Add SharePoint Online sites.selected permissions using PowerShell


The Sites.Selected permission in Microsoft Graph provides several benefits when it comes to controlling app-specific access to specific SharePoint sites:

  1. Granular Access Control:
    • Using Sites.Selected along with the Sites permissions endpoint in Microsoft Graph allows you to set specific site collections and access levels for individual applications.
    • Instead of granting broad access to an entire tenant, you can now precisely define which sites an application can interact with.
  2. Application-Specific Permissions:
    • With Sites.Selected, you can assign read or write permissions to targeted sites for a specific application.
    • This is especially useful when you want to manage sites using Graph or SharePoint APIs (such as CSOM or REST) for a particular application.
  3. Background Application Scenarios:
    • Sites.Selected permissions are perfect for running applications in the background.
    • For example, you might have an automated process that needs to interact with specific SharePoint sites without requiring user interaction.

I do this using PowerShell and it’s pretty easy to do once you have set it up once.

Process Summary

  • Create an app reg for the developer requesting the site. They will use this for their app.
  • Get the SharePoint site ID of the site they need to work with.
  • Create an app registration for PowerShell with sites selected permission
  • Connect the MgGraph PowerShell using the app reg and certificate
  • Add the permission for the app

Create the Target app registration

This will be the app reg that the developer or app users.

Add Application > Sites.Selected

Add API permissions: Graph API  > Graph > Application > Sites.Selected

Sites.Read.All is not required.

  1. Get the SharePoint site ID of the target site

Using Graph Explorer to find the site ID, as this is not available with PowerShell.{tenantname}{sitename}

Note the complete id.

Note that Sitename is not the sitetitle (which may contain spaces), sitename is the last part of the site URL after sites/


Create an app registration for Graph PowerShell with sites selected permission

Create an app registration for Graph PowerShell if you don’t already have one.

First, create a local certificate:

$CertParam = @{
    'KeyAlgorithm'      = 'RSA'
    'KeyLength'         = 2048
    'KeyExportPolicy'   = 'NonExportable'
    'DnsName'           = ''
    'FriendlyName'      = 'Graph PowerShell app'
    'CertStoreLocation' = 'Cert:\CurrentUser\My\'
    'NotAfter'          = (Get-Date).AddYears(2)
$Cert = New-SelfSignedCertificate @CertParam
Export-Certificate -Cert $Cert -FilePath c:\temp\GraphPowerShellApp.cer
  • Create a new App registration called e.g. Graph PowerShell
  • In the app registration:
    • Navigate to Certificates & secrets
    • Click the certificates tab
    • Click Upload certificate
    • Click the folder icon and browse to your desktop to select the exported cert
    • Click Add

Connect to Graph using PowerShell with the app registration and certificate

You can’t just connect to Graph by logging in, since you need to use the app with the correct permissions in order to add the sites.selected permission.

It’s best to do this with a certificate rather than secret, since we don’t need to use a secret value in plain text.

Install or update the Microsoft.Graph PowerShell module:

find-module -Name Microsoft.Graph # Check the latest version
get-module -ListAvailable -name microsoft.graph # Check what version you have
uninstall-module -Name Microsoft.Graph # Uninstall any versions (run multiple times if necessary)
Install-Module Microsoft.Graph -Scope Currentuser # Install latest

Connect to Graph using the app registration and certificate:

$AppId = "xxxxxxx-b9e8-4d24-a065-xxxxxxxxxx" # Graph PowerShell
$TenantId = "xxxxxx-e092-45fe-92c8-xxxxxxxxxx"

# Find the cert ID Get-ChildItem Cert:\CurrentUser\My\
$Certificate = Get-ChildItem Cert:\CurrentUser\My\DJER4I6FMC65M52E2KA5SKSDKF
Connect-MgGraph -TenantId $TenantId -AppId $AppId -Certificate $Certificate

Add the permission for the app

# Import-Module Microsoft.Graph.Sites

# Connect to Graph Powershell using the app reg, could use either certificate or secret

# Get the siteid using Graph Explorer e.g.

$siteId = ",xxxxxx-6710-417e-bd83-xxxxx,xxxxxx-b61c-49dd-af50-xxxxx"

$params = @{
    roles = @(
grantedToIdentities = @(
        application = @{
            id = "xxxxxxx-c3c4-46e4-9480-xxxxxxxx" # Target Application’s Client Id
            displayName = "NetcallSharePoint" # Target Application’s Display name


New-MgSitePermission -SiteId $siteId -BodyParameter $params


In summary, Sites.Selected provides fine-grained control over which sites an application can access, allowing you to tailor permissions to your specific use case. It’s easy to user PowerShell and Microsoft Graph to add this.

In the future we might create a Blazor app to easily do this using a GUI.

Posted in Microsoft Graph, PowerShell, SharePoint

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