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Create groups

Groups are a collection of items, often related to a specific region, subject, or project, that are created and managed by the group owner. If you have privileges to create groups, you decide who can find your groups, whether others can request to join, whether members can update items shared with the group, and who can contribute content. You also have control over items shared with the group and can invite others to join, even if your group doesn't accept membership requests.

Administrators can create groups that allow members to update items that have been shared with the group. Groups created with this item update capability are useful in collaborative situations in which multiple people need to update the same item—for example, shift workers in operations centers who need to update the maps underlying their apps and dashboards. Groups created with this capability are also useful when certain members in the organization need full editing control of a publicly visible hosted feature layer, but public access to the layer must be restricted to viewing only.

When members share an item with a group created with the item update capability enabled, they remain the owner of the item. Other group members can update the item. Updates to an item include changes to the item details and updates to the content. For example, they can add layers to a map and save the map with the updated content.


At this time, the item update capability is intended for use with item details and the contents of maps, configurable apps, and scenes. Currently, the presentation viewer and most ArcGIS apps do not support the item update capability. For example, members of a group created with this capability enabled can update the item details of a presentation shared with the group but cannot modify the presentation within the viewer.

Administrators also use groups to configure the portal website. These site configuration groups contain the organization's featured content, basemaps, and templates.

Create a group

  1. Verify that you are signed in and have privileges to create groups.
  2. Open Groups and click Create a Group.
  3. Enter a name, summary, description, and tags.
  4. To add a thumbnail image, click the icon Upload image next to your group name, browse to the image file on your desktop, and click OK. Click Save to see your new thumbnail.

    Add an image that is 65 pixels wide by 65 pixels high in a web file format such as PNG, GIF, or JPEG. The maximum file size is 1 MB. If your image is a different dimension, it is resized to 65 by 65 and may appear warped.

  5. Select the sharing status of your group:
    • Public: Anyone with access to the portal can search for and find the group, even if they are not a member of the portal. Anyone can be invited to the group or apply to join. This is the default.
    • Organization: Only members of the group can search for and find the group. Members can be invited to the group or apply to join.
    • Private: Only members of the group can search for and find the group. Members must be invited in order to join the group.
  6. Check the box to allow members to update all items in the group. Updates to an item include changes to the item details and updates to the content.

    This functionality is new at 10.5.1.

    Checking this box enables the item update capability, giving group members the ability to update any items shared with the group. The item update capability is available from the Share button in My Content. For more information, see Share item with a group.


    Only Esri-defined administrators can enable this capability on a group and own groups with this capability. The group must be new; the item update capability cannot be added to an existing group.

    All members of this group can update the item regardless of the privileges for their role. However, they cannot perform other actions that are outside their privileges. For example, if they do not have privileges to create content, they cannot save a copy of a map they update. Only the owner (or administrator) of the item can perform the following actions on the item (not all actions apply to all item types): delete, share, move, change owner, change delete protection, publish, register an app, overwrite data in hosted feature layers, and manage tiles in hosted tile layers.

  7. Check the box to allow users to apply to join the group. The option to allow users to apply to join the group is not available if your group is private. If the portal is configured to allow group membership based on enterprise groups, the check box will be replaced by the following options:
    • Can join by invitation only: The group owner must explicitly invite users to join before they can become a member. Invitations are sent as a notification in the portal to the selected members; they are not sent as an email. Members will need to log in to the portal in order to see notifications for group invitations. Notifications are listed next to the member's user name in the portal website.

    • Can apply to join group: Any user in the organization can apply to become a member of the group. Applications can be accepted or rejected by the group owner. This option is only available if you selected the Organization or Public sharing status.

    • From an Enterprise Group: Membership is controlled outside of the portal by an enterprise group. This option is only available if the following conditions are met:

      • You are an administrator of the organization or have the privilege to link built-in groups to enterprise groups.
      • Your portal has been configured with an enterprise identity store and metadata has been provided about the enterprise groups in the identity store. For details, see About configuring portal authentication.

      To define an enterprise group to manage membership, click Search for group. After entering your search criteria, select the desired group from the list of results and click Select group.


      Enterprise accounts in the enterprise group that are already portal members will be added to the portal group you are creating. If your enterprise accounts and groups are from a Windows Active Directory server, this includes accounts from nested enterprise groups.

  8. Select who can contribute content to the group, all members or just you, the group administrator (group owner).

    If you choose to only allow the group owner, members can view and access your items, but they can't share their own items with the group. This type of group is a good way to share your authoritative maps and data to a targeted audience. You control what items appear in the group and who can view them.

  9. To change how the items are sorted on the group page, select a field in the drop-down list next to Sorted by.

    You can choose to sort by title, owner, ratings, views, or date (default). To change how the items are ordered, check or uncheck the box next to Ascending. The sort field and order extends to your group when it is embedded in a website, shared as an app, and used to configure your portal website (such as the basemap gallery). If you change the sort field or order, the item display is updated everywhere the group is used.

  10. Click Save to create your group.

Edit a group

You can edit the properties of an existing group you own or administer. These properties include descriptive details, such as the title and thumbnail, as well as the status and who can contribute items.

  1. Verify that you are signed in and own the group you want to edit or have privileges to update groups owned by members.
  2. Open Groups and click the name of the group.
  3. Click Edit and edit the group properties.

    You cannot enable or disable the capability for members to update all items in the group on existing groups. You can only enable the capability on new groups. To disable the capability, you need to delete the group.


    If the group already contains members from the portal's built-in identity store, you must remove the members before you can update the group. For instructions, see manage groups.

  4. Click Save to update the group.