Skip links

Connecting existing SharePoint sites to Office 365 Groups

How can you connect existing SharePoint sites to Office 365 Groups?

Have you looked at Office 365 Groups and wanted to use these features with your existing SharePoint sites? While there are a few caveats, it is now possible to add Office 365 Groups functionality to a SharePoint site.

Before we go into any detail, let’s get the limitations out of the way:

  • For this to work your site must be at the root of a site collection. This means it can’t be a subsite.
  • You also cannot connect communication sites to Office 365 Groups.

SharePoint Office 365 Groups

Let’s get started.

To connect an existing SharePoint site to an Office 365 Group, you will need two things:

  • An existing root SharePoint site.
  • Your new Office 365 Group requirements.

Open your existing SharePoint site. Click on the gear icon on the top right of the page and select “Connect to new Office 365 Group.”

Connect to a new Office 365 Group

On the next page that appears you will see a description of what will happen.

Connect an existing SharePoint Site to an Office 365 Group

To proceed click on “Let’s get started”. On the next page you can enter the initial settings for your group:

Setting up a new Office 365 Group

Connect Your Office 365 Group

The new Office 365 Group will try to use the name of your existing site. If this is available, you will see a message confirming this; if not you can enter a new name for the Group.

Once you click on “Connect group” Office 365 will start provisioning your new Group behind the scenes. On the next page you will be able to add additional Group owners and members.

Adding members to your Office 365 Group

If you refresh your SharePoint site, you will notice that it has now been upgraded to use a new modern page. It will show Group specific information at the top of the page.

New SharePoint Modern Site With Office 365 Groups

New SharePoint Modern Page

Open the site contents page by clicking on the gear icon on the top right of the page and selecting “Site Contents.” If you then click on “Pages” you will see that SharePoint has preserved your old page and created a new modern page.

New SharePoint Modern Page

If you want to revert back to the old home page, click on the page item on the above list so that it is selected.

Reverting Back To Old SharePoint Home Page

New Navigation Structure

You will also notice that the default navigation has changed:

New SharePoint Navigation Structure

The default home menu item has been replaced with a link to the new modern page and the previous home page is added to the menu as a sub item under home.

You can configure the menu by clicking on “Edit” and re-arrange the menu.

Re-arrange your SharePoint Site Menu

SharePoint Training

At Betasoft we regularly run training courses that cover the fundamentals of SharePoint in Office 365. If you are looking for training or just a little extra help with planning and implementing SharePoint please get in touch.