Understanding Delegated Administration ("On Behalf Of") in Office 365

One of the benefits of being a “Microsoft Cloud Accelerate” partner is the ability to offer delegated administration right from within your own Office 365 tenant. Delegated administration is you administrering a company account on behalf of one (or more) of your customers. As a delegated administrator, you can perform simple tasks such as adding users and resetting passwords, or more technical tasks such as adding a domain.

Two questions often comes up when delegated administration is on the agenda:

  1. How to invite/offer your customer to authorize you as a delegated administrator
  2. How to actually do the delegated administration


How to invite your customer to authorize you as a delegated administrator

Before you can start administering your customer's account, your customer must authorize you as a delegated administrator. To obtain your customers approval, you first send them an offer for delegated administration:

  1. Click the "Partner" tab
  2. Under "Offer delegated administration" click "Send delegated administration offers":

  3. Go through the steps to end up with a customer ready email:

  4. Send the mail and wait for your customer to approve the invitation.

    Your customer will click the URL in the invitation and authorize you as a delegated administrator:

How to actually do the delegated administration

When you want to perform an administrative task for your customer, you can locate the account by searching for a user (name) or your customers domain name. If you are a delegated administrator for your customer's account, you can search for any domain name associated with the account.

  1. Click the "Partner" tab
  2. Under "Find and Assist" click "Lookup user or domain"

  3. Type in e.g. the domain name:

  4. When a matching domain name is found, a results page appears with action links at the top of the page. Click the link corresponding to the action you want (e.g. "Administer on behalf of"):

Thats it 🙂

Note: As a Microsoft partner, you can see a list of your Office 365 customers on your MPN Partner Dashboard: https://partnerdashboard.microsoft.com/PartnerDashBoard/home.mvc/show/PartnerId=[MPN ID]#/#onlineServicesTab


Comments (18)
  1. Anonymous says:

    too bad they pulled away features in the latest service upgrade, for example you can no longer administer distribution lists without a "licensed" user account.

  2. Sorry, no. Admin is on the tenant level.

  3. Frank says:

    Great thanks for posting this It would have taken me a while to figure it out as it not verry straight forward. If you already authorized to deligate then the domain should just show up to click on.

  4. Tim Woolfson - Profitable Web Projects SL says:


    Can more than one partner have delegated admin rights on and office 365 account.
    Perhaps for example one partner is assisting the client with Office 365, Exchange etc. and referred another one for Dynamics for example.
    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide in this regard.


  5. Tim Woolfson says:

    Thanks Jesper, that’s helpful, my example was designed to show the circumstances in which it might arise that two delegated admins are required for the same tenant. Admin being at the tenant level wouldn’t prevent multiple admins at the tenant level. Are
    multiple delegated admins allowed at the tenant level?

    That those admins would have the same rights and be able to do everything in all areas of the tenant is understood.

  6. Tim Woolfson says:

    To further clarify, I mean two partner organizations with delegated admin permission. I know that multple users within the same partner can admin…

  7. TIm Woolfson says:

    Thanks Jesper.

  8. Tim says:

    Jesper, do you know if this is still supposed to be working to allow tenenants to see who their delegated admin is:
    or does the documentation need to be updated?

    I´ve tested a couple of accounts where we are the delegated admin but I also have a global administrator user on the account and I can´t see the option to "Manage delegated admins"

  9. Tim says:

    Answering my own question, with thanks to Billy Wang, Microsoft Partner Support Community Technical Support Engineer:> Admin->O365->Users & Groups-Delegated Admins

  10. Tim says:

    And further, it is possible to have multiple delegated admins on one tennant.

  11. Karina Rossiter says:

    When I click on the Partner tab I don’t have a "Find and Assist" to be able to click "Lookup user or domain". I have a list of the customers who we have been given delegated administration right from but don’t seem to be able to anything with them. Any

  12. BB says:

    I have the same issue as Karina.

    Any suggestions/advice?

  13. Thomas Brooks says:

    I cannot find "Find and assist" either. I do see that I can see my clients however.

  14. Tim Woolfson says:

    Hi Karina, BB, Thomas:
    I think the info in this article is out of date.
    To do the actual admin, click partner, select the row pertaining to your client (don´t click their organization name, click somewhere in the row to the right, say on their primary domain.

    You will then see client admin to the right at the bottom and you can click "Office 365 admin center"

    To stop administrating that client, click Partner on the top bar. This wil return you to your list of clients.

    Hope this helps,

    Tim Woolfson

  15. Anonymous says:

    Not that I’m counting but I just realized one of my blog posts actually is closing in on 100k views

  16. K Milec says:

    Are two or more Partners able to offer delegated administration to the same Customer at the same time? I was unable to find a definitive statement, either for or against the a multi-Partner scenario.

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