Introduction to the SharePoint Online Management Shell

As a SharePoint Online admin, you can use the SharePoint Online Management Shell to run administrative commands from the command line. This can help you manage users, sites, and organizations more efficiently.

In this article

What is the SharePoint Online Management Shell?

SharePoint Online Management Shell is a Windows PowerShell module. You can use it to manage SharePoint Online users, sites, site collections, and organizations from the command line, instead of using the SharePoint Administration Center user interface. Windows PowerShell enables you to perform these command-line operations by using a custom command called a cmdlet. A cmdlet, pronounced "command-let," is constructed as a verb-noun pair, such as Get-Command. The two parts of a cmdlet are separated by a hyphen (-) without spaces. The verb part refers to the action that the cmdlet takes. The noun part refers to the object on which the cmdlet takes action. Cmdlets are especially efficient for batch operations — for example, adding hundreds of new SharePoint Online users.

 Note    You can use the Get-Command cmdlet to list all cmdlets, and use the Get-Help cmdlet to learn more about any cmdlet. For more information, see Get-Command and Get-Help.

How do I use the Windows PowerShell Command Builder?

The Windows PowerShell Command Builder Tool helps you quickly understand and use Windows PowerShell cmdlets for SharePoint Online. Suppose that you want to create a site. By using the Command Builder tool to create a cmdlet, you can create a site from the command line, instead of stepping through several pages in the user Interface. To use the tool, you just choose a verb, such as Add. The tool then filters the cmdlets that begin with that verb and shows you nouns that you can use with the specified verb, such as Site.

You can download the Command Builder tool and install it on your desktop. For more information, see Windows PowerShell Command Builder Getting Started Guide.

What is the difference between SharePoint Online cmdlets and Office 365 cmdlets?

The set of SharePoint Online Management Shell cmdlets differs from the set of Office 365 for professionals and small businesses cmdlets. SharePoint Online Management Shell cmdlets manage SharePoint Online users and sites, whereas Office 365 cmdlets manage Office 365 level tasks such as domain, license, organization information, and services. They both manage users and groups. However, Office 365 users and groups apply not only to SharePoint Online services, but also to Exchange Online and Lync Online Services.

Should I use the SharePoint Online Administration Center or cmdlets?

If you have not used Office 365 and SharePoint Online before to administer SharePoint Online, the SharePoint Online Administration Center is a good place to start. For more information about the SharePoint Online Administration Center, see SharePoint Admin Center Help.

After you become familiar with SharePoint Online features and technologies, just use Windows PowerShell cmdlets. Especially when you want to manage many SharePoint Online users, sites, or site collections, SharePoint Online Management Shell cmdlets are the choice.

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How do I get permissions and set up the environment?

Get permissions

To run the SharePoint Online Management Shell cmdlets, you have to be a SharePoint Online global administrator.

 Note    To use cmdlets, a SharePoint Online site administrator must be a global administrator in Office 365.

Set up the environment

Before you can run cmdlets, you have to set up the SharePoint Online Management Shell environment and connect to the service. For more information, see Set up the SharePoint Online Management Shell environment.

After you set up the environment, you have to run Connect-SPOService before you can manage the users and site collections. If you have not run Connect-SPOService yet, you will receive an error message that no connection is available. Suppose that you want to connect to the SharePoint Online Administration Center for and your user name is To connect, you just run the following command:

Connect-SPOService -Url -credential

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SharePoint Online Management Shell cmdlet reference

The following articles list cmdlets for SharePoint Online by functionality.

User management cmdlets

Cmdlet Description
Add-SPOUser Adds an existing Office 365 user or an Office 365 security group to a SharePoint group.
Get-SPOUser Returns the SharePoint Online user or security group accounts that match a given search criteria.
Remove-SPOUser Removes a user or a security group from a site collection or a group.
Set-SPOUser Configures properties on an existing user.
Get-SPOExternalUser Returns external users that are located in the tenant's folder based on specified criteria.
Remove-SPOExternalUser Permanently removes a collection of external users from the tenant’s folder.

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User group management cmdlets

Cmdlet Description
Get-SPOSiteGroup Gets all the groups on the specified site collection.
New-SPOSiteGroup Creates a new group in a SharePoint Online site collection.
Remove-SPOSiteGroup Removes a SharePoint Online group from a site collection.
Set-SPOSiteGroup Updates the SharePoint Online owner and permission levels on a group inside a site collection.

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Upgrade cmdlets

Cmdlet Description
Upgrade-SPOSite Starts the upgrade process on a site collection.
Request-SPOUpgradeEvaluationSite Requests creation of a copy of an existing site collection for the purposes of validating the effects of upgrade without affecting the original site.

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Site collection management cmdlets

Cmdlet Description
Get-SPODeletedSite Returns all deleted site collections from the Recycle Bin
Get-SPOSite Returns one or more site collections.
New-SPOSite Creates a new SharePoint Online site collection for the current company.
Remove-SPODeletedSite Removes a SharePoint Online deleted site collection from the Recycle Bin.
Remove-SPOSite Sends a SharePoint Online site collection to the SharePoint Online Recycle Bin.
Repair-SPOSite Checks and repairs the site collection and its contents.
Restore-SPODeletedSite Restores a SharePoint Online deleted site collection from the Recycle Bin.
Set-SPOSite Sets or updates one or more properties' values for a site collection.
Test-SPOSite Tests a SharePoint Online site collection.

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Service connection and disconnection cmdlets

Cmdlet Description
Connect-SPOService Connects a SharePoint Online global administrator to a SharePoint Online connection; that is, connects the administrator to the SharePoint Online Administration Center.

This cmdlet must be run before any other SharePoint Online cmdlets can run.
Disconnect-SPOService Disconnects from a SharePoint Online service.

Organization-level monitoring and management cmdlets

Cmdlet Description
Get-SPOAppErrors Returns application errors.
Get-SPOAppInfo Returns all installed applications.
Get-SPOTenant Returns SharePoint Online organization properties.
Get-SPOTenantLogEntry Retrieves SharePoint Online company logs.
Get-SPOTenantLogLastAvailableTimeInUtc Returns the time when the SharePoint Online organization logs are collected.
Get-SPOWebTemplate Displays all site templates that match the given identity.
Set-SPOTenant Sets properties on the SharePoint Online organization.

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