How to Enable Auto Approval For Permission Requests in Community Site Template – SharePoint Office 2013 Programmatically using Client Side Object Model (CSOM) C#

Sathish Nadarajan
Solution Architect
November 18, 2016
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Recently, I was working with the Community Site Template, which has very interesting Social Collaboration features. For an Organization, there will be so many community sites, created by some individuals like project managers, program managers. The team members wish to join the community. By default, everyone will be Visitor for the communities within an organization. i.e., everyone can login to the community site within the organization. But they may not be post any comments or contribute to the community site until they become the member.

To become a member, on the community site itself, there is an option called “Join Community”.


By Clicking this Join Community, an email will be triggering to the community admin and on the approval, of the admin, the member will be added to the Members Group.

But, every time, the admin may not want to approve the joining requests. Like in migration projects, the sites will be auto generated. In that case, we need to enable the auto approval also.

There is an option in the UI itself to do this. First let us see that and then we will go to the CSOM code to do the same functionality.

1. Go to Members Page. (as shown in the above image)

2. Click on Community Settings.


3. Select the Option “Enable auto-approval”


4. Click OK.

This will enable the auto approval of the members to join the community. Now, if any team members, click on the Join Community, they will be added to the community without any approval.

I met with a requirement to do this process through Code. As I told you, in case of auto creating the community sites at that time, we need to have a exe or scheduled jobs or any kind of triggering mechanism to change this settings.

After some analysis, I found that the value is being stored in a property bag. A very straight forward approach.

Updating the Property Bag Value of the Key “vti_CommunityEnableAutoApproval” Will do the magic for us.

The code is as follows.

 namespace Console.Office365
     using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client;
     using Newtonsoft.Json.Linq;
     using System;
     using System.Collections.Generic;
     using System.IO;
     using System.Linq;
     class Program
         static void Main(string[] args)
         public static void EnableAutoApprovalForPermissions()
             OfficeDevPnP.Core.AuthenticationManager authMgr = new OfficeDevPnP.Core.AuthenticationManager();
             string siteUrl = "https://*****";
             string userName = "Sathish@****";
             string password = "********";
             using (var ctx = authMgr.GetSharePointOnlineAuthenticatedContextTenant(siteUrl, userName, password))
                 Web web = ctx.Web;
                 PropertyValues properties = ctx.Web.AllProperties;
                 properties["vti_CommunityEnableAutoApproval"] = "True";

Hope this helps.

Happy Coding,

Sathish Nadarajan.

Author Info

Sathish Nadarajan
Solution Architect
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Sathish is a Microsoft MVP for SharePoint (Office Servers and Services) having 13+ years of experience in Microsoft Technologies. He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Aided Design and Business more

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