Quickstart: Set Office 365 groups to expire in Azure Active Directory

In this quickstart, you set the expiration policy for your Office 365 groups. When users can set up their own groups, unused groups can multiply. One way to manage unused groups is to set those groups to expire, to reduce the maintenance of manually deleting groups.

Expiration policy is simple:

  • Groups with user activities are automatically renewed as the expiration nears
  • Group owners are notified to renew an expiring group
  • A group that is not renewed is deleted
  • A deleted Office 365 group can be restored within 30 days by a group owner or by an Azure AD administrator

Note

Groups now use Azure AD intelligence to automatically renewed based on whether they have been in recent use. This renewal decision is based on user activity in groups across Office 365 services like Outlook, SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, and others.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Prerequisite

The least-privileged role required to set up group expiration is User administrator in the organization.

Turn on user creation for groups

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal with a User administrator account.

  2. Select Groups, and then select General.

    Self-service group settings page

  3. Set Users can create Office 365 groups to Yes.

  4. Select Save to save the groups settings when you're done.

Set group expiration

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal, select Azure Active Directory > Groups > Expiration to open the expiration settings.

    Expiration settings page for group

  2. Set the expiration interval. Select a preset value or enter a custom value over 31 days. 

  3. Provide an email address where expiration notifications should be sent when a group has no owner.

  4. For this quickstart, set Enable expiration for these Office 365 groups to All.

  5. Select Save to save the expiration settings when you're done.

That's it! In this quickstart, you successfully set the expiration policy for the selected Office 365 groups.

Clean up resources

To remove the expiration policy

  1. Ensure that you are signed in to the Azure portal with an account that is the Global Administrator for your tenant.
  2. Select Azure Active Directory > Groups > Expiration.
  3. Set Enable expiration for these Office 365 groups to None.

To turn off user creation for groups

  1. Select Azure Active Directory > Groups > General.
  2. Set Users can create Office 365 groups in Azure portals to No.

Next steps

For more information about expiration including PowerShell instructions and technical constraints, see the following article: