Content Approval in SharePoint 2013 Online List and Library

This SharePoint tutorial explains content approval in SharePoint Online/2013/2016. If your lists or libraries contain some sensitive information and you want the contents or document to have approval before the content becomes visible to most site users, then we can use the SharePoint content approval feature.

Here we will see how we can use content approval in SharePoint and how we can approve or reject items in SharePoint list or document libraries.

Content approval in SharePoint

There may be some sensitive data that you may not want users to see without approval. In that case, you can use the Content Approval functionality. Once you enable this option, then the item will not be visible before approval. The content will be available after approval.

Content approval can be used on both lists and libraries in a SharePoint site. With content approval enabled, you have additional options to control the visibility of items. Content approval is enabled through the list/library settings page.

We can enable this by visiting the “Versioning Settings” like the above step.
In that page in the “Content Approval” section check Yes in “Require content approval for submitted items?“.

Once you enable this in the Draft Item Security option you can enable who can see the draft documents like:

  • Any user who can read items
  • Only users who can edit items
  • Only users who can approve items (and the author of the item)
sharepoint 2013 content approval workflow
sharepoint 2013 content approval workflow

Once you will enable this option, whenever any user submits an item, it will be in “Pending” Approval Status.

It will also create a view as Approve/Reject Item where user can find items to Approve or Reject.

People who have permissions to manage lists and libraries can see it. After its status changes from Pending to Approved, it becomes visible to anyone who has permission to view the list or library.

Rejected items or documents stay in the list or library until the originator or someone else who has the necessary permissions deletes them. Any items or files that already exist in the list or library are granted Approved status automatically.

sharepoint content approval permissions
sharepoint content approval permissions

Approve/Reject Item in SharePoint List

Open the SharePoint list, Click on the (…) to open the ECB menu -> Advanced -> Approve/Reject.

sharepoint who can approve items
SharePoint who can approve items

Then you can Approve/Reject the item and also you can put optional comments.

content approval sharepoint 2013
content approval SharePoint 2013

Once Approve the item, the item will be available for other users in the Share. Any time you can Approve, Reject or Pending an item.

You may like following SharePoint list tutorials:

I hope this SharePoint tutorial explains what is content approval in SharePoint? How can we enable content approval in SharePoint Online/2013/2016 list or document libraries?