In this SharePoint tutorial, we will discuss SharePoint permission levels, also I will show you how to create custom permission levels in SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016, and SharePoint 2019.
We will also discuss, what are the default permission levels in SharePoint? How you can edit a permission level in SharePoint? How we can delete a permission level in SharePoint?
It is very important to manage access properly in SharePoint. Users who require information to do their jobs should be able to locate and then access information easily. In cases where you have sensitive information, it’s crucial that only users who have a business requirement to access it has the right to do so.
SharePoint permission levels
What are SharePoint permission levels? A SharePoint permission level represents a set of rights that can be assigned to a user or group on a specific SharePoint object such as site, list, or document.
Default SharePoint Permission Levels
By default, when you create a SharePoint Online site, SharePoint creates various SharePoint permission levels. Out-of-the-box, several permission levels exist to reﬂect the most common usage scenarios of the system.
- Full Control: Has full control
- Design: Can view, add, update, delete, approve, and customize
- Edit: Can add, edit, and delete lists, can view, add, update, and delete list items and documents
- Contribute: Can view, add, update, and delete list items and documents
- Read: Can view pages and list items and download documents
- Limited: Access Can view specific lists, document libraries, list items, folders, or documents when given permissions
- View Only: Can view pages, list items, and documents.
The following additional permission levels are provided with the publishing template by default:
- Approve: Includes permissions to edit and approve pages, list items, and documents.
- Manage Hierarchy: Includes permissions to sites and edit pages, list items, and documents.
- Restricted Read: Includes permissions to view pages and documents, but not historical versions or permissions information.
How to find default SharePoint Permission Levels?
You can follow the below steps to find out default SharePoint site collection permission levels.
Step-1: Open the SharePoint Online site or SharePoint 2013/2016/2019 site collection, click on gear option then click on Site Settings.
Step-2: In site settings page in Users and Permissions click on Site Permissions.
Step-3: Now we will get site permissions page. By default when we create a new SharePoint site collection, SharePoint automatically creates 4 security groups i.e. members, owners, visitors and viewers and by default each group assigned to Permission Level (Full Control, Edit, Read & View Only).
Step-4: In that site permissions page click on permission level.
Step-5: Now we will get permission level page where we can able to see all by default permission and description of all permission level.
Edit SharePoint Default Permission Levels
If we want to modify the permission levels in SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint 2013/2019 or SharePoint Online, we can do but we should not do as we discuss in the introduction. To modify the description we have to click on any of the permission.
For example, we want to modify the description of the contribute one then click on contribute then we will get a page like below. In this page, we can disable the list permissions.
For example in our group new user is coming and we want to give access to add the document but do not want to give the delete permission so here we have to disable the delete items.
But we should not do that because later suppose any library wants to utilize the default delete permission level then it will not possible because it will inherit the changed permission that we made. To overcome that we have to create a new permission level.
Create a Custom Permission Level in SharePoint
Sometimes the default permission will not fulfill our requirement, for example in our team a new user will come we want to give permission to only add an item not to delete an item, in that case, we can do two things i.e. we can create a new permission level or we have to edit the existing permission level (inbuilt one).
But while we edit or change the existing one some problem arises i.e. that changed permission level applied to a whole site collection, so it will create some confusion if we have two site collections that have permission levels with the same name, but each contains a different set of permission. So we should not modify the existing permission level.
One more thing is we should not delete the existing permission level in the site also because it may cause when a new user assigned to those groups where we delete the permission level the user may lose the critical permission.
In the SharePoint site, we can create a custom permission level by following the below steps:
Open the SharePoint site using a browser and then click on the gear icon (settings) and then click Site settings.
Then in the Site Setting page, click on Site permissions link which is under Users and Permissions in the Site Settings page.
This will open the Permissions page, click on the Permission Levels from the Ribbon as shown in the fig below:
Then in the Permissions Levels page click on “Add a Permission Levels” link as shown in the fig below:
Then in the Add a Permission level page, give a name, description and select the permissions which you want to give like below:
Then click on Create button to create the permission level. Once it is successfully created it will return back to the Permissions levels page and you can see our custom permission level.
Create a Custom Permission Level using existing permission Levels in SharePoint
We can also create a custom permission level based on an existing permission level in SharePoint 2013/2016/2019 or SharePoint Online. To do so, navigate to the Permission level page as discussed. And then click on any permission level.
This will open the Edit permission level page, go down and click on the “Copy Permission Level” button as shown in the fig below:
This will copy the permission level and will create a new permission level which will have the existing permissions checked. Based on your requirement you can check or uncheck the permission levels and then click on create.
Here I have just uncheck the “Delete Items – Delete items from a list and documents from a document library.” Permission so that people or group who will be having this permission level, they will not be able to delete any item. But they can add or edit items. The screen looks like below:
If you will visit the Permission Levels page you can see the permission level got created.
Delete SharePoint custom permission level
To delete a custom permission level in SharePoint 2016/2013 or SharePoint Online, we have to follow the below steps.
Go to the permission level page and select the permission level which you want to delete. Here I want to delete the Contribute do not delete then click on “Delete Selected Permission Levels” (the highlighted one).
After clicking on Delete Selected Permission Levels we will get a dialogue box confirmation on, then to click on “ok”.
Now in the permission level page, we can see our permission level is deleted.
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In this tutorial, we learned SharePoint custom permission levels as well as how to create a custom permission level in SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013/2016/2019.
Here we learned the below things:
- SharePoint permission levels
- Default SharePoint Permission Levels
- How to find default SharePoint Permission Levels?
- Edit SharePoint Default Permission Levels
- Create a Custom Permission Level in SharePoint
- Create a Custom Permission Level using existing permission Levels in SharePoint
- Delete SharePoint custom permission level
I am Bijay a Microsoft MVP (8 times – My MVP Profile) in SharePoint and have more than 15 years of expertise in SharePoint Online Office 365, SharePoint subscription edition, and SharePoint 2019/2016/2013. Currently working in my own venture TSInfo Technologies a SharePoint development, consulting, and training company. I also run the popular SharePoint website EnjoySharePoint.com