How to Migrate SharePoint Permissions Easily?

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam linkedin | Updated On - May 10, 2023 |

Read time 6 minutes

Before starting the migration, you should understand the basic concept of SharePoint Online permissions.

  • Permissions – Permissions give a specific right to the user related to an action. The SharePoint administrator assigns the permissions at the site or site content levels. When a user has Permission to view a file, they can only view the file and not create or edit it.
  • Fine-grained permissions – When the administrator assigns Permission at a granular level to a securable object that falls under the fine-grained permissions. For example, a permission assigned to a specific file in a large library, list, or site, gives the user in-depth control over the SharePoint data for better customization.
  • Permission level – Permission Levels are the set of permissions assigned to users to function several tasks. An excellent example of permission level is Read Permission which includes multiple rights like opening a file, reading a file, viewing pages of the file, viewing versions of a file, etc. All these rights are required to access the file.
  • SharePoint group – A SharePoint Group makes it efficient to assign permission to a whole group rather than assigning permission to users individually. Each SharePoint Group has at least a single default permission for owners, visitors, members, etc.
  • User – A user is a single SharePoint account of a person. It is better to assign Permission to the user through groups as it becomes difficult to monitor each user.
  • Securable object – A securable object is a file, document, folder, list, library, site, etc., affected by permissions. The administrator can assign item-level, folder-level, and site-level permissions for a variety of controls.

Getting complete information about these SharePoint Online permissions and then planning your migration method is beneficial.

Read Also: Learn How to Customize Permissions in SharePoint?

  1. Default Permissions Levels – Default Permissions levels are various permissions which authorize a user to perform multiple actions on the objects. Here is a brief list of default permissions levels –

    Permission Level

    Permission Included


    View Only

    View Items, View Versions, View Pages, Browse User Information

    User can view application pages and related items.

    Limited Access

    View Application pages, Browse User information, User Remote Interface

    User can access the shared resource


    View Items, Open Items, View Versions, View pages

    User can view pages, list items, and download documents


    Add Items, Edit Items, Delete Items, Edit Personal User Information, Add Personal Web parts, Remove Personal Web parts, Update personal web parts

    User can edit user information, delete version in lists and libraries.


    Manage Lists, Contribute Permissions

    User can manage lists.


    Add and Customize pages, Apply Style, Edit permissions

    User can Add, View, Update, Delete, Approve, and Customize items or pages

    Full Control

    All Permissions

    User has full control

    Note: A user can customize the permission settings for the initial five levels. To change the permission levels for Limited Access and Full Control, you can make individual permissions unavailable for a complete web application.

  2. User permissions

    User permissions are further categorized into 3 categories – list permissions, site permissions, and personal permissions.

    1. List permissions
    2. Some of the prominent list permissions are:


      Permissions Included


      Manage Lists

      Edit, Design, Manage Hierarchy

      User can create and delete lists, add or remove columns or views of a list

      Override List Behaviors

      Design, Full Control

      User can check a document for another user and can read/edit their terms

      Add Items

      Edit, Design, Full Control

      User can add items lists, and add documents to libraries

      Delete Versions

      Contribute Edit, Design, Full Control

      User can delete previous versions of list items or documents

      Create Alerts

      Read, Edit, Design, Full Control

      User can create alerts

      View Application Pages

      Full Control

      User can view application pages and enumerate lists

    3. Site Permissions
    4. Site Permissions are applied to site items. Some important permissions of them are the following:


      Permissions Included


      Create Subsites

      Full Control

      User can create subsites, meeting workspace site, and document workspace site.

      Manage Web Site

      Full Control

      User can perform complete administrative tasks for the site

      Add and Customize Pages

      Design, Full Control

      User can add, modify, or delete HTML pages or the site

      Manage Alerts

      Full Control

      User can manage alerts for all users of the website



      User can open a website, list, or folder to access site items

      View Pages

      Read, Contribute, Edit, Design, Full Control

      User can view pages in a website

    5. Personal Permissions
    6. Personal permissions are attached to single objects and items in the SharePoint.


      Permissions Included


      Manage Personal Views

      Contribute, Edit, Full Control

      User can create, change, and delete personal views of lists

      Add/Remove Personal Web Parts

      Contribute, Edit, Full Control

      User can add/remove personal web parts on a web part page

      Update Personal Web Parts

      Contribute, Edit, Full Control

      User can update Web Parts

How to migrate SharePoint Permissions

After gaining complete information on various SharePoint Online permissions, migrating permissions becomes easy. But due to the lack of a proper manual method to migrate the permissions, you need to take the assistance of a professional tool. It reduces the complexities of managing permission migration and directly migrating the Permissions and respective data.

  1. Using Kernel Migrator for Sharepoint, you can migrate complete sites, lists, and libraries from SharePoint 2010 to 2013, SharePoint 2010 to 2016, and SharePoint 2013 to 2016. After selecting the migration, you can check the Migrate Permissions option.
  2. check the Migrate Permissions option
    Note: If you have checked the Migrate Permissions, then you can also check the second option of Remap Users/Groups. It will help you to map SharePoint accounts.

  3. Click Add New Mapping button and add Source User Name and Destination User Name in the respective boxes. Then click OK. map SharePoint accounts
  4. Finally, you can see that the source and the destination are selected to migrate the permissions directly. permissions directly to see source and the destination


If you do not migrate the SharePoint Online permissions along with the data, then you will need to assign new permissions after migration. It will require long hours and energy from SharePoint administrators. If you want to avoid this situation, use Kernel SharePoint Migrator directly. This SharePoint migration tool can be used to upgrade or downgrade the SharePoint platform and also to migrate data from the Windows file system to Sharepoint, from the public folder to SharePoint, and from the file system to Google Drive/OneDrive for business.

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint