Manage personal and social features

SharePoint Online administrators can set up and manage settings for personal and social features through the SharePoint Office 365 SharePoint Administration Center. You must have permission to use the SharePoint Administration Center in order to perform the tasks in this article.

Personal features in SharePoint Online let users build personal profiles that promote their expertise, roles, and areas of interest, helping them get to know each other. Social features promote collaboration by helping people in your organization find each other and share activities, and by helping them find and share content.

By default, personal and social features are enabled in SharePoint Online, but you can disable these features if your organization requires it, by changing access permissions for specific people and groups in your organization.

Add or remove personal and social tagging permissions for users or groups

As a SharePoint Online administrator, you can control who can create a My Site, and use personal and social features by setting appropriate access permissions. For example, if you want a subset of users in an organization to be able to create My Sites, you can set a permission that allows for that. Otherwise, access to these features is allowed by default.

 Note    People in your organization can create My Sites by clicking About Me, Sites, OneDrive, or Newsfeed in the header for the first time.

Administrators can give permission to users or groups to allow them to:

  • Create Personal Site, with a private About Me page and a public About <username> page.
  • Follow people’s Newsfeed activities and related information, and update a personal profile.
  • Use Tags and Notes to help manage information.

You can also add or remove permissions for users or groups. For example, by default all authenticated users can create My Sites and use personal and social features. An organization that has stricter security requirements may require that site creation permission be assigned only to specific users and groups, and that all authenticated users be removed from the list.

To set permissions that allow users or groups to use personal and social features:

  1. Click Admin > SharePoint in the header, and then on the SharePoint admin center page, click user profiles.
  2. Under People, click Manage User Permissions.
  3. Do one of the following:
  • To add a user or group to the list of people with permission to use personal and social features, in the first box, type or select a user or group, and then click Add. Your entry then appears in the second box.
  • To remove a user or group from the list of people with permission to use personal and social features, in the second box, select the item and then click Remove.

 Note    If a user is in a group with permission to create a My Site and the user creates one, when the user’s permission is removed, the user’s My Site will still exist, and you or another administrator will need to delete it.

  • To restrict permissions to specific people within a group, for example if you want select people to have permission to create personal sites, remove the default ‘Everyone except external users’ from the second box, add the group that contains the permitted users to the second box, and then remove the people who should not have these permissions from the second box.
    If a user is in a group where they are allowed to create a My Site and they create one, when that permission is removed, their My Site will still exist, and the Admin will need to delete it
  1. In the Permissions for box, select the features that you want the user or group to be able to use:
  • Create Personal Site Selecting this option allows users or groups to create a personal site (also known as a My Site) by clicking About Me in the header for the first time, and it allows them follow people and edit a personal profile (regardless of the setting for Follow People and Edit Profile).
  • Follow People and Edit Profile Selecting this option allows users or groups to follow people and edit their own profiles. If the Create Personal Site option is selected, the ability to follow people and edit a profile is granted even if this option is cleared.
  • Use Tags and Notes Selecting this option allows users or groups use Tags and Notes on their documents.

 Note    If a user is in a group where they are allowed to create a My Site and they create one, when that permission is removed, their My Site will still exist, and the Admin will need to delete it manually.

  1. Click OK.

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Delete tags and notes

As a SharePoint Online administrator, you can manage social tags and notes. For example, you can delete all tags for an employee who leaves the company, or you can remove a tag that’s obsolete or contains profanity.

 Note    Removing social tags does not remove the terms from the term store. Use the Term Store Manager to add or remove terms. For more information about the Term Store Manager, see Create and manage terms in a term set.

To delete all tags or notes for a specific user or URL:

  1. Click Admin > SharePoint in the header, and then on the SharePoint admin center page, click user profiles.
  2. Under My Site Settings, click Manage Social Tags and Notes.
  3. Select the type of social item that you want to delete from the Type list.
  4. Either type a user name in the User box to delete all tags or notes associated with that user, or type the first part of a URL in the URL box to delete all tags or notes in that URL, and then click Find.
  5. Select the social items that you want to delete and then click Delete.

To delete all tags or notes for a specific date range:

  1. Click Admin > SharePoint in the header, and then on the SharePoint admin center page, click user profiles.
  2. Under My Site Settings, click Manage Social Tags and Notes.
  3. Select the type of social item that you want to delete from the Type list.
  4. Either type a user name in the User box to delete all tags or notes associated with that user, or type the first part of the URL in the URL box to delete all tags or notes in that URL, and then click Find.
  5. Enter a start date and an end date in the Date Range boxes and then click Find.
  6. Select the social items that you want to delete and then click Delete.

To delete a specific tag or note:

  1. Click Admin > SharePoint in the header, and then on the SharePoint admin center page, click user profiles.
  2. Under My Site Settings, click Manage Social Tags and Notes.
  3. Select the type of social item that you want to delete from the Type list.
  4. Either type a user name in the User box, or type the first part of the URL for which you want to delete all notes or tags in the URL starts with box and then click Find.
  5. Type the text string for which you want to search in the Tag/note contains boxes, and then click Find.
  6. Select the social items that you want to delete and then click Delete.

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Applies to:
SharePoint admin center, SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E1 & E2), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Midsized Business, SharePoint operated by 21Vianet - admin center