Office 365 - SharePoint Online - Site Collection Administrators

In this article, we will discuss the role of site collection administrators in SharePoint online site

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

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

The 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 cannot specify “Security groups” for Primary Site Collection Administrator.

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

Few Points

  1. SharePoint Online Administrator is an administrator for SharePoint Online Administrator Center. SharePoint Online Administrator can create and manage site collections, designate site collection administrators, determine tenant settings etc.

  1. Global Administrators is SharePoint Online Administrator.

  1. “Site Owner” group gives the “Full Control” permission to an individual site. It allows to 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

    Figure 1 : Office 365 Admin Center

  1. 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.

    Figure 2 : Navigation - From "Admin Centers" menu - Select SharePoint - We will be redirected to SharePoint Admin Center site in new tab
  1. SharePoint Admin center ( with user having at least SharePoint Online Administrator rights as

    Figure 3 : SharePoint admin center site - Site Collection listing
  1. Select the site collection from list of site collections for which we want to configure the site collection administrators
  2. From top, Site Collection sections click “Owners” and then “Manage Administrators” as

    Figure 4 : "Owners >> Manage Administrators" for the selected site collection
  1. On click of “Manage Administrators”, “manage administrators” dialog will open as

    Figure 5 : "manage administrators" dialog
  1. 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.

  1. We can also change the Site Collection Administrators from the site itself. Navigate to a SharePoint site, Office 365 settings >> Site Settings as shown in fig 6.

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

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

    Figure 7 : Office 365 settings >> Site settings

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

    Figure 8 : Site collection administrators


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

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