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Assigning AU Licenses in Bulk with GAM

Over the last few years, G Suite Business and Enterprise users have been struggling with what to do with users whom have been off-boarded from the organization, but their information needs to remain accessible for legal holds. This has been a large pain point with G Suite as the only solutions were rather manual and change the way you need to search for that data when dealing with legal holds. Thus, Google has recently released G Suite Archive User licensing. Essentially, this license now lets you move an inactive user to Archive User Licenses when they no longer need to access their account, freeing up the higher cost G Suite Business or Enterprise licensing for lower cost Archive User licensing, without losing any of the data or storage capability.

The steps below review best practices for bulk assigning Archive user licenses in bulk, which is typically necessary when first purchasing G Suite Archive Users.

This article assumes General knowledge of GAM (a command line tool for managing G Suite), and that GAM has been deployed on GCP CloudShell. If GAM is locally installed, the following recommended steps are the same, just be cognizant of where you save the CSV’s required to run the script, they will need to be in the organizations GAM directory. Need help up to this point? Contact care@cloudbakers.com.

Or here are some additional GAM resources:

Bulk Archive User Update Steps

Step 1: Export all Users to Sheet > Filter Suspended Users

1. G Suite Admin Panel > Users > +Add Filter - User Status = Suspended

Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 3.48.47 PM


Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 3.49.46 PM

Click Download Users at the top of your screen

3. Make sure the following radio buttons are selected:

  • Currently filtered list of users
  • Currently selected columns
  • Comma-separated values (.csv)
    • You can opt to export to Google Sheets and download as a CSV as well
    • You can use Google Sheets to filter for each export and then download as .csv
    • Save .csv file for suspended users (name the csv suspendedusers and edit the user email Column to be primaryEmail)

Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 3.52.54 PM


NOTE: When saving these files, make sure to you remember where you save them. IF you are using a local installation of GAM, be sure to save it in the root directory of where GAM is installed

Step 2: In GAM Cloudshell upload <suspendeduser> CSV

  • Reminder: if using a local installation of GAM, be sure to save it in the root directory of where GAM is installed.
Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 3.55.38 PM


Step 3: Run GAM command to assign Archived Users to all suspended users.

Execute the following command:

gam csv basicsuspended.csv gam update user ~primaryEmail1 archived on

The above script will assign all users in the suspendedusers sheet Archived User license.

AND We're Done!

Other Useful Links

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Originally published on December 09, 2019

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