SharePoint site permissions


This article is intended to provide an overview of the site permissions available to SharePoint users.

Please select one of the links below to jump to that section:

Permission levels

SharePoint permission levels page

In SharePoint, the available permission levels are:

Permission Level Description
Full Control Has full control
Design Can view, add, update, 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, list items, can download documents

By default, visitors to a SharePoint site have View Only permissions. This can be confirmed by navigating to your SharePoint site’s Settings indicated by a gear icon in the upper-right corner.

Select Settings (the gear icon)

Then Site permissions. Doing so brings up the Permissions page for this SharePoint site.

Please Note: Control as listed here, refers to the ability to change the content or members of a site.

Site permissions link highlighted.

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Setting advanced permissions

For more details you will need to access the Advanced permission settings of the site. Go to the Settings (gear) icon, select Permissions, then click the Advanced permission settings at the bottom of that panel.

Advanced permissions highlighted

Advanced permissions settings shows further breakdown of permission levels, and the ability to add, edit, or delete groups and user permissions.

Permission levels view with all sharing groups visible

If you are creating a new group on an existing site, you can do so from the Advanced permission settings page toolbar and selecting Create Group.

People and Groups, Create Group window with all of the required information highlighted.

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How can I add external users?

You can add external users as guests, though not through the SharePoint interface but through Outlook.

Add members to this group. To add external guests, go to Outlook to invite others. Site owners have full control of site content, theme, permission settings, site settings, and hub associations. Site members can edit and view site content, including files, pages, lists, and navigation. To make a member an owner, add them as a member and then use the drop-down arrow in the member profile to make them an owner.

Navigate to Outlook. Scroll to Groups, select the SharePoint site name from the Groups folder, and select the group name at the top of the message panel to open additional options.

Select the SharePoint site from the Groups folder in Outlook.

Select the Members tab, then click Add members on the right-hand side.

Select the Members tab to add members

Type in the full email address of all users you wish to add. External users will come up with a recommendation of Guest. Select these users and continue adding email addresses until all desired users have been added. 

Add members dialog box

When you have finished adding all desired users, select Add at the bottom of the page.

Click Add to Add members

Note: Once external users have been added using this method, their access level can be managed from your SharePoint site's Advanced Site Permissions page. By default, External Users are added to the Members group and exist in a unique folder where you can further customize permissions.

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How do I change my site's visibility from public to private?

Please Note: If the site's visibility is public, that means files and folders are accessible to everyone with a Duck ID. Private means that files and folders are only accessible to designated members only.

If you want to ensure only visitors with explicit permission can access your site content on any level, navigate to Settings indicated by a gear icon in the upper-right corner, then select Site information

Settings menu, Site Information link

Site information allows you to alter your privacy settings. Once it is changed to Private, only members that have been explicitly approved (typically by the site owner, though this can be managed on the Advanced permission settings’ page) will have access.

Privacy settings options

If you change your privacy settings to Private, users that are not members will receive an error message stating You need permission to access this site and an option to request access. The only way the Visitor role will appear is when intentionally added by the Owner.

You need permission to access this site. prompt

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Additional Resources

For additional information, please consult our knowledge base articles about Collaboration. This covers content pertaining to SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and others.

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Article ID: 140408
Mon 2/28/22 3:24 PM
Thu 7/6/23 3:07 PM

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