Is there a way to convert Office 365 group to Distribution group?

Iron Contributor



We have an Office 365 group and I granted a user "owner" permission, but she got permission error in her Outlook like below when she tried to edit the group.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 11.56.21 AM.png

However she is able to edit the Distribution Group in her Outllok if she is an owner.


My questions are:


1. Is there a way that I can convert Office 365 to Distribution group?

2. Is there a way to grant a user permission to manager the Office 365 group memebrs?



29 Replies
Why do you need to convert the Group into a Distribution Group? FYI, you can easily modify any Office 365 Group in your tenant to add additional members and owners

Hi Juan,


It doen't work. I added a user as owner but the user couldn't manage the group. See the error message in my previous post.


Plase advise!



best response confirmed by Grace Yin (Iron Contributor)

Only Outlook 2016 properly recognizes Groups and allows you to manage their members. And you need to use the relevant Group controls, not the address book dialog. Check the documentation here:

Hi Vasil,


Yes, it works. many thanks!


I think the message confused me. It should say something like "Please manage members in Group" insdead of permission error.



Yes, you can convert an Office 365 Group to a distribution group. You'll have to do it with PowerShell, but the code is easy.


Capture the properties of the existing Office 365 group with Get-UnifiedGroup

Create the new DL with New-DistributionGroup

Update the properties with Set-DistributionGroup

Read the details of the group members with Get-UnifiedGroupLinks

Add the owners to the distribution group with Set-DistributionGroup

Update the DL members with Add-DistributionGroupMember

can you please mention the power-shell commands in more details ?!
i just need to know the exact steps

Would you like me to write the code too?

Sure. Send me details of a valid credit card and I'll be happy to write the code...


But seriously, the steps are very straightforward as per my earlier response.

This does not look like a conversion it looks like you are recreating it as a DL but you get an error when you are using the same name from a group when creating a DL. It does not appear you can convert but delete and recreate as a DL.....

Mainly because Office365 groups allow team members to leave the group thereby making administrative control of groups in an organization completely useless.

Dynamic Office 365 Groups are a solution when you want to control membership. Admins need to update AAD before someone can leave a dynamic group.

This feature requires an Azure AD Premium P1 license. We are a small non-profit with about 20 employees. Paying $120 a month on top of our Office365 subscription just so we can use dynamic groups is not fiscally responsible. Microsoft keeps changing options and features just so it can monetize functionality. As a long time user of MS products, for the first time in my 20 year career, I am starting to seek alternatives.

It's absolutely true that dynamic groups is a premium feature. To be fair to Microsoft, although I have loudly protested the need for premium licenses for this and other features, they have been consistent in their pricing model for dynamic groups for the last couple of years and did a lot of work to clarify the issue for other premium features at Ignite 2017. See for details.


If you don't want to use dynamic groups, use PowerShell to track the changes made to groups and add back users who leave. See for an example.

@Clint Oliveira 


Just saved me a bunch of time, thank you.

Yes, you can convert an Office 365 Group to a distribution group. You'll have to do it with PowerShell, but the code is easy.

@Tony Redmond just a reminder that at some point, you were new to this too. There's no need to treat people like that.