many users, moving them to their respective OU later won't be a problem, but it’s a very different story with many users.

Leaving the user to add their own profile image. And ensuring Automatically generate password is selected, I then click ADD NEW USER.

Options to copy and print password or send to new user

As we’re never going to need the auto generated password, we can ignore the offers to copy or print the password. Instead click PREVIEW AND SEND button. In the next window accept what’s on offer and then the blue DONE button.

The new user will receive an email with a link to create a new password and sign-in,

The Dialogue box presented to a new user when creating a new password

That’s it! Your first user has been created. I’m now going to explain how to bulk upload users. If you don’t plan to have many users, you can simply rinse and repeat the above process until done.

Alternatively: you can follow the next guide and create your departmental heads manually, make them admins, and let them create accounts for everyone in their department.

How to bulk upload users to Workspace for business

This method is capable of collecting much more user information, enough to form an entire employee profile. The CSV template shows all the information we can collect. Although for our purpose, some of the fields are irrelevant to us and only intended for updating existing users’ details.

We don’t have to fill in all the fields and we can’t add any of our own. Unwanted columns can be deleted but the remaining ones must appear in the order they are in the template.

The spreadsheet I’ve shared has sheets showing the full range, as provided in the template, and only the required. Think of it as an example of minimum and maximum user case scenarios. Between these two extremes we can pick and choose which we want.

Downloading, adding what may be a lot of user information, and then uploading, may seem a bridge too far.

Unfortunately: it doesn’t end there. When using the bulk upload method, new users don’t receive a welcome email or a means of creating a password.

Now imagine if the new users were to add their details themselves. This is actually quite easy to achieve. All we need to do is create a form in our Drive and pass a link to it.

While I have created a full guide to working with forms, I’ve also created an abridged version specifically for this task. Which includes how to access Drive. You can have a look and return back here when you've done.

how to create a form to collect new user data

All the form responses are collected in a spreadsheet which we then download as a CSV file.

So with our form responses in hand, we can now upload the new users.

Starting again on the admin home page, navigate to the users page by clicking Manage in the box titled Users.

Navigation bar in Workspace users showing where to bulk update users

In the tab that opens click Bulk update users. Notice I said “Bulk update” and not “Bulk upload”.

Clicking Upload CSV will allow you to navigate to the file you recently downloaded. After uploading you’ll be asked to confirm and the process will begin. A progress box in the top right will keep you informed.

Options to download user info, download blank CSV template, and attach CSV file

How to delete or suspend Workspace user accounts

Employees come and go and with it, their accounts. Alternatively we may want to suspend an account and temporarily deny user access. When deleting a user account we have the option to transfer their data.

Deleting a user account

We need to navigate to the users section by clicking the Manage link in the user section of the admin home page.

Normally: the new tab will display the root organisational unit and every user. If you have many users you can reduce the list you have to search through by opening their specific unit. Alternatively: type their name or email in the search field at the top of the page.

In the user listing hover over the person’s name and click the More dropdown that appears. While you’ll notice other options, such as “Suspend user”, the one we’re concerned with is Delete user.

The more dropdown on a user's listing in the admin panel

Clicking this will give us options of whether or not to transfer their data. The default setting is Transfer, with the means to search for the recipient’s company email address below.

Details for transfering data of a user before deletion

After this you may decide which data to transfer before clicking the blue DELETE USER button.

If you select Don’t transfer data the transfer details aren’t shown. However: regardless of which option you choose, you’ll still be able to take over the deleted user’s email account.

Once a user is deleted, billing for that account will cease.

Restoring a deleted user

A deleted user account can be restored, with all files intact, for up to 20 days after deletion. After this period all files will be permanently lost and a new account will need to be created.

Where to add a filter to find recently deleted user

The restore process is quite simple but isn’t well highlighted. To restore a recently deleted user, click on + Add a filter at the top of the user listings. The dropdown contains a list of all the filters at our disposal.

At the bottom of the list you’ll see the Recently deleted filter. After clicking this you’ll be presented with a list of all users deleted within the past 20 days.

Hover over the user you wish to restore and click Recover

The recover option when hovering over a deleted user in the recently deleted users list

The next view will list what will and will not be restored. Click Continue at the bottom.

What can, and cannot be recovered when restoring a deleted user

You’ll then need to choose an organisational unit before clicking Restore

Continuation of recovering a new user process. Asking to determine which organisational unit to restore the user to

How to suspend a user account

Select Suspend user from the same More dropdown used to access the delete user.

Before completing the suspend process you’ll receive a warning prompt notifying you that billing will continue for the suspended user, but they won’t be able to access their account Gmail and Drive etc.

Things to bear in mind when suspending a user

How to reactivate a suspended user

Initially: after suspending a user, there won’t be any change to their status in the “more” drop down until you refresh your browser or navigate away and return to the users’ listings.

After which the option to suspend will be replaced with the option to Reactivate