I am using a custom list where the end user has to edit the form to enter in information. Because of this, I have to give them edit permissions to the list which I can do in the List Settings.

However, they do not need editing permissions to the entire site. Can I give only "Read" permissions to the site and then give unique permissions of Edit-View to the list?


It is all about Keys and Access

A SharePoint Farm is like a Business Park:

then Site Collections are Buildings:

As Site Collection Owner you have a MasterKey to all information in this building.
Permission Profiles can be centrally managed, *but alas most SharePoint 'consultants' don't use its power

Subsites (Webs) are Rooms:

Document Libraries/Lists are Cabinets:

Documents-Sets/Folders are File Suspension Holders:

DocumentSets are available since SP2010 and underestimated by many
(and most often completely unknown)

and Documents/List Items are Files:
with metadata

Permissions to all

On each of the above you can have different locks(permission profiles) (each can have 33 types of SharePoint permissions to be precise).
And you have to check each one to see what permissions you have

Either by hand or a Powershell script.
Search can give you a clue where you have Read rights (but you can have Write rights without Read rights..)

And then the metaphore goes wrong...

OMG! In the digital world you can have access to a File and NOT have access to the File-Holder or Cabinet or Room or Building or Business Park.

Ah... Governance

Most will try and sell you 3rd party tools to manage this all... but if your foundation is crap, no tool can fix it for you

Just like an architect plans every detail of a building, good Permissions planning for sites and content in SharePoint is key


  • Thanks. I tested some unique permissions with my site yesterday as I described above and it didn't work out like I thought. That's why I posted the question. I was pretty sure it was possible, but just wanted to double check. – cbbrown Mar 24 '17 at 13:19
  • This is a great example. – Flat Banana Mar 24 '17 at 14:03

Absolutely. Go to List settings, permissions for this list, and break the permissions inheritance. Then you can apply the permissions specifically to that list. This page has step by step instructions for SharePoint Online/2016/2013/2010/2007 with pictures.

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