Tag Archives: Microsoft Graph API

Sites.Selected SharePoint API

Sites.Selected MS Graph API permissions were introduced by Microsoft in March 2021. It was a good move towards site-level access for non-interactive (daemon) applications, but still developers were limited with only what MS Graph API provides for SharePoint. SharePoint CSOM and REST API still provides much more than MS Graph API.

So developers had to use AppInv.aspx at site level to provide ACS-based permissions to their apps to be able to use SharePoint CSOM and REST APIs. The bad news is ACS-based permissions have some downsides so some SharePoint/m365/security engineers consider them legacy and deprecated. But if we decide to disable SharePoint App-only service principals – all apps with ACS-based permissions provided via AppInv.aspx will stop working.

2021: Microsoft Graph Sites.Selected API

Microsoft Graph Sites.Selected API

Recently Microsoft introduced Sites.Selected SharePoint API permissions for registered Azure Apps! So from now developers should be fully happy with API permissions provided in Azure (without SharePoint ACS-based permissions).

2022: SharePoint Sites.Selected API

SharePoint Sites.Selected API

Why is this so important? Because this should allow us to be able to switch from ACS based permissions provided in SharePoint via AppInv.aspx to Azure-provided permissions and as a consequence – disable SharePoint-Apps only principal (‘set-spotenant -DisableCustomAppAuthentication $true’).

Why we are eager to disable Custom App Authentication in SharePoint? Simply say, SharePoint App-only service principals are not trackable (they all appeared as a “spo_service@support.onmicrosoft.com” id in all logs) and hard to manage (there is no way to get list of existing/registered SP app-only service principals, sites and their owners) – see more in this article.

So, SharePoint Sites.Selected application API permissions provided in Azure is a significient step to make Microsoft 365 SharePoint environment more secure and manageble.

More on the Sites.Selected:


Connect to SharePoint Online and MS Graph Interactively with Client App and MSAL token


You have got a Microsoft 365 subscription with SharePoint Online. You use PowerShell, PnP.PowerShell module and MS Graph API to work with SharePoint under current user’s credential. So you need to authenticate to SharePoint Online via Connect-PnPOnline and to Microsoft Graph API interactively on behalf of a user.


Unfortunately, both “Connect-PnPOnline -Interactive -Url <siteUrl>” or “Connect-PnPOnline -UseWebLogin -Url <siteUrl>” might fail with something like “Need admin approval”, “App needs permission to access resources in your organization that only an admin can grant. Please ask an admin to grant permission to this app before you can use it.” or similar


  • register an Azure App. Choose “single tenant”
  • configure authentication blade:
    – add platform – “Mobile and Desktop app”
    select “https://login.microsoftonline.com/common/oauth2/nativeclient”
    add custom Redirect URI: “http://localhost”
  • configure API permissions blade:
    – add delegated permissions you need (refer to specific API you’ll use)
    e.g. Microsoft Graph Sites.FullControl.All and SharePoint AllSites.FullControl
  • use the following code samples


$siteUrl = "https://contoso.sharepoint.com/teams/myTeamsSite"
$appId = "" # Client Id
Connect-PnPOnline -ClientId $appId -Url $siteUrl -Interactive

A pop-up window will appear to authenticate interactively. If you are already authenticated with another credentials (or single-sigh-on) – an interactive window might pop up and disappear – that prevents you enter your other id.
To ensure Connect-PnPOnline prompts you for your credentials – use ” -ForceAuthentication” option.

If you are a SharePoint tenant admin – you can connect to a tenant with:

$orgName = "yourTenantPrefix" 
$adminUrl = "https://$orgName-admin.sharepoint.com" 
$appId = "" # Client Id 
$connection = Connect-PnPOnline -ClientId $appId -Url $adminUrl -Interactive -ReturnConnection # -ForceAuthentication 

Microsoft Graph API

Use MSAL.PS module to get an msal token then use token in Microsoft graph-based requests:

$tenantId = ""
$clientid = ""
$url = ""
$token = Get-MsalToken -ClientId $clientid -TenantId $tenantId -Interactive

By default token expires in ~ 1 hour. But you can refresh it silently.
This helps you in long-running PowerShell scripts that takes hours to complete.
So you can include something like this in the loop:

if ($token.ExpiresOn.LocalDateTime -lt $(get-date).AddMinutes(10)) {    
  $token = Get-MsalToken -ClientId $clientid -TenantId $tenantId -ForceRefresh -Silent    
  Write-Host "Token will expire on:" $token.ExpiresOn.LocalDateTime

Application permissions

Somehow using Connect-PnPOnline with AccessToken option did not work if the token was acquired with MSAL.PS interactively. But it did work when you get msal.ps token unattended (using App credentials). So…

If you can get an Application (non Delegated) permissions to your azure-registerd-app,
you can use msal token to connect to site with PnP


NB: For delegated permissions, the effective permissions of your app are the intersection of the delegated permissions the app has been granted (via consent) and the privileges of the currently signed-in user. Your app can never have more privileges than the signed-in user.

How to Find Content Shared with Everyone in SharePoint and Teams

There is a known problem in SharePoint – complicated permissions system. Site owners/administrators provide access, site contributors upload documents and nobody knows – who has access to their sites. As a result – sometimes sensitive documents become overshared (over-exposed).

The biggest concern is sites content shared with “Everyone”. How do we find sites shared with “Everyone” in a large Microsoft 365 environment?

NB. When I say “shared with Everyone” – I actually mean 3 possible “everyone” logins:

  • Everyone
  • Everyone except external users
  • All users

Approach #1 (Brute force)

We can get full permissions report at tenant level (or permissions provided only to “Everyone”). There are 3-rd party tools (e.g. ShareGate, SysKit, AvePoint, Metalogix etc.), or you can run PowerShell script…

Sounds easy? Well, if you have less than 1000 sites – probably it will work. But if your environment is 10K+ sites – it will take forever. Permission report might run hours for an average site with site/subsite, list/library and list item details level. So the approach will not work for large enterprise environments.

One might say – we can limit report with root web permissions only to get it faster. But this would not be accurate. And what is not accurate in the IT security – lead to even bigger risks. So, we need report detailed up to every item level deep, as even one file with sensitive info shared with everyone can cause security issue. (3-rd party tools usually by default limit it to libraries level.)

Ok, if this approach is not really working – what’s working?

Clever idea: why do we need to iterate through all the tenant documents/items if all the content is already crawled by search? Search is also respect permissions. Can we just use search to get files shared with Everyone? Let us see.

What if we use some dummy user account with no specific permissions provided and no group membership and try to search content on behalf of that account. The idea is if this user can see data – it means that data is open for everyone.

Check this and this articles. Can we get results programmatically (e.g. with PowerShell)? Can we use Microsoft Graph search API? Sure.
Check this article “How to search against SharePoint Online Content with Microsoft Graph search API with PowerShell”.

But! We have some problems here.

Search Problem #1. Again, for small environments or if there are not much “Open” sites – it would work. But for large enterprise environments the problem is the same as in “brute force”. Search returns too many results – it’ll take weeks to get all of them. (There are team sites “legally” shared with everyone, public Office 365 group based sites, communication sites… ).

Search Problem #2. Even if we get all search results – we do not know – at what level permissions are provided to everyone. So we will need to build list of sites based on the search results – ant then still need to run permissions report against these sites.

Search Problem #3. We are getting results with paging. But recently Microsoft started limiting number of returning results. E.g. your search request result might say like “there are 3659735 total hits” but after result number 1000 it just stops returning anything, even with paging.

Approach # 3 Hybrid

The idea: why do we need to get all search results if even one result from a site would be enough to add the site to the list of sites require permissions review. In other words, we do not need all results from site, we only need one to know the site is open.

So, consider (imho, the best) approach (Solution):

  1. You get list of all sites in tenant.
  2. You run search request against each site in the loop
    (e.g. consider KQL option “Site: https://yourTenant.SharePoint.com/sites/YourSite”.
    If at least something found in the site – add the site to the “Open Sites” list.
    With this approach you will get list of sites shared with “Everyone…” in a couple of minutes.
  3. Run permissions report against this shortlist

Note: consider there are resources like “Styles Library” shared with everyone by default.

Note: You can refine the list you get at step 1 – e.g., excluding sites connected to public teams or known communication sites…

Note: consider implementing sensitivity labels. At least you can start with high-sensitive sites. Site owners/member will know – what kind of site they are working on.

Pros and cons of the Approach # 3 Hybrid

Pro: the only fast and accurate enough to rely on

Con 1 : crawling and indexing takes time, so search-based reports can miss recent changes in data and permissions

Con 2: this approach cannot be automated (since we need an interactive authentication).

How to communicate to site owners

The Next step would be “How to let site owners know that there are resources shared with Everyone… on their sites”.


Authenticate to Microsoft Graph from PowerShell Interactively


You are a developer or power user in a company with Microsoft 365 tenant.
You need to connect to Microsoft Graph and then call Microsoft Graph API to consume some MS Graph resources on behalf of authenticated user programmatically with PowerShell – e.g. add/remove documents or list items, search for sites or documents content etc. – whatever available with Graph API.

You do not have tenant admin permissions or any tenant-level admin permissions (SharePoint, Teams, Exchange etc. ). But you can register an Azure App and request tenant admin consent.


  • register an Azure App
  • under authentication blade – add platform – “Mobile and Desktop app”
    add “http://localhost” (and select …/nativeclient Url ?)
  • under API permissions blade – add delegated permissions you need
    (refer to specific API you’ll use)
  • install MSAL.PS PowerShell module
  • use the following code to get graph access token and call graph API
$AppId = ""
$TenantId = ""
$connectionDetails = @{
    'TenantId'    = $AppId
    'ClientId'    = $TenantId
    'Interactive' = $true

$token = Get-MsalToken @connectionDetails
# or 
$token = Get-MsalToken -TenantId $TenantId -ClientId $appId -Interactive 

$Headers = @{
    'Authorization' = "bearer $($token.AccessToken)"

Invoke-RestMethod -Uri 'https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/me' -Headers $Headers

You can find the code sample here: https://github.com/VladilenK/

Did not work:

Az PowerShell module did not work for me:

Connect-AzAccount -Tenant ""
$azAccessToken = Get-AzAccessToken -Resource "https://graph.microsoft.com" 

$Headers = @{
  'Authorization' = "$($azAccessToken.Type) $($azAccessToken.Token)"

Invoke-RestMethod -Uri 'https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/me' -Headers $Headers

As I understand we need somehow let Azure know API permissions we want (e.g. via app registerd)…

PnP did not work for me too:

$url = "https://orgname.sharepoint.com"
Connect-PnPOnline -ClientId "" -Url $url -Interactive 
$pnpToken = Get-PnPGraphAccessToken 
$Headers = @{
    'Authorization' = "bearer $($pnpToken)"
Invoke-RestMethod -Uri 'https://graph.microsoft.com/v1.0/me' -Headers $Headers

# did not work as well:
$pnpToken = Get-PnPAppAuthAccessToken
$pnpToken = Get-PnPAccessToken 

the error message was (maybe I missed something – please let me know):

“code”: “InvalidAuthenticationToken”, “message”: “Access token validation failure. Invalid audience.”


Connect-PnPOnline with a certificate stored in Azure Key Vault


You run some PnP PowerShell code unattended e.g. daemon/service app, background job – under application permissions – with no user interaction.
Your app needs to connect to SharePoint and/or Microsoft Graph API. Your organization require authentication with a certificate (no secrets). You want certificate stored securely in Azure Key Vault.

Solution (Step-by-step process)

  1. Obtain a certificate (create a self-signed or request trusted)
  2. In Azure where you have Microsoft 365 SharePoint tenant
    1. Create a new Registered App in Azure; save App (client) id, Directory (Tenant) Id
    2. Configure App: add MS Graph and SharePoint API application (not delegated) permissions
    3. Upload the certificate to the app under “Certificates & secrets”
  3. In Azure where you have paid subscription (could be same or different)
    1. Create an Azure Key Vault
    2. Upload certificate to the Key Vault manually (with GUI)
  4. While you develop/debug your custom daemon application at your local machine
    1. Provide permissions to the Key Vault via Access Control and Access Policies to your personal account
    2. Connect to Azure (the one where your Key Vault is) running Connect-AzAccount
      – so your app can get a Certificate to authenticate to SharePoint Online
  5. For your application deployed to Azure (e.g. Azure Function App )
    1. Turn On managed identity (Your Function App -> Identity -> Status:On) and Save; notice an Object (Principal) Id just created
    2. Provide for your managed identity principal Id permissions to the Key Vault via Key Vault Access Policies, so when your daemon app is running in the cloud – it could go to the key Vault and retrieve Certificate

Here is the sample PowerShell code to get certificate from Azure Key Vault and Connect to SharePoint with PnP (Connect-PnPOnline):

# ensure you use PowerShell 7

# connect to your Azure subscription
Connect-AzAccount -Subscription "<subscription id>" -Tenant "<tenant id>"
Get-AzSubscription | fl

# Specify Key Vault Name and Certificate Name
$VaultName = "<azure key vault name>"
$certName = "certificate name as it stored in key vault"

# Get certificate stored in KeyVault (Yes, get it as SECRET)
$secret = Get-AzKeyVaultSecret -VaultName $vaultName -Name $certName
$secretValueText = ($secret.SecretValue | ConvertFrom-SecureString -AsPlainText )

# connect to PnP
$tenant = "contoso.onmicrosoft.com" # or tenant Id
$siteUrl = "https://contoso.sharepoint.com"
$clientID = "<App (client) Id>" # Azure Registered App with the same certificate and API permissions configured
Connect-PnPOnline -Url $siteUrl -ClientId $clientID -Tenant $tenant -CertificateBase64Encoded $secretValueText


The same PowerShell code in GitHub: Connect-PnPOnline-with-certificate.ps1