Thursday, July 31, 2014

Outlook - Changes to the distribution list membership cannot be saved. You do not have sufficient permission to perform this operation on this object.

In legacy versions of Exchange such as 2003 and 2007, when assigning a user "Managed By" permissions to an Active Directory security group, this allowed the users to manage the groups membership through Microsoft Outlook.  However in later reversions of Microsoft Exchange such as 2010 and 2013, simply providing the Managed By permission by default will not provide the user the ability to manage memberships of distribution groups.  This behaviour is by design in Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2013. Role Based Access Control (RBAC) and the associated self-service roles that accompany it were introduced in Exchange Server 2010. To prevent customers from unexpectedly causing problems with group management, the group management self-service role is now set to off by default.

When migrating to Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2013, when a user attempts change group membership for a group they are the owner of using Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, they will receive the following error message.

Changes to the distribution list membership cannot be saved. You do not have sufficient permission to perform this operation on this object.

You can turn this feature back on in Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2013 for all users by simply enabling the MyDistributionGroups setting on the Default Role Assignment Policy.

The Default Role Assignment Policy by default is applied to all mailboxes in an Exchange Organisation unless companies have created custom Role Assignment Policies and linked default or custom Management Roles to the custom Role Assignment Policy.  To demonstrate this, I have included a screenshot of my Mailbox below showing the Default Role Assignment Policy linked, this should be the same in most organisations unless you have custom RBAC requirements.

Note: The screenshot below is from Exchange 2013 SP1 but this also applies to Exchange 2010 which you will find by navigating through Exchange Management Console.

Now adding the option "MyDistributionGroups" to the Default Role Assignment Policy will provide all users with this policy linked to perform the following tasks:
  • Join existing groups (provided the Group allows it)
  • Manage some of the properties of groups they own
  • Change membership of groups they own
  • Create and Remove Groups
For majority of customers I work with, the first three meet requirements however the last point "Create and Remove Groups" raises concerns.  The default solution in Exchange 2010/2013 needs to be modified so that it meets the needs of the average customers - this means creating a custom Management Role with custom ManagementRoleEntries for the cmdlets we want the users to have permissions to.  Now if you are familiar with the Role Based Access Control (RBAC) model which Microsoft Exchange uses, you can go off and create your own which just has the cmdlets required which include:
  • Add-DistributionGroupMember
  • Get-DistributionGroup
  • Get-DistributionGroupMember
  • Get-Group
  • Get-Recipient
  • Remove-DistributionGroupMember
  • Set-DistributionGroup
  • Set-DynamicDistributionGroup
  • Set-Group
  • Update-DistributionGroupMember
Notice we left out the Add-DistributionGroup and Remove-DistributionGroup cmdlets hence allowing users to customise existing distribution groups but not add or delete distribution groups.

Introducing Manage-GroupManagementRole.ps1

Microsoft heard the pain customers were having with the default option made available in the RBAC Default Role Assignment Policy and as a result created a script called "Manage-GroupManagementRole.ps1" - written by Matthew Byrd from Microsoft.  This script is for a default deployment of Exchange 2010 or 2013 where all users have the Default Role Assignment policy and just want to be able to add/remove users from distribution groups through Microsoft Outlook for which they are owners of - just like they did before!  A copy of the script can be found here:

This script does what I explained above for you automatically including:
  • Creates a new Management Role which you can specify with the -name switch otherwise by default it will call it "MyDistributionGroupsManagement"
  • Adds Management Role Entry's to the Management Role Group for all the PowerShell Commands listed above.  A Management Role Entry is simply a PowerShell cmdlet the Management Role is allowed to execute.
  • Assigns the Management Role to a Role Assignment Policy which can be specified with the -policy parameter.  If you do not specify a Role Assignment Policy it will use the default one, "Default Role Assignment Policy" which is by default assigned to all mailboxes in an Exchange environment.
When you have downloaded the script to run it with the Defaults simply type:

.\Manage-GroupManagementRole.ps1 -CreateGroup -RemoveGroup

This will create the management role called "MyDistrubtionGroupsManagement" and assign it to the "Default Role Assignment Policy" to apply to all users in the domain.

After running the script, people will be able to change Group Membership of distribution lists using Microsoft Outlook for only groups for which they are under the "Managed By" / "Ownership" attribute - just like how it was in previous versions of Exchange!

Some Gotcha's

For this functionality the Mail Enabled Group must be set as a Universal Group Scope.  Domain Local or Global Groups do not support this functionality.

In Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2013, you can only set User accounts to the Managed By / Ownership field.  No longer can you set Security Groups as ownership of another group - a limitation of RBAC.  You can however set multiple people to manage/own a distribution group.

There are a couple of other Gotcha's which can generate the "Changes to the distribution list membership cannot be saved" which are documented on Microsoft KB2586832 that can generate this error.  If your still having problems I recommend you have a read of the following article:


  1. It is really amazing! So many new things that I even didn't hear about them. Difficult to follow for a not professional, a private individual. The world goes on progressing by innovating and inventing.

  2. very helpful stuff to is very important to know...great job!!! visit more info:- Windows live mail technical support also Call +1-800-231-4635 (Toll Free)

  3. Thanks for coming and let me know that this post has worked on you :).. visit more info Windows live mail support also Call +1-800-231-4635 (Toll Free).

  4. Thanks for sharing this tool information it is useful to us.
    Outlook Mail

  5. Worked for me, thanks for sharing.

  6. This issue was fixed for me in Outlook 2013 by creating a new mail profile (control panel, mail, profile..)
    You can also use the web:
    Another way to modify users would be to:
    1) Go to
    2) Click on Mail
    3) Click on the “Gear” in the top right corner = Settings
    4) Click on Options
    5) Click on Other (left hand side at the bottom)
    6) Click on Go to Earlier Settings
    7) Click on Groups
    8) Double click Distribution Group you would like to modify
    9) Membership
    10) Add/Remove users and Save