Office 365 groups - Admin help

Getting things done at work or school means sharing information and collaborating with others. But working together is complicated when different apps are used for email, instant messaging, scheduling, storing documents, authoring, and so on. Office 365 Groups brings collaboration tools together so users can easily connect with the colleagues, information, and applications they need to do more.

As the admin for an Office 365 organization, you don't have to be the a group creator, owner, or member to manage Office 365 Groups. You still can create and delete groups, as well as control other settings on Office 365 groups.

Yammer now integrates with Office 365 Groups! See Yammer groups are now Office 365 Groups for details!

What is an Office 365 group?

An Office 365 group is a space for team collaboration. It comes with a shared:

  • Library for storing and working on group files and folders

  • OneNote notebook for taking project and meeting notes

  • Planning tool for organizing and assigning tasks and getting updates on project progress

Additionally if you've created your group in Outlook, Microsoft Teams or Outlook on the Web you'll get a shared Mailbox for group email communication and a shared Calendar for scheduling group meetings and events.

What admin role do I need to manage Office 365 groups?

The user in your organization that manages Office 365 Groups must be assigned the Exchange Online admin role.

Migrate your distribution groups (distribution lists) to Office 365 group

If you have distribution groups and you want them to get all the features and functionality of Office 365 groups, you can update your distribution groups to Office 365 groups. Check out these topics for more info:

Group limitations

An Office 365 group can have multiple owners and include thousands of members. But there are limits:



Owners per group


Groups a user can create


Groups an admin can create

Unlimited (Up to default organization limit of 500K)

Number of members

More than 1,000

Users might notice delays when accessing the calendar and conversations in large groups

File Storage

1 Terabyte + 500 Megabytes per subscribed user + any additional storage purchased. You can purchase an unlimited amount of additional storage.

The default maximum number of groups that an Office 365 organization can have is currently 500,000.

For more information on SharePoint Online storage see SharePoint Online software boundaries and limits.

Office 365 groups help and how-to for admins

We're constantly making improvements to Office 365 groups. Here's a few things we've added in the last few months.

Group naming policies Group naming policies allows you to control how group names and email aliases appear in your organizations directory, and how they appear to users. You can require a specific prefix or suffix be added to the name for a distribution group when it's created. Group naming policies also lets you block specific words from being used in the group name. This helps you minimize the use of inappropriate words in group names. If your company requires that group naming policies be turned on, you must complete this relatively complex task using Exchange remote PowerShell. You can set your Office 365 groups naming policy by using the distribution group naming policy. Connect to Exchange Online and use remote PowerShell to turn on group naming policy. For the steps on setting your group naming policies, check out, Connect to Exchange Online using remote PowerShell and Create a Distribution Group Naming Policy.

Note: Group naming policies are currently only available for groups created from Outlook desktop, Outlook on the web or Outlook Groups mobile clients.

Compliance and protection features in groups You can now perform an eDiscovery in-place hold on a group’s mailbox using Exchange Admin Center and on group files using the Office 365 Compliance Center. To get started, read Security and compliance for Exchange Online. Check out In-Place eDiscoveryYou can search an Office 365 group mailbox using either In-Place eDiscovery in the Exchange admin center or Compliance Search in the Security & Compliance Center. You can also use Compliance Search to search a group's files. To preserve the content on an Office 365 group SharePoint site or OneDrive for Business site, create a preservation policy in the Security and Compliance Center. To place an Office 365 group mailbox on hold, create an In-Place Hold in the Exchange admin center.

Information rights management (IRM) support for Office 365 Group messages You can now also send Information Rights Management (IRM) protected messages to Office 365 groups. Check out the Introduction to IRM for email messages topic for more information on how IRM works.

The Office 365 Reports dashboard can help you understand activity across your groups in your organization. Wondering how many users are actually using your groups and which groups are actually getting used? The Office 365 Reports dashboard can help you find that information. See Office 365 Reports in the admin center - Office 365 groups for more information.

Yammer Groups are now Office 365 Groups! See Yammer groups are now Office 365 Groups for more information.

For more info about how end user's are using Office 365 groups, check out, Learn about Office 365 groups.

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