Add and remove group members in Outlook

Updated: April 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. By default, the group owner is the person who created the group but others can be assigned this role as well.

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 navigation pane, under Groups, select your group.

    Left nav from Outlook in Office 365

  3. In the group header, select The More Actions icon > Invite others.

    Note: Don't see Invite others on your screen? This is a new feature that's rolling out to Office 365 customers worldwide. If you don't see it on your screen, the feature hasn't made it to your account yet. You should receive it soon.

  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
  1. Open Outlook on the web.

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

    Left nav from Outlook in Office 365

  3. In the group header, select The More Actions icon > 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.

Tip: You can also add members to a group from the Members page by selecting Member icon in groups > Add members.

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. Indicators include text and a globe icon, as shown in this example.

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 More Actions icon > Members.

  4. Select Add members.

  5. Enter the email address of the guest. You'll see a message informing you that the owner must approve the addition of the guest.

    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. Under the group header, click All to see all of the group members.

    Groups header with All button highlighted

  2. Hover over the name of the member you want to remove, and then click The More Actions icon > Remove from group.

  1. Under the group header, 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. Under the group header, select All.

    Groups header with All button highlighted

  2. 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. Under the group header, select Owners.

    Groups header with Owners link highlighted

  2. 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 nav, select your group.

    Select a group on the left Nav

  3. On the Groups ribbon, select Add Members.

    Click the Add Members button on the ribbon

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

    Add new members

    Tip: If you want to add multiple people at the same time, add the names or email addresses, separated by a semicolon.

  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. Indicators include text and a globe icon, 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 nav, select your group.

    Select a group on the left Nav

  3. On the Groups ribbon, select Add Members.

    Click the Add Members button on the ribbon

  4. In the Add people box, enter the email address of the guest and press Enter. Red text reminds you that guests will have access to group content.

    You're notified that guests will have access to group content

  5. Select OK.

  1. Under Groups in the left nav, select your group.

    Select a group on the left Nav

  2. On the ribbon, select Edit Group.

    Edit a group in Outlook 2016

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

    Remove a member

    Warning: When using a touch screen, if you tap the name of a group member, the entry is deleted and no prompt for confirmation is displayed.

See Also

Guest access in Office 365 Groups

Create a group

Join a group

Delete a group

Leave a group

Learn about Office 365 groups

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