• kimberleyjoymorrison

Updating the ownership of a Microsoft Team

Has someone just left the business, and it turns out they were the only owner of a Microsoft Team? I've just been there, and have a solution so you don't find yourself in this position, or you know how to get yourself out of it if you do.

Spoiler alert: That someone that caused this issue in my organisation was me.


This is a very real situation I've just been in. It initially left me slightly panicked and head-scratching. So please, let me save you some time if you're in the same position as I was, or if you're looking to avoid this in the future.


I recently left my UK-based organisation because my visa had come to an end. While I've left the business and am over in New Zealand sorting out a new visa, my Office 365 account was deactivated. I was the only named owner of a Microsoft Team, and when I left, none of the remaining members were able to edit the membership of the Team and add and remove users. Nor did any of them have high enough permissions to promote a current member to owner or add a new owner to manage this. The Office 365 group was effectively orphaned.


Luckily, there is an easy way to promote a current user to owner or add a new owner. The steps to doing this are as follows,

You must be an Office 365 Tenant Admin to do this

This is because you will need to modify the ownership of the Office 365 Group that was created when the Team was created.

Below is a screenshot of the Microsoft Team membership of 'Design Ideas' after the owner of the Team left the business. Let's call this person "Joe Leaver." There are only members in this team and no owners. Therefore, no one is able to manage the Microsoft Team going forward.


To add a new owner, simply go to the Office 365 Admin Center, and choose Groups. From here, find the group you need to update the ownership of. You will see a pane appear on the left-hand side that has group details as shown in the image below.








Click 'Edit' inline with 'Owners' to add a new owner to the group. Click '+ Add owners'. Here you will be able to promote an existing member or search for a new person to add as the owner. You can add more than one owner at a time. Each group can have up to 100 owners.

It's best practice (I've learnt the hard way) to have at least two owners for each group to avoid any disruptions should one leave.

If we take a look back at the Team now we will see the change in ownership.

NOTE: This change could take up to an hour to propagate through the system.

Now... excuse me while I go and add another owner for best practice 😉


See, it's easy to update the ownership of an Office 365 Group to update the ownership of an orphaned Microsoft Team. Remember: It does need someone with Office 365 Tenant Admin rights to do this.


For details on how to do this with PowerShell or using the Office 365 Admin Mobile App visit the Microsoft training page.

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