Manage administrators for a site collection

There are three administrative roles in the SharePoint Online service administration.

  • Global administrator    Administrator of the Microsoft Online Services Portal; can manage service licenses, users and groups, domains, and subscribed services. In Office 365, a Global administrator is also a SharePoint Online administrator.
  • SharePoint Online administrator    Administrator of the SharePoint Online Administration Center; can create and manage site collections, designate site collection administrators, determine tenant settings, and configure Business Connectivity Services and Secure Store, InfoPath Forms Services, Records Management, Search, and User Profiles. In Office 365, a Global administrator is also a SharePoint Online administrator.
  • Site collection administrator    User with administrator permissions to manage a site collection. A site collection can have several administrators, but only one primary administrator. The SharePoint Online services administrator should assign permissions to the primary site collection administrator when creating a site collection and can add more administrators for the site collection afterwards.

When creating a site collection in SharePoint Online for Enterprises, a Global Administrator or SharePoint Online Administrator designates a primary site collection administrator. It’s a good safeguard to designate one or more site collection administrators as backups, just as it’s a good practice to have a secondary Global Administrator available inside Office 365.

In this article


Add or remove site collection administrators on the SharePoint Admin page

To change the primary administrator or to add or remove site collection administrators in SharePoint Online for Enterprises, do the following:

  1. Sign into Office 365.
  2. Click the Admin tab at the top of the Office 365 Administration Center.
  3. On the home page, click Service settings.
  4. Click Manage under SharePoint Online.
  5. Select the check box next to the appropriate site collection.
  6. On the ribbon, in the Manage section, click Owners, and then click Manage Administrators.
  7. In the manage administrators dialog box, change the name in the Primary Site Collection Administrator box, or add or remove names in the Site Collection Administrators box.
  8. Click Check Names Check Names button to verify that the user names are valid.
  9. Click OK.

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Add or remove site collection administrators while in your Team Site

If you are a site collection administrator, you can add site collection administrators through the Team Site. This works in any version of SharePoint Online (for Enterprises and/or Professionals).

  1. Sign in to Office 365.
  2. Click the Team Site tab at the top of the Office 365 Administration Center.
  3. On the Team Site, click Settings and then Site Settings.
  4. Under Users and Permissions click Site collection administrators.
  5. Add or remove names in the Site Collection Administrators box, and then click OK.

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Add an administrator to the Site Collection Administrators list

If you are a Global Administrator or a SharePoint Online Administrator in SharePoint Online for Enterprises, you must add your user name account to the Site Collection Administrator list on the SharePoint admin center page before you can add other site collection administrators via the Team Site. If you are a Global Administrator or SharePoint Online Administrator and you add yourself as a site collection administrator, performing this action is known as taking ownership of a site.

  1. Log in to the online portal using an account with SharePoint Online Administrator or Global Administrator (of Office 365) permissions for your organization.
  2. Click the Admin tab at the top of the Office 365 Administration Center.
  3. On the home page, click Service settings.
  4. Click the Manage link under SharePoint Online. This opens the SharePoint Online Administration Center.
  5. Click Manage site collections to display a full list of site collections.
  6. Click to select the check box next to the Team Site you want to access. For example, the Team Site, which has a URL like https://YourDomain.sharepoint.com/, where YourDomain represents the domain that you use for your tenant.
  7. Click Owners in the Ribbon at the top of the list of site collections, and then click Manage Administrators.

In the dialog box that appears, add the Global Administrator or site collection administrator account or accounts that you require to give access to the site. When the accounts are successfully validated, click OK to save the changes.

Now you’re ready to test viewing or modifying permissions.

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Applies to:
SharePoint admin center, SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online Small Business, SharePoint Online Website