I am trying to create a user group in SharePoint using the following code:

// check if group exists
SPGroup newGroup = OfferWorkspaceUserGroup.GetGroup(web, name);

//create group with no users
if (newGroup == null) {
    //group does not exist -> create it
    web.SiteGroups.Add(name, owner, null, description);
    newGroup = web.SiteGroups[name];

This code runs fine if the owner is the SharePoint Admin. If I set the owner to any normal user registered in the AD (that has access to the root site collection) the line

newGroup = web.SiteGroups[name];

throws an error saying that the group cannot be found.

However if I run the command web.SiteGroups I can see that the group exists.

I tried to give the owner full control which did not make a difference.

I am using C# and SharePoint 2013 Why am I seeing this behavior?

  • Can you please try your code in SPSecurity.RunWithElevatedPrievledge delegate
    – user13408
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


The problem is that the user doesn't have permissions to view the group membership. I'm attaching my own version of the AddGroup method. Please note the grp.OnlyAllowMembersViewMembership = false which sets the option for other users to check the group membership. Also you can check if a user has permissions to see the membership using the CanCurrentUserViewMembership property, this will avoid exceptions.

 private static void AddGroup(SPWeb web, SPRoleType roleType, string groupName)
        var groups = web.SiteGroups;

        var userGroup = FindSiteGroup(web.Site, groupName);

        if (userGroup == null)
            groups.Add(groupName, web.CurrentUser, null, string.Empty);

        var grp = web.SiteGroups[groupName];
        grp.OnlyAllowMembersViewMembership = false;

        if (roleType != SPRoleType.None)
            var asgn = new SPRoleAssignment(web.SiteGroups[groupName]);
            var roleDef = web.RoleDefinitions.GetByType(roleType);


-Hope it helps-

  • Thanks it helped as well as that I was ruining this code through a timer job which seemed to make additional trouble. The final solution was to put the code in to a featured which is the activated by the job. Took me quite a while to figure out that this code somehow can not be fun directly by the job. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 13:04

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