"You don't have sufficient permissions" error when you try to remove or make a change to a distribution group in Office 365

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Article ID: 2731947 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you try to remove or make a change to a distribution group by using Exchange admin center in Exchange Online for Office 365, you receive the following error message: 
You don't have sufficient permissions. This operation can only be performed by a manager of the group.


To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
  1. Connect to Exchange Online by using remote PowerShell. For more info about how to do this, go to the following Microsoft website: 
    Connect to Exchange Online Using Remote PowerShell
  2. Make the change that you want to the distribution group by using the appropriate Windows PowerShell cmdlet.

    For example, to remove the distribution group, use the Remove-DistributionGroup cmdlet together with the BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck parameter. Here's an example:
    Remove-DistributionGroup <NameOfGroup> -BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck
    Note In this cmdlet and other cmdlets in the "Examples" section, the distribution group is represented by a <NameOfGroup> placeholder.


Here are some more examples of other Windows PowerShell cmdlets that you can use to manage distribution groups.
  • To assign ownership of a group, use the Set-DistributionGroup cmdlet. Here's an example.
    Set-DistributionGroup <NameOfGroup> -ManagedBy "Admin@contoso.com" -BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck
  • To add a user to a group, use the Add-DistributionGroup cmdlet. Here's an example.
    Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity <NameOfGroup> -Member user@contoso.com
  • To remove a user from a group, use the Remove-DistributionGroup cmdlet. Here's an example.
    Remove-DistributionGroupMember -Identity <NameOfGroup> -Member user@contoso.com
  • To check the members list for a group, use the Get-DistributionGroupMember cmdlet. Here's an example.
    Get-DistributionGroupMember -identity <NameOfGroup>|fl DisplayName,WindowsLiveID,RecipientType


This issue may occur if the ManagedBy attribute of the distribution group is empty or is set up for a user who is no longer active in Exchange Online. This issue could be caused by one of the following conditions:
  • You don't have sufficient permissions.
  • The admin who originally created the group is no longer in the organization.
  • You are assigned the "Security Group Creation and Membership" role Exchange Admin Center or in Exchange Control Panel. However, you can't remove the group.
Note Customers who set up groups in Office 365 may later have to remove the groups even if those customers don't own the groups.


For info about managing distribution groups that are synced to Office 365 from the on-premises environment, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
2417592 Owners of an on-premises distribution group that's synced to Office 365 can't manage the distribution group in Exchange Online

Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.


Article ID: 2731947 - Last Review: July 9, 2014 - Revision: 8.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Exchange Online
o365e o365p o365 o365a o365m o365022013 KB2731947

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