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It is usually always better to use field keys vs field names for updating fields. The reason for this is for fields that do not yet exist because ACF will not know what type of field the field name refers to when the field does not exist yet.
I am assuming that you are referring to a “group” field in
[group-name]_[subfield-name] an not a “Field Group”. The group field is a special type of repeater field. When using update field you would do something like
$values = array( // sub field key => value of each sub field 'key_12345' => 'sub field 1 value', 'key_23456' => 'sub field 2 value' ); update_field($group_field_key, $values);
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