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I have a requirement to setup a permission level, where user can only see the document and see the associated metadata columns but cannot download or open the document. We have a permission level "View Only" which differs from "Read" . In the "View Only" , Open Item is unchecked. This doesn't seem to work at all. People with "View Only" can download the documents and see the source. I saw many articles pointing this works and some say its a bug. Any confirmation on above?

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3 Answers 3

Did you check this blog post : http://www.sharepointblog.co.uk/2012/11/interesting-difference-between-view-only-read-permission-levels/

It seems like you'll get you answer : Viw Ony has some impacts on search for example.


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The built-in documentation seems to indicate the difference:

  • Read
    • Can view pages and list items and download documents.
  • View Only
    • Can view pages, list items, and documents. Document types with server-side file handlers can be viewed in the browser but not downloaded.

Neither of which is sufficient for your requirement I'm afraid :/ You could try to dig into the possible permissions for a new permission level, for example, only using

  • View Items
    • View items in lists and documents in document libraries.

And see if that excludes the "Download" part of the permission.

You can create a new permission level by going to the site collection > site permissions > permission levels > add a new permission level

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After researching for quite sometime,i came to a conclusion that there is no real difference b/w these two when it comes to downloading of the document. Both just allows.

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