SharePoint Permissions

From version 19.12, SharePoint Online permissions are now protected during the backup process. This allows you to restore SharePoint items from the backup session with their original permissions.

This is not retroactive, so any backups made before 19.12 was released will not contain permissions.

Restore Permissions Processes

Below are examples of how the restore permissions process works and how you should work around the permissions for a successful restore.

Permissions restore is turned off

When permissions restore is disabled, all items created during a restore will inherit permissions from their parent.

Permissions restore is turned on

Restore to the original location

Permissions Inheritance settings on SharePoint Item Permissions Inheritance of data to restore Expected response by system
Enabled Disabled
  1. Inheritance disabled
  2. All permissions cleared
  3. Only backed up permissions restored
Enabled Permissions restore for such items skipped
Disabled Disabled Permissions merged
Enabled Inheritance Enabled

Restore to new location

Permissions Inheritance settings on SharePoint Item Permissions Inheritance of data to restore Expected response by system
Enabled Disabled Inheritance Enabled
Enabled
Disabled Disabled Inheritance Enabled
Enabled

Permissions restore is turned on (overwrite)

There are a number of different situations you may find yourself in with regards to restoring items which inherit role assignments from their parents. In these situations, you should only break inheritance when the parent role assignments are changed. After the parent role assignments are changed, you then need to restore the new role assignments from the backup. When permissions are not changed, permissions inheritance should be turned on.

How it works:

If the original permissions differ from the backed up set:

Role Assignments Action taken by the system

If it isn't identical:

  1. Inheritance disabled
  2. All permissions cleared
  3. Only backed up permissions restored

If the item has another set of role assignments:

  • Role assignments are merged

Merging means adding new permissions to the existing, without duplicating and overwriting.

If the item has role assignments which depend on one or several users:

  • If all users exist
  • All role assignments restored
  • If none of those users exist
  • Role assignments not restored. In this case the item won't have explicit role assignments and it won't have inheritance, e.g. item won't have any access permissions set to it
  • If some users still exist
  • Role assignments restored only to those users
  • If some users don't exist anymore
  • Recreation of this user is not tried

If the item has role assignments which depend on one or several groups:

  • The role assignments are restored only for existing groups