This appears to be by design. I have a user who used unique permissions on a subsite and then used unique permissions on a list in the subsite. They then decided to have the subsite inherit permissions from the Parent and whoala, the list didn't retain the unique permissions.

So, what if the Securable Objects (a List) has unique permissions AND the subsite has unique permissions and the owner decides to have the subsite inherit from the parent? It appears the (list) in the subsite also inherits from the parent (meaning, its unique permissions are no retained). Is this by design?



2 Answers 2


That's the way I have always understood it to work...i.e. resetting inheritance at the subsite levels causes any broken inheritance to be removed from the lists and libraries in that subsite.

NOTE: That it shouldn't break the affect the inheritance setting of any folders within those lists and libraries. I don't know why for sure, but can guess that the overhead associated with such an operation would be considerable.

I could argue for both sides of whether this makes sense or not, so I can't really say it's by design. I can say that it's the way I've always remembered it working.

  • Rob's correct. That is the way it works. If you inherit permissions from a parent site, all permissions of lists and document libraries are reset and will inherit from their parent site. Not sure where the logic is, but I guess it's by design... Aug 24, 2011 at 9:52

Correct - this is by design. We looked at whether to change this in 2010 but decided not to. The thinking was that when you form the goal of re-inheriting permissions you don't want to have to go around and clean up all the places lower in the hierarchy.

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