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If a group owner leaves your company the group could find itself without an owner. The content in the group is unaffected by this - the content belongs to the group and isn't tied to the owner's account. But not having a group owner means there's nobody with permissions to manage the group. Fortunately this problem is easily resolved by any administrator in your organization.

Assign a new owner using the web portal

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft 365 portal with an account that has administrator privileges. Choose Groups from the navigation pane at the left, and then Groups from the fly-out that appears.

    Select Groups in the left-hand nav pane to access the groups in your Office 365 tenant
  2. Find the group that you need to assign a new owner to and click on it.

    Select the group you want to manage from this central list of your groups
  3. In the Owners section, choose Edit.

    The groups panel is where you can administer the settings for your group
  4. In the View Owners dialog box, choose Add Owners.

    View and manage group owners in the View owners dialog box
  5. Add the new owner, or owners, of the group. An individual group can have as many as 100 owners. It's a best practice that a group should have at least two owners so that the departure of one doesn't leave the group without an owner.

    Use this dialog to select up to 10 owners to manage your group
  6. When you're done, click the Close button on the View Owners dialog box, and then the Close button on the group admin pane.

Assign a new owner using PowerShell

If you'd prefer to assign a new owner via PowerShell, perhaps because the person who left owned a number of groups and you'd like to replace them on all of those groups with a single script, you can do that. The Add-UnifiedGroupLinks cmdlet lets you add members and owners to an existing Office 365 group.

PowerShell also makes it easy to identify groups that currently have no owners. To do that use this script:

$Groups = Get-UnifiedGroup | Where-Object {([array](Get-UnifiedGroupLinks -Identity $_.Id -LinkType Owners)).Count -eq 0} `
        | Select Id, DisplayName, ManagedBy, WhenCreated
ForEach ($G in $Groups) { 
    Write-Host "Warning! The following group has no owner:" $G.DisplayName

For more information on using PowerShell to administer groups see Manage Microsoft 365 Groups with PowerShell.

Assign a new owner using the Microsoft 365 Admin mobile app

If you have an iOS or Android device, you can download and install the free Microsoft 365 Admin mobile app from your app store. Once it's installed, sign in using an account that has administrator permissions. On the home screen select Groups, pick the group you need to add a new owner to and then select Edit owners.

Select your group in the Office 365 Admin app to edit details like membership or owners.

Select Add owners from the dialog that appears. A user list will appear and you can select the users that you would like to assign owner status to.

See also

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