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So I have a group of users for which the group permission on a document library is set to Read. There are other groups with other permissions, but there is no overlap in terms of group members. Despite the document library having only the Read permission for this group, users are still able to download the Excel document and click Edit Document here:

Now, they SHOULD see the following message:

but they're allowed to continue editing and save back to Sharepoint. So for some reason, they are allowed to write/contribute with only Read access. These users are not SCAs/SCOs anywhere on the site and there is no member overlap with groups that have more access. Any ideas? Sorry for linking to images...would have posted them in text but I don't have enough reputation.

EDIT: The answer! The Read permission level was edited to be able to "Edit Items" in "List Permissions." By default, this is not checked. However, someone checked it and so users with Read access were able to edit items in the Document Libraries.

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Will you should see the person's permission (…) – Arsalan Adam Khatri Nov 28 '12 at 16:37
up vote 0 down vote accepted


Check for user's permission:

Step-1: Log-in to SharePoint site as Site Owner or Site Admin.

Step-2: Click on "Site Actions -> Site Permissions" to open the site permissions page.

Step-3: Click on "Check Permissions" link in the Ribbon to open the check permission page.

Step-4: Enter the account name of the user whose permissions you want to check and click on "Check Now" button.

Step-5: Effective permissions for the user will be displayed on the page.

Credits: Check Permissions for a User in SharePoint 2010

Now you can see which Group the user belong which has contribute or design rights!

Also see what permissions do the READER group itself has? You can even customize the READER, CONTRIBUTE groups and edit their permissions... I am afraid if that is not the case here!

I hope this helps

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The user belongs to two groups: one of which has Read access, and the other Limited Access – Will Weld Nov 28 '12 at 16:55
Permissions are correct, can you confirm if the Document Library inherits permission from web? – Arsalan Adam Khatri Nov 28 '12 at 17:08
The document library inherits from the parent, if that helps. Sorry, I'm brand new to Sharepoint so if there's something I should check then I'll try and figure it out. – Will Weld Nov 28 '12 at 19:17
@WillWeld that seems perfectly fine... can you see what permissions do the READER group itself has? You can even customize the READER, CONTRIBUTE groups and edit their permissions... I am afraid if that is not the case here! – Arsalan Adam Khatri Nov 28 '12 at 20:36
Fear not! That was the problem! Someone changed the Read permission level to be able to Edit Items in the List Permissions (which includes document libraries). Thank you so much! – Will Weld Nov 28 '12 at 21:01

Are you logged into the PC you are using as the user ? or are you just logged into sharepoint as a user. Sharepoint will still take your privalges over the logged in user when opening a document.

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Yeah I've read about the log-in complications...the users are logged into their PCs as themselves, and in Sharepoint as themselves – Will Weld Nov 28 '12 at 16:51

Is the library still inherting permissions from its parent site ? if the users can contribute on the parent site they will be able to in the library unless the link is broken.

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Yes I believe the library is inheriting permissions from the parent site and that the users can contribute on the parent site but isn't that inheritance broken by putting these users in the visitor group which only has read access to the site? – Will Weld Nov 28 '12 at 19:15
Unless you break the permissions (and remove the users) any permissions that are granted to the users in the parent site will also apply to the subsite – James Nov 28 '12 at 21:29

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