Renaming of O365 groups

Brass Contributor

Hi all,


I tried to search to see if anyone had already asked, but did not find any answers.


Today, I renamed one of my O365 Groups, but found the experience to be underwhelming:

- No option to change the associated email address

- The OneDrive associated to the group does not get renamed, nor is there an option to do so


Are there any plans in the making to improve the remaning experience? Just renaming the group is likely to create confusion. I do understand the complexity of ensuring that a new email address, or OneDrive name is not already in use, but maybe offering the option to make the change manually, and thus have a check against existing names could work.


Thanks in advance for any information anyone can share.



22 Replies

You need to use PowerShell to change group email address.

Set-UnifiedGroup –Identity <GroupName> –PrimarySmtpAddress <>

I have tested OneDrive associated to the group rename and it gets renamed properly. Rename took some time to reflect in OneDrive. 

To add to this issue: when a naming policy is defined, and you rename the group then the naming policy suffixes can be changed as well. What happens if you save the name change: it adds again the pre- and suffixes!

So if a group admin decides to change the pre- and suffixes with the name change then the policy will be re-applied as well and if the admin changes the original given name (and leaves the suffix and prefix) then the naming policy is reapplied and you will get double pre- and postfixes!
There is already a suggestion on uservoice to make the renaming of emailaddress possible as well at


I added a suggestion to improve the rename with naming policy as well:


It should be possible to rename the mailaddress throught the UI, since renaming of the name is possible for end users as well. Although renaming of the mail address with Powershell can be done, it is not a feasible solution when you have a lot of groups in your tenant (e.g. schools). The rename should ideally also check for renaming the mailaddress throught the UI.

Hi Santosh,


The display name does change, but not the root name in the URL.



The root name in url will not change. 

I took a peak at the Site Page that goes with the group:


Not only is the URL not changing but on the Site Page the Group still retains the old Group Name, probably picking up from the URL. So renaming now is only partly done, even on the User Interface.


I'm scared to Delete the Group and try and re-create it with the correct name, I suspect the correct name is now "taken" by the rename?



You are correct. When you rename the group from Groups UI it will only update the Group's display name and none other changed. So you can delete the group and create new one with the correct name. Please be aware that when you delete group using Power Shell it will not delete the hidden site collection. So it is recommended to delete it from Group UI.

That is unfortunate, I hope not a permanent situation. We started using a Group and then realized we wanted to expand it, so there are a bunch of files and emails, so Deleting the group and starting over is not an option we want to persue.



We have a group that was created and have decided to change it to a shared mailbox or back to a DL.  We need to be able to re-use the SMTP address associated with the Group.  What are your recommendations?

Is set-unifiedGroup -PrimarySMTPAddress suffice? 

hi, along with set-unifiedGroup -Identity <GroupName> -PrimarySMTPAddress <new email address>, you need to use set-unifiedGroup -Identity <GroupName> -EmailAddress SMTP:<newemailaddress> as this will remove the old email address from Office365 Group identity so you can reuse it. 

Is it possible to use a distribution list as the primary SMTP? I can change the email in PowerShell to a new email but it will not let me change it to the address associated with a DL.

Santhosh do you think this will be corrected in the future ? Is there a uservoice for this?

Our use case is that we often start work on preliminary projects and cannot give them a project number until they have been added to our 3rd party PM system. All of our project groups have the proj number attached to the name. Ideally we would rename the group rather than destroy the document revision history by downloading the library and reuploading to a new site.
Not sure when MSFT will improve this. But here is the user voice link for this feature.
Can someone clear up some questing I have on naming groups? We want to roll out Office 35 Groups in our organization but need to define our Governance in how these are named and found in our GAL, etc. There are a few fields that seem to define a group name but the PowerShell documentation isn't specifically clear on what difference there is between a "name" "identity" "displayName" and "alias". We also need a prefix to be appended to the name for the GAL but I don't want that Prefix to show up in Outlook or OWA on the group list for users. Where exactly do these group names show up and how can I best plan to use these parameters in Powershell when creating the groups. Too many options are not exposed in the GUI to make group creation in the enterprise worth doing at this time.
This worked for the first group I tried, but the second and third came back with "We failed to update the unified group. Please try again later"

Any ideas?

Hi, is there anyway to do this in mac ? as far as i know powershell only available in windows,


Hi Mario,


You can install PowerShell on Mac from here, but at least on Dec 2017 there were still many issues with connecting to O365 from a Mac. More on this from here.


If you're managing Exchange Online, that seems to be possible from a Mac.





I used the command syntax

set-unifiedGroup -Identity <GroupName> -EmailAddress SMTP:<newemailaddress>

This is what my Attribute "EmailAddresses" looked before (slightly changed content):

EmailAddresses : {SPO:SPO_0affa9c4-1111-2222-3333-162e4873a42e@SPO_89617050-2222-1111-3333-cb7206607595,,}

After running the command without failures, the attribute contents look same but the SPO: part is missing. Is this critical or can I proceed on using my Group without any problems now?

After running the command:

EmailAddresses : {,,}


Appreciate your feedback