Add and remove group members in Outlook

Updated: October 2017

As projects come and go, so too will your group members. Undoubtedly, you'll need to add and remove members over the life of the group; you might even need to add or remove group owners.

Any member of a group can invite others to the group, but only the group owner can remove them. The group owner is usually the person who created the group but others can be assigned this role as well.

Select the tab that corresponds with your version of outlook for instructions on adding and removing members, including guest members.

The process for inviting people to join a group is a little different for public groups than for private groups. Private groups require owner approval before the invitee is allowed to join. Determine which type of group you're inviting a member to—public or private—and then follow the steps below.

Want to invite a guest to your group? Follow the instructions in Add guests to a group.

Public group

  1. Open Outlook on the web.

  2. In the folder pane, under Groups, select your group.

    Left nav from Outlook in Office 365

  3. In the group header, select Settings for SPO Migration tool > Invite others.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • Select Copy to paste the link to join the group into an email that you've already started composing.

    • Select Email to start a new mail with a Click here to join the group link embedded within it. The recipient will have to click that link to join the group.

      Click Copy or Email to embed the join link in an email
  5. Finish composing the mail and click Send.

Private group

Any group member can invite someone to join a private group, but the group owner must approve the request before the new member can join.

  1. Open Outlook on the web.

  2. In the folder pane, under Groups, select your group.

    Left nav from Outlook in Office 365

  3. In the group header, select Settings for SPO Migration tool > Invite others.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • Select Copy to paste the link to join the group into an email that you've already started composing.

    • Select Email to start a new mail with a Submit request link embedded within it. The recipient will have to click that link to send the join request to the group owner.

      Click Copy or Email to embed the join link in an email
  5. Finish composing the mail and click Send.

When you add guests, also known as external users, to a group, you're granting them access to all information within the group. This includes emails, calendar, project notes, project files, and project plans. Guests don't see a Groups node in their navigation pane in Outlook but do receive group emails and links to files through their inbox.

The groups header indicates when guest users are included in the group:

Visual indicators that guests are included in the group

The members page also includes visual indicators to differentiate guest members.

Visual indicator on guest member

When you invite a guest to join a group, they will be notified by email that they've been added. They'll begin to receive group conversations and calendar events in their inbox. But guest members do have limitations as to what they can see and do in a group. For example, guests can't:

  • Be group owners

  • View the global address list

  • View all information on group member contact cards

  • View membership of the group

The group owner can revoke guest access at any time.

To add guests to a group

  1. Open Outlook on the web.

  2. In the navigation pane, under Groups, select your group.

  3. In the group header, select the member count.

    Select the member count to go to the Members page
  4. Select Add members.

  5. Enter the email address of the guest. You'll see a message informing you that the guest will have limited access to group resources.

    Warning message about adding guests to groups

  6. Choose Save.

You must be a group owner to remove members. How do I know if I'm a group owner?

  1. In the group header, select the member count.

    Select the member count to go to the Members page
  2. Select All to see all members of the group.

    Select All to see the members of this group
  3. Next to the name of the member you want to remove and click The More Actions icon > Remove from group.

  1. In the group header, select the member count.

    Select the member count to go to the Members page
  2. Select Owners to see all of the group owners.

    Groups header with Owners link highlighted

You have to be a group owner to promote one of your group members.

  1. In the group header, select the member count.

    Select the member count to go to the Members page
  2. Select All to see all members of the group.

    Select All to see the members of this group
  3. Hover over the name of the member you want to promote and choose The More Actions icon >Make owner.

When demoting an owner to member status, keep in mind that the group must have at least one owner. Only group owners can demote.

  1. In the group header, select the member count.

    Select the member count to go to the Members page
  2. Select Owners.

    Groups header with Owners link highlighted

  3. Hover over the name of the member you want to promote and select The More Actions icon > Remove owner status.

  1. Open Outlook 2016.

  2. Under Groups in the left folder pane, select your group.

    Select a group on the left Nav

  3. On the Groups ribbon, select Add Members.

  4. In the Add Members box, search for people within your organization either by their full name or email address, and then select the names to add.

  5. Click OK.

When you add guests, also known as external users, to a group, you're granting them access to all information within the group. This includes emails, calendar, project notes, project files, and project plans. Guests don't see a Groups node in their navigation pane in Outlook but do receive group emails and links to files through their inbox.

The groups header indicates when guest users are included in the group, as shown in this example.

Guest membership is indicated in your group header

When you invite a guest to join a group, they will be notified by email that they've been added. They'll begin to receive group conversations and calendar events in their inbox. But guest members do have limitations as to what they can see and do in a group. For example, guests can't:

  • Be group owners

  • View the global address list

  • View all information on group member contact cards

  • View membership of the group

The group owner can revoke guest access at any time.

To add guests to a group

  1. Open Outlook 2016.

  2. Under Groups in the left folder pane, select your group.

    Select a group on the left Nav

  3. On the Groups ribbon, select Add Members.

  4. In the Add Members box, enter the email address of the guest and press Enter.

  5. Select OK.

Only group owners can remove members.

  1. Under Groups in the left folder pane, select your group.

    Select a group on the left Nav

  2. On the ribbon, select Edit Group.

  3. In the Edit Group box, point to the name of the member you want to remove, and click the X.

    Remove a member

Add members to your group

  1. Open the Outlook Mobile app.

  2. Select Groups from the folder pane.

    Groups folder in navigation pane

  3. Tap the name of the group to which you'll add members.

    Home screen of groups mobile app
  4. Tap the group name to go to the Group Details page.

    Tap the member button to see the members page
  5. Below the list of members, tap the View All link.

    Select the view all members link to see group members
  6. On the Members page, tap Add.

  7. Type one or more names or email addresses, or select members from the list. Members from outside your school or organization will have "Guest" beneath their names.

  8. Tap Check mark symbol . You'll see the updated member list.

Remove a member from a group

Only group owners can remove members.

  1. Open the Outlook Mobile app.

  2. Select Groups from the folder pane.

    Groups folder in navigation pane

  3. Tap the name of the group to which you'll remove members.

    Home screen of groups mobile app
  4. Tap the group name to go to the Group Details page.

    Tap the member button to see the members page
  5. On the Group Details page, tap . . . next to the name of the person you want to remove from the group.

  6. Tap Remove From Group.

See Also

Guest access in Office 365 Groups

Create a group

Join a group

Delete a group

Leave a group

Compare Groups in Outlook Mobile to the Outlook Groups mobile app

Learn about Office 365 groups

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