If you ever used an on premises Active Directory (AD) you may be aware of the setting, shown above, that allows you to set users login times. This was typically done to prevent users logging in after hours, say from 9pm to 6am.
Unfortunately, with Azure AD there is no direct equivalent setting but we can create something similar quickly and easily using Power Automate.
The first step in this process is to create a new Azure AD security group that will contain the users who will be prevented from accessing the tenant. You can also create this security group in the Microsoft 365 portal but it is better to do it in Azure as you’ll need to get the ObjectID for this group as highlighted above. There is also no need to actually put any users into this group as they’ll be added dynamically by Power Automate.
To prevent access to the tenant you’ll need to create a Conditional Access policy as shown above. This will require you to have a license for Azure AD Premium P1 or P2 for each user. Microsoft 365 Business Premium already includes Azure AD P1, so if that is already in the environment you need nothing additional.
Give this new Conditional Access policy a name and set it to include just the Azure AD security group created previously. It is also best practice to exclude at least one administration account to prevent you from being ‘locked out’ of your tenant. Ensure that All cloud apps is selected and that Block access is configured, as shown above. Finally, turn this Conditional Access policy On.
With no members in this Azure AD Security group, no one will be restricted from accessing the tenant.
Next, create a List in SharePoint that contains a list of users you want to be blocked. You can achieve this by adding the Person field to the list in question. This will basically allow you to enter users who are in your tenant by doing a lookup from Azure AD.
Create a new Flow and use the Recurrence action to trigger it as shown above. Select an appropriate time once a day when users will be prevented from accessing the tenant, say 9pm.
Add the Get items action as shown above next. Configure this action to retrieve from the list of users from the SharePoint list just created.
Then use the Apply to each action to loop through all the users returned by this Get items as shown above.
Inside the Apply to each action use the Get user profile (V2) action as shown, with the users email address, which is effectively their Azure AD identity.
Also inside the Apply to each action add the Add user to group action as shown above. Populate this action with the ObjectID of the Azure AD security group obtained at the start and the Id from the Get user profile (V2) action.
Now test the Flow manually to ensure it works correctly.
Once the Flow completes, the users in the list in SharePoint should now appear in the Azure AD security group as shown above.
Now when a user on that list attempts to login, because they are part of a security group that is part of a blocking Conditional access policy, they will no longer have access to the tenant.
To allow access again for users simply create another scheduled Flow executing at say 6am that uses the Get group members action and then a Remove Member from group action inside an Apply to each action as shown above. In essence, this removes all users from the Azure AD security group that is part of the blocking Conditional Access policy, resulting in those users no longer being blocked from accessing the tenant.
Run this Flow manually and ensure it completes,
and you should find that Azure AD security group to be empty, as shown above.
The users in the list who were previously blocked, should now be able to access the tenant as normal. Left to its own devices, users in the SharePoint list will have their access blocked from 9pm to 6am each day now.
This automation is very quick and easy to set up. It can solve the challenge of ‘forcing’ users to take a break from work after hours, rather than being ‘on’, aiding their mental health and making them more productive when they do work. It could be used to improve security but allowing account to only operate during ‘business hours’ and limiting attacks after hours, which is when many attacks happen.
This process could be extended and enhanced to provide more granular options to suit any need as well as alerting. However, hopefully, it demonstrates how easy it is to solve business challenges thanks to the Power Platform and the integration of Microsoft 365. Remember, the only extra you need is Azure AD Premium P1 to enforce Conditional Access, something already part of Microsoft 365 Business Premium.