Site Collection Administrators and Site Collection Owners in Windows SharePoint Services

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Microsoft Corporation

Published: November 2003


Learn more about the differences between site collectionadministrators and site collection owners/secondary owners. Thisdocument provides instructions on specifying and changing whichusers have these permission levels.


A site collection is a group of sites built on MicrosoftWindows SharePoint Services that all exist under atop-level site. To make managing the sites and their content moreconvenient, you can assign users to be site collectionadministrators or site collection owners. These are permissionlevels to give to users who you want to have full administrativerights to all sites and content within a site collection.

About Site Collection Administrators

Site collection administrators have full rights to all siteswithin a site collection. They can add or delete sites or changethe settings for any site within a site collection. They can view,add, delete, or change all content within those sites as well. Theycan add and remove users from sites and send invitations to thosesites.

You can specify site collection administrators by using the UserInformation page in SharePoint Site Administration as described inthe "Giving a User Site Collection AdministratorRights" section later in this paper. You can also use theadduser operation with Stsadm.exe as described in the "Give auser site collection administrator rights by usingStsadm.exe" section later in this paper.

About Site Collection Owners

Site collection owners and secondary owners are also sitecollection administrators. However, owners and secondary owners arethe only users who receive e-mail notifications for events, such asthe pending automatic deletion of inactive sites. By default, sitecollection owners also receive requests for access from users whohave been denied access. A user who is a member of theAdministrator site group can use the Site Administration pages tochange the e-mail address that receives requests for access.

When you create a site collection, Windows SharePoint Servicesautomatically lists you as the site collection owner. Depending onthe configuration of the site, you might also be required tospecify a secondary owner for the site. You can change a sitecollection owner or secondary owner by using the Manage SiteCollection Owners page in Central Administration or by using thesiteowner operation with Stsadm.exe.

Note: If you remove anowner from the Administrator site group for the site, the ownerretains the owner flag in the database and can still perform Website administrative tasks. Follow the steps in the "Changing SiteOwners from SharePoint Central Administration" or "Changing SiteOwners from the Command Line" sections later in this paper toremove an owner.