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What are the minimum permissions needed for a users to export the list into excel sheets in SharePoint 2010?

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According to @ToniFrankola https://serverfault.com/questions/73677/disable-export-to-spreadsheet-in-sharepoint-custom-list you need to have permission:

[x] Use Client Integration Features

In OOTB premission levels this permission is not set only for Restricted Read level.

So correct answer to your question is:

Minimum OOTB permission level for users to be able to export lists in Excel is View Only but minimum permission is Use Client Integration Features

You can always create your own custom permission level and select only Use Client Integration Features permission. (Note that two other permissions are automatically enabled: Use Remote Interfaces and Open.)

  • what about SharePoint 2013, I disable this feature, but users still able to export to Excel. I used script editor web part with css code to disable that ATM. (source : social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/…) – Nico Jan 12 '15 at 14:18
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Try going to Site Permissions --> Permission Levels in the ribbon --> Select the permission level to view its properties and I think your looking for View Items in the List Permissions, not entirely sure but I usually play around with them till I get the desired result.

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