Who can access What in SharePoint Online

I have been working on a few SharePoint sites in the past weeks and one of the questions that keep coming up is how you can find out which of your users has access to different areas and sites within your SharePoint environment.

Obviously when you move to SharePoint, there are issues of data security both with the protection of sensitive data and also ensuring that people have access to the information that they need.

If you are familiar with normal Windows access rights (shown below), you should understand the use of Users and Groups to control access to files and folders within any Active Directory implementation, and the same outline principles are there with Sharepoint. 

Active Directory File Permissions

Active Directory Permissions

So similar permissions can be found using the SharePoint Site Gear Icon

SharePoint Site Gear Icon

SharePoint Site Gear Icon

and then selecting the Site Settings option to get to the Permissions within the Settings Page

SharePoint Permissions

SharePoint Settings and Permissions

And then you can see the site permissions for groups that can access the particular site:

Site Level Permissions

Site Level Permissions

Selecting the group will then give you the members of the group

Group Members View

Group Members View

If you return to the permissions view, you have an option in the menu to check the permissions

SharePoint Check Permissions

Check Permissions Option

When you select this option a popup will appear asking for the user you wish to check, these are taken from the site users.

Site Permissions Check Selection

Site Permissions Check Selection

when you click Check Now, the result of the search will be shown:

Screenshot of the results of a permissions search

Results of Permission Search

In this case, the user (Callum Hirst) has Read permissions that have been given to him by being a member of the “Sales Visitors” group, he will be able to view but not change any information.

Note: You can only see the permissions for this particular site, if you have many then you will have to repeat this process for each site that you want to check.

If you have any questions or want to talk to me about SharePoint site provision or development then please get in touch – 01948 820787 , email or social media.

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