SharePoint Admins,  someday, somewhere, “_layouts/permsetup.aspx” will save your life.

I ran into an issue where I created a new SharePoint 2013 teamsite. This created new Owner, Member and Visitor groups for this site collection. Lets call the groups NewTeam Owner, NewTeam Member and NewTeam Visitor.

Next, I migrated all the site collection content, groups and permissions from another SharePoint site collection to this new teamsite. The groups on this site were called OldTeam Owner, OldTeam Member and OldTeam Visitor.

Now the first thing any smart SharePoint admin would do is, give OldTeam Owner group Full control on the new site collection, which should give all of the owners from the old site, Full Control on the new site. And since we don’t need 2 owner groups out there, I may as well delete the NewTeam Owner group. Right? (doh! moment coming soon)
Okay, this was not a good idea. I deleted the NewTeam Owner group, and then noticed that OldTeam Owner’s members keepcalmsharepointoncouldn’t approve of user requests to join the site.

I found a work around that allowed me to grant OldTeam Owner group Full Control to this approval list. But I was still getting an error about the approval failing. After some digging I started assuming that there were some other behind the scenes permissions that get added to the “Default” Owners group when a new 2013 site collection is built, so my next questions were 1. What were these permissions? and 2. How do I assign them to my OldTeam Owner group?

Now I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t I just add the users from OldTeam Owner into NewTeam Owner? (well 1. I’d already deleted the group, and 2. there were a lot of permissions on libraries and folders that were not inheriting from the parent and although it could have been done, I was hoping to avoid this.

It was through some googling (binging for some) that I ran across a technet question similar to mine and one of the answers mentioned the url _layouts/permsetup.aspx. I dropped that into my site url ( and I instantly got that old page where you can setup your default SharePoint Groups. I noticed that the Default Owners group was set at NewTeam Owner even though i’d deleted that in the site collection. I set it to OldTeam Owner, and after that it resolved the issue.

Update: Apparently you can accomplish the same task by selecting your group in the People and Groups link, then selecting Settings -> Make Default Group.
But hey who needs all those clicks? 🙂