Posted by: R Manimaran | October 11, 2010

Programatically Adding and Removing Permission to a Group in SharePoint List

Programmatically Adding and Removing Permission to a Group in SharePoint List

I have a SharePoint list which has the access to following groups as shown.

Here in the Readers group the permission level is set tp both Contribute and Read. I need to remove the contribute permission.

To do this using Object Model. Here is the generic method to remove a Permission.

Note: If a Group has only one Permission already and if you remove that permission, then that group get deleted from that list. For ex. Here we have a group names Approvers with a Permission Design. If I use the below function to remove that group then it will get deleted from that list as shown. So do the Add operation first and followed by delete operation.

Remove Permission:

public static void RemovePermission(SPList list, string groupName, string permissionName)


SPPrincipal userGroup = FindUserOrSiteGroup(list.ParentWeb.Site, groupName);

SPRoleAssignment spRoleAssign = list.RoleAssignments.GetAssignmentByPrincipal(userGroup);

SPRoleDefinition role = list.ParentWeb.RoleDefinitions[permissionName];





Here is the procedure to add a Permission to the Group attached to a List.

Add Permission:

public static void AddPermission(SPList list, string groupName, string permissionName)




SPPrincipal userGroup = FindUserOrSiteGroup(site, groupName);

SPRoleAssignment spRoleAssign = list.RoleAssignments.GetAssignmentByPrincipal(userGroup);

SPRoleDefinition role = web.RoleDefinitions[permissionName];






Utility Method:

private static SPPrincipal FindUserOrSiteGroup(SPSite site, string userOrGroup)


SPPrincipal myUser = null;

if (SPUtility.IsLoginValid(site, userOrGroup))


myUser = site.RootWeb.EnsureUser(userOrGroup);




//might be a group

foreach (SPGroup g in site.RootWeb.SiteGroups)


if (g.Name.ToUpper(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture) == userOrGroup.ToUpper(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture))


myUser = g;





return myUser;




  1. Hi, thanks for putting me on the right track. Seems though that you need to break the roleinheritance in the list, and also there seems to be a typo in the remove method.

    spRoleAssign.RoleDefinitionBindings.Add(role); -> spRoleAssign.RoleDefinitionBindings.Remove(role);

    Anyways, thanks for a great post.

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