I have a SharePoint 2010 form with a couple lookup columns. The form looks normal to me with Full Control permissions, and the dropdowns for these items are showing up normally on the form, Correct when logged in as Full Control

but when I log in as a different user with Contribute permissions the dropdown is blank and very small (maybe the width of one or two characters). See image.This is what it looks like when I expand the dropdown.

I just added these today, and the problem started simultaneously. I'm sure it's a bug, but is there a way to get around it? Thanks.

  • 3
    I'm pretty sure it could be because the contribute user doesn't have access to the lookup list. Make sure they have at least Read access to it. May 15, 2015 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


In order to make a lookup column work for a user with contribute permission level on one list, that same user need to have at least read permission level on the list to lookup. Probably, this is a system list which is intended to be used for functionality rather than content. To save admins from unintended edits, the permission inheritance was broken on the lookup list.


On the lookup list, make sure that all users have read permission. This will ensure that users with read permission (and contribute permission) on the first list also see content from the lookup list.

  • @Lauren Super! Mark this as the answer, and it can help others having the same problem.
    – Benny Skogberg
    May 18, 2015 at 13:52

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