Bug: A membership change to a private team clears the associated site's Site Visitors access.

Occasional Contributor

The site pages of a private team in Teams are intended to be our team's public interface. I use "Invite People" to "Share site only", giving "Everyone but external users" Read access and it works as expected. However, when I later add or remove a team member, within a few minutes (5-60), the Site visitors access is cleared - ouch!


I've tried all sorts of paths to avoid the problem, such as editing members from the team in Teams, editing from the site via Add Members, no luck. I tried editing Site visitors via Invite People and by editing the Site Visitors group directly, no luck (problem still occurs). I can't find a way to avoid the bug, so all I can recommend to our users is how to deal with the problem, knowing that it will occur.


Workaround, for add/remove team members:

  1. Record the "Site visitors" information for the site.
  2. Add or remove team members.
  3. Wait for Site visitors to be cleared (5m, 30m, 60m?).
  4. Restore "Site visitors".

This workaround is error prone, in that users will likely forget to do it, and painful, since they may not remember what they had for visitor access, so can't restore it properly.

Note: I can't find where to report a "bug". If others will confirm this is a bug and tell me how to go about getting Microsoft's attention, I will appreciate the help. If you try to reproduce, don't forget to uncheck "send mail" when giving everyone read access. :)

5 Replies
Interesting! I will try to recreate this tomorrow morning!!


Surprisingly, the problem happens independent of Teams. I created a team site in SharePoint (not via a team in Teams), gave "Everyone except external users" Read access via "Share site only", then removed a team member: 
PicPick 2019-01-25 135821.png

Some time later I checked and Site visitors was cleared. So the bug is not Teams related at all, just a SharePoint issue (sheesh).


I'll look for how to move this article to the SharePoint community. If I can't move it, I will create there and see if I can delete from here.

Yes, it’s in sharepoint! When removing a member from teams it removes them from the group which is reflected in sharepoint too! Thanks for investigating :)

So it seems that the group takes over control of the standard SharePoint Group.

How about creating a new SharePoint permission group - call it 'Other Site Visitors' or some such thing, and add people to it from the advanced permission classic view? Then the group could muck around with the standard Members/Owners/Visitors group but shouldn't even know that your custom group exists.


Not a good solution at all, but at least you wouldn't have to keep recreating your visitors group.

The problem isn't that removing a member also removes them from the associated group, the problem is that adding or removing a "member" removes "Everyone except external users" (EEEU) from Site Visitors. That action doesn't completely clear visitors, it leaves other people with access, but removes EEEU. My suspicion is that if the "member" being added or removed is in a group in Visitors, that group is removed. That is, if Bob is a team member and EEEU is in site Visitors (which covers everyone, including Bob), and I remove Bob as a member, that should not remove EEEU from Site Visitors - clearly a bug. It would only take a few minutes to confirm, but it would be nice if someone from MS would confirm this bug, properly characterize it and provide a workaround, if there is one. 

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