SharePoint Online: private vs public office 365 groups in SharePoint online site

SharePoint Online: private vs public office 365 groups in SharePoint online site

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When we create a SharePoint modern team site, we can see the “Private group” or “Public group” tag beneath the site name (example below). In this article, I will explain what these are “Private group” or “Public group” in the modern SharePoint Online team site.

Key Highlights

  • What is the “Private – Office 365 group”?
  • What is the “Public – Office 365 group”?
  • What is the difference between private and public groups in office 365 (Public vs Private Groups)?
  • How to change privacy settings in office 365 – in the modern SharePoint team site?

Private group tag in modern SharePoint Online team site:

We can see the “Private group” tag just under the site name.

Private group tag in the modern SharePoint Online team site
Private group tag in the modern SharePoint Online team site

Public group tag in modern SharePoint Online team site:

We can see the “Public group” tag just under the site name.

Public group tag in modern SharePoint Online team site
The Public group tag in modern SharePoint Online team site

 

Why do we see the “Private group” or “Pubic group” beneath the SharePoint team site name?

Well, this is privacy settings applied during creating the SharePoint modern team site – in the “Get a team site connected to Office 365 Groups” screen, we have the option to select “Privacy settings” under the “Advanced settings” section.

We can have the below “Privacy settings”:

  • Public – anyone in the organization can access this site.
  • Private – only members can access this site.

Note:

  • By default office 365  privacy setting is “Private – only members can access this site”. as the name implies, meaning no one can join to the office 365 group until group owner(site owner)  allow them to in, on the other hand in a public group anyone can join to the group without group owner approval – meaning, any member can join and have Add/Edit/Delete access to all the assets of an Office 365 Group (SharePoint Site, Planner, Calendar, Teams) but this access cannot be granted to anyone without group owner approval in case private group.

Get a team site connected to Office 365 Groups - Privacy settings

Get a team site connected to Office 365 Groups – Privacy settings

Details description about the Office 365 public and private group (office 365 public vs private group)

SharePoint Online: private vs public office 365 groups in SharePoint online site
SharePoint Online: private vs public office 365 groups in SharePoint online site

Private – Office 365 group

The private group suggests that the current site (above the Custom Search RND) is permission restricted in your tenant and only those who have been granted access to this site can view the contents.

Basically what it means is the Group Owners control access to an Office 365 Group. You as a user or employee won’t be able to join or access the site until the group owners let you into the group or grant access to the site. As a best practice, the majority of the sites from your tenant will be Private. 

Public – Office 365 group

As the name implies it is public to all employees in your tenant – can join the group without the group owner’s permission. Any member can join and have Add/Edit/Delete access to all the assets of an Office 365 Group (SharePoint Site, Planner, Calendar, Teams). As a result, anyone can access this site from your organization. 

How to change privacy settings in office 365 – in the modern SharePoint team site?

By now we have learned about what is the “Private group” and “Public group” in the office 365 modern SharePoint Online team site. Due to some business reasons, if we want to change the privacy settings in office 365 how can we do? So, in this section, we will see how to change privacy settings in office 365 – in the modern SharePoint team site.

We can change the Privacy settings of a team site via Settings > Site information > Privacy settings.

How to change privacy settings in office 365 - in the modern SharePoint team site?
How to change privacy settings in office 365 – in the modern SharePoint team site?

Note:

These “Private groups” or “Public groups” tags only appear in the modern SharePoint team sites, they will not appear on a communication site.

Summary:

Thus, in this article – we have learned the below with respect to “Private groups” or “Public groups” in the Office 365 privacy settings:

  • What is the “Private – Office 365 group”?
  • What is the “Public – Office 365 group”?
  • What is the difference between private and public groups in office 365 (Public vs Private Groups)?
  • How to change privacy settings in office 365 – in the modern SharePoint team site?

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