SharePoint Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for SharePoint enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So I get why breaking inheritance copies over the limited access to sites/items from the parent site. I'm under the assumption that this process of copying over limited access is sometimes completely pointless because users may have access to one list or even list item and that is separate from the list that is getting it's inheirtance broken. So the limited access entries for the permission of that list is just noise, and has no relevance to the list permission base at hand.

Is this by design? Can someone explain why it's this way?

It is different from this thread here because I'm asking the purpose of copying limited access from the parent site to a broken inheritance list that isn't related.

For example:

 List A -broken
 List B
 List C -being broken

User 1 - Access to List A

List C permissions copy over limited access from parent for access to List A, and isn't relevant to List C, isn't this just noise?

share|improve this question
It appears to be just poor implementation by Microsoft frankly. – P001 Sep 27 '12 at 18:25
up vote 1 down vote accepted

From the documentation :

You cannot assign this permission level to users or to SharePoint groups. Instead, Office SharePoint Server 2007 automatically assigns this permission level to users and to SharePoint groups when you grant them access to an object on your site that requires that they have access to a higher level object on which they do not have permissions. For example, if you grant users access to an item in a list and they do not have access to the list itself, Office SharePoint Server 2007 automatically grants them Limited Access on the list, and also on the site, if needed.

Basically, it means that something in your site has unique permissions (perhaps item or list level) and that the Limited Access users need that permission in order to be able to get to the item.

share|improve this answer
Please read my question more carefully. I know what a limited access entails. – Mike Aug 13 '12 at 20:51
If you are looking for the Process answer then I would have to assume that it is for transparency of security. By having the entry there for Limited Access, it makes it clear that those users can navigate to something in your site. Without that entry, you would not know that doman/everyone (as an example) would have any access in the site whatsoever, leading to a false sense of security. – Dave Wise Aug 13 '12 at 20:56
Limited Access is the permission of something on the site, but if I uninherit a list from the parent site, and it copies over the limited access, those limited access entries denote something unrelated to that list, and it's for the site. – Mike Aug 13 '12 at 21:05
Do any of the items in the list items have item-level security? Or does the list itself have the view permissions restricted so that people can only see the items they create? – Dave Wise Aug 13 '12 at 21:20
In this scenario, I would assume that it is just noise created in the process of breaking inheritance since that copies everything from the parent regardless of applicability. It could be argued that this is an oversight since Limited Access is a derived permission rather than an explicit one and thus shouldn't be blindly copied. Only MS can answer the exact 'why' of it but don't expect a quick answer from them since this is not causing a production failure nor does it appear to be a security hole – Dave Wise Aug 13 '12 at 21:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.