Manage Orphan groups in ease with Group Ownership Governance Policy

Manage Orphan groups in ease with Group Ownership Governance Policy

Managing the Office 365 groups and Teams has always been a painstaking task. What if there is no one to manage them? If Microsoft Teams owner left the company or the owner’s account was deleted or disabled, it becomes an ownerless team. These are called Orphaned Teams/Groups. Then, how will you manage ownerless groups effectively? 

No Owner, No Management: 

An ownerless group can function, and members can still collaborate, but the lack of an owner means that: 

  • No one will be responsible for monitoring data security, 
  • No proper management of group membership, and  
  • Nobody will have access to alter the settings of groups/teams. 
  • No owner to manage when the group reaches its storage quota. Automatically groups get into read-only mode and lock members in. 


How to Find Office 365 Groups Without Owner?

In order to manage the ownerless teams, you have to find Office 365 Groups with no owner and assign a new owner to an orphaned groups/teams after the owner account gets deleted or disabled. But this will consume the admins’ time because admins have to constantly watch out for an ownerless group/teams. 

Hereafter, this will not be the case anymore. Admins won’t have to deal with manual steps anymore. Recently, Microsoft released a long-awaited feature for admins. A new Group Ownership Governance Policy is now officially available in Office 365. 


What is Group Ownership Governance Policy? 

Automating the management of ownerless Microsoft 365 Groups is possible with this policy. Admins can set up the group ownership governance policy and determine the eligible users to receive notifications regarding ownership requests. 

You can also specify how frequently these members should receive notifications. After this, the eligible user can either accept or refuse taking charge of the group as owner via the actionable email messages. 

Note: Even though a guest user is an active member of the group. Guest users will not receive invitation requests.  


How to Configure Ownerless Group Policy? 

To set an ownerless group policy,  

1. Go to Microsoft admin center, Settings -> Org Settings -> Microsoft 365 Groups.

2. Select the checkbox, “When there is no owner, email and ask active group members to become an owner”. 

3. It’s up to you whether to keep the default policy or configure a new policy of your own. If you’re planning to configure a new policy, select the Configure policy. 

4. Then, on the Weekly notifications page, you can –

  • Limit who can receive ownership notifications.
  • Specify the security groups or create a new security group of your own to receive notifications.
  • The number of active members to notify
  • Number of weeks the notification will be sent.

Configure Ownerless Group Policy
5. After defining the before, it’ll prompt to assign the Sender of the mail. Then, select a sender and proceed. 

6. Then fill in the Subject and Body of the email, and you can also provide a policy guideline URL for better understanding. 

context for manage ownerless group policy

7. Finally, here is whereyou should mention the groups that will receive notifications. The best practice is to always set the target as All Groups. 

Note: Within 24 hours of creating the policy, it will send weekly notifications. 

That’s it!! Review and save the policy. This is how you configure an ownerless group policy! 

Review ownerless group policy


Manage Ownerless Groups – Sample Invitation Request: 

After configuring the policy, if it finds any Office groups with no owner, then the policy will send notifications to the active members of the groups as below.

manage ownerless group sample request41

Hopefully, I’ve helped you learn about this new feature! I feel this is such a good update that will lessen the workload of admins. Customize policy based on your needs and manage groups effectively.  

How do you feel about this feature? Do share your thoughts on this new feature in the comments! 

Manage Orphan groups in ease with Group Ownership Governance Policy

by Pavithra time to read: 2 min