As a SharePoint administrator or owner of a library, you can change permissions to let the right people access the data they need data while restricting access to the others.

By default, all libraries in a site collection inherit permissions settings from the site that is directly above them in the site hierarchy. This means a site inherits permissions from the root site of the site collection, and a subsite inherits permissions from its parent site.

To assign unique permissions to a library, you have to first break permissions inheritance, then assign unique permissions. You can do all of this on the Permissions page.

To break permissions inheritance:

  1. Log in to your SharePoint site.
  2. Open the library that you want to change permissions to.
  3. On the Library Tools menu, select the Library tab. On the ribbon, click the Library Settings button.
  4. Click on the Permissions for this document library link.
  5. Click Stop Inheriting Permissions.

Now the library is disconnected from the parent site.


  • The library still has the same permission settings that it did before. But now, instead of inheriting permissions from the parent, it has its own copy of the parent site's permissions.
  • Changes that you make to the permissions settings for the parent site will not be inherited by this list.

To grant access to one or two individuals on your team:

  1. On the Permissions page for the library, click Grant Permissions.
  2. Type the name, email address or 'Everyone' depending on who you want to grant access to.
  3. Click Show options link and choose the level of permissions from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click Share.

In some cases, you might want to remove:

  1. In the Name section of the permissions page, select the checkboxes for the groups or users who should not have access to this list.
  2. On the Permissions page for the library, on the Edit tab, click Remove User Permissions.

The permissions page updates to show that the group or user no longer has permissions to the list.