I'm trying to add an account to the site collection owners on users personal sites. I'm using the following:

User spUser = null;
using (ClientContext clientContext = new ClientContext(siteURL)) {
    clientContext.Credentials = credentials;
    if (clientContext != null)
        spUser = clientContext.Web.EnsureUser(userAccount);
        spUser.IsSiteAdmin = true;


but I'm getting this error:

You need to be a site collection administrator to set this property.

On the Sharepoint site, the user is under site collection Administrators.

I'm also looking to do this from a console application.

1 Answer 1


The error You need to be a site collection administrator to set this property occurs when one of the following conditions does not met:

  • Ensure the user performing a request is a Site Collection Administrator
  • Ensure permissions for the App, explicitly request FullControl permission at the Site Collection scope as shown below:

enter image description here

Follow Adding Site Collection Admin in CSOM in a SharePoint 2013 App article for a more details.

  • I'm using a console app to apply the permissions and trying to apply to sharepoint online. I'm hoping to then use this code in powershell
    – Webfort
    Dec 13, 2014 at 13:29

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