SharePoint groups started to disappear- totally randomly, within a single site collection. I am pretty sure they are not deleted because we have few site collection admins with knowledge.

like this:

Site A has members, owners and visitors group. we realized that owners and visitors have been removed. The groups are vanished from People and Groups as well!

On the other instance, Site B,all groups have been removed / vanished and an individual person name was added to permissions. I am so confused.how can I trace what might be happening?

  • We have been having a very similiar, if not the same, problem with groups being deleted, presumably by some type of script, scheduled job or other automation. Ours occurs at Midnight on Sunday's. Were you ever able to find a cause for you issue?
    – user8698
    Jun 5, 2012 at 15:48
  • we see a similar behavior in the audit logs, have you ever solved this issue? @ova Cheers Anthony
    – user11005
    Sep 27, 2012 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


Every time I've seen this it was because an admin on a child site was trying to clean up security on their site and accidentally deleting things from the site collection instead. Enable auditing on the site collection and then review the logs after this happens again. That should show you exactly what happened and when.

  • I have enabled the audit logs and all I have now a 12 groups being deleted on a saturday night(easter holiday) at 11 PM, by 3 different users in same minute. no way those people can delete that groups in that time in same minute. thanks to SharePoint the log only contains group id's and I need to restore the backup to somewhere to check the group Id's. I am really confused, what should I do now, why is this happening..
    – ova
    Apr 17, 2012 at 8:51

Sorry it's been a while since I have not updated this but We had found out what this was. There were lots of site movements with export / import on this environment and actually although they were there, on the new destinations, in the background all the associated groups were orphaned after site was imported . so after a certain period a timer job was wiping them off sometime in the early mornings. :) Leaving us sites with no owner/visitor/members groups..

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