Override the distribution group naming policy

The group naming policy for distribution groups is applied only to groups created by users. When you or other administrators use the Exchange admin center (EAC) to create distribution groups, the group naming policy is ignored and not applied to the group name.

However, if you use Exchange Online PowerShell to create or rename a distribution group, the group naming policy is applied to groups created by administrators unless you use the IgnoreNamingPolicy parameter to override the group naming policy.

What do you need to know before you begin?

  • Estimated time to complete: 2 minutes.

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "Distribution Groups" entry in the Recipients permissions topic.

  • For information about keyboard shortcuts that may apply to the procedures in this topic, see Keyboard shortcuts for the Exchange admin center.

Tip

Having problems? Ask for help in the Exchange forums. Visit the forums at Exchange Online or Exchange Online Protection.

Use Exchange Online PowerShell to override the group naming policy when you create a new group

To override the group naming policy, run the following command.

New-DistributionGroup -Name <Group Name> -IgnoreNamingPolicy

For example, if the group naming policy for your organization is DG_<Group Name>_Users, run the following command to create a group named All Administrators.

New-DistributionGroup -Name "All Administrators" -IgnoreNamingPolicy

When Microsoft Exchange creates this group, it uses All Administrators for both the Name and DisplayName parameters.

Use Exchange Online PowerShell to override the group naming policy when you rename a group

To override the group naming policy when you rename an existing group with Exchange Online PowerShell, run the following command.

Set-DistributionGroup -Identity <Old Group Name> -Name <New Group Name> -DisplayName <New Group Name> -IgnoreNamingPolicy

For example, let's say you created a group naming policy late one night and the next morning you realized you misspelled the text string in the prefix. The next morning, you see that a new group has already been created with the misspelled prefix. You can fix the group naming policy in the EAC, but you have to use Exchange Online PowerShell to rename the group with the misspelled name. Run the following command.

Set-DistributionGroup -Identity "Government_Contracts_NWRegion" -Name "Government_ContractEstimates_NWRegion" -DisplayName "Government_ContractEstimates_NWRegion" -IgnoreNamingPolicy

Important

Be sure to include the DisplayName parameter when you rename a group. If you don't, the old name is still displayed in the shared address book on the To:, Cc:, and From: lines in email messages.

How do you know this worked?

To verify that you've successfully created or renamed a distribution group that ignores the group naming policy, run the following commands.

Get-DistributionGroup <Name> | Format-List DisplayName
Get-OrganizationConfig | Format-List DistributionGroupNamingPolicy

If the format of the display name for the group is different than the one enforced by your organization's group naming policy, it worked.