About SharePoint groups

You can use SharePoint groups to assign the same permission levels to many people at once. By using groups, instead of trying to control and track the access you grant to your sites or content for one person at a time, you can simplify the task of managing access to a site.

  • Streamlines your site maintenance for you and your successor site owners,
  • Ensures that people performing similar tasks have the same levels of access, and
  • Helps you make sure that people have only the access they need, not more.
In this article


What are SharePoint groups?

A security group is a collection of people—known as users--who all have to perform similar kinds of tasks on your site or content.

Here are some examples of tasks that the users of a site might have to perform:

Visualize users

You can organize these users into the default SharePoint groups to group them by the kinds of tasks that they will have to perform on the site.

Security groups can be composed of many individual users, can hold a single Windows security group, or can be some combination of the two.

You can organize users into any number of groups, depending on the size and complexity of your organization or Web site. Groups are created and managed at the site collection level.

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Default SharePoint groups

The most frequently used default groups on a site are the following:

  • Visitors
  • Members
  • Owners

These groups help you easily sort people who will use your site in similar ways. Some people just have to review content on the site, other people have to edit content, and some have to add or edit elements of the site itself.

Or, as shown in the following illustration, you could assign people to groups as follows:

Visualize user groups

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Groups and permission levels

The permission levels that are assigned to a group make sure that group members have the access to the sites and content that they need.

Each default security group is assigned a default permission level, but you can also create new groups or assign different permission levels for any existing group.

 Note    You can create SharePoint groups from Windows security groups, but not from distribution groups, also known as distribution lists.

Anyone assigned to a permission level that includes the Create Groups permission, which is included in the Full Control permission level by default, can create custom SharePoint groups.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Foundation 2010 , SharePoint Server 2010