Generic Account



  • A generic account in Google Workspace @ NC State represents a role rather than an individual.
  • A generic account has access to the same Google Workspace apps (e.g., Gmail, Docs, Calendar) as an individual account.
  • A generic account has a quota of 5 GB assigned to it.
  • A single generic account can be multi-purpose; e.g., manage departmental calendars, centralize storage of Gmail or Docs, review web page content.
  • Consequently, a department or other campus unit does not need a separate account for every purpose.
  • Access to the Google Workspace apps in a generic account can be granted to anyone, including a student or temporary employee, who has an active NC State Gmail account and its accompanying email address.

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Requesting a Generic Account

Request a generic account through OIT’s Web Registry service, which will ask you for the following:

  • Account first and last names
    • Choose each name so that it reflects the account’s nature or purpose.
    • This will facilitate finding the account when searching for it.
  • Account username that:
    • is not a person’s name
    • indicates the role the account will serve
    • must contain at least 11 characters,
    • must not contain successive hyphens (-) or underscores (_)
    • does not begin with: group-
    • does not conflict with any other account name at NC State
  • Account Service Contacts; i.e., Google Workspace @ NC State usernames of all persons to be responsible for:
    • answering technical questions about the account’s use
    • annual renewal of the account.
  • (Optional) Whether you want the account to be listed in the NC State Contacts in Google Workspace @ NC State.

Requests are processed regularly, and accounts are created after review and approval by an administrator.

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Service Contacts

Generic Account Access Setup

  • Whenever possible, grant access to a generic account by setting up mail delegation for every person involved, including the account’s Service Contacts.
    For details on adding and removing mail delegates, as well as what delegates can and cannot do, see Set up mail delegation.
  • To simplify account access and management, especially when using 2-Step Verification, do both of the following:
    • Minimize the number of Service Contacts.
    • Give the account password to the Service Contacts ONLY, not to any other person who has account access.

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2-Step Verification Setup for a Generic Account

For significantly increased security, generic accounts are required to have Google 2-Step Verification enabled within 14 days of its creation.

For general information on this topic, see Two-Factor Authentication at NC State.

  • If you have not yet requested a Generic Account, complete the Generic Account Access Setup process.
  • Along with standard Google 2-Step authentication methods, Generic Account users also have access to the Get2Factor app.
    • Get2Factor (G2F) app
      • Provides a virtual Google Authenticator app that allows Generic Account users to access two-factor codes via ServiceNow.
      • Is beneficial for Generic Accounts with more than three users.
      • Visit Get2Factor to manage accounts and access codes.
      • Review the G2F User’s Manual for more information on end-user access and how to set up the tool for your accounts.
  • Step 1- Before enrolling your Generic Account in 2-Step:
    • Identify a primary contact who will manage the process.
    • Generic Account contacts should communicate with all users of the account that 2-Step Verification will be enabled.
    • Note: Once enrolled, users who log in directly to that Generic Account will be required to verify with an enrolled second factor. Delegated users who do not log in to the account directly will not be affected.
  • Step 2- The primary contact will:
    • Identify users who will need direct access to the account, along with their preferred authentication method.
    • Initially enroll the account in 2-Step. Note that a number is no longer necessary to enroll in 2-Step. Enrolling may now start with a security key or Google Prompt.
    • Add other users’ preferred authentication method in Google 2-Step settings.
      • E.g. additional numbers for phone call and/or text message, security keys, print backup codes, etc.
    • Notes:
      • OIT recommends that the account initially be enrolled using the primary contact’s security key or Google Prompt.
      • Generic Accounts with more than 3 users should use the Get2Factor App.
  • Step 3 – After setup:
    • After logging in with the generic account’s username and password, most users will need to select “Try another way?” on the verification window to select their preferred individual authentication method. Once authenticated, users will continue to their desired app.
    • Review 2-Step Verification settings regularly to ensure appropriate user access. Changes can be made to the account’s settings at any time.
  • Web Session length
    • Unlike Duo, with Google you cannot trust your computer for 14 days, meaning if you log out of a Google service, you will have to use 2FA to log back in.
    • However, if you quit your web session and you do not log out of your Google service, your web session length will stay valid for 14 days.
    • If you use web session length with Google, be sure that your computer is secured so that no one can access your Google account.
    • As with Duo, clearing cache and cookies or using incognito/private browsing will result in having to re-authenticate with Google 2-Step.
  • Two-Factor Status available in Web Registry
    • Administrative and Technical contacts can view the status of two-factor authentication for generic accounts.
    • The Two-Factor Status field can be viewed in the following locations:
      • From the Service Directory by filtering the listing of generics you own or are listed as a contact for.
      • Under the “Service Status” for specific generic accounts.

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Mail Delegates

Access to Gmail

  • After you have been added to the generic account as a mail delegate, you should receive an email requesting confirmation.
  • Once you accept, then you can access Gmail for generic account as follows:
    1. Log in to your individual Google Workspace @ NC State account if you have not already done so.
    2. In the upper right-hand corner of the window, click on the icon for your account.
    3. In the window that opens, click on the icon for the generic account.
      That account’s Gmail will open in a new tab, and your individual account tab will remain open.

If you are not a Service Contact, you will NOT be logging in to the generic account with a password or with 2-Step Verification.

Access to Calendar and Docs

Access to the generic account’s Calendar and Docs can be granted to you as needed.

Your Individual Google Account

  • ALL employees and students are now REQUIRED to enroll in Duo
    • This includes faculty, staff, student employees, no-pay employees, and retirees.
  • Visit for more information about two-factor authentication at NC State.

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Help with a Google Generic Account

Contact the NC State IT Service Portal.

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Email Retention

See Central Email Retention Services.

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