How Does Item Level Permission Work In Sharepoint?

User’s permission is one of the most useful features of the SharePoint. It defines the level of access a SharePoint user can have across the whole system. Item Level Permission is a way to restrict/allow a particular user to access and edit different entries on the platform. The Item level permission can be configured to allow the users to read and write only their entries.

For example, in a leave application submission form to the Human Resource department, you may not want an employee to see the applications filled by all the other employees. So, with Item level permissions you will set the permission for the user to view and edit only his/her entry in the form.

Why do you need the Item level permissions?

The site itself controls the permission to the lists using its security groups and permission levels. However, when you set a permission to a list on SharePoint, it is applied to the whole list- that is, all the “items” in the list.

Here all the items in the list would have the same permission level. However, sometimes you may want to have a particular item in the list to have a unique permission, different from other items in the same list. So, in order to set unique permission behavior for the items in the list, you would need the Item Level Permissions here.

Configuring Item Level Permissions in SharePoint

Step 1: It’s not tough; quite easy actually. Just go to List Settings>>Advanced Settings.

Step 2: On the next interface that comes, Scroll down to find the section of “Item Level Permissions”.

Explaining the permission types

When you are on Item level Permissions section, you will see two major options in Bold text format-

  1. Read access
  2. Create and Edit access

In each of these two options, you can see the sub-options as radio buttons.

Read access

  • Read all items
  • Read items that were created by the user

Create and Edit access

  • Create and Edit all items
  • Create items and edit items that were created by the user
  • None

Let me explain these options so that we can make an informed choice here.

Read all items: If you check this radio button option, then everyone who has the access to the list will be allowed to read/view any item in the list, no matter if it was created by some other user.

Read items that were created by the user: If this option is checked, then users having the access to the list will be able to read/view only the items created by themselves. That is, a user cannot read the item created by any other user.

Create and edit all items: Here two permissions work simultaneously. One is the permission to create an item on the list, and other is the permission to edit the list. If you check this option, then you are allowing the users with the access to the list to create and item and also edit the items created by all the other users in the same list. That is a user can edit the items that are not even created by them.

Create items and edit items that were created by the user: If you check this option, then users with the access to the list will have the permission to create an item in the list, but they will not be able to edit the items created by other users in the list. That is a user will be able to edit on those items which are created by him/her only.

None: If this option is checked, then no user, even with the access to the list, will be able to create an item or edit an item in the list.

So, now you have the knowledge of how each of these permissions works. Now you know better about which permission option to choose as per your requirements and SharePoint Workflow.

Real life application of Item Level Permissions

SharePoint or any other platform that provides such option has a long-run thinking. These settings are not just for adding some more lines of code in the system. They have some very crucial real life applications:

  1. Salary slip application form- Probably, you would not want any other user to expect you and Accounts section to see your salary details.
  2. Reimbursement form- Same as before. It is better if only you and the concerned authority would have the access to view the details.
  3. Support ticket system- Here a customer creating a support request would definitely not want other customers to see the ticket details.


Item level permissions work only for those users, who have the Contribute and Edit access to the list.

If a user has the Design Permissions level, he/she does not fall under the item level permissions. That is item level permission is not applicable to the users will Design Permissions in the list or site.

So, if you want to impose item level permission on a user, first assign the Contribute permission level rather than Design Permission level to the user.

Item level permission is applicable on most of the SharePoint web parts or lists. Some of them are Calendar, Custom List, Tasks, Discussion Board, Links, Announcements, Contact List, and Promoted Links etc. However, it is not available on Document Library or Issues Tracking Web part.

To Conclude

There are certain limitations and cautions (see above) that you must take into account before going for the item level permissions. With these cautions, you are all good to setup the permissions. These permission settings can also come quite handy in your Microsoft SharePoint development tasks, where the project allocation and management can be easily restricted to the concerned users only.

Source by Ethan Roy

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