I have an issue with my root SharePoint Online site. This is 2013 user experience. While testing permissions, non-owners are not able to view any list except site pages. The test user gets access denied on any other lists/libraries. I’ve done extensive testing and the only way I can get the user to be able to see other lists is to elevate permissions to owner. I consider myself pretty savvy with SharePoint and permissions. This one has me stumped.

Things I’ve checked.

  1. Noticed that the “SHAREPOINT\system” account was missing from Owner group and re-added
  2. Granted “Read” directly to the test user
  3. Checked inheritance to ensure the test user has access to the list from permissions
  4. Ensured “Read” at the site collection level
  5. Double checked permissions at the list/document library level including creating a new document library and ensuring it inherits permissions.
  6. Checked default permission levels to ensure they haven’t been modified
  7. Stopped inheriting permissions on the list and added the user directly

Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


No one here is going to be able to answer your question based on what you've provided. Obviously, readers should be able to read. So, here's a few things for you to consider:

  • What's the extent of permission inheritance on the site? If you've got high complexity of custom permissions, you most likely have a misconfiguration somewhere.
  • Can your users see the site contents page?
  • If you create a new generic list from scratch, can your users see it?
  • Do you have custom master pages? If you revert back to vanilla Seattle, does the problem persist?
  • Do you have anything checked out and unpublished in your master page gallery or site assets or style library? (this is also a very common cause of mysterious permission issues)
  • Have you checked the ULS logs?
  • 1
    Fixed! Thanks a @derek-gusoff. I had a minor customization in a master page, custom favicon. Reverted to Seattle and fixed it. Really appreciate your hints and help. Spent 3 hours on the phone with MS support and they didn't think of any of these. So obvious once you asked good questions. Grateful. Cheers, Eric
    – erobrien
    Jul 6, 2019 at 4:23
  • Happy to help! Glad you had a positive outcome. Jul 6, 2019 at 16:21

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