"You don't have sufficient permissions" error when you try to remove or make a change to a distribution group

Problem

You try to remove or make a change to a distribution group by using the Exchange admin center in Microsoft Exchange Online for Microsoft Office 365 or in on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server. In this situation, you receive the following error message: You don't have sufficient permissions. This operation can only be performed by a manager of the group.

Cause

This issue occurs if you're not a manager of the group. In this situation, you're not listed in the ManagedBy attribute.

Solution

Use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Use Exchange Online PowerShell or the Exchange Management ShellImportantYou have to be an Exchange Online admin, an Exchange admin, or a member of the "Security Group Creation and Membership" role in the Exchange admin center to perform this procedure. 

  1. Take one of the following actions, as appropriate for your situation:

  2. Make the change that you want to the distribution group by using the appropriate Windows PowerShell cmdlet.

    For example, to remove the distribution group, use the Remove-DistributionGroupcmdlet together with the BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck parameter. Here's an example:Remove-DistributionGroup -BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck Note In this cmdlet and in other cmdlets in the "Examples" section, the distribution group is represented by the placeholder .

Examples

Here are some more examples of other Windows PowerShell cmdlets that you can use to manage distribution groups:

  • To assign ownership of a group, use the Set-DistributionGroupcmdlet, as in the following example:

    Set-DistributionGroup <NameOfGroup> -ManagedBy "Admin@contoso.com" -BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck
    
  • To add a user to a group, use the Add-DistributionGroupcmdlet, as in the following example:

    Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity <NameOfGroup> -Member user@contoso.com
    
  • To remove a user from a group, use the Remove-DistributionGroup cmdlet, as in the following example:

    Remove-DistributionGroupMember -Identity <NameOfGroup> -Member user@contoso.com
    
  • To check the members list for a group, use the Get-DistributionGroupMember cmdlet, as in the following example:

    Get-DistributionGroupMember -identity <NameOfGroup>|fl DisplayName,WindowsLiveID,RecipientType    
    

Method 2: Add yourself to the "ManagedBy" attributeTo add yourself to the ManagedBy attribute, follow these steps:

  1. Take one of the following actions, as appropriate for your situation:  

  2. Run the following command:

    Set-DistributionGroup <group> -ManagedBy @{Add="<value1>", "<value2>", …} -BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck 
    

    For example, if you're an Exchange Online admin or an Exchange admin who isn't listed in the ManagedBy attribute and you want to make  changes to a distribution group that's named Accounting, run the following command to add yourself to the ManagedBy attribute:

    Set-DistributionGroup Accounting -ManagedBy @{Add="<Alias>"} -BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck
    

    After you do this, you'll be able to change the distribution group.

For more information about the Set-DistributionGroup cmdlet, see Set-DistributionGroup.

References

To learn about managing distribution groups that are synced to Office 365 from the on-premises environment, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

2417592 Owners of an on-premises distribution group that's synced to Office 365 can't manage the distribution group in Exchange Online

Still need help? Go to Microsoft Community or the Exchange TechNet Forums.