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As a SharePoint Online (SPO) Admin, I'd ideally like to view sites as different users, so that I can see how for example permission settings and audience targeting actually impact the users. Does SPO have any build in feature I could use for this task, or would I have to manually create different users in our LDAP, and log in to SPO with those users to see the effects of permissions and audience targeting?

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Yes, unfortunately, there is no "user emulation" in Office 365, you truly need to log in as a less-privileged user to see what those users will see. For any role you need to emulate, I would suggest setting up a separate test user account. If your organization uses CyberArk, or some other account protection software that lets you "check out" an account, I would recommend you use that for these "test accounts", so that you can still enforce password policies and ensure that no one abuses these accounts for anything other than legitimate testing purposes.

You do not, however, have to set up a separate browser, or repeatedly log out and back in to use these multiple accounts. You can set up Chrome to have multiple people profiles like you would if multiple people were sharing the same computer. This truly creates separate browsing sessions with their own logins and cookies. Think of it like having multiple disconnected incognito/private sessions. You can even open multiple instances of Chrome each logged in to a separate saved profile to be able to compare and contrast what different test user accounts are seeing.

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click Profile Profile.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Choose a name and a photo.
  5. Click Add. A new window will open and ask you to turn on sync.
  6. (Optional) Turn sync on in Chrome with a Google Account for the new profile. Their bookmarks, history, passwords and other settings will sync automatically.
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From the office 365 admin center, create a different set of users and have at least three browsers installed in your machine say - chrome, ie, Mozilla Firefox and login to the same site using the different users and browsers. This way we can verify the different roles of multiple users for the same SharePoint site.

Steps to create the user in the Office 365 admin center:

  1. Login to the office 365 admin center URL using the below link:

    https://admin.microsoft.com/AdminPortal/Home#/users

  2. Under the Users section from the left side panel, click on the Active Users.

  3. Click on the "+ Add a user" icon.

  4. Fill up the user creation details and save it.

Add user in office 365

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  • You don't necessarily need to have several different browser. In Chrome you can setup multiple people profiles that have distinct browsing sessions with their own cookies, cached credentials, etc., saved and ready to re-launch the next time you need to test. – willman Mar 18 at 14:56
  • Thanks for sharing this mate :-) I was not knowing this feature. – Habibur Rahaman Mar 18 at 18:19

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