How to get started with the Google Workspace Admin console
If you’re a Google Workspace administrator, focus on these five areas to orient yourself to the Admin console.
The Google Workspace Admin console allows people with administrator accounts to configure and manage all aspects of Google Workspace for an organization. People with a Super Administrator account may control all available Google Workspace settings, while other Administrator accounts may have more limited roles with control over specific settings (e.g., Groups Admin, User Management Admin, Android Admin, etc.). To access the Google Admin console, open your browser to the Admin console and sign in with your Google Workspace administrator account.
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As of February 2022, the Google Admin console design features left and right side menus (i.e., settings and tools, respectively) and a search box at the top, all of which surround options grouped into boxes. In five of the boxes—Users, Product updates, Billing, Domains and Alerts—you may select the downward pointing arrow in the upper right corner for fast access to additional details. Select the arrow again to hide the options and minimize the box size.
Most Google Workspace administrators will want to be familiar with the five Admin console features covered below.
Open the Google Workspace Status Dashboard
On the right side of the main Google Admin console display, below your Workspace account profile image, select < to display the Tools menu (Figure A). While the Tools side panel lists several items, the Google Workspace Status Dashboard may be one of the more frequently used links. The dashboard indicates the status of Google Workspace apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive and Google Meet, among others.
Read product updates
Expand the Product Updates box to display recent Google Workspace announcements (Figure B, box on the right side). These headlines are drawn from recent posts to the Google Workspace Updates blog. I recommend most administrators keep the Product Updates box maximized and review the listed updates at least a couple times a month.
Expand the Users box to display four periodically accessed activities: Add a User, Delete a User, Update a User’s Name or Email and Create an Alternate Email Address (email alias). The box (as shown in Figure B, box on the left) also includes a Manage link that opens the Users list for your organization. In organizations where the set of users changes often, as is common in larger organizations, I recommend administrators keep this box maximized.
Access all settings
For access to all Google Workspace Admin console settings, I suggest you expand your browser to be full screen (or at least wide enough to fill most of your screen). At that point, a click (or tap on touchscreens) on the three-horizontal lines in the upper left corner should toggle the left-side menu between icons and icons with text labels and triangles to the left of items to indicate available sub-menus. Select the Show more button to ensure that all menus display (as shown in Figure C).
I recommend that administrators who are new to Google Workspace take an hour or so to explore all available Admin console menu items. A methodical review of each menu item, simply accessing each and every option, provides useful exposure to the breadth and depth of controls and information available to Workspace administrators.
The Admin console search box lets you search for settings or accounts. Enter a person’s name, then select their profile from the results to go directly to their Workspace settings. Alternatively, enter a technical term or setting, such as DKIM (as in the example in Figure D), to access help pages to learn how to configure something or navigate to a setting directly from the search results.
What’s your experience?
If you’re a Google Workspace administrator, do you sign in to the Admin console at least once a month to review updates and check status? Or, do you only sign in when you have a specific task or concern? Do you leave the five adjustable boxes open to display details, or do you minimize boxes rarely needed (e.g., Domains)? Let me know what your experience has been learning the details of the Google Workspace Admin console, either with comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).
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