I am new to office 365 and have company files on my one drive since im the office manager, but need to put them on SharePoint.

I do not want each person to be able to see all of them.
Can I set it up in SharePoint to have certain people look at certain files only?

Hope this makes sense.

4 Answers 4


SharePoint Online has a lot of features for controlling who can see content, you can even share content with users outside your organisation.

There's plenty of documentation on the Office website for how to share and control access to content, beware of relying too much on MSDN or TechNet as these sources are aimed at software developers and system administrators rather than end users.

Check this guide to Sharing Documents and Folders in Office 365:


Note that it primarily relates to OneDrive but a lot of the concepts will apply equally to normal SharePoint libraries in your SharePoint sites, as the same permissions system is in place, though the interface might differ slightly (such as the icons that show who has access to the document or folders is currently only available in OneDrive).

  • again you give him tons of work, liike share each document....really that is your approach...rather one time setup permission on the dl.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Feb 29, 2016 at 14:05
  • 1
    I've trained many, many users and they do NOT react well to masses of text. Scenario based walkthroughs with screenshots work better.
    – James Love
    Feb 29, 2016 at 14:06
  • i think better is let the customer decide, don't become father.if user feel, he can ask more questions....
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Feb 29, 2016 at 14:07

Yes, you can upload the documents on the SharePoint and set the unique permission.

You can set the permission who can see the documents and what level i.e read or edit or delete etc.

Understanding permission levels

  • The detail on that link will likely scare this person off SharePoint for life!
    – James Love
    Feb 29, 2016 at 13:58
  • why scare him for life? is really sharepoint scare you? comeon, dont do the things which you dont know...my answer is simple, yes you can and you can set unique permission then different permission level... I dont know what should i say to you.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Feb 29, 2016 at 13:59
  • 1
    Your answer is simple, the link is pretty advanced. Slowly introduce the user to what's possible in the SharePoint interface then throw a book about permission levels at them.
    – James Love
    Feb 29, 2016 at 14:01
  • it is not book, rather if a user dont know about the differnt permission set then he will be in troouble...as he is one drive user and want to move from one drive to sharepoint...he understand it....now, i know becuase you want your answer on top...come on
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Feb 29, 2016 at 14:03
  • i give the details, I think your approach is very negative, for your answer vote down others.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Feb 29, 2016 at 14:06

Anything is possible, provided you are able to do it.

You should start by self-train on sharepoint permission model



The above are just starting points, but anywhere on the net or on youtube you should be able to find tutorials.

  • A link to the TechNet article for the permissions model is a bit too deep dive for someone who's clearly a new user to SharePoint.
    – James Love
    Feb 29, 2016 at 13:57
  • that's why there is a second link
    – susan
    Feb 29, 2016 at 14:04

Yes, you can definitely configure SharePoint to restrict the items people can see. The only difficult part is deciding the best way to structure it. The absolute best way to do this is to start by designing an Information Architecture and designing your security model to match. That is probably going to be overkill for your current needs, but it's something to definitely keep in mind if your usage of SharePoint starts to grow.

So let's look at your simple options first.

First, you can manage permissions for each file/document individually. In this scenario you put all your files in one place, and give each of them unique permissions. This is obviously very simple, but it can quickly get unmanageable as your numbers of documents increase. Folders help a little, but not very much.

Second, you can manage permissions by libraries. You can add a library for each group you want, set the permissions on the library, and then upload your documents into them. This is easier to manage large numbers of documents, but can still be a bit unwieldy. And gets tricky if you want similar permissions to apply to other SharePoint stuff like task lists or calendars etc.

Third, and in my opinion almost always the best option, is to create subsites for each grouping of users you have. For each user group or team, create a new subsite and choose to give it unique permissions. SharePoint will then create 3 groups for that site, a visitors group, a members groups and an owners group. You then just put the users in to the right groups for each site. Users can be in multiple groups, so for e.g. a user could be an owner for one site, a member for a second site, and a visitor on 3 other sites. This scales well, it doesn't matter how many documents go in to each site, you just need to manage the groups centrally. If you end up with a lot of subsites/group, you can delegate out, so each subsite's owner can manage the access for their own subsite. And permission automatically apply to each sites tasks lists and calendars etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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