I've assigned users to the "Health and Safety" group and the group has permissions set to it. I now want to assign the group access to the "Health and Safety" subsite that sits directly underneath the site collection. How do I do this? I can't see the option on site permissions. See screen shot.

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We're using sharepoint online.


2 Answers 2


You have to go to the subsite, click the Gear to go to Site Settings and then click Site Permissions. From there, you can add your group by clicking the Grant Permissions button. If you do not see these options, then you don't have the rights to do so in the subsite.

If the subsite is inheriting permissions from the parent, then by adding them to the site collection root, they automatically have permission in the subsite.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer :-) I've added a picture to the original post of the site permissions page. I can create group but not add the group to the sub site. What am i missing? I'm the site collection administrator. Thanks Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 13:51
  • Assuming that is the screenshot of the Health and Safety subsite, simply click grant Permissions and add your group with the desired permissions. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 13:55
  • Yes its the Health and Safety subsite. I've clicked grant permissions and added the user in the invite people. Clicked "show options" and I can't see the group i've added. I would have expected to be able to add the group, any ideas why i cant? Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 14:46
  • Because the group doesn't have permission in the subsite so it doesn't allow you to add users in this way. Click Grant permissions and add the "Health and Safety" group and grant them the desired permission. Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 15:18
  • Sorry im probably missing something really simple here. If I add "Health and Safety Group" it says "sharing failed: sharepoint groups cannot contain other sharepoint groups. Remove the sharepoint group from the users box and try again." Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 15:39

I've run into the same situation and it's because the "Inherit Permissions" setting is ON (this is the default setting) for your subsite. If you want Inherit Permissions on so that all groups in the Parent site also have access to the subsite, then you have to add the "Health and Safety" SharePoint group to the Parent site first. Then you can add it to your subsite. Otherwise, you have to turn off Inherit Permissions to add the "Health and Safety" group only to your subsite.

  • I think if you add "Health and Safety" to the parent site, it will automatically have corresponding permissions to the subsite UNLESS you have disabled "inherit permissions".
    – r0berts
    Commented May 16 at 15:46

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