Buy Unlimited Training licenses in June and get an extra 3 months for free! ☀️

Roles of an Admin in Microsoft 365 Explained

  • What is the role of admin in Microsoft 365?
  • Published by: André Hammer on Feb 06, 2024

In the modern workplace, the admin role in Microsoft 365 is important. They manage user accounts and ensure data security, contributing to the efficient operation of Microsoft 365 services.

This article explores the responsibilities and tasks of admins within the Microsoft 365 environment. From setting up email accounts to troubleshooting software issues, admins are essential for maintaining a smooth digital workspace. Let's look at the main duties and roles of an admin in Microsoft 365.

What is the role of admin in Microsoft 365?

Managing User and Group Permissions

Admin roles in Microsoft 365 are assigned by adding an admin through the admin center. You can access the admin center by signing in with the right credentials and following the steps.

You can also assign admin roles to multiple users using the admin roles feature. This allows you to delegate specific roles to different individuals.

For larger enterprises, Microsoft 365 offers advanced admin controls like role-based access control (RBAC). It enables the assignment of specific admin roles based on users' responsibilities within the organization.

Enterprises can also use Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Privileged Identity Management (PIM) for enhanced security and control over admin access to sensitive data and resources.

These advanced admin controls help effectively manage user and group permissions in the Microsoft 365 environment.

Add an admin

Adding a new admin in Microsoft 365? Remember to think about their role and what they'll be doing. This includes things like managing users and resetting passwords. They might also need to handle more advanced tasks, like security settings and data management.

It's important to consider any special needs or features the organisation has. This might mean giving the new admin tailored permissions and access controls. Clearly defining the admin's role and responsibilities, along with the organization's unique needs, will help make Microsoft 365 more effective and efficient.

Assign admin roles

There are different admin roles in Microsoft 365, like Global Admin, SharePoint Admin, User Admin, and Helpdesk Admin. Each role has its own responsibilities and access levels. This approach helps in managing the Microsoft 365 environment effectively. In bigger businesses, assigning and managing admin roles is important for security and compliance. Regularly reviewing and auditing role assignments is crucial.

This helps in minimizing the risk of data breaches and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Group type

There are different types of groups within Microsoft 365. These include security groups, distribution groups, and Microsoft 365 groups.

Security groups help manage user access to resources, while distribution groups are mainly for sending emails to multiple people.

On the other hand, Microsoft 365 groups are for collaboration. They provide a shared inbox, calendar, and document library.

Each group type serves a specific purpose and has its own primary characteristics that determine how they function within Microsoft 365.

These group types also directly impact user permissions and access. Members of various groups are granted specific privileges based on their group memberships.

For instance, security groups may control access to specific files or folders, while Microsoft 365 groups may grant members access to shared documents and collaboration tools.

Understanding the role of each group type is important for administrators. It helps them manage user access effectively and ensure smooth collaboration within the organization.

Active users

Microsoft 365 has different admin roles for managing active users. These roles include global admin, user admin, and billing admin. They give different levels of access and control. Admins can enhance security by setting strong password policies, enabling multi-factor authentication, and reviewing user access. For larger enterprises, advanced admin controls like access reviews, privileged identity management, and security reporting are available.

These tools provide insight into user activitiesand security configurations, helping admins address potential security risks.

Overview of Admin Center in Microsoft 365

Accessing the Admin Center

To access the Admin Center in Microsoft 365, log in with your administrator credentials and select the Admin app. Once logged in, navigate the Admin Center dashboard by clicking on modules like Users, Groups, Billing, and Settings. Administrators can customize features for their organization, such as managing user accounts, creating custom policies, and adjusting security settings.

This allows for a tailored administrative experience that fits the organization's specific requirements and preferences.

Navigating the Dashboard

Users can access the Admin Center in Microsoft 365 by signing in with their admin account credentials. Once logged in, they can navigate the Dashboard to access admin roles, groups, and resources.

The Dashboard offers an organized overview of the admin's responsibilities and tasks within the Microsoft 365 environment. Admins can use tools and features such as user management, security & compliance, and device management. These resources enable admins to effectively manage admin roles by assigning and revoking permissions, monitoring user activity, and ensuring data security.

In addition, Microsoft 365 provides advanced admin controls for larger enterprises, including role-based access control, multi-geo capabilities, and privileged identity management. These features offer added layers of security and governance, empowering admins to manage users and resources across different locations and business units within the organization.

The Different Microsoft 365 Admin Roles

Permissions and Responsibilities

An admin in Microsoft 365 manages the entire system. This includes user accounts, licenses, and security settings.

They can assign different admin roles to specific users based on their level of responsibility. This balances access and control effectively.

For larger enterprises, advanced admin controls in Microsoft 365 allow for greater customization and management of user accounts, security settings, and compliance features.

This enables the admin to have more specific control over the entire system. This ensures the organization's digital environment is secure and compliant.

Assigning roles to multiple users

Assigning admin roles in Microsoft 365 is simple.

  1. Select the admin roles option.
  2. Choose the group type.
  3. Add the active users.
  4. Manage security measures.

Group type and active users are important in this process. They impact the assignment of admin roles. Adhering to security guidelines is crucial for effective admin role management.

Strong password policy, multi-factor authentication, and regular security training are essential. These aspects must be considered when assigning admin roles to multiple users.

By following these steps and considering group type and active users, along with implementing strong security guidelines, the process can be smooth and secure.

Assigning Admin Roles: A Closer Look

Delegated administration

Admins in Microsoft 365 manage user accounts, licenses, and security settings. They can delegate admin roles using role-based access control, assigning specific permissions to individual administrators based on their responsibilities. Larger enterprises have advanced admin controls like privileged identity management to manage access within the organization. These tools ensure the right people have the right level of access, enhancing security and efficiency in Microsoft 365.

Volume Licensing

Volume licensing for Microsoft 365 has benefits for managing admin roles. This includes streamlined processes and cost savings. Organisations can effectively manage admin roles through volume licensing by utilising tools and advanced controls. These include multi-factor authentication and data loss prevention. Microsoft partners provide support, expertise, and guidance to help organisations make the most of the available features and benefits.

By taking advantage of volume licensing, admins gain access to a wide range of resources to better manage user access, security, and compliance within their organizations. This approach allows for flexibility in assigning roles and permissions, ensuring that the right level of access is granted to the right individuals. With the support of Microsoft partners, organizations can effectively navigate the complex landscape of admin roles and responsibilities within Microsoft 365.

Microsoft partners

Microsoft partners get plenty of benefits. They can access tools, resources, and support for making Microsoft-based products. Meeting specific criteria can open doors to incentives, training, and marketing help. Also, partners can get technical support, licensing aid, and chances to co-sell. These resources can boost a company's growth and success, giving guidance in the Microsoft system.

Working with Microsoft can help partners improve their skills, grow their customer base, and create business opportunities. This collaboration lets Microsoft expand its reach and expertise, benefiting both sides.

Effective Management of Admin Roles

Security Guidelines

When managing user and group permissions in Microsoft 365, it's important to follow security guidelines to protect sensitive data. Admin roles are responsible for assigning and managing these permissions according to security protocols.

Advanced admin controls and tools in Microsoft 365, like multifactor authentication and data loss prevention policies, help ensure compliance and enhance system security. For instance, role-based access controls can limit user access to specific data, reducing unauthorized access risks.

Following these guidelines and using admin tools effectively, organisations can strengthen their security posture and mitigate potential threats in their Microsoft 365 environment.

Related Content

Administrators in Microsoft 365 have an important job. They manage the platform's functionality and security. With various tools, they oversee user accounts, track app usage, and enforce security policies.

Admins use these tools to manage their roles effectively. They ensure each user has the right level of access and protects all data. Admin roles are managed through specific permissions. This limits access based on their responsibilities.

This setup ensures no single person has full control, adding security and accountability. In the end, admin roles are vital for maintaining the platform's integrity and security.

Organization-Specific Admin Settings

Customizing Admin Features

Admin roles in Microsoft 365 can be customized to meet the specific needs of the organization. This is done by assigning different levels of access and permissions to individuals based on their role within the company.

By doing so, it allows for a tailored approach to managing user accounts, security settings, and data access.

Tools and controls available for admins to effectively manage and customize admin features in Microsoft 365 include:

  • User management tools
  • Security and compliance centers
  • Advanced reporting and analytics features

These tools enable admins to configure security policies, monitor user activity, and enforce compliance requirements to protect sensitive data and ensure adherence to industry regulations.

Larger enterprises can utilize advanced admin controls for audit logs and compliance management in Microsoft 365. This is achieved by leveraging features such as data loss prevention policies, eDiscovery, and retention labels.

These tools enable admins to track, manage, and protect data across the organization. They provide detailed insights into user activity and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Organization's Unique Needs

The organization needs specific features and tools in the admin centre for Microsoft 365. These cater to their unique needs, such as user management, security and compliance settings, and service health monitoring.

These features and tools help admins effectively manage user access, set up security policies, and monitor the health of Microsoft 365 services based on the organization's requirements.

The organization's unique needs greatly influence the assignment and management of admin roles within Microsoft 365. This determines the level of access and control needed for different admin roles.

For example, organizations with strict security and compliance requirements may need to assign admin roles with more advanced security controls and compliance settings.

In larger enterprises, advanced admin controls are necessary to meet their unique needs. These may include role-based access control, privileged identity management, and data loss prevention policies.

These controls enable larger enterprises to manage and secure their Microsoft 365 environment based on their specific business and compliance requirements, ensuring that the organization's unique needs are met.

Tools for Admins in Microsoft 365

Search and filter options

Admins in Microsoft 365 have many search and filter options to manage user and group permissions. They can search for specific users, groups, or resources, and filter by department, job title, or location. This helps them locate and manage permissions more efficiently, saving time and ensuring the right people have the right permissions. Larger enterprises can access advanced admin controls, allowing for more detailed search and filter options.

Admins can set up custom filters based on specificattributes unique to their organization, streamlining the permission management process. These options help admins effectively and efficiently manage user and group permissions in Microsoft 365.

Export features

Admins in Microsoft 365 can use export features to manage user and group permissions efficiently. They can export user data, group memberships, and roles to analyse and modify access levels as needed.

For example, they can identify accounts with excessive permissions and make necessary changes for security. The export features also help create and maintain comprehensive documentation of user and group permissions, ensuring compliance with company policies and regulations.

For larger enterprises, Microsoft 365 provides advanced admin controls for export features. These controls allow admins to manage and track exports across multiple workloads and locations, providing a centralized view of user and group permissions. Admins can set up automated exports to continuously monitor and assess user access, addressing any concerns promptly.

By using these advanced admin controls, larger enterprises can maintain strong security measures and effectively manage user and group permissions withinMicrosoft 365.

Advanced Admin Controls for Larger Enterprises

Audit logs

Audit logs should include all user and admin activities, like file access, sharing, and changes to security settings. This ensures effective compliance management. Tracking and monitoring admin activities in Microsoft 365 is important. The logs help identify security breaches or unauthorized changes within the system. For instance, they can show who accessed sensitive data, which files were shared externally, and any changes to user permissions.

This helps maintain data integrity and prevent security threats that could compromise the organization's data. Audit logs also help identify unusual or suspicious admin actions, indicating a compromised account or potential insider threats. Having access to detailed audit logs is crucial for organizations to comply with regulations and maintain data security.

Compliance Management

Compliance management in an organisation's Microsoft 365 environment can be achieved using different admin roles. Each role has its own responsibilities and permissions.

The Global Admin role has the highest access level, allowing management of compliance features across the entire Microsoft 365 environment.

Exchange Admins have more limited access and focus on managing specific compliance features within Exchange Online.

SharePoint Admins are responsible for managing compliance features within SharePoint Online.

Specific admin settings and controls like Data Loss Prevention policies, retention policies, eDiscovery, and communication compliance support compliance management within Microsoft 365 for larger enterprises.

These settings and controls allow organisations to tailor their compliance management to meet regulatory and internal requirements while protecting sensitive data in their Microsoft 365 environment.


An admin in Microsoft 365 manages user accounts, security settings, and application access. They configure and maintain the platform and troubleshoot issues. Admins also support users and implement data governance and compliance policies to secure the organization's data.

Readynez offers a 5-day Microsoft 365 Certified Administrator Course and Certification Program, providing you with all the learning and support you need to successfully prepare for the exam and certification. The Microsoft 365 Certified Administrator course, and all our other Microsoft courses, are also included in our unique Unlimited Microsoft Training offer, where you can attend the Microsoft 365 Certified Administrator and 60+ other Microsoft courses for just €199 per month, the most flexible and affordable way to get your Microsoft Certifications.

Please reach out to us with any questions or if you would like a chat about your opportunity with the Microsoft 365 Certified Administrator certification and how you best achieve it. 


What are the main roles of an admin in Microsoft 365?

The main roles of an admin in Microsoft 365 are managing user accounts, setting up security and compliance policies, and monitoring system usage. For example, admins can create new user accounts, configure permissions for sensitive data, and track user activity for potential security risks.

What tasks does an admin perform in Microsoft 365?

An admin in Microsoft 365 performs tasks such as managing user accounts, setting up security and compliance policies, creating distribution groups, and managing licenses and subscriptions.

How does an admin manage user accounts in Microsoft 365?

An admin can manage user accounts in Microsoft 365 by adding or removing users, resetting passwords, and assigning licenses. For example, they can use the Microsoft 365 admin center to create new user accounts and assign specific roles and permissions.

What security responsibilities does an admin have in Microsoft 365?

An admin in Microsoft 365 is responsible for regularly reviewing security settings and permissions, implementing multi-factor authentication, and monitoring for suspicious activities. For example, they should regularly review and update user permissions, enforce strong password policies, and set up alerts for potential security breaches.

What tools and resources are available to help an admin in Microsoft 365?

Some tools and resources available for Microsoft 365 admins include the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, PowerShell for Microsoft 365, and the Microsoft 365 Help Center for support articles and tutorials.

A group of people discussing the latest Microsoft Azure news

Unlimited Microsoft Training

Get Unlimited access to ALL the LIVE Instructor-led Microsoft courses you want - all for the price of less than one course. 

  • 60+ LIVE Instructor-led courses
  • Money-back Guarantee
  • Access to 50+ seasoned instructors
  • Trained 50,000+ IT Pro's



Price: {{item.ItemPriceExVatFormatted}} {{item.Currency}}