I have a simple question and I think I already have the answer but its just to confirm.

I am an admin on sharepoint, and we have a office365 admin as well. The thing is, my team work with sensitive information that they dont want the office365 admin to check it. They dont have any problem in me seing the info but they dont want him to check it.

I think I found a solution but I just want confirmation. I did the following:

  1. Create a new Library.
  2. Stop inheriting permissions for that library.
  3. Create manual permissions for that library (me and colleague's only).
  4. Go to some folders inside the library and click on share, manage access and make sure the other admin is not there.
  5. Create a new sharepoint admin and check if he can see the library on site settings, he cannot.

My question is, apparently everything works as I intended, but can someone please confirm if the office365 admin could see more than we can?

Or can he find out about the library being used there and potentially check the content(change the permission for him for example) of the library?

Its sensitive information (like salary, personal files, etc.).

Thank you for your help.


The hangup here is the term "admin": it's a term of convenience used by people, and not something that SharePoint actually recognizes as meaningful. It could parse out to three different things:

  1. Server/Farm Admin: these can see everything on the server, no matter what.
  2. Site Collection Admin: these can see everything on the site collection, no matter what.
  3. Full-Control User performing administrative functions: these can see whatever they are explicitly granted permission to see.

If you mean one of the first two, then your method will not work. You can't use permissions to hide something from a Server Admin or SCA. If you mean the third thing, then yes: breaking inheritance and removing that particular user will prevent them from seeing it.

  • Thank you so much for the information and the insight! Basically when i mean Office 365 Admin its the person that handles the Office Panel and provides licences, so i cannot hide nothing from him? – user79625 Nov 5 '18 at 16:55
  • This sounds like someone with some server privileges, so I'd guess you can't, but I'm not super sure what level you have to be at to do that. Sorry! – Andrew Ridgway Nov 5 '18 at 17:08
  • No need to Andrew! Thank you so much for you contribution none than less! Cheers friend – user79625 Nov 6 '18 at 8:59

I have just checked with one of our Office 365 global admins and he was unable to access a SharePoint Online list where I had removed his permissions. So assuming your Global Admins are not Site Collection Administrators, their SharePoint access should not be any different to a standard user.

  • Jezz men! Thank you so much for that information!! Its exactly what i was looking for! Just confirm to me what is a Site Collection Adminisitrator? Its doesnt show up on my site settings as well – user79625 Nov 6 '18 at 8:57
  • You can find out who the administrators are by using the SharePoint Admin center https://[tenant]-admin.sharepoint.com/ and finding the appropriate site collection. How you find it exactly depends on which admin center experience you're using. If you see the classic experience, you'll see the site collections as soon as you go to the admin center. Select the correct one and then go to Owners --> Manage Administrators. If you're seeing the new admin center, Select "Active Sites" from the left-hand nav menu, Click the site name from the list, and look for the admins in the properties pane. – user79408 Nov 6 '18 at 20:46
  • Thank you for the Help! Unfortunately it has restricted access – user79625 Nov 7 '18 at 10:37
  • I assume you mean the SharePoint Admin center is restricted? Another thing you could try is going directly to the Site Collection Administrators page of each site collection you need to check. "_layouts/15/mngsiteadmin.aspx". eg. https://[tenant].sharepoint.com/sites/sitename/_layouts/15/mngsiteadmin.aspx – user79408 Nov 7 '18 at 21:21
  • Still locked unfortunally, restricted access – user79625 Nov 8 '18 at 16:27

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