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I have a SharePoint List that I will be using to track items going through a review process. List items are populated using a MS form and powerautomate. Each time the form is submitted, a list item is created with the form information and attachment (most often a filled-out excel document template) from the form. These attachments should not be editable. However, I recently opened a blank document template from an item I submitted last week through the MS form and saw that it had been filled out by someone since I uploaded it.

Based on my research, list item attachments should function like email attachments and not be editable. I haven't been able to find anything online about how to prevent (or give) the ability to edit list item attachments. Testing it myself, I am also able to go into the attachment and edit its contents, with those changes saving and showing up next time I open the attachment. I considered creating a powerautomate flow to convert all attachments to pdf, but that would cause issues with the document formatting of the excel document template.

Is there a way to lock list item attachments from being edited? This is a critical functionality for our review process.

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  • You can do a workaround, since you are using a Power Automate, take the attachment from the new item, store it in second library (with Read Only Permission for everyone), remove the attachment from the item, insert a HTML link to the item with the Attachment's direct link. It has its cons: attachment manageability (edit, delete) will be difficult.
    – Popkornak
    Oct 10, 2023 at 6:31

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While SharePoint doesn't inherently offer a built-in feature to lock attachments, several workarounds can address this issue effectively. Firstly, consider employing third-party tools, such as "AvePoint DocAve Online," designed to lock SharePoint list item attachments from editing. Such tools can provide the protection you need, even against users with permissions to edit the list item itself.

Another alternative is to use Power Automate to automatically convert list item attachments to PDF format upon upload. This approach offers the benefit of preserving document integrity while preventing direct edits. An example Power Automate flow to achieve this.

Trigger: When a new item is created in SharePoint

Actions:

  1. Get the list item attachment.
  2. Convert the list item attachment to PDF.
  3. Save the PDF to the SharePoint list.
  4. Delete the original list item attachment.

By converting to PDF, you maintain formatting while securing the document from direct alterations. Customization options within Power Automate allow for additional actions like email notifications or status updates to meet your specific needs. Lastly, you might consider implementing SharePoint workflows to control access to list item attachments during the review process. Workflows can set properties, such as "Allow edits?," to "No" for attachments until the review is completed. This method ensures that attachments remain uneditable during the crucial review phase. These strategies should help address your need to lock list item attachments, enhancing the efficiency and integrity of your review process.

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