Working on permissions for an existing SharePoint in regards to access to document libraries and I have stumbled across a head scratcher.

I have edited permissions so certain users are unable to see files in the specific library which works but they can still see the name of the library and click into it to only for it to be empty (files are hidden which is good!)

For Example - User "John" can see libraries A, B, C and D displayed. A, B and C show files in them as he has access to these. D is empty as he does not have access.

Is there a way of changing it so the user cannot even see the name of the library? So "John" would only be able to see A, B and C (D wont even appear on the left?)?

Is this because there are "limited access" users? I have a sharepoint sandbox I can test on before rolling out on the live site.

2 Answers 2


If you're referring to the left nav (quicklaunch), it depends on how the links were added. If you add a link to the left by modifying the quicklaunch and adding a link, it will show for everyone, regardless of permissions. There's another, better way to add a link to lists and libraries: go to library settings --> list name descripion and navigation, and set "display this library on the quick launch" to yes.

Adding it to the nav this way will make it driven by permissions, so users who have no access to the library will not see it. (if they have access to the library, but not documents in the library, they will still see it, so it also depends on how the permissions for the library were configured).

  • This is an existing SharePoint so I presume they have been added by the quick launch as you mentioned. I will test this next week and let you know how I get on Jan 31, 2020 at 17:08
  • Hi Mike, tried the above this morning and it all went well!!On my Sandbox site, I can see all the links on both Web and Mobile. User can only see the links according to their permission as you said. Is there an easy way to edit the Live site without having to create a new document library and copy contents across? Thanks Feb 10, 2020 at 11:30

Agree with Mike here.

One more opinion: What you see in the site depends on how the user permissions are granted.

For example:

If User "John" doesn’t have access to the site in the first place, and is granted permission to the three libraries after, John will not see the navigation at all.

If John has access to the site itself, he can see the navigation along with the library with unique permission.

Even if you set the library to not display in the navigation, it can also be found in the Site Contents list and cannot be removed. But still, John will see the library empty when click on it.

  • Everybody had access to everything. I am trying to sort the permissions so that the whole thing is a little more organised so that it simplifies and neatens things up. Looks like I have the users in their respective groups with the correct Read, Edit, Design etc. I'll let you know how it goes on my sandbox. Jan 31, 2020 at 17:13

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