Add a group rule to assign access levels

Azure DevOps Services

Azure DevOps includes group-based licensing for Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) groups and Azure DevOps groups. Learn how to add a group rule to assign an access level to a group. Resources in Azure DevOps are assigned to all members of the group. Group rules are also used to add users to team projects and other specific groups, like Contributors, Readers, and Administrators.

When users leave the group, the licenses get freed and returned to your pool. You don't need to automate license management to reflect changes in your organizational structure on a per-user basis.


We recommend that you re-evaluate rules regularly on the Group rules tab of the Users page. Clarify whether any group membership changes in Azure AD might affect your organization. Azure AD can take up to 24 hours to update dynamic group membership. Automated reevaluation occurs every 24 hours and any time the group rule changes.


Add group rule

  1. Sign in to your organization ({yourorganization}).

  2. Select gear icon Organization settings.

    Screenshot showing highlighted Organization settings button.

  3. Select Permissions, and then verify that you're a member of the Project Collection Administrators group.

    Project collection administrators group members

  4. Select Users, and then select Group rules. This view shows you all of your created group rules. Select Add a group rule.

    Select Add a group rule

    Group rules appear only if you're a member of the Project Collection Administrators group.

  5. Complete the dialog box for the group for which you want to create a rule. Include an access level for the group and any optional project access for the group. Select Add.

    Complete add a group rule dialog

    A notification displays, showing the status and outcome of the rule. If the assignment couldn't be completed (for example, because your organization didn't have enough purchased licenses), select View status to see the details.

    Group rule completed


Group rules only apply to users without direct assignments and to users added to the group going forward. Remove direct assignments so the group rules apply to those users.

Manage group members

  1. Select Group rules > > Manage members. Highlight a group rule and select manage members


    Leave existing automation for managing access levels for users running as-is (for example, PowerShell). The goal is to reflect the same resources that the automation is applying to those users.

  2. Add members, and then select Add.

    Add group member

When you assign the same access level to a user, the user consumes only one access level. User assignments can be made both directly and through a group. No other licenses are required.


You can assign Group rules to support both access levels and project memberships. Users are granted the highest access level when assigned to more than one rule or Azure AD group which specify different levels of access. For example, if John is assigned to two Azure AD groups and two different Group rules that specify Stakeholder access and the other Basic access, then John's access level is Basic.

Verify group rule

Verify that the resources are applied to each group and individual user. Select All users, highlight a user, and then select Summary.

Verify user summary for group rule

Remove direct assignments

To manage a user's resources only by the groups that they're in, remove their direct assignments. Resources assigned to a user via individual assignment stay assigned to the user. This assignment stays whether the resources are assigned or taken away from the user's groups.

  1. Sign in to your organization ({yourorganization}).

  2. Select gear icon Organization settings.

    Screenshot showing highlighted Organization settings button.

  3. Select the Users tab.

    Select the Users tab

  4. Select all users with resources that should be managed only by groups.

    Select group rules for migration

  5. To confirm that you want to remove the direct assignments, select Remove.


Direct assignments are removed from the users.


If a user isn't a member of any groups, then the user isn't affected.