I am trying to understand the rights system of SharePoint. I have the following groups by default when I access the website-permissions: Owners, members and visitors.

If I open the "Owners of..." group, there is no user in it. I would have suspected that my name was in there, because I created the website. Why is this group empty?

If I open the "Members of..." group, there is a entry "Members of..." in the list. Why does a user with the name of the group exist?

I suspected then that this user is an Outlook group, but how to distinguish between them? Because in the group I am as a site owner and also other users with less right...

My other and last question would be: What the default group means?

2 Answers 2


When you created a site you have been added to the site administrators group (that is not showing thorough the modern user management experience) check that you are site admin from the site contents-->site collection settings-->site collection administrators.

Members of is o365 group that has automatically been created with the site.

Vistiors, Members and Owners correspond to the Read, Contribute and Full Control permissions. REF: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/understand-groups-and-permissions-on-a-sharepoint-site-258e5f33-1b5a-4766-a503-d86655cf950d


Traditionally, SharePoint permissions have been managed through a set of permissions groups within a site (Owners, Members, Visitors, etc.).

In SharePoint Online, this remains true for some types of sites, but additional options are available for team sites.

When you create a team site in SharePoint Online, office 365 group is created with it. And this office 365 group is added to your SharePoint Site Members group.

When you create a team site and whenever you are adding any user to the SharePoint site from modern experience, the users will be added to an Office 365 group (Group added inside your SharePoint Site Members group) and not directly from SharePoint groups.

By default, each SharePoint team site is part of an Office 365 group. An Office 365 group is a single permissions group that is associated with various Office 365 services. This includes a SharePoint site, an instance of Planner, a mailbox, a shared calendar, and others.

When you add owners or members to the Office 365 group, they're given access to the SharePoint site along with the other group-connected services. Group owners become site owners, and group members become site members.

It's possible to manage SharePoint site permissions separately from the Office 365 group by using SharePoint groups, but we recommend against it. In such a case, group members will continue to have access to the site, but users added directly to the site won't have access to any of the group services. The exception is view-only access - Office 365 groups don't have a visitors permission for view-only access, so any users you wish to have view permissions on the site must be added directly to the visitors group on the site.

Source: Sharing and permissions in the SharePoint modern experience.

Read more related information at: The SharePoint Permissions Struggles in Office 365 Groups.

  • Okay, when I add users as members of my Office 365 group, they are automatically and invisibly added to the "Members of..." SharePoint group. Can I change this mapping? I create a new SharePoint group and configure it according to my wishes, can I then set somewhere that the Office 365 group members should added to my new SharePoint group? Feb 10, 2020 at 14:33
  • As per Microsoft documentation, It's possible to manage SharePoint site permissions separately from the Office 365 group by using SharePoint groups, but we recommend against it Feb 10, 2020 at 15:04
  • However you can create a new SharePoint group and add an office 365 group inside that group (deleting it from SharePoint members group) . Note that when you do this, users you are adding from modern experience will have the permissions of SharePoint group. Example: you created a SharePoint group with Read permissions and added office 365 group inside it (after removing from SP members group). Then users will have read permissions on site even if you have added them as owner/member of office 365 group. Feb 10, 2020 at 15:08
  • How can I add the Office 365 "Members of..." User to my group? I am in the new group and click on the "new button", then I click on "add user". Then a new window will open. On the left side you can see "Invite people" and " Share with". In the tab "share with" I only see "owner of ...". When I click on the text or the profile image, I am redirected to another page ( Users and Groups > User Information ). How can I add the user "members of..." to my group? Feb 10, 2020 at 15:37
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    I will test it today to see if it works. If it does, I will click the checkmark and accept your answer. Feb 11, 2020 at 7:46

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