Office 365 Groups - Active Groups versus All Groups

New Contributor

When searching Office Groups in OWA, a distinction is made between "Active Groups" and "All Groups". What officially defines an Active Group?

I can guess what it means, but I would like to know the actually configuration as I've been asked this question by end-users and would like to pass the correct information along. A search on this didn't turn up the right information.


Thanks in advance for sharing this information!

18 Replies

I'm interested in the answer as well. Did you ever find an answer?

We had a discussion about this a while ago ( and to me it's not clear what an active Office 365 Group means or not cc @Christophe Fiessinger @Tony Redmond @Vasil Michev

A group where a conversation has occurred in the last month?


Or someone has added or modified a document in the library in that time?


I don't know. It is a good question.

And good discussion by the way!

Thank you for sharing the discussion. The link in the article to the SharePoint Reporting contains the same question for me. The SharePoint reporting also makes use of total sites & active sites (point 7 in the explanation). Someone on the product team should be able to find out which forumula is used if this is not yet documented anywhere :)



best response confirmed by Mark Volders (New Contributor)
Hi there,

An "active group" on that page is defined merely as a group that has had some sort of conversations activity in the past 30 days. It's a binary state, meaning that in that view there is not a notion of groups that are "more active" than others.

This heuristic helps identify groups that still have some sort of conversation happening in them, as sometimes groups stop seeing usage or people create lots of test groups to try things out and don't take the time to go back and clean them out.

Hope this helps!

Blake, PM @ Office 365 Groups
It really helps @Blake!!!! Do you have this documented somewhere?

Thanks Blake for the info! 


Conversations is in my opinion a bit limited for an Office Groups as document movement, planner, etc are also usefull activities. But now I know how to explain this metric to the rest of the world.


Kind regards,



100% agree that conversation activity provides a limited signal, but at least it is a signal... and this is only for Outlook groups, not Yammer groups.


I guess it might be quite an overhead to make multiple calls to the Graph to retrieve all possible signs of life in a group from calendar, conversations, plan, team, Power BI, or document activity...

Agreed - there is a lot more activity that can happen around groups than just conversations (and there is as you mention the Yammer special-casing that this doesn't capture). This is something that we are looking at from a more holistic perspective going forward, but don't have an answer for as of yet - and for many groups, their "liveliness" generally maps to the conversation activity.

As for the documentation side of things, there will be a sweep across a number of pages and articles in the near future that should catch this.


Hi, this thread surfaced a question I have about group activity. I thought I read somewhere that activity was defined by uploading files but now that I see this conversation I see this might be different, is that correct?

Activity on that page is defined strictly in terms of conversation activity. 



@Blake T Walsh If this is the first signs of what will become the Expiry Policy features we've all seen mentioned, I can't possibly stress how incredibly important it is for you to go deeper than simply the email based conversations as the signal of activity/life. I probably have thousands of Groups now in my org that have never sent a single email, because they are using Microsoft Teams as their conversation vehicle.


I've come across some Groups who talk to each other in the description boxes of their Planner tasks...


There are tons of flavors out there around how this stuff is used, and that is exactly what Microsoft has been advertising. Empower your users, let them use things how they want to! Please don't deploy a feature that ignores that guidance and can only be taken advantage of if you're using Groups in this one specific way... :)

@Blake T Walsh thanks for clarifying. I agree with @David Rosenthal careful consideration needs to be given to users that use groups for the purpose of using other conversation tools like Teams or Yammer. I can speak for my users who currently are defaulting to these as their conversation platform.

Indeed - we will in the future take into account the signals of activity in more workloads than just mail-based conversations.

The Admin Group Report will factor in Yammer conversations and Site file activity, for instance. The O365 Roadmap ID 14864 has a reference to this.

i think the report is helpful but of course there are some wishes


i can't find this ID in the O365 Roadmap   - are there any updates?

What about Site activities (not only conversations) in  groups - will there be a check too?

most importet for me, if we talk about conversations in groups: what about conversation in "Teams" 


Why does the Report show only one owner, even if there are some?



Nice to see that the activity is more relevant than timestamps :) 

I haven't seen anything change in the recent past - but if you stay tuned to tomorrow, I will publish an article about using different techniques to look at usage of Teams, Groups, and sites...

I just posted this on Petri:


Finding Obsolete Office 365 Groups with PowerShell
Office 365 Groups (and Teams) can quickly become obsolete, but administrators need some help to find the underused groups. PowerShell comes to the rescue through a mixture of checks against the group mailbox, Office 365 audit log, and Teams compliance records. A nice HTML report is the result – and isn’t that always welcome.