SharePoint 101 – Confusions about SharePoint Online Site Group and Site Members Permissions

Lately I’ve got a lot of request regarding the confusions of SharePoint Site Group and Site Members.

Basically when you create a modern Team Site via the GUI, what you are creating is also an “Office 365 Group” in the nature of this action your user account is automatically added to the SharePoint Site Collection(SC) administrator Group and Owner of that O365 Group.

In this process SharePoint Service Administrator and Company Administrator is not automatically added as Site collection Admin or Group Owner. Unless you were creating the site with your admin account, we can address this in a site provisioning script/template.

Of course, since you are admin, you can run backend script to add you to SC admin group.

Further more it is still a bit confusing between the site members and site group.

When you administer permission to a Modern Team Site you can choose to:

  1. Add member to the Group | by doing this you add the user to all group resources, Mailbox, SharePoint, Calendar. And members will have edit right to the site and content, you cannot assign read only access to members.


  1. You can then use “Share site only” | this option will add the user to the “SharePoint Only Security Groups(Visitor, Members and Owners)”, with this you can give user read only access to the site. Users won’t have access to the O365 Group ressources

sitegroup03  sitegroup04


Hopefully this clears things up a little bit.


One thought on “SharePoint 101 – Confusions about SharePoint Online Site Group and Site Members Permissions

  1. Philip Worrell

    Thanks that did clean things up a bit.
    It fragments the experience for setting up a site. I have a customer using AD groups for this sort of thing. So moving to office groups is a total change from what they do today.

    The permission levels for groups are also granted too high for them. Full control and edit were reduced to edit and contribute.
    Mainly from on prem days and the chaos / mess people made with security and adding JavaScript which caused performance issues.
    Now to open the doors again. Might take some persuading

    Liked by 1 person

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