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Is SharePoint Online Administrator is by default site collection administrator ?

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No,You have to assign site collection administrator and if you add yourself as a site collection administrator(SharePoint Online Administrator), performing this action is known as taking ownership of a site.

So basically these are two separate administrative roles.

SharePoint Online administrator Administrator of the SharePoint Online Administration Center; can create and manage site collections, designate site collection administrators, determine tenant settings, and configure Business Connectivity Services and Secure Store, InfoPath Forms Services, Records Management, Search, and User Profiles. In Office 365, a Global administrator is also a SharePoint Online administrator.

Site collection administrator User with administrator permissions to manage a site collection. A site collection can have several administrators, but only one primary administrator. The SharePoint Online services administrator should assign permissions to the primary site collection administrator when creating a site collection and can add more administrators for the site collection afterwards.

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  • Means if I belong to SharePoint Online administrator group and I have not added SPO admins group to site collection administrator. I will not be able to access or edit content at that site collection ? Just want to confirm my assumption. Dec 14 '15 at 9:45
  • Yes and you have to note that as soon as it creates team site automatically it assigns SharePoint Online administrator as a site collection administrator.But if you are creating your own site collection and not assigning SharePoint Online administrator as site collection administrator,he will not be able to access anything on that site.blogs.msdn.com/b/cloud_trails/archive/2013/03/05/…
    – Amit Kotha
    Dec 14 '15 at 9:59
  • Thank you very much. It solves my confusion. Have a nice day ! Dec 14 '15 at 10:19

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