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February 21, 2008

Get Email Notifications for Google Groups Threads

Many people visit Google's discussion groups at when something goes wrong in Gmail, Google Reader or any other Google product. The forums are conveniently linked from the support pages and people noticed that email is not the best way to get feedback from Google.

Google Groups doesn't provide an option to be notified when someone replies to one of your topics. Furthermore, when you join a group created for a Google service, the email notifications are disabled by default. There is an option to receive notifications for individual threads, but it's very hard to find it. You have to go to thread you've just created, click on the Options link displayed next to the title and select "Email updates to me". This way, you'll be able to read the answer in your mail client, without having to go to Google Groups and find your post.

Unfortunately, the notifications are sometimes delayed, but Google doesn't provide reliable alternatives. You could manually check the posts from your profile or add an iGoogle gadget that also displays the number of new message from each thread.


  1. It would be so much better if I could subscribe to the thread using RSS and Google Reader. I believe you can do this some of the time, but not if the forum is private and requires authenticated RSS.

    When will Google Reader support authenticated RSS?


  2. If you agree with this change (and the fact it should allow rss updates) say so in this thread i set up

  3. Thanks for the tip... shame it isn't more obvious!

  4. Thank's.
    That's what I was searching for.

    Such poor ergonomy is surprising from Google. Do they want to hide this functionnality ? And why ?