Assigning Admin Roles in Microsoft 365
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This Managing Azure AD User Roles course will teach you how to plan user roles in Microsoft 365 and how to allocate roles in workloads. You will learn how to configure administrative accounts and how to configure RBAC within Azure AD. You'll also learn how to delegate and manage admin roles.

Later in the course, you will learn how to manage role allocations by using Azure AD and how to plan security and compliance roles for Microsoft 365.

Learning Objectives

  • Plan and Allocate User Roles
  • Configure Role-Based Access (RBAC)
  • Delegate and Manage Admin Access
  • Plan Security and Compliance Roles

Intended Audience

  • IT professionals who are interested in obtaining Microsoft 365 certification
  • Those tasked with configuring and managing Office 365 access


  • A moderate understanding of Microsoft 365 and of Azure AD

So now that you've learned about the different types of administrators that are available within Microsoft 365, let's explore a little bit how to assign these user administrative roles through the portal. 

Now, once Office 365 has been purchased and it's been set up, what you can do is use the global administrator to create additional users within the tenant. Now, on the screen here, you can see I'm in the Microsoft 365 admin center. If I expand Users here and go into Active users, we can see that I've created several users within my tenant already. Now that these users have been created, what I can do is assign any of these available administrator roles to any one of these new users, or even multiple users. 

Now what I need to do here to assign an administrator role to one of these users is, first, select the user from my list and then in the Roles row here, I can see that this user currently has a single role, which is the default user role. To change this, I simply click Edit. And then I can select either the global administrator role, or I can supply a customized administrator role. If I give Johnny Hopkins here the global administrator role, he essentially has the keys to the kingdom. 

So what I'll do here is I'll make Johnny Hopkins a customized administrator. And what I can do after selecting the customized administrator radio button, I can select what he can actually administer. I can make him a billing administrator, Dynamics 365 service admin, a helpdesk admin, Exchange admin. You can see here there's quite a few options available to me. In this case what I'm going to do is make Johnny Hopkins an Exchange administrator. So I select the Exchange administrator and then click Save. 

Now what this does is give Mr. Hopkins the permissions that he needs to manage our Exchange Online subscription. If we needed Mr. Hopkins to manage other pieces of our tenant, we could simply click Edit here and add any of these other customized administrator options that we need. For example, we can make him a SharePoint administrator as well. And by doing so, that allows Johnny Hopkins to manage both our SharePoint Online environment and our Exchange Online environment. Now if we go back into the Edit roles here, I do wanna point out at the very bottom, you'll see here there's an option for an alternate email address. What we could do here is add an alternative email address that Johnny could use in the event that he forgets his password or can't sign in for some reason. We're not going to add one here so we'll just cancel out, but I wanted to make sure you understood what that field is there for. 

So with that said, that's how you assign admin roles through the Microsoft 365 admin center.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.