Updating ownership for Power Apps apps

Recently, a customer asked a question that we felt would be applicable to many of you responsible for administration of the Microsoft Power Platform: How does removal of an app owner’s profile from Azure Active Directory (AAD) impact access to the app?

Before we answer that, you need to know that in Microsoft Power Apps, there are two different application types:

  • Model-driven apps
  • Canvas apps

Model-driven apps and canvas apps manage their ownership differently. In this blog post, we’ll explain how to update ownership of each type of app.

Note: If you need more background information about the two types of apps, watch The difference between Canvas Apps and Model Apps – YouTube or review Start building apps – Power Apps | Microsoft Docs and Power Apps architectural design – Where to place logic – Power Apps | Microsoft Docs

Model-driven and Canvas apps manage their ownership differently.

Model-driven app ownership

In a model-driven app there is no concept of a co-owner. If the original owner/creator leaves the organization, what happens to the application? Users who already have the app shared with them can continue to use it. What if an update or maintenance is required? Well, our admins can help us here. Users with the role of System Customizer, System Administrator, or Environment Maker in the environment can manage the application but they don’t technically “own” the app.

What happens when the owner leaves? Ideally, the owner would work with the organization during their outgoing knowledge transfer sessions: explain what it does, what are the use cases, who is the user-base, and hand over any documentation to a new owner. To change the ownership though you will need to export the application and re-import it under another user. If they leave without being able to do this, then admins noted above can do this.

Deleting or removing the owner won’t have any impact on the performance of the app itself.

For more information, see Model-driven app FAQ – Power Apps | Microsoft Docs.

Below are some common questions relating to ownership and changes:

  • Q: How do you change the owner?
    • A: Export the app and re-import it as under another user.
      • You will need to re-share the app to the users.
  • Q: What happens if the original owner leaves?
    • A: Users who already have access to the app can continue to use it.
    • A: Ideally, the owner would work with the organization to export the application, explain how it operates and hand over any documentation.
  • Q: What happens if we need to update the app?
    • A: Admins can help here. Users with the role(s) of System Customizer, System Administrator or Environment Maker can manage changes to the application.
  • Q: What happens if the owner’s account is deleted?
    • A: Deleting or removing the owner won’t have any impact on the performance of the app itself.

Canvas apps ownership

Canvas apps, unlike Model-driven apps, can be co-owned or have the owner replaced.

If an owner is leaving, they can share the app through the Maker portal. Note that this ownership change does not affect the users with whom it is shared.

For more information please see: Manage Power Apps – Power Platform | Microsoft Docs

On the other hand, if the owner of the app left without adding a co-owner an admin can change the owner through PowerShell.

  1. First, you will need Tenant Admin access. You will also need the Environment Id (envId) and App Id (appId). You will also need to specify the user Id; in this example we will change the ownership to your Id.
  2. Second be sure you have the Power App cmdlets installed. You can do this with the following commands. Run PowerShell in admin mode and enter:
Install-Module -Name Microsoft.PowerApps.Administration.PowerShell
Install-Module -Name Microsoft.PowerApps.PowerShell – AllowClobber

If you already have the cmdlets installed, nothing will occur and you are good to go; otherwise, you will see the cmdlets installed.

  1. Next, run the Add-PowerAppsAccount cmtlet allowing you to add your account for Power Apps:
  1. Next, update the owner, using the appId and envId you found earlier:
Set-AdminPowerAppOwner -AppName "<appId>" -EnvironmentName "<envId>" -AppOwner $Global:currentSession.userId

When this command succeeds, the response is minimal, showing only a reference to app Id. The app is now “owned” by the new user.


Reference documentation for the PowerShell commands:

Add-PowerAppsAccount (Microsoft.PowerApps.Administration.PowerShell) | Microsoft Docs
Set-AdminPowerAppOwner (Microsoft.PowerApps.Administration.PowerShell) | Microsoft Docs