What are the workaround if our SharePoint list might contain more than 5,000 items which have unique permissions

john john 921 Reputation points

We have a custom list which contain 4 levels of approvals as follow:-

  • Team Lead
  • Manager
  • Area Manager
  • Senior Manager

and the item will have unique permission on each stage. for example when it is Assigned to the Area Manager >> only the related area manager can edit while others can read-only. and once the senior manager approve the item >> its status will be closed and will have read-only to all users.

now our list sooner or later will reach the 5,000 unique items limit mentioned on this link https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/servicedescriptions/sharepoint-online-service-description/sharepoint-online-limits#unique-security-scopes-per-list-or-library .. Can anyone advice, how we can handle this?


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  1. Eilaf Barmare 5 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hello @Jinwei Li-MSFT the information shared above is incorrect.

    I work in Microsoft Support Css for SharePoint online as a Tech Lead.

    The information "Unique security scopes per list or library

    For large lists, design to have as few unique permissions as possible and remain below 5,000 in total." is applicable for SharePoint Online.

    But the screenshot you shared is related to SharePoint server 2016 and in SharePoint online the 5000-limit set is hard fixed and cannot be adjusted.

    In fact, all the limitations defined in the below article (Applicable for SharePoint online only) is hard fixed and cannot be adjusted:

    1 person found this answer helpful.
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  2. Jinwei Li-MSFT 4,721 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi @john john

    In SharePoint online, unique permission 5000 limit is not per site or site collection, it is per list or library

    Microsoft recommends to have 5000 unique permissions but it can be increased to 50,000 - we should not increase the limit until we actually need it. For large lists, design to have as few unique permissions as possible. we need to design such a way so that we can keep unique permission below 5000.

    Statement from Microsoft for unique permissions in list or libray level:

    " Unique security scopes per list or library - The supported limit is 50,000, but the recommended general limit is 5,000. Above 5,000, access control list (ACL) size starts to matter. Although you can add scopes up to the supported limit of 50,000, Microsoft doesn’t recommend it unless you have a very specific scenario in mind. For large lists, design to have as few unique permissions as possible."

    From your office 365 help desk support, raise a ticket to Microsoft, they will guide you how to do that... their customer support is very good, within a few minutes after raising the ticket you will get a call from them.


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