Creating Customized SharePoint Permissions

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SharePoint is widely used for storing and maintaining content. Different groups of users access SharePoint, but what if an organization wants to provide granular customized access rights like read, write or delete for different users? SharePoint does provide some permission levels like Full Control, Design, Contribute, Read, Limited Access and others. The problem with these permission levels is that they are predefined. Sometimes these predefined permission sets do not satisfy the business needs. For instance, if you want to provide a set of users read and add permissions, without being able to delete items. This wouldn't be possible with the predefined SharePoint levels as it provides you add, edit and delete access all together.


SharePoint facilitates the ability for administrators to create user defined permission levels (i.e. one can create custom permission levels with the desired permissions). Here we will create a custom permission level which will allow users only to view and add list items. The user will not be able to perform other operations on list items like edit and delete.

Creating a custom permission level

First, we will create a custom permission level. To create a custom permission level, go to Site Actions->Site Settings. Under the "Users and Permissions" category, click on "Advanced permissions".

site settings

Now click on Settings->Permission Levels

team web site

Click on "Add a Permission Level"

permission levels

Provide a unique name and description to the Permission Level. Permission Levels are divided into three levels

  • List
  • Site
  • Personal

Each set contains different kind of permission selections like add, edit, delete, open, etc.... In our case we need to update List and Site permissions in order to allow users to access sites and perform operations on a list. So in the "Permissions" category, under the "List Permissions" section, select the below three permissions:

  • Add Items - Add items to lists, add documents to document libraries, and add Web discussion comments.
  • View Items - View items in lists, documents in document libraries, and view Web discussion comments.
  • View Application Pages - View forms, views, and application pages. Enumerate lists.
add items

Under the "Site Permissions" section, select the permissions below:

  • View Pages - View pages in a Web site.
  • Open - Allows users to open a Web site, list, or folder in order to access items inside that container.
view pages

Click on "Create" and now you can see the custom permission level listed in site permission levels.

permission levels

Putting the permission group to use

Now we will add a user with our custom level permissions to the site. To add a user go to Site Action->Site Settings->Users and Permissions->People and Groups. Click on "All People".

web site members

Click on "New" and then on "Add Users"

all people

Provide Username in the "Users/Groups" section and select our custom permission "AddandViewOnly" permission and click OK.

web site

Now when a user tries to access the list, he would be able to add an item from the "New" menu and to view items from the ECB Menu as show below, but he won't be able to view other options for editing or deleting items.

view item
Next Steps
  • Figure out and catalogue List and Site level permissions that you would and would-not like to give to your users.
  • Based on your catalogue create different custom permissions that you would need to use frequently for your site users.

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Siddharth Mehta Siddharth Mehta is an Associate Manager with Accenture in the Avanade Division focusing on Business Intelligence.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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