Logging in to Office 365
Before you can use Office 365 CLI commands to manage your tenant, you have to log in to Office 365. Following section explains how you can log in and check the Office 365 login status.
Office 365 services
Using the Office 365 CLI you can manage different areas of an Office 365 tenant. Currently, commands for working with SharePoint Online, Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Graph and the Azure Management Service are available, but more commands for other services will be added in the future.
Commands in the Office 365 CLI are organized into services. For example, all commands that manage SharePoint Online begin with
spo app list,
spo cdn get, etc.) and commands for working with the Azure AD begin with
aad. For each Office 365 service, the CLI offers three commands for managing the login with that service.
Log in to an Office 365 service
Office 365 CLI offers you a number of ways to log in to Office 365 services in your tenant.
Log in using the default device code flow
The default way to log in to an Office 365 service using the Office 365 CLI is through the device code flow. To log in to an Office 365 service, use the
<service> login command for that service. For example, to log in to SharePoint Online, execute:
spo login https://contoso.sharepoint.com
To log in to Azure AD, which uses a fixed URL, execute:
If the service uses a fixed URL, such as Azure AD or Microsoft Graph, you will execute the
login command without any arguments, for example
aad login. However, when logging in to other services that require a URL, such as SharePoint, you will execute the
login command with the URL to which the CLI should log in to, for example:
spo login https://contoso.sharepoint.com. For more information on logging in to each service, refer to the help of the
login command for that service.
After executing the
login command, you will be prompted to navigate to https://aka.ms/devicelogin in your web browser and enter the login code presented to you by the Office 365 CLI in the command line. After entering the code, you will see the prompt that you are about to authenticate the PnP Office 365 Management Shell application to access your tenant on your behalf.
If you are using the Office 365 CLI for the first time, you will be also prompted to verify the permissions you are about to grant the Office 365 CLI. This is referred to as consent.
The device code flow is the recommended approach for command-line tools to authenticate with resources secured with Azure AD. Because the authentication process is handled in the browser by Azure AD itself, it allows you to benefit of rich security features such as multi-factor authentication or conditional access. The device code flow is interactive and requires user interaction which might be limiting if you want to use the Office 365 CLI in your continuous deployment setup which is fully automated and doesn't involve user interaction.
Log in using user name and password
An alternative way to log in to an Office 365 service in the Office 365 CLI is by using a user name and password. To use this way of authenticating, set the
authType option to
password and specify your credentials using the
To log in to SharePoint Online using your user name and password, execute:
spo login https://contoso.sharepoint.com --authType password --userName email@example.com --password pass@word1
To log in to Azure AD using your user name and password, execute:
aad login --authType password --userName firstname.lastname@example.org --password pass@word1
Using credentials to log in to Office 365 is convenient in automation scenarios where you cannot authenticate interactively. The downside of this way of authenticating is, that it doesn't allow you to use any of the advanced security features that Azure AD offers. If your account for example uses multi-factor authentication, logging in to Office 365 using credentials will fail.
!!! attention When logging in to Office 365 using credentials, Office 365 CLI will persist not only the retrieved access and refresh token, but also the credentials you specified when logging in. This is necessary for the CLI to be able to retrieve a new refresh token, in case the previously retrieved refresh token expired or has been invalidated.
Generally, you should use the default device code flow. If you need to use a non-interactive authentication flow, you can authenticate using a certificate or credentials of an account that has sufficient privileges in your tenant and doesn't have multi-factor authentication or other advanced security features enabled.
Log in using a certificate
Another way to log in to an Office 365 service in the Office 365 CLI is by using a certificate. To use this authentication method, set the
OFFICE365CLI_AADAADAPPID environment variable to the ID of the Azure AD application that you want to use to authenticate the Office 365 CLI and the
OFFICE365CLI_TENANT environment variable to the ID of your Azure AD directory. When calling the login command, set the
authType option to
certificate, specify the path to the certificate private key using the
certificateFile option and specify the certificate thumbprint using the
To log in to SharePoint Online using a certificate, execute:
spo login https://contoso-admin.sharepoint.com --authType certificate --certificateFile /Users/user/dev/localhost.pfx --thumbprint 47C4885736C624E90491F32B98855AA8A7562AF1
To log in to Azure AD using a certificate, execute:
aad login --authType certificate --certificateFile /Users/user/dev/localhost.pfx --thumbprint 47C4885736C624E90491F32B98855AA8A7562AF1
Logging in to Office 365 using a certificate is convenient for automation scenarios where you cannot authenticate interactively but also don't want to use credentials.
Because there is no user context when logging in using a certificate, you will typically create a new Azure AD application, specific to your organization and grant it the required permissions.
!!! attention You should keep in mind, that because the Office 365 CLI will be accessing these APIs with app-only context, you need to grant the correct application permissions rather than delegated permissions that would be used in other authentication methods.
Logging in using a certificate gives the Office 365 CLI app-only access to Office 365 services. Not all operations support app-only access so it is possible, that some CLI commands will fail when executed while logged in to Office 365 using a certificate.
!!! attention When logging in to Office 365 using a certificate, Office 365 CLI will persist not only the retrieved access token but also the contents of the certificate's private key and its thumbprint. This is necessary for the CLI to be able to retrieve a new access token in case of the previously retrieved access token expired or has been invalidated.
Generally, you should use the default device code flow. If you need to use a non-interactive authentication flow, to for example integrate the Office 365 CLI in your build pipeline, you can login using a certificate or user credentials.
Check login status
To see if you're logged in to the particular Office 365 service and if so, with which account, use the
<service> status command, for example, to see if you're logged in to SharePoint Online, execute:
If you're logged in to Office 365 using a certificate, the
<service> status command will show the name of the Azure AD application used to log in.
Log out from an Office 365 service
To log out from an Office 365 service, use the
<service> logout command for that service. For example, to log out from SharePoint Online, execute:
Each service in the Office 365 CLI manages its login information independently. This makes it possible for you to be logged in to different services with different accounts. Using the
<service> status command you can see which account is currently logged in to the particular service.
Logging in to SharePoint Online
When logging in to SharePoint Online, you can log in either to the tenant admin site (eg.
https://contoso-admin.sharepoint.com) or any other site in your tenant. If you are logged in to the tenant admin site, but would like to get information for some other site, such as the list of its subsites or lists, the CLI will automatically switch to that site, without you having to re-authenticate.
!!! attention Please note, that some commands require login to the tenant admin site, and if you try to execute them, while being logged in to a different site, you will get an error. For more information whether the login to the tenant admin site is required or not, refer to the help of that particular command.
!!! tip The most convenient way of working with the CLI is to log in to the tenant admin site. Based on the options you specified when executing commands, the CLI will automatically switch between the tenant admin site or other sites that you will want to manage. You should log in to other sites only, if you don't have tenant admin privileges and yet would like to automate some of your work using the Office 365 CLI.
Authorize with Office 365
To authorize for communicating with Office 365 API, the Office 365 CLI uses the OAuth 2.0 protocol. When using the default device code flow, you authenticate with Azure AD in the web browser. After authenticating, Office 365 CLI will attempt to retrieve a valid access token for the specified Office 365 service. If you have insufficient permissions to access the particular service, authorization will fail with an adequate error.
If you authenticate using credentials, the authentication and authorization are a part of the same request that Office 365 CLI issues towards Azure AD. If either authentication or authorization fails, you will see a corresponding error message explaining what went wrong.
Re-consent the PnP Office 365 Management Shell Azure AD application
Office 365 CLI uses the PnP Office 365 Management Shell Azure AD application to log in to your Office 365 tenant on your behalf. As we add new commands to the CLI, it's possible, that new permissions will be added to the PnP Office 365 Management Shell Azure AD application. To be able to use the newly added commands which depend on these new permissions, you will have to re-approve the PnP Office 365 Management Shell Azure AD application in your Azure AD. This process is also known as re-consenting the Azure AD application.
To re-consent the PnP Office 365 Management Shell application in your Azure AD, in the command line execute:
Office 365 CLI will provide you with a URL that you should open in the web browser and sign in with your organizational account. After authenticating, Azure AD will prompt you to approve the new set of permissions. Once you approved the permissions, you will be redirected to an empty page. You can now use all commands in the Office 365 CLI.
Logging in to Office 365 via a proxy
All communication between the Office 365 CLI and Office 365 APIs happens via web requests. If you're behind a proxy, you should set up an environment variable to allow Office 365 CLI to log in to Office 365. More information about the necessary configuration steps is available at https://github.com/request/request#controlling-proxy-behaviour-using-environment-variables.
After logging in to Office 365, the Office 365 CLI will persist that connection information until you explicitly log out from the particular service. This is necessary to support building scripts using the Office 365 CLI, where each command is executed independently of other commands. Persisted connection contains information about the user name used to establish the connection, the connected Office 365 service URL, the access token and the refresh token. To secure this information from unprivileged access, it's stored securely in the password store specific to the platform on which you're using the CLI. For more information, see the separate article dedicated to persisting connection information in the Office 365 CLI.