How to Use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for Free

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Google offers a variety of Workspace plans for businesses and schools — virtually all plans require a paid subscription. But maybe you don’t need a full Google Workspace plan; instead, you might want Google Drive, Google Docs, and other features for a specific team or project within your company. In that case, you can sign up for a free plan called Workspace Essentials Starter.

Available for up to 25 employees, this plan offers Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides as well as Google Chat and Google Meet. The plan does not offer Gmail (in English), as it works with your existing work email address. Each user has 15 GB of storage on the various services with access to team chats, meetings and shared files.

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SEE: Google Workspace cheat sheet: Complete guide for 2022 (TechRepublic)

You don’t need to own or manage a domain, but you do need a business email account. After signing up with your own email address, you can add up to 24 other users with addresses in the same domain.

Go to the Google Workspace registration page. Enter your work email address in the appropriate field. Click Next (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for free.

You are told that you will receive a verification email. Log in to your email account, open the email and click the Verify email address button (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for Free.

On the Google Workspace page, enter your first and last name. Create a Google Workspace account name, which can refer to a team, department, project, or other resource within your organization. Click Next (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for free.

On the next screen, create the password to log in to your workspace. Check the box to indicate that you are not a robot, then click the Accept and create an account button (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for free.

You are redirected to your Google Workspace dashboard page where you can access the various features. To invite other colleagues, click the Invite people button (Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for free.

In the next window, enter the person’s email address. You can enter multiple email addresses, each separated by a semicolon. Click Add, then click Send (Figure F).

Figure F

Figure F: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for free.

The person accepts the email invitation and is prompted to create an account with their name and password. After logging in, they are placed on the dashboard (Figure G).

Figure G

Figure G: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for Free.

As the person who originally set up the Google Workspace account, you are the only administrator, allowing you to manage other users. Click the People entry on the left to see all plan users. Click on a specific user’s three-dot icon to trigger a menu from which you can change their role or remove them entirely (Figure H).

Figure H

Figure H: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for free.

Click the Manage menu entry in Admin Console. This takes you to a dedicated console where you can see how they used the plan, email them, restore deleted data from their Google Drive, delete them, or move them to another workspace (Graph I).

Graph I

Figure I: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for Free.

Now all you have to do is use the various features of the Google Workspace account. From the dashboard, you can directly access Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Meet, and Google Chat. You can also upload files and create new files (Figure J).

Figure J

Figure J: How to use Google Workspace Essentials Starter for free.

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