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I'm kinda confused on the SharePoint 2013 permission levels.

I found this MS Technet Article describing the permission levels, but I cannot figure out how to distinguish the difference of the full control level and the contribute level especially on folders and lists.

  • Are there any differences on this specific items?
  • Is the contribute level entitled to manage permissions for this folder/list as well or do the user need full control to be able to manage them?

regards

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I don't need to give you academic definition but you should follow the mentioned steps below to check the difference between all permissions level types not only Full control and Contribute

  • Go to site settings > users and permissions > site permissions.

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  • From the above ribbon select permission levels

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  • You can check the difference between all permissions level types not only Full control and Contribute

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  • Click on Full control and Contribute to know specifically what's the difference based on SharePoint Settings

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Full Control permission level:

Contains all available SharePoint permissions. By default, this permission level is assigned to the Owners group. It can’t be customized or deleted.

Contribute permission level:

View, add, update, and delete list items and documents.

Reference

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In case of managing specific items I think both full control and Contribute has same permissions.

Contribute permission level does not have rights to Manage list so you can't use it to manage permission or list setting for the list or library.

To manage permission for folder or list you can use Full control or Edit permission level

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In order to manage permissions for a folder or list, the Manage Permissions capability is required. There are only two permission levels that have this capability by default: Full Control, Manage Hierarchy

you can check the settings here at https://yourdomain/_layouts/15/role.aspx

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