Office 365 – SharePoint Online: Site collection Administrators for beginners

Hi All,

In this article we will discuss about site collection administrators in SharePoint online site.

Site collection administrators are the users who have permissions over all content in Site Collection. These users have permission to all subsites as well in the Site Collection.

A site collection have only one primary administrator. Site collection can have multiple site collection administrators.

Difference between primary site collection administrator and other site collection administrators is, Primary site collection administrator receives administrative email alerts for the Site Collection. Also we can not specify “Security groups” for Primary Site Collection Administrator.

Site collection administrators doesn’t have the permissions on “SharePoint Admin Center” site unless and until specified.

Few Points:

  1. SharePoint Online Administrator is administrator for SharePoint Online Administrator Center. SharePoint Online Administrator can create and manage site collections, designate site collection administrators, determine tenant settings etc.
  2. Global Administrators is SharePoint Online Administrator.
  3. “Site Owner” group gives the “Full Control” permission to individual site.  It allows to all the CRUD operations over the list and libraries, giving permissions to other users, creating new subsites and so on. These users are responsible for respective sites, they can’t change site collection level settings.

Configuring site collection administrators for a Site Collection:

  1. Sign in to Office 365 Admin Center ( ) as

    fig 1 Office 365 admin site center site

    Figure 1 : Office 365 Admin Center

  2. From the navigation menu, from “Admin Centers” menu select “SharePoint” option as shown in figure 2. We will be redirected to “SharePoint Admin Center” site in new tab

    fig 2 Opening SharePoint admin center site

    Figure 2 : Navigation – From “Admin Centers” menu – Select SharePoint – We will be redirected to SharePoint Admin Center site in new tab

  3. SharePoint Admin center ( ) with user having at least SharePoint Online Administrator rights as

    SharePoint admin site center site

    Figure 3 : SharePoint admin center site – Site Collection listing

  4. Select the site collection from list of site collections for which we want to configure the site collection administrators
  5. From top, Site Collection sections click “Owners” and then “Manage Administrators” as

    fig4 - Managing Administrators

    Figure 4 : “Owners >> Manage Administrators” for the selected site collection

  6. On click of “Manage Administrators”, “manage administrators” dialog will open as

    fig5 - manage administrators dialog

    Figure 5 : “manage administrators” dialog

  7. On “manage administrators” dialog we can change the primary site collection administrator, which is getting set when Site Collection is created. We can also change/set the additional site collection administrators.
  8. We can also change the Site Collection Administrators from site itself. Navigate to SharePoint site, Office 365 settings >> Site Settings as shown in fig 6.

    fig6 - Site Settings option

    Figure 6 : SharePoint Site – Site Action >> Site settings

  9. From “Site Settings” page select “Site collection administrators” option as shown in below figure 7.

    fig 7 dite settings

    Figure 7 : Office 365 settings >> Site settings

  10. We will be redirected to “manage site admin” page as shown in figure 8.

    fig8 site collection administrators

    Figure 8 : Site collection administrators


SharePoint Online: How to change primary administrator for all site collections using PowerShell –

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Prasham Sabadra

LIFE IS VERY BEAUTIFUL :) ENJOY THE WHOLE JOURNEY :) Founder of Knowledge Junction and, Author, Learner, Passionate Techie, avid reader. Certified Professional Workshop Facilitator / Public Speaker. Scrum Foundation Professional certificated. Motivational, Behavioral , Technical speaker. Speaks in various events including SharePoint Saturdays, Boot camps, Collages / Schools, local chapter. Can reach me for Microsoft 365, Azure, DevOps, SharePoint, Teams, Power Platform, JavaScript.

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