Working with the SharePoint Service Administrator Group in SharePoint Online

In this post we take a look at the SharePoint Service Administrator Group, what it is and how to use it in SharePoint Online.

In this post:

Background

Recently I had the task of creating, then modifying a few hundred sites in SharePoint Online. In our case we provisioned the Microsoft 365 group connected SharePoint sites using PnP PowerShell, but as part of this we set the primary owner as an individual admin.

During the process of updating the sites manually, it become more and more annoying that other SharePoint admins had to keep adding themselves into the recently provisioned sites in order to do anything – that is until I found the SharePoint Service Administrator group!

What is the SharePoint Service Administrator group?

The SharePoint Service Administrator is a security group that includes everyone that has been assigned the SharePoint Admin role in Microsoft 365. It’s also worth noting there is also a Company Administrator group also, which includes all users with the Global Admin role.

Greg Zelfond has provided a great write up of these roles over at SharePoint Maven. For the purposes of this post I will be focusing on the SharePoint Service Administrator group.

How to assign the SharePoint Service Administrator group to a site

Follow the steps below to add the SharePoint Service Administrator group as an additional admin of a SharePoint site:

  • Open the SharePoint admin center
  • Under Sites > Active sites > select the site you wish to add the SharePoint Service Administrator group to
  • Press Permissions > Manage additional admins
Select your site then press Permissions > Manage additional admins.
  • Under Add an admin > enter SharePoint Service Administrator
  • Press Save

Issues and troubleshooting

#1 Cannot add SharePoint Service Administrator as a group owner

If you are creating or editing Microsoft 365 group connected SharePoint team sites, you are unable to add security groups as owners or members of a M365 group. Security group driven M365 group membership has been a long-standing request of Microsoft, but Roadmap ID: 83113 added in May 2021 has group driven membership management as targeted for release in December 2022.

Workaround: When creating new sites, set the group owners/ members as you would normally (i.e. one or more individuals), then edit the site once created to add the SharePoint Service Administrator group as an additional admin.

For existing sites, just update the additional admin as per the guidance above.

#2 No SharePoint Service Administrator group to choose from

If you have not assigned the SharePoint admin role to anyone in your tenant yet, the SharePoint Service Administrator role will not be available to select from when trying to assign it as an additional admin. In the below example, this tenant only had one global administrator, but the SharePoint admin role had not been explicitly assigned.

When I tried to add the company administrator role it worked no problem.

Workaround: Assign the SharePoint admin role to those you want to be included in the SharePoint Service Administrator group, or use the Company Administrator group if you only have global admins in your tenancy.

Useful SharePoint URLs

This post is to serve as a reference point for all the useful shortcut URLs in SharePoint that help admins and super users get their jobs done much easier.

There are several blog posts by others with these URLs in them, but I wanted to preserve them in my own blog for future generations! Most of these links have come from SharePoint 2010, so if you want them to work in differing versions just add a 14, 15 or 16 after the layouts folder to work in 2010, 2013, 2016 or SharePoint Online.

My favourites

TitleURL
Site contents/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx
/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx?view=14 (old style view)
Manage content & structure/_layouts/sitemanager.aspx
Audit log reports /_layouts/Reporting.aspx?Category=Auditing

Users and permissions

TitleURL
People/_layouts/people.aspx
Groups/_layouts/groups.aspx
Site Collection Admins /_layouts/mngsiteadmin.aspx
Advanced Permissions /_layouts/user.aspx

Galleries

TitleURL
Site Columns/_layouts/mngfield.aspx
Site content types/_layouts/mngctype.aspx
Web parts/_catalogs/wp/Forms/AllItems.aspx
List templates/_catalogs/lt/Forms/AllItems.aspx
Master Pages/_layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Themes/_catalogs/theme/Forms/AllItems.aspx
Solutions/_catalogs/solutions/Forms/AllItems.aspx

Site administration

TitleURL
Regional settings/_layouts/regionalsetng.aspx
Content and structure/_Layouts/sitemanager.aspx?Source={WebUrl}_layouts/settings.aspx
Content and structure logs/_Layouts/SiteManager.aspx?lro=all
Site libraries and lists/_layouts/mcontent.aspx
User alerts/_layouts/sitesubs.aspx
RSS/_layouts/siterss.aspx
Search and offline availability/_layouts/srchvis.aspx
Sites and workspaces/_layouts/mngsubwebs.aspx
Workflows/_layouts/wrkmng.aspx
Workflow settings/_layouts/wrksetng.aspx
Related Links scope settings/_layouts/RelLinksScopeSettings.aspx
Content Organizer Settings/_layouts/DocumentRouterSettings.aspx?Source=settings.aspx
Content Organizer Rules/RoutingRules/Group%20by%20Content%20Type.aspx
Site output cache/_Layouts/areacachesettings.aspx
Term store management/_Layouts/termstoremanager.aspx
Searchable columns/_Layouts/NoCrawlSettings.aspx

Look and feel

TitleURL
Welcome page/_Layouts/AreaWelcomePage.aspx
Title, description and icon/_layouts/prjsetng.aspx
Master page/_Layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Page layouts and site templates/_Layouts/ChangeSiteMasterPage.aspx
Tree view/_layouts/navoptions.aspx
Site theme/_layouts/themeweb.aspx
Navigation/_layouts/AreaNavigationSettings.aspx

Site actions

TitleURL
Manage site features/_layouts/ManageFeatures.aspx
Reset to site definition/_layouts/reghost.aspx
Delete this site/_layouts/deleteweb.aspx
Site web analytics reports/_layouts/WebAnalytics/Report.aspx?t=SummaryReport&l=s
Site collection web analytics reports/_layouts/WebAnalytics/Report.aspx?t=SummaryReport&l=sc

Site collection administration

TitleURL
Search settings/_layouts/enhancedSearch.aspx
Search scopes/_layouts/viewscopes.aspx
Search keywords/_layouts/listkeywords.aspx
Site level recycle bin/_layouts/RecycleBin.aspx
Site collection recycle bin/_layouts/AdminRecycleBin.aspx
Site collection features/_layouts/ManageFeatures.aspx?Scope=Site
Site directory settings/_layouts/SiteDirectorySettings.aspx
Site hierarchy/_layouts/vsubwebs.aspx
Site collection navigation/_layouts/SiteNavigationSettings.aspx
Site collection audit settings/_layouts/AuditSettings.aspx
Audit log reports/_layouts/Reporting.aspx?Category=Auditing
Portal site connection/_layouts/portal.aspx
Site collection policies/_layouts/Policylist.aspx
Storage Metrics/_layouts/storman.aspx
Record declaration settings/_layouts/InPlaceRecordsSettings.aspx?Source=settings.aspx
Content type publishing/_Layouts/contenttypesyndicationhubs.aspx
Site collection cache profiles/_Layouts/RedirectPage.aspx?Target={SiteCollectionUrl}cache profiles
Site collection object cache/_Layouts/objectcachesettings.aspx
Content type service application error log/Lists/ContentTypeAppLog
Site collection output cache/_Layouts/sitecachesettings.aspx
Variations/_Layouts/VariationSettings.aspx
Variation labels/_Layouts/VariationLabels.aspx
Translatable columns/_Layouts/TranslatableSettings.aspx
Variation logs/_Layouts/VariationLogs.aspx
Suggested Content Browser Locations/PublishedLinks/
Document ID settings/_Layouts/DocIdSettings.aspx
SharePoint Designer Settings/_layouts/SharePointDesignerSettings.aspx
Visual Upgrade/_layouts/suppux.aspx
Help settings/_layouts/HelpSettings.aspx

Central administration

TitleURL
Manage web applications/_admin/WebApplicationList.aspx
Create site collections/_admin/createsite.aspx
Manage service applications/_admin/ServiceApplications.aspx
Manage content databases/_admin/CNTDBADM.aspx
Check job status/_admin/Timer.aspx
Manage farm administrators group/_layouts/people.aspx?MembershipGroupId=3
Configure service accounts/_admin/FarmCredentialManagement.aspx
Configure send to connections/_admin/OfficialFileAdmin.aspx
Configure content deployment paths and jobs/_admin/Deployment.aspx
Manage form templates_admin/ManageFormTemplates.aspx
Manage servers in farm/_admin/FarmServers.aspx
Manage services on server/_admin/Server.aspx
Manage farm features/_admin/ManageFarmFeatures.aspx
Configure alternate access mappings/_admin/AlternateUrlCollections.aspx
Perform a backup/_admin/Backup.aspx
Restore from backup/_admin/BackupHistory.aspx?restore=1&filter=1
Perform site collection backup/_admin/SiteCollectionBackup.aspx
Convert farm license type/_admin/Conversion.aspx
Check product and patch installation status/_admin/PatchStatus.aspx
Check upgrade status/_admin/UpgradeStatus.aspx

Common actions

TitleURL
Create new_layouts/spscreate.aspx
_layouts/create.aspx
View lists_layouts/viewlsts.aspx
Create site groups _layouts/permsetup.aspx
Quick launch_layouts/quiklnch.aspx
Workflow history list/lists/Workflow History
SharePoint server version + patch level/_vti_pvt/Service.cnf (run at site collection level)
Web part maintenance mode?Contents=1 (classic)
?maintenancemode=true (modern)
Save as site template_layouts/savetmpl.aspx
Manage user alerts_layouts/AlertsAdmin.aspx