Disabling automatic creation of direct reports groups

Starting in April 2017, Office 365 will start with automatically creating direct reports groups in Outlook if you have managers with 2 to 20 direct reports. Depending on the size of your company this feature can create a lot of private Outlook groups, and it’s on by default! The groups will be named “<Manager’s Name>’s direct reports

Disabling the auto provisioning of Direct Reports in Office 365

You can only disable it with Powershell. Therefore you need to connect to connect to Exchange Online. Use the code below or this script

$cred = New-Object -TypeName System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList $user, $pass
$O365Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $cred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $O365Session

Check the status of the DirectReportsGroupAutoCreationEnabled flag for you tenant:

Get-OrganizationConfig | fl GroupsCreationEnabled,DirectReportsGroupAutoCreationEnabled

If they both return true, then the auto creation is enabled for your tenant.
To turn if off, set the DirectReportsGroupAutoCreationEnabled flag to false

Set-OrganizationConfig -DirectReportsGroupAutoCreationEnabled $false

What are the requirements for auto creation of Direct Reports groups?

To get automatically direct reports groups for manager there are a few requirements:

  • Office 365 Groups creation must be enabled
  • The manager must have permission to create an Office 365 Group
  • The manager’s mailbox must be older than 30 days
  • The manager’s and direct reports mailboxes must be in Exchange Online and not hidden from the GAL
  • The “Manager” field of an employee (direct report) must be populated

Get a list of Automatically created groups

All direct report groups will have a display name of “<Manager’s Name>’s direct reports“. You can use Powershell to get all those groups because they have a special property called “Groupsona:AutoDirectReports“. To find them run this cmdlet:

Get-UnifiedGroup -ResultSize Unlimited | Where-Object {$_.GroupPersonification -eq 'Groupsona:AutoDirectReports'} | Select-Object id,Alias,PrimarySmtpAddress,ManagedByDetails | fl


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