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I'm new to SharePoint online!

In SharePoint on-premises a SharePoint Administrator could see all sites in a tenant*. In SharePoint online, Microsoft documentation states that "Global Administrators and SharePoint Administrators don't have automatic access to all sites, but they can give themselves access to any site." Is there no permission that allows instant access to all areas of a SharePoint tenant?

  • Am I confusing this permission with a SharePoint Farm Administrator?
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    An on-prem admin also didn’t have access to the content within site collections by default either. On-Prem allowed you to set a Web App Policy to implicitly grant them access but that wasn’t default. Unfortunately, you cannot do the same in SPO.
    – Greg W
    Aug 24, 2023 at 1:30

3 Answers 3

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No, Admins by default do not have access inside the sites themselves, and there's no easy button to grant it to all sites. Typically in the wild an admins group would be granted access through a site provisioning process.

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Global Administrators and SharePoint Tenant Administrators can see all the sites (site collections) from the SharePoint admin center.

You can directly access this page to see all sites in your SharePoint online tenant: SharePoint admin center - Active sites

Microsoft documentations:

  1. Manage sites in the SharePoint admin center
  2. About the SharePoint Administrator role in Microsoft 365
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In Azure active directory search your account and add roles : "SharePoint Admin" and "Teams admin" (Teams admin to see assosiated SharePoint Sites)

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