What are the default user permissions in Azure Active Directory?

In Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), all users are granted a set of default permissions. A user’s access consists of the type of user, their role assignments, and their ownership of individual objects. This article describes those default permissions and contains a comparison of the member and guest user defaults. The default user permissions can be changed only in user settings in Azure AD.

Member and guest users

The set of default permissions received depends on whether the user is a native member of the tenant (member user) or if the user is brought over from another directory as a B2B collaboration guest (guest user). See What is Azure AD B2B collaboration? for more information about adding guest users.

  • Member users can register applications, manage their own profile photo and mobile phone number, change their own password, and invite B2B guests. In addition, users can read all directory information (with a few exceptions).
  • Guest users have restricted directory permissions. They can manage their own profile, change their own password and retrieve some information about other users, groups and apps, however, they cannot read all directory information. For example, guest users cannot enumerate the list of all users, groups and other directory objects. Guests can be added to administrator roles, which grant them full read and write permissions contained in the role. Guests can also invite other guests.

Compare member and guest default permissions

Area Member user permissions Default guest user permissions Restricted guest user permissions (Preview)
Users and contacts
  • Enumerate list of all users and contacts
  • Read all public properties of users and contacts
  • Invite guests
  • Change own password
  • Manage own mobile phone number
  • Manage own photo
  • Invalidate own refresh tokens
  • Read own properties
  • Read display name, email, sign in name, photo, user principal name, and user type properties of other users and contacts
  • Change own password
  • Search for another user by Display Name, User Principal Name or ObjectId (if allowed)
  • Read manager and direct report information of other users
  • Read own properties
  • Change own password
Groups
  • Create security groups
  • Create Microsoft 365 groups
  • Enumerate list of all groups
  • Read all properties of groups
  • Read non-hidden group memberships
  • Read hidden Microsoft 365 group memberships for joined group
  • Manage properties, ownership, and membership of groups the user owns
  • Add guests to owned groups
  • Manage dynamic membership settings
  • Delete owned groups
  • Restore owned Microsoft 365 groups
  • Read properties of non-hidden groups, including membership and ownership (even non-joined groups)
  • Read hidden Microsoft 365 group memberships for joined groups
  • Search for groups by Display Name or ObjectId (if allowed)
  • Read object id for joined groups
  • Read membership and ownership of joined groups in some Microsoft 365 apps (if allowed)
Applications
  • Register (create) new application
  • Enumerate list of all applications
  • Read properties of registered and enterprise applications
  • Manage application properties, assignments, and credentials for owned applications
  • Create or delete application password for user
  • Delete owned applications
  • Restore owned applications
  • Read properties of registered and enterprise applications
  • Read properties of registered and enterprise applications
Devices
  • Enumerate list of all devices
  • Read all properties of devices
  • Manage all properties of owned devices
No permissions No permissions
Directory
  • Read all company information
  • Read all domains
  • Read all partner contracts
  • Read company display name
  • Read all domains
  • Read company display name
  • Read all domains
Roles and Scopes
  • Read all administrative roles and memberships
  • Read all properties and membership of administrative units
No permissions No permissions
Subscriptions
  • Read all subscriptions
  • Enable Service Plan Member
No permissions No permissions
Policies
  • Read all properties of policies
  • Manage all properties of owned policy
No permissions No permissions

Restrict member users default permissions

Default permissions for member users can be restricted in the following ways:

Permission Setting explanation
Users can register application Setting this option to No prevents users from creating application registrations. The ability can then be granted back to specific individuals by adding them to the Application Developer role.
Allow users to connect work or school account with LinkedIn Setting this option to No prevents users from connecting their work or school account with their LinkedIn account. For more information, see LinkedIn account connections data sharing and consent.
Ability to create security groups Setting this option to No prevents users from creating security groups. Global administrators and User administrators can still create security groups. See Azure Active Directory cmdlets for configuring group settings to learn how.
Ability to create Microsoft 365 groups Setting this option to No prevents users from creating Microsoft 365 groups. Setting this option to Some allows a select set of users to create Microsoft 365 groups. Global administrators and User administrators will still be able to create Microsoft 365 groups. See Azure Active Directory cmdlets for configuring group settings to learn how.
Restrict access to Azure AD administration portal Setting this option to No lets non-administrators use the Azure AD administration portal to read and manage Azure AD resources. Yes restricts all non-administrators from accessing any Azure AD data in the administration portal.

Note: this setting does not restrict access to Azure AD data using PowerShell or other clients such as Visual Studio.When set to Yes, to grant a specific non-admin user the ability to use the Azure AD administration portal assign any administrative role such as the Directory Readers role.

This role allows reading basic directory information, which member users have by default (guests and service principals do not).

Ability to read other users This setting is available in PowerShell only. Setting this flag to $false prevents all non-admins from reading user information from the directory. This flag does not prevent reading user information in other Microsoft services like Exchange Online. This setting is meant for special circumstances, and setting this flag to $false is not recommended.

Restrict guest users default permissions

Default permissions for guest users can be restricted in the following ways:

Note

The guests user access restrictions setting replaced the Guest users permissions are limited setting. For guidance on using this feature, see Restrict guest access permissions (preview) in Azure Active Directory.

Permission Setting explanation
Guests user access restrictions (Preview) Setting this option to Guest users have the same access as members grants all member user permissions to guest users by default.

Setting this option to Guest user access is restricted to properties and memberships of their own directory objects restricts guest access to only their own user profile by default. Access to other users are no longer allowed even when searching by User Principal Name, ObjectId or Display Name. Access to groups information including groups memberships is also no longer allowed.

Note: This setting does not prevent access to joined groups in some Microsoft 365 services like Microsoft Teams. See Microsoft Teams Guest access to learn more.

Guest users can still be added to administrator roles regardless of this permission settings.

Guests can invite Setting this option to Yes allows guests to invite other guests. See Delegate invitations for B2B collaboration to learn more.
Members can invite Setting this option to Yes allows non-admin members of your directory to invite guests. See Delegate invitations for B2B collaboration to learn more.
Admins and users in the guest inviter role can invite Setting this option to Yes allows admins and users in the "Guest Inviter" role to invite guests. When set to Yes, users in the Guest inviter role will still be able to invite guests, regardless of the Members can invite setting. See Delegate invitations for B2B collaboration to learn more.

Object ownership

Application registration owner permissions

When a user registers an application, they are automatically added as an owner for the application. As an owner, they can manage the metadata of the application, such as the name and permissions the app requests. They can also manage the tenant-specific configuration of the application, such as the SSO configuration and user assignments. An owner can also add or remove other owners. Unlike Global Administrators, owners can only manage applications they own.

Enterprise application owner permissions

When a user adds a new enterprise application, they are automatically added as an owner. As an owner, they can manage the tenant-specific configuration of the application, such as the SSO configuration, provisioning, and user assignments. An owner can also add or remove other owners. Unlike Global Administrators, owners can manage only the applications they own.

Group owner permissions

When a user creates a group, they are automatically added as an owner for that group. As an owner, they can manage properties of the group such as the name, as well as manage group membership. An owner can also add or remove other owners. Unlike Global administrators and User administrators, owners can only manage groups they own. To assign a group owner, see Managing owners for a group.

Ownership Permissions

The following tables describe the specific permissions in Azure Active Directory member users have over owned objects. The user only has these permissions on objects they own.

Owned application registrations

Users can perform the following actions on owned application registrations.

Actions Description
microsoft.directory/applications/audience/update Update applications.audience property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/applications/authentication/update Update applications.authentication property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/applications/basic/update Update basic properties on applications in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/applications/credentials/update Update applications.credentials property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/applications/delete Delete applications in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/applications/owners/update Update applications.owners property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/applications/permissions/update Update applications.permissions property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/applications/policies/update Update applications.policies property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/applications/restore Restore applications in Azure Active Directory.

Owned enterprise applications

Users can perform the following actions on owned enterprise applications. An enterprise application is made up of service principal, one or more application policies, and sometimes an application object in the same tenant as the service principal.

Actions Description
microsoft.directory/auditLogs/allProperties/read Read all properties (including privileged properties) on auditLogs in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/policies/basic/update Update basic properties on policies in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/policies/delete Delete policies in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/policies/owners/update Update policies.owners property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/appRoleAssignedTo/update Update servicePrincipals.appRoleAssignedTo property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/appRoleAssignments/update Update users.appRoleAssignments property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/audience/update Update servicePrincipals.audience property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/authentication/update Update servicePrincipals.authentication property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/basic/update Update basic properties on servicePrincipals in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/credentials/update Update servicePrincipals.credentials property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/delete Delete servicePrincipals in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/owners/update Update servicePrincipals.owners property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/permissions/update Update servicePrincipals.permissions property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/servicePrincipals/policies/update Update servicePrincipals.policies property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/signInReports/allProperties/read Read all properties (including privileged properties) on signInReports in Azure Active Directory.

Owned devices

Users can perform the following actions on owned devices.

Actions Description
microsoft.directory/devices/bitLockerRecoveryKeys/read Read devices.bitLockerRecoveryKeys property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/devices/disable Disable devices in Azure Active Directory.

Owned groups

Users can perform the following actions on owned groups.

Actions Description
microsoft.directory/groups/appRoleAssignments/update Update groups.appRoleAssignments property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/groups/basic/update Update basic properties on groups in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/groups/delete Delete groups in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/groups/dynamicMembershipRule/update Update groups.dynamicMembershipRule property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/groups/members/update Update groups.members property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/groups/owners/update Update groups.owners property in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/groups/restore Restore groups in Azure Active Directory.
microsoft.directory/groups/settings/update Update groups.settings property in Azure Active Directory.

Next steps