Read time 4 minutes

Summary: Office 365 groups facilitate resource sharing and collaboration within organizations, offering features like Exchange mailboxes, SharePoint libraries, and more. Understanding the roles (owners, members, guests) is crucial. The article covers creating groups in Outlook, types of Office 365 groups, and their limitations. It highlights the importance of data protection and recommends Office 365 Backup & Restore for safeguarding group data.

The Office 365 group serves as an ideal hub for seamless resource sharing among team members during project collaboration. It operates as a membership service, fostering cross-service interaction. Administrators can establish Office 365 groups, include members, and leverage a range of services, including Exchange mailboxes, SharePoint libraries, Microsoft Planner, and Yammer for business, among others.

Before jumping to create an Office 365 group, you must get complete information about its features, benefits, and limitations.

Who can Access the Office 365 Group?

Based on usability, there are three types of users who can access the Office 365 Group –

  1. Owner – The owner, as the group’s creator and administrator, possesses several privileges. They can add or remove members, modify settings, manage conversations within the shared inbox, rename or delete the group, and even perform a free Office 365 backup.
  2. Member – Members are regular users within the organization who use the Office 365 group for collaborative purposes with their team. While members can reap all the advantages of the group, they lack the authority to make any modifications to its settings.
  3. Guests – Guests are temporary group members who do not belong to the organization. A regular group member can invite guests to join the group. However, guests do not have the ability to alter the group’s settings.
How to create a Group in Outlook?

Creating a group and assigning users to it is a straightforward process if you have an Outlook account configured with an Office 365 account. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Start Outlook 2016 application.
  2. In the ribbon follow Home>> New Group.
    New Group
    Note: If you do not see the New Group option, then you need to contact your IT administrator as IT administrator of your organization may have disabled that feature.
  3. Now in Create Group Wizard, provide a new group name, a basic description, its privacy level, and check an option to send all group conversations and events to group’s members.
    provide a new group name
  4. Finally, click Create, and a new group is created. You can see the group in the mailbox.
    see the group in the mailbox
Different Types of Office 365 Groups

Once you’ve created an Office 365 group, several resources become available to all its members. These resources include:

  • Shared Inbox There will be a single mailbox for all the conversations with your group members. The mailbox will have a single email address, and all the messages will come into it. Even the people from outside the organizations can send emails.
  • Shared Calendar You can create a calendar event for the team.
  • Shared Planner Create and assign project-related tasks among the team members.
  • Shared SharePoint Document Library A central library to store and share files.
  • Shared OneNote Notebook A central place to share various ideas, information, and discussions.
Limitations of Office 365 Groups

Here are some limitations related to Office 365 group which the administrator must take care before trying to create a group –

  • You can create an Office 365 group in only such plans which have Exchange Online and SharePoint Online available. Such plans are Enterprise, Business Essentials, and Business Premium plans.
  • If the Office 365 plan is limited to Exchange Online, then you will be able to create Shared inbox and calendar. But there will be no planner, shared library, or other security and compliance feature.
  • If the Office 365 plan is limited to Yammer only, then you can only get the Yammer conversation in the Group and no other features.


Office 365 Group serves as a central hub for managing your team’s work, safeguarding critical data from unwanted deletion, corruption, or alterations. Without a prior backup, recovering data from Groups can be challenging. However, with Office 365 Backup & Restore, you can store backups in PST format, accessible in Outlook. Should the need arise, the software effortlessly restores PST files to Office 365. Furthermore, it has the capability to recover deleted Office 365 Groups.