Office 365 Groups

How do I use Office 365 to create a group?

Office 365 Groups

Learn about Office 365 groups

Office 365 Groups is a service developed with collaboration in mind. It works with the Office 365 tools you use already so you can collaborate with your teammates when writing documents, creating spreadsheets, working on project plans, scheduling meetings, or sending emails.

What are Groups?

Groups in Office 365 let you choose a set of people that you wish to collaborate with and easily set up a collection of resources for those people to share. You don’t have to worry about manually assigning permissions to all those resources because adding members to the group automatically gives them the permissions they need to the tools your group provides. Additionally, groups are the new and improved experience for what we used to use distribution lists or shared mailboxes to do.

Private Groups vs. Public Groups?

When creating a group you’ll need to decide if you want it to be a private group or a public group. Content in a public group can be seen by anybody in your organization, and anybody in your organization is able to join the group. Content in a private group can only be seen by the members of the group and people who want to join a private group have to be approved by a group owner.

Neither public groups nor private groups can be seen or accessed by people outside of your organization unless those people have been specifically invited as guests.

To change your group from public to private (or vice-versa) go to the group conversation location, either in Outlook or Yammer. For Office 365 Groups in Outlook, go to Outlook 2016 and choose Edit Group from the ribbon. On the group settings pane that appears you’ll be able to toggle the privacy setting. In Outlook on the web click the More group actions button at the top right (looks like three dots) and choose Edit group from the drop-down menu. For Office 365 Connected Yammer Groups, go to the group in Yammer and click the settings icon in the group header to edit the group’s privacy setting.

How to join a Group?

  1. Open Outlook on the web.
  2. In the navigation pane, under Groups, select Discover. (If you don’t see Discover, click More at the bottom of your groups list. Once all of your groups are displayed you should see the Discover link.)Discover button on the navigation pane in Outlook on the web
  3. All available groups will be listed in alphabetical order. Select the one you want and click Join. If the group is public, you’ll see a confirmation message and become a member right away. If the group is private, type a reason why you want to join > Send.


    • How do you know at a glance whether a group is private? It’s noted at the top of the group card, as in this example.
    • Sample group card with "private group" highlighted

    Once you’ve joined a group you’ll receive a welcome message that contains important information and links to help you get started. If the group is public, you’ll get the message right away. If the group is private, you’ll get the welcome message after you’ve been approved by group owner.

Invite others to join a group

  1. Open Outlook on the web.
  2. On the left navigation pane, select the group you want to invite others to join. You can only invite people from your school or organization. If you want to invite a guest user from outside your organization, you’ll have to use the add/remove process. See Add guests to a group for instructions.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • On the menu bar, select More group actions The More group actions icon. > Invite others.A screenshot of the Invite others button on the Group settings menu.
    • At the top of the page, select the name of the group, and select More actions More actions icon. > Invite others.A screenshot of the Invite others button on the Group card.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • Select Copy to copy a link to the group to your clipboard. Paste the link into a message to share it with others.
    • Select Email to open a compose window with a link to join the group.

How to create a Group?

  1. Open Outlook on the web.
  2. In the navigation pane, next to Groups, select the + button. (If you don’t see the + button, hover your mouse over the navigation pane.)Left navigation pane in Outlook on the web with Create button highlighted
    • TIP: Groups can be created from within the ‘People’ app which is accessible for the ‘App Launcher’ (blue square located on upper left corner)
  3. In Choose a name, enter a group name that briefly captures the spirit of the group.
  4. A suggested group ID is provided. To assign a different name to your group which will be part of the group URL, click Edit Edit next to the Group ID box.If you see “not available”, the group ID is already in use. Try something different. Note that once you choose a group ID, it cannot be changed.
  5. In Add a description, enter a detailed description of the group to help others understand its purpose. This description will be included in the welcome email when others join the group.
  6. In Privacy, do one of the following:
    • To create a group in which anyone within your organization can view its content and become a member, select Public.
    • To create a group in which membership requires approval by a group owner and only members can view group content, select Private.
  7. To enable subscribed members to receive email and calendar event notifications in both their group inbox and personal inbox, select Send copies of all group messages and events to members’ inboxes. This is recommended when members belong to multiple groups because it means they can see all group notifications in one place without having to visit each group mailbox in order to stay current with group activity.
  8. Select Create.Create group pane with all information filled out
  9. If you’re ready to add members to your newly created group (you aren’t able to add external users at this time), continue with the create group wizard. Otherwise, select Not now. You can always come back and add group members later.

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Article ID: 91225
Mon 11/4/19 11:01 AM
Thu 2/11/21 2:22 PM