Applying Specific Permissions to Libraries, Folders, Files, Lists and List Items

The following should assist in understanding how to apply specific permissions (access) to list items in lists, folders and files in document libraries of standard SharePoint sites and overriding the Site Level Permissions. The example below focuses on a folder within a library – the same applies to individual files or list items.

First of all, remember that Site Collection Administrators have access to anything within the entire parent / sub-site construct; regardless of any specific permissions, applied (>Site Actions >Site Settings >Users and Permissions >Site Collection Administrators).

MS-SharePoint: Applying Specific Permissions (Site Collection Administrators)

Also, remember that the Site Level Permissions apply to any current or newly created site-specific libraries and lists and content within; unless otherwise configured after inception, as seen below (>Site Actions >Site Settings >Users and Permissions >Site Permissions).

MS-SharePoint: Applying Specific Permissions (Site Level Permissions)

Let’s assume you want to restrict access to a specific library within a site; what are you options?  You could create document library-specific SharePoint Groups that give specific access (Read, Contribute, etc.) to the library, overriding the access the users generally have from Site Level Permissions.

MS-SharePoint: Applying Specific Permissions (Create and Manage SharePoint Groups)

After creating these, access Library Permissions and click Stop Inheriting Permissions, removing existing individuals or SharePoint Groups (inherited from Site Level Permissions), adding specific individuals / SharePoint Groups that should have access to the document library.

MS-SharePoint: Applying Specific Permissions (Stop Inheriting Permissions)

The same can be done for a list, as we did with the document library.  This can also be done for a folder within a document library, a file within a library or a list item within a list although, your SharePoint Groups, with or without them (applying access for single users), can increase the complexities of reviewing and managing your Site Level Permissions.

Be careful applying specific access to individual lists, libraries, folders, files and list items; you may create more complexity than you can handle – through proper design, you can avoid issues and additional work.

MS-SharePoint: Applying Specific Permissions (Apply Specific Permissions to a Folder within in a Library)

MS-SharePoint: Applying Specific Permissions (Apply Specific Permissions to a List Item within in a List)

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