Break Permissions Inheritance in SharePoint

There are multiple ways to break permissions inheritance in SharePoint. You can do it while creating the subsite, or after the site has been created.
But you want to be careful when assigning different permissions for different sites. This can become very messy!

In this blog, we will focus on breaking inheritance after the site has been created.
For those who prefer to watch a video, please go to browse my YouTube channel, or specifically How to break inheritance in SharePoint 2013.


Break inheritance and create new groups

First, navigate to the subsite where you wish to have different permissions (I had created a new subsite in a previous post called “Sales” that we will use now)

  • Navigate to the “Sales” site
  • Click on the gear icon (top left corner) >> Site settings
  • Click on Site permissions under Users and Permissions

This Sales subsite inherits permissions from its parent site (called “Portal”) as shown below:


This means that the SharePoint groups have the names from the Portal site (i.e.: Portal Visitors, Portal Members…)


In the ribbon, click on the icon “Stop inheriting permissions“, and a warning message will ask you to confirm the action.

  • Click “OK” on the message


As soon as you click on OK on the warning message, you will be redirected to a new page to Set up groups for this site.

  • Choose Create a new group for each (the “Sales” name is automatically populated for the name)
  • Start adding people in each group as required (Visitors, Members, Owners)


Once happy with the people added, click on “OK


Remove the old groups

Now that the new groups have been created, we need to remove the old ones, so only the correct people have access to our Sales site.

Back to the “Sales” site, click on the gear icon >> Site settings >> Site permissions, and note that the old groups (from the parent “Portal”) are still showing.
Also note that the site has now unique permissions!

  • Select those “Portal” groups (i.e.: Portal Visitors, Portal Members…)
  • Click on Remove User Permissions in the ribbon

On the warning message to confirm the deletion, click “OK

The site now really has unique permissions!



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