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Susancqc-6031 avatar image
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Susancqc-6031 asked TSS-4228 commented

How to get rid of Limited access on SharePoint online

A site of ours shows limited access. Some members got impacted and couldn't edit. My question is how to reset so the limited access goes away? Question two, how did this happen? We do not want this recur in the future.


Below is the first screen:

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After I click the link "show users", I got the next screen which has limited access. I am the owner and admin of the site. but I can do nothing about it:

88351-image.png


Thanks for help!


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JerryXu-MSFT avatar image
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JerryXu-MSFT answered TSS-4228 commented

Hi, @Susancqc-6031 ,

First let me clarify a bit more about what is a "Limited Access" permission.

What is Limited Access?

Limited Access permission does not mean that the users are "limited" or blocked. In fact, it enables a user or group to browse to a site page or library to access a specific content item when they do not have permissions to open or edit any other items in the site or library. This level is automatically assigned by SharePoint when you provide access to one specific item.

Think about a situation with a common list. User A does not have permission on that list. However we need A to check a specific item inside the list. So we share that item to user A. In this way, user A now can view the item and still have no access to other items in that list. To make it happen, SharePoint automatically grant user A a limited access permission level. In this way, user A can navigate to the the list and find the item he has permission. Otherwise he cannot even view this list.

And simply you can make changes to any of the default permissions levels, except Full Control and Limited Access. We cannot assign or remove the permission level. SharePoint handle this part. You can see the screenshot below in my tenant. It greyed out on the limited Access part.
88471-image.png

More information about permission levels can be found here: understanding-permission-levels

Now let's come back to your original issue.

A site of ours shows limited access. Some members got impacted and couldn't edit.

In short, the limited access permission level is not the root cause of the impact. Instead, it could probably be a result of the permission issue. Some users lost there permission on a certain library or list, while still there are contents shared to them directly. To make the sharing behavior work, they are assigned with limited access.

What can we do now to make things work again?

  1. Get the user who has modified the permission settings most recently and discard the change.

  2. If we cannot make 1 happen, narrow down the range of the whole impact. Get an idea that who of the users have an access issue. And find the area where they have this issue. Then check the permission settings on that library, list or sub-site. As you do not have a notification in the permission settings page saying there are contents having a unique permission. May have a check on subsites if they exist in your tenant.
    88472-image.png

Here are discussions which may help you get a better idea of this permission level:
Removing SharePoint 2016 "Limited Access" Permission Level at Group Level
Limited Access Mode in Office 365 Group SharePoint Site


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What I don't understand is why the "limited access" permission level remains even after all signal document permissions have been removed for that user. If SharePoint automatically assigns this, then it should automatically un-assign it. Also, when I select to see users with this access level, SharePoint should tell me all of the locations where permissions are granted to this user so it is easy to find the areas that need to be cleaned up. Anymore information that can be shared about this?

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Susancqc-6031 avatar image
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Susancqc-6031 answered JerryXu-MSFT commented

Hi @JerryXu-MSFT

Thank you for the extensive explanation about the limited access. It really helps to clarify the concept. However, the problem or the cause of our problem is still not clear. One of the contributors created a new document with a template, but one of the site owners couldn't edit that document. Instead, it created another document once she edited. As we know, the site owner has full control. There is no unique permission in that document library. Both persons' permission looks like in good order. Any thoughts?

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Susan

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Hi, @Susancqc-6031 ,

I would like to know a bit more about the current issue you are mentioning. For the new document created with a template, is the site owner the only user has issue? As you mention "it created another document once she edited". Can the user open and view the content? It seems not to be a permission issue. As if she does not have proper permission, she shall get notifications saying things like "You cannot view/edit this document". Creating a new copy is not a behavior following a permission issue. Please have a try to create new document with a different template and with the same template, test with the users to see if the issue will occur. For a specific file-level issue, I will suggest recreation. And if only files with a certain template has this problem, it may be better to double check about the template. Feel free to upload screenshot with any pop up.

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