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Author: Jonathan Stuckey

This article is part of the series trouble-identification, diagnostics and recovery of SharePoint issues. Access and permissions problems are the single most frequent source of helpdesk tickets and issues in a SharePoint deployment. This article tackles the issue from a diagnostic and root-cause issue for level-1 support personnel.

How to confirm permissions for a user or a group on specific document or list-item. 

This is a recurring requirement for experienced and novice SharePoint site Owners, Members and administrators. Microsoft's own support articles are pretty good for basic steps in modern (see Reference articles) but do not provide next level of self-help on permission checking and management. This How-to takes a step-by-step view of basic permission troubleshooting.

Investigating permissions on content

i. navigate to the library or list that you need to validate item permissions

ii. high-light item (but don't open it)

iii. open Details pane (also known as the properties panel)

iv. look for 'Manage Access' in the pane

v. click on the manage access link to see specific user-access and permissions on this 1 item

the pop-up dialogue shows you access if you have the rights to see the properties e.g. 

But to confirm exactly what cumulative permissions a user or group has:

vi. scroll to the bottom of the manage access dialogue box

vii. click Advanced link

Classic permissions management interface provides additional functions, including validating what exact permissions a user or group have, and managing changing or resetting Unique permissions

viii. click on Check Permissions button, and enter a user's name in the dialogue presented

ix. confirm expected permissions (before dismissing dialogue-box)


With SharePoint Online the Modern user-interface can take several minutes to refresh before showing changes. This can be extremely confusing for users and administrators alike. 

ALWAYS try closing and re-opening all browsers to check if permissions have been applied, before diagnosing incorrect permissions being applied. 

Reference articles:

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About the author: Jonathan Stuckey


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