Office 365 Groups in a SharePoint site – Office 365 groups vs distribution lists vs Mail-enabled security vs Security

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Let’s say my requirement is to send the email to the group and assigning that group in SharePoint permission. You have asked your AD team to create the group and that group has been synchronized to your SharePoint online(office 365) – and we can see that group under active group from Office 365 admin page but while we try to access and assign that group in SharePoint permission – it will not be accessible or will not be found.

Let me explain why?

There are four types of groups in office 365. Please see the below screenshot where each type of group description is explained.  


Come to your Group dashboard from office 365 admin center – as an example, we can see the “Test Distribution list” group is displayed over here. Here this is a type of “Distribution lists” group. 


Now let’s go to the SharePoint document library permission page and try to search the “Test Distribution list”, SharePoint cannot find this group – this will give an error message as “We couldn’t find an exact match.. Please see the below screenshot.  


Go to the office 365 group dashboard from the admin center again and find the “Test Mail-Enabled Security Group” as an example which is the type of “mail-enabled security” group 


Now again let’s go to the SharePoint document library permission page and try to search the “Test Mail-Enabled Security Group”, now we can see that SharePoint is able to find this group(please see the below screenshot).   



  1. If we want group email and that group should be added to SharePoint permission as well then we need to go with the “mail-enabled security” group. 
  2. In the above example, SharePoint was not able to find the “Test Distribution list” group because it was a type of “Distribution lists” group. 
  1. Whether we create the group in local AD or in office 365, the above rules are the same.  

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