I know I said it several times, but I’ll say it again: I’m a big fan of PowerShell! PowerShell makes repetitive tasks easier and makes our life smarter, and it helps to automate complex tasks and reduces the risk of human errors. In this article, I’m exploring how to use PowerShell with SharePoint Online.
How to Connect to SharePoint Online using PowerShell?
Why should we use PowerShell to Manage SharePoint Online? If you’re a SharePoint administrator, you know that PowerShell is your best friend. With PowerShell, you can automate many tasks that would otherwise take a long time to complete. Not just that, There are several reasons why we use PowerShell:
- Perform bulk operations – E.g. Applying settings to all sites, document libraries, etc.
- Generate reports – E.g., Export all user permissions from a site
- Certain operations can be done and available only through PowerShell
- Query and Filter the data
- Configure services, Manipulate objects, etc.
So, to start with, follow these steps to connect to SharePoint Online via PowerShell:
Step 1: Install the SharePoint Online Management Shell or SharePoint Online PowerShell Module
Make sure You have PowerShell and SharePoint Online PowerShell Module Installed. To download Windows Management Framework 3, which includes PowerShell 3.0: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34595
Download and Install SharePoint Online Management Shell
You have to download and install SharePoint Online Management Shell to start with. Download PowerShell for SharePoint Online at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35588
How to check the SharePoint Online Management Shell version? Use Control Panel >> Add/Remove programs to find out the installed version of SharePoint Online Management Shell! You can also use Control Panel – Add/Remove programs to uninstall the SharePoint Online management shell.
Step 2: Connect to SharePoint Online PowerShell using Connect-SPOService cmdlet
Here is how to connect to the SharePoint Online site using PowerShell. Launch “SharePoint Online Management Shell” from the start menu and connect to SharePoint Online Administration Center first and run this PowerShell script to connect to SharePoint Online: (Or you can use the Windows PowerShell console / PowerShell ISE as well)
Connect-SPOService -Url https://salaudeen-admin.sharepoint.com ` -credential [email protected]
This cmdlet must be executed before we use any other SharePoint Online cmdlets. Make sure you connect with an account with minimum permission of the SharePoint Online administrator and use HTTPS in the admin site URL. You’ll get a prompt for the password.
Step 3: Start using SharePoint Online PowerShell cmdlets!
Once connected, you can start managing SharePoint Online with PowerShell cmdlets. Here are some examples. Let’s create a site collection in SharePoint Online using PowerShell.
SharePoint Online PowerShell to Create Site Collection
Now you can access SharePoint Online from PowerShell (From PowerShell console/SharePoint Online Management Shell or from PowerShell ISE).
#Lets create a new Site collection: New-SPOSite -Url https://salaudeen.sharepoint.com/sites/Sales ` -Owner [email protected] -StorageQuota 1000 -Title "Sales Site"
Once you’ve finished, You can disconnect the session with “Disconnect-SPOService”. However, it’s not mandatory. Generally, it’s a good idea to leave the connection open until and unless you work with different tenants.
You need SharePoint Online administrator or Global Administrator rights in order to run these PowerShell scripts. However, to run CSOM or PnP PowerShell scripts at the site level, You just need Site collection Administrator rights.
Create a group in SharePoint Online with PowerShell ISE:
How to run PowerShell script for SharePoint Online? You can use PowerShell ISE to run the PowerShell script for SharePoint Online. Let’s create a group using PowerShell for SharePoint Online.
#sharepoint online powershell create group: Import-Module Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.Powershell -DisableNameChecking #connect to sharepoint online site collection using powershell Connect-SPOService -Url https://salaudeen-admin.sharepoint.com ` -credential [email protected] #create group New-SPOSiteGroup -Site https://salaudeen.sharepoint.com/sites/Sales ` -Group "Sales Managers" -PermissionLevels "Full Control"
Even more generic code to connect to SharePoint Online through PowerShell would be:
#Import SharePoint Online PowerShell module Import-Module Microsoft.Online.Sharepoint.PowerShell -DisableNameChecking #Admin Center URL of your SharePoint Online - Set it accordingly $AdminSiteURL= "https://crescent-admin.sharepoint.com" #Get credentials to connect $Credential = Get-Credential #Connect to SharePoint Online services Connect-SPOService -url $AdminSiteURL -Credential $credential
What if you don’t want to get the credentials prompt? E.g., Save credentials in the script and schedule them in the windows task scheduler. Here is how to connect to SharePoint Online from PowerShell using the user ID and password:
#Variables for processing $AdminCenterURL = "https://crescent-admin.sharepoint.com" #User Name Password to connect $AdminUserName = "[email protected]" $AdminPassword = "Password goes here" #Prepare the Credentials $SecurePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString $AdminPassword -AsPlainText -Force $Credential = new-object -typename System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -argumentlist $AdminUserName, $SecurePassword #Connect to SharePoint Online Connect-SPOService -url $AdminCenterURL -Credential $Credential #Get all Site colections Get-SPOSite
Connect SharePoint Online PowerShell with MFA (Multifactor Authentication)
To connect with SharePoint Online where multifactor authentication is enabled, simply remove the -Credential parameter from the “Connect-SPOService” cmdlet.
Connect-SPOService -Url https://YourTenant-admin.sharepoint.com
Hit Enter, You’ll get a popup (which is MFA aware) to enter the credentials and the code from multifactor authentication. To learn more on connecting to SharePoint Online with MFA enabled accounts, refer to my other post: PowerShell: Connect to SharePoint Online with MFA
PowerShell commands for SharePoint Online – Index of SharePoint Online PowerShell cmdlets:
For the list of available cmdlets for SharePoint Online, Refer: SharePoint Online 2013 PowerShell cmdlets at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/fp161364.aspx
You can also use this cmdlet to list SharePoint Online PowerShell cmdlets:
Get-Command -Module Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.PowerShell
Limitation: Unlike SharePoint on-premises, SharePoint Online offers only the least set of PowerShell cmdlets to manage SharePoint Online. E.g., There are no direct PowerShell cmdlets to activate a feature, create a subsite, create a list, add a list item, etc. The solution would be utilizing the client-side object model (CSOM) with PowerShell! How to Connect to SharePoint Online using CSOM PowerShell?
SharePoint Patterns and Practices (PnP) contains a library of PowerShell cmdlets that allows you to perform complex operations with one single cmdlet. To connect to SharePoint Online using PnP PowerShell, refer to: How to Connect to SharePoint Online using PnP PowerShell?