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What are Microsoft 365 groups, and how do you manage them?

Microsoft 365 groups play a crucial role in the Microsoft 365 environment. Before the Microsoft cloud was created, Active Directory, Microsoft's on-premises directory service, consisted of only two group types: the security group and the distribution group. With the advent of its cloud platform, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 365 group. This powerful Azure Active Directory object has since been used profusely for various functions by most organizations that use Microsoft 365 services. But what is a Microsoft 365 group? How do you manage Microsoft 365 groups? Read ahead to learn the answers to these questions.

What is a Microsoft 365 group?

A Microsoft 365 group is an object in Azure Active Directory, just like security and distribution groups. But what makes it different and more powerful is that it can perform the functions of both and more.

Functions of Microsoft 365 groups:

  • Secure items like a security group, and help distribute emails to a group of users like a distribution group
  • Function as a collaborative workspace by providing all members with a shared inbox, a SharePoint site, and a Microsoft Team

In general, you cannot manage Microsoft 365 groups created automatically by Microsoft services. On the other hand, group owners can add and remove members, add and remove guests, change the name of the Microsoft 365 groups, etc. When you manage Microsoft 365 groups, keep in mind that deleting them also removes all the resources associated with those groups like SharePoint documents, emails, and files.

Managing Microsoft 365 groups with M365 Manager Plus

ManageEngine M365 Manager Plus offers several capabilities to make creation, modification, and removal of Microsoft 365 groups easier and more efficient.

  • Not only can you create individual Microsoft 365 groups, you can also create them in bulk.
  • You can also make use of creation templates if you want to ensure that the groups are created across the organization without any discrepancy.
  • Manage Microsoft 365 groups in bulk using the various bulk group modification management tasks, such as Add/Remove Microsoft 365 Group Owners, or Modify Microsoft 365 Group Members.
Management tasks specifically for Microsoft 365 groups (excluding general group tasks)

Microsoft 365 Group Creation (single group creation)
Microsoft 365 Group Creation Template
Create Microsoft 365 Groups (bulk group creation)
Add/Remove Microsoft 365 Group Owners
Modify Microsoft 365 Group Members

Microsoft 365 group reports

M365 Manager Plus also offers various preconfigured reports to help you understand your groups and lists better. Use these reports to keep an eye on daily Microsoft 365 group activities, such as activities count and storage used, while also checking up on other aspects such as group members, sizes, and recently added and removed members.

List of Microsoft 365 groups reports (excluding general group reports)

Microsoft Group Members
Microsoft 365 Groups
Daily Microsoft 365 Group Activities Count by Type
Daily Active Microsoft 365 Group Count
Daily Microsoft 365 Group Storage Used
Daily Active Files Count across Microsoft 365 Groups
Daily Microsoft 365 Group Activities

Reporting capabilities offered by M365 Manager Plus

  • Export these reports into PDF, HTML, CSV or XLSX file and mail them.
  • Add the graphs in them as widgets to your dashboard or export them as images.
  • Customize the way the reports are displayed (add/remove columns and filter the results).
  • Schedule these reports to be generated automatically at regular intervals of your choice.

Manage Microsoft 365 groups with M365 Manager Plus.

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