This topic explains how to assign unique permissions for an individual site, list, library, folder, list item, or document.
In this article
Introduction to permissions inheritance
In some cases, your site might contain content that should be restricted to certain users or groups. For example, if you have a list on your site that contains sensitive data, you might want to restrict who can see it.
To do this, you break permissions inheritance, and then edit permissions for the content on its own permissions page.
If you break inheritance on your site, it is a good idea to minimize the number of locations that use unique permissions. For example, consider segmenting your content by security level. For example, you might create a specific sub-site or library with unique permissions for sensitive documents. In this way, you can avoid creating unique permission settings for each document.
By default, all sub-sites, lists, and libraries in a site inherit permissions settings from whatever is directly above them in the site hierarchy. For example, a sub-site inherits permissions from the site above it. A list item inherits permissions from the list that it is in. A list inherits permissions from the site that contains the list. In each of these cases, the content from which permissions are inherited is called the parent.
Important Changes to the permissions settings of a parent affect all the sub-sites and content that inherits permissions from that parent. If you break permissions inheritance on a parent site, all the sub-sites of that parent inherit the new permission settings that you create.
Restricting access to content follows these same basic steps:
- Open the permissions page for the piece of content that you want to restrict access to, and break inheritance from its parent.
- Remove groups or users who you do not want to have access to the content.
- Grant permissions to new groups or people that you do want to have access.
You can resume inheriting permissions from a parent list, its site, or a parent site at any time. (Note that if you do this, you will lose any unique permissions that belonged to the content.
Example: Restrict access to a list
The following example shows how to restrict access to a list. You can follow the same steps for a site, library, or individual item, working from the permissions page for that item.
Break inheritance from the parent.
- Open the list that you want to restrict access to.
On the List Tools tab, click List to open the gallery of commands that are specific to the list.
- On the ribbon, click List Permissions.
The permissions page for the list opens, with a yellow status bar that explains that the list inherits permission from its parent site.
- Click Stop Inheriting Permissions.
Here are two important things to note:
- The list still has the same permission settings that it did before. Now, instead of inheriting permissions from the parent, it has its own copy of the parent’s permissions.
- Changes that you make to the permissions settings for the parent site no longer apply to this list.
Remove groups or users that you don’t want
- In the Name section of the permissions page, select the checkboxes for the groups or users who should not have access to this list.
- Click Remove User Permissions.
The permissions page updates to show that the group or user no longer has permissions to the list.
Grant access to groups or people
In some cases, you might want to create a group and grant it access to this list. For example, you might want to grant your team access to a list. In addition, it is easy to add new team members to a group. When new people join your team, add them to the group.
In other cases, you might want to grant access to one or two people on your team.
- On the permissions page for the list, on the Edit tab, click Grant Permissions.
- Type the name of the group or the individual you want to grant access to in the Users/Groups box.
Choose the level of permissions that you want the group or people to have.
- Click OK.
Reconfigure a list to inherit permissions
After you break permissions inheritance between a site, folder, list, library, list item, or document and its parent, you can restore inheritance at any time.
- Open the list that you want to restore inheritance for.
- On the List Tools tab, in the List gallery, click List Permissions.
- On the list permission page, click Inherit Permissions.
Top of Page