Restore the default SharePoint groups for a SharePoint site

A SharePoint group is a collection of users who all have the same set of permissions, or permission level. Certain groups are created by default when you create a SharePoint site or activate certain features, these are known as the default SharePoint groups. The default groups use default permission levels to grant users rights and access.

Associated groups

Each SharePoint site has three associated groups (AssociatedOwnerGroup, AssociatedMemberGroup and AssociatedVisitorGroup) who define which SharePoint groups are designated as Owners, Members or Visitors groups of a site respectively. When role inheritance is broken, by the default these SharePoint groups are “<sitename> Owners”, “<sitename>” Members and “<sitename> Visitors”.

The problem

When these associated groups are not created on site creation or when one or more of the associated groups are deleted, you need to (re)create those associations (if you want the default Owners, Members and Visitors groups as SharePoint creates them). Unfortunately SharePoint doesn’t offer an intuitive interface to do this.

Create the missing SharePoint groups

To restore the default SharePoint groups, you first need to make sure the default groups exist. Go to <site URL>/_layouts/15/groups.aspx to make sure the following groups are present:

  • <site name> Owners
  • <site name> Members
  • <site name> Visitors

If not you have to create the missing manually (New > New Group) with the corresponding permission levels, as shown below.

Default groups of SharePoint site

Set the SharePoint groups a default groups

When the default groups are present, you have to create the associations. Go to <site URL>/_layouts/15/permsetup.aspx and select the corresponding default groups in the form.

Set group associations of SharePoint site

Finally, press OK to create the associations. Now the default SharePoint groups of the site are restored.

23 thoughts on “Restore the default SharePoint groups for a SharePoint site

  1. Huge thank you for this! I was trying to find where the so-called default groups were created and permsetup.aspx was the missing part of the puzzle as you can’t get to this screen site settings.

  2. Is this default group setting done on infopath or the site itself? I can’t find a way to get to People and Group – Setup Groups for this site

  3. Hoi Nick,

    Vraagje, ik hoop dat dit nog actueel is en jij dit nog uitleest. Ik ben bezig met het bouwen van een SharePoint omgeving en ik kwam er achter dat ik de aanbevolen link op de startpagina niet kan bewerken. De bewerkingsfunctie is verdwenen. Na dagen troubleshooten ben ik er achter gekomen dat dit te maken heeft me tde standaard groepen binnen SP die ik heb verwijderd. Is er een mogelijkheid dat deze groepen teruggezet kunnen worden. Ik heb het over deze groepen:

    SharePointHome OrgLinks Admins SharePoint Group Full Contro
    SharePointHome OrgLinks Editors SharePoint Group Edi
    SharePointHome OrgLinks Viewers SharePoint Group View Only

    Bovenstaande oplossing heeft helaas niets geholpen.

  4. Pingback: locale
  5. I went and deleted one of the default groups Members (it had no members and I’m not using it, since I’m using custom groups and permissions instead), but now when I browse to the Site Settings > People and Groups page I get an error “Group not found”. I am following your steps here but hesitating on this Page: /_layouts/15/permsetup.aspx
    Will that do anything to my existing, good and in-use custom groups? Or does it just restore the default ones and leave everything as-is?

    1. I did the same thing. But changing the default group as described in the post doesn’t fix the ‘group not found’ error. I also tried to change the default group within the people and groups page (I changed the group ID number in the URL and the page loaded).
      When changing the default from that location, it throws an ‘unexpected error has occurred’ error.

      Any thoughts would be helpful !

  6. Glorious! Thank you so much! I opened a case with Microsoft on this issue and still had no resolution.

  7. I am having “There are limited access users on this site” error. Can you please help me to fix it?

  8. Great spot. As others have pointed out very useful to know the page to go to so that default groups can be set if anything goes wrong during site setup.

  9. Does this work if we only need to restore one of the default groups? Only the Members group was deleted in my case. Should I still restore all three groups or will that cause more problems?

Leave a Reply to Vagner Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *