On this link http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-sharepoint-online-enterprise-help/understanding-permission-levels-HA102772294.aspx#top it mentioned the following about the Edit, Contribute & Read permission levels:-

- Edit:- Add, edit, and delete lists; view, add, update, and delete list items and documents.

- Contribute:- View, add, update, and delete list items and documents.

-Read:- Add, edit, and delete items in existing lists and document libraries. By default, this permission level is assigned to the Members group.

It seems that “Edit” permission level provides the ability to manage Lists , while the “Contribute” and “Read” enable users to only manage items in existing lists. But I cannot figure out what are the differences between Contribute & Read in this case, as for me they seem to be similar ?

Can anyone advice?

Best Regards


2 Answers 2


Permission level "Read" doesn't include add/edit/delete permissions. Check this link for more information

  • yes this make more sensee but in this offical link office.microsoft.com/en-us/… it says something different
    – John John
    Apr 23, 2013 at 14:05
  • 1
    Technet is also an official link. Your link is specific to SharePoint Online, which looks like it has some differences from the defaults for on-premise SharePoint, though the read line is probably an error. Also, most of the permission levels can be customized from the defaults, so there could be differences in your environment.
    – lgaud
    Apr 23, 2013 at 14:13


Full Control - Has full control.

Design - Can view, add, update, delete, approve, and customize.

Edit - Can add, edit and delete lists; can view, add, update and delete list items and documents.

Contribute - Can view, add, update, and delete list items and documents.

Read - Can view pages and list items and download documents.

Approve - Can edit and approve pages, list items, and documents.

Manage Hierarchy - Can create sites and edit pages, list items, and documents.

Restricted Read - Can view pages and documents, but cannot view historical versions or user permissions.

Restricted Interfaces for Translation - Can open lists and folders, and use remote interfaces.

View Only - Can view pages, list items, and documents. Document types with server-side file handlers can be viewed in the browser but not downloaded.

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