SharePoint Training
View video tutorials below.

Sharepoint How-to-Guides

Create and manage a blog to share information

This course teaches you how to create and manage a SharePoint blog. Topics include basic tasks such as creating a blog, using categories, and modifying post layouts. Also learn how to set unique permissions for a blog, and also in lists and libraries within a blog.

Create and set up a list

This video-based training course teaches you how to create SharePoint lists using built-in apps, create and edit views of the lists, share lists with others, and set alerts so you can be notified automatically when lists change.

Follow Content

Following documents and SharePoint sites makes it easy for you to stay abreast of newsfeed activity. There’s no need to search for files to check their update status because you automatically receive notifications in your newsfeed whenever updates occur. This course shows you how to follow documents in OneDrive for Business or a SharePoint library and keep track of SharePoint web sites that interest you.

Introduction to document libraries

This course teaches you how to perform common tasks in a document library. Topics include ways to use a document library, uploading and editing files, and checking file version history.

Post to the newsfeed

The newsfeed is a micro blog where you and people in your organization share ideas and information. Newsfeed posts can include a variety of features, such as pictures, videos, links and tags.

Start using a list

A SharePoint list is a handy tool for sharing contacts, calendar appointments, tasks, or data with team members and site visitors, and provides the underlying structure for organizing information on your site. This course explains the basics and shows you how to work with SharePoint lists.

Organise and Configure a SharePoint Library

There are several ways to organize and manage your SharePoint libraries. This intermediate video-based course teaches you to create and use folders, sort and filter with columns, create custom views of items in the library, and restrict access to a library.

Post to a team suite feed

Some posts or conversations are better suited for a small group of people. For these cases, you can create or start following team sites that contain their own site feeds. For convenience and visibility, posts on team sites you’re following also appear in the newsfeed on your personal site. The two videos in this training course explain how to start a feed on a team site and post to a team site feed from your personal newsfeed.

Documents and libraries

A document library provides a secure place to store files where you and your co-workers can find them easily, work on them together, and access them from any device at any time. For example, you can use a document library on a site in SharePoint Online to store all files related to a specific project or a specific client. Adding files or moving files between folders is as easy as dragging and dropping them from one location to another.

Office 365 Document Library

NOTE: Does your screen look different than this? Your administrator may have classic mode set on the document library. If so, see Introduction to libraries. If you’re a document library owner, site owner, or administrator, see Switch the default experience for document libraries from new or classic for the steps to set the default experience.

NOTE: Some features are currently only available in classic mode. Click Return to classic SharePoint in the bottom, left corner of the page to switch to classic mode.

The default site in SharePoint Online includes a document library and one is created automatically when you create a new site. You can add additional document libraries to a site as needed. This is useful, for example, if you need to restrict access to a set of files. Each document library displays a list of files, folders, and key information about each, such as who created or last modified a file. You can use this information to organize your files and make it easier to find them.

In a document library, you can:

Let’s take a look around

At the top left of the document library page is the main menu.

Office 365 Document Library Main Menu

Here you can create a new folder, document, or a link to something that is located outside the document library,

Office 365 Create a new folder or document

or upload a folder or files.

Office 365 Upload files or folder to a document library

You can also sync files with the new OneDrive sync client or create an alert to receive a notification when something has changed.

At the top right of the document library page, you can change the document library view to either list view or grid view. If using Internet Explorer, you can open the document library in Windows File Explorer, by clicking View in File Explorer. You can also save a custom view by clicking Save view or, if you are a library owner or administrator, you can manage views on the library settings page by clicking Manage views.

Office 365 Change document library view

You can add new columns and select the columns to display by clicking Document Library Add a Column Button on the far right side of the column headers if you’re in list view or, if you’re in grid view, by clicking Document Library Arrange Button and then clicking Document Library Add a Column Button on the far right side of the column headers.

Create a custom view of a document library

You can view and edit information about a file or folder, such as required properties, recent activity or who a file is shared with, in the information pane. To show or hide the information pane, select a file or folder and click Document Library Details Pane on the right-hand side of the main menu. You can also view the information pane by right-clicking a file or folder and selecting Details.

Office 365 Document Metadata Panel

When you select a folder or file, the menu at the top left of the document library changes to a list of actions you can perform on that folder or file.

Office 365 Document and folder menu

NOTE: To expose the file or folder menu when in thumbnail view, click the top right corner of the thumbnail.

You can see another version of the document menu by right-clicking the file name or, if in list view, by clicking Office 365 Document library list ellipses next to the file name. This menu contains additional actions such as Pin which highlights files so you and others can find them quickly.

Office 365 Document Library Item Menu

Create a library

What is a document library? Understand document library basics.

Version History

Track document versions and set up email alerts in a document library.

Add to libraries

Upload single or multiple documents to a document library.

Rename a file

Rename a file in a document library.

View files

View and edit files in a document library.


Your Office 365 document library offers many ways to work with your files, from creating files to copying and moving them between folders. You can view the work that you and others have done on the files, and save earlier versions that you can restore if needed. You and your team have a lot of control over where, what, and how you work with your files.

Create a new document, link, or folder in a document library

After you create a SharePoint Online document library, you’ll need to add content. You can start by creating or uploading documents and files.

Office 365 Create a new folder or document

When you choose a new Office 365 document, a generic file is created in the library (Document.docx, book.xlsx, etc), and a blank document is opened in the respective app. For more info see Create a new file in a document library.

To organize your files, you can use folders in a document library. For more info on adding folders to your library, see Create a folder in a document library

Edit files in a document library

Files associated with Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can be opened and edited online when you click the file name in a document library. When you edit in Office 365, all changes are automatically saved.

File ellipse menu with Open highlighted

When you have a desktop app such as Word, it will show up when you open or edit the file. If you choose a desktop app, the document will open in the app and you can edit it like any other file. Unlike the online version of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, you need to explicitly save the document before you exit to keep changes.

If you don’t have an app associated with a file, you’ll get an option to download the file. See Edit a document in a document library for more info on opening and editing files.

Delete files from a document library

If an item in a document library is no longer needed, you can delete it. When you delete a folder, SharePoint Online also deletes any files or folders that are contained in it. See Delete a folder, file, or link from a document library for more info.

Delete icon and link highlighted on the top link bar

If you delete something but need to get it back, you may be able to restore it from the recycle bin. See Restore deleted content in the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site for more info.

Check files in or out for exclusive editing

When you check out a file, you lock out others from making any changes. This helps prevent coworkers from undoing or overwriting each other’s changes.

Ellipses with check out menu, with check out highlighted

While you have a file checked out, nobody else can check it out or edit it. When you check the file back in, others can see the changes you’ve made. For more info see Check out or check in files in a document library.

See activity on files in a document library

When working with a team, you can watch file activity such as adding, deleting, and editing in a document library to be sure things are on track. You can see file activity for a single item, or an overview of all activity in a document library.

Recent activity list

You can expand some items under recent activity for more detail where files were updated. See File activity in a document library for more info on viewing file activity.

View and work with version history of files in a document library

The SharePoint Online version history creates a new version of files that are saved or checked in to a document library.

Version History dialog box with 3 versions.

In the Version History, you can view comments that were added when the file was checked in, the file size, and the date when it was checked in or saved to a document library. You can also choose to restore or delete a version of the file. See View the version history for a file in a document library for more info.

View and edit file information in a document library

Your document library stores individual properties such as the file name, title, and hashtags for your files, folders, and links as well as the items themselves.

Office 365 Document Metadata Panel

You can view and edit the name, title, or hashtag properties on each item in your document library. See View and edit information about a file, folder, or link in a document library for steps to see and edit these properties.

A library is a location on a site where you can upload, create, update, and collaborate on files with team members. Each library displays a list of files and key information about the files, such as who was the last person to modify a file. Most sites include a library when you create the site. For example, a team site has a Documents library where you can organize and share your documents.

Document library

As you need more libraries, you can choose from several ready-to-use library apps and add those to your site. You can also customize libraries in several ways. For example, you can control how documents are viewed, managed, and created. or track versions of files, including how many and which type of version. You can even create custom views, forms, and workflows to help you manage your projects and business processes.

A marketing team at Contoso creates a team site where they plan to manage projects and documents. They pick a site owner to manage the site. The site owner gets the Full Control permission level when she is added to the Owners group for the site. She shares the site and gives everyone permission to contribute to it. The team decides to use the Documents library for managing press releases, budget files, contracts, proposals, and other team documents.

The site owner uploads important documents to get the team started using the library as a central location. Then she turns on versioning, so the team has a history of how files evolve and can restore a previous version, if necessary. The site owner also adds standard templates to the library for marketing reports, sales contracts, campaign plans, and budget worksheets. Each template contains the company logo and a format that everyone has agreed to use. When members create a new file from the document library, they can easily select which template they want to use.

As team members add files and collaborate on documents, they organize the library by adding columns and creating views to help them find documents quickly. For example, the site owner adds a “Project Name” column so members can filter or sort by that column. Other team members add public views that group by fiscal quarter, and filter for contracts that expire within six months. Each member also creates personal views to help them find information quickly and complete their work.

After much discussion at a staff meeting, the team decides to set alerts at the library level to report updates once a week. Each member can decide how to set up additional alerts or RSS feeds on specific files, as necessary.

Library tab with RSS alert highlighted

The team also commits to an important “best practice” in this new world of collaboration. When members want to share a document, they resist the temptation to attach it to an email message, and instead email a link to the document. Emailing a link is easy to do from the library and points people to the latest version on the team site.

A critical responsibility for this team is proposing marketing campaigns to drive sales and revenue. When team members develop a new campaign plan, they co-author documents and track minor versions of the files. Co-authoring lets multiple people edit a document at the same time, without having to worry about reconciling changes. If they make a mistake in one version of a document, they can restore a previous version. When they finish the campaign plan, they can create a major version and then send it for approval by their legal department and their manager. When the file is approved, other employees in the company can view the file.

The site owner researches the online documentation and training, and learns how to set up a workflow, associate it to the library, and automate the process of gathering feedback, collecting signatures, and publishing the final document.

After three months of use, the Documents library and site have become critical to the marketing team and helped improve their productivity and visibility throughout their enterprise. They can’t imagine working without it, and are exploring other ways to use SharePoint technologies to collaborate better.

Here are some ways to work with libraries and make them more useful for your group (organized loosely from basic to more advanced):

Use and create views     You can use a view to see the files in a library that are most important to you or that best fit a purpose. The contents of the library don’t change, but each view organizes or filters the files to make them easier to find and to browse in a meaningful way. For more information about views, see Create, change, or delete a view of a list or library.

Picture library view bar with Modify View selected

Track versions     If you need to keep previous versions of files, libraries can help you track, store, and restore the files. You can choose to track all versions in the same way. Or you can choose to designate some versions as major, such as adding a new chapter to a manual, and some versions as minor, such as fixing a spelling error. To help manage storage space, you can optionally choose the number of each type of version that you want to store.

TIP:  If your team plans to use co-authoring, we recommend turning on at least major versioning in the library, just in case someone makes a mistake and uploads a document of the same name in a library where everyone is co-authoring. This way, if you lose changes, you can restore a previous version of the document.

For more information about versioning, see Enable and configure versioning for a list or library.

Co-author or check-out of files     When you edit a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint document from a library without checking it out, other people can edit it at the same time (that’s co-authoring). When you check out a file, you ensure that only one person can edit the file until it is checked in. You can require documents to be checked out in libraries that contain sensitive documents, or when you want to carefully track the evolution of documents. But be aware that requiring checkout will make it impossible for people to co-author documents. Using check-out, people will be prompted to leave a comment about what they changed in the document, but check-out will also slow down the editing and reviewing processes. For more information, see Document collaboration and co-authoring or Check out, check in, or discard changes to files in a library.

Edit files from desktop programs    When you store documents on a SharePoint site, you can create, edit, and co-author documents directly from compatible desktop programs, such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, without even going to the site. For example, you can edit a PowerPoint presentation at the same time as other people are editing it (also known as co-authoring). You can also manage check-in and checkout directly from PowerPoint. In addition, you can use OneDrive for Business or Outlook to take library contents offline, work with them from a remote location, and then smoothly synchronize changes when you come back online.

Stay informed about changes    To stay updated when documents in a library change, set up alerts, subscribe to RSS feeds, or follow documents. The main difference between alerts, RSS, and following are where you receive the notifications. Both alerts and RSS feeds inform you about updates, and both allow you to customize how much information you receive. You can set up alerts or RSS to find out when anything changes in a library. If you care about only a specific document, set up an alert or follow the document. Alerts can arrive as email or text messages. RSS notifications arrive in a consolidated feed that you can read in Outlook or another feed reader. If you follow a document, you’ll receive a notification in your Newsfeed (if your organization is using Newsfeed). For more information about notifications, see Create an alert or subscribe to an RSS feed.

Require document approval     You can require documents to be approved before everyone can see them. Documents remain in a pending state until they are approved or rejected by someone who has permission to do so. You can control which groups of users can view a document before it is approved. This feature can be helpful if your library contains important guidelines or procedures that need to be final before others see them.

Set permissions    SharePoint groups and permission levels help you to efficiently manage access to contents. By default, permissions on libraries, folders within libraries, and documents are inherited from the site. Assigning unique permissions to a specific library or document can help you to protect sensitive content, such as contracts or budget information, without restricting access to the rest of the site. For more information about permissions, see Understanding permission levels in SharePoint.

Create workflows     A document library or content type can use workflows that your organization has defined for business processes, such as managing document approval or review. Your group can apply business processes to its documents, known as workflows, which specify actions that need to be taken in a sequence, such as approving documents. A SharePoint workflow is an automated way of moving documents or items through a sequence of actions or tasks. Three workflows are available to libraries by default: Approval, which routes a document to a group of people for approval; Collect Feedback, which routes a document to a group of people for feedback and returns the document to the person who initiated the workflow as a compilation; and Collect Signatures, which routes a document to a group of people to collect their digital signatures.

NOTE:  Only the three-state workflow is available in SharePoint Foundation.

For more information about workflows, see About the workflows included with SharePoint.

Define content types     If your group works with several types of files, such as worksheets, presentations, and documents, you can extend the functionality of your library by enabling and defining multiple content types. Content types add flexibility and consistency across multiple libraries. Each content type can specify a template and even workflow processes. The templates act as a starting point, for formatting and any boilerplate text and for properties that apply to the documents of that type, such as department name or contract number.

Audit Tracking    If you have a group of sensitive files, and it would be helpful to know how the documents were being used, you can define a policy that allows you to enable audit tracking of events, such as file changes, copies, or deletion.

Set policies    Policy settings enable document expiration, automatic deletion, or periodic review (through a workflow) of documents that have reached a specified age. As libraries evolve, using these disposition settings can save time and effort over trying to manually clean up hard disk space that is packed full or to avoid reaching quota limits.

NOTE:  Policy settings are not available in SharePoint Foundation.

Use a Document Center site    You can use a Document Center site when you want to create, manage, and store large numbers of documents. A Document Center is designed to serve as a centralized repository for managing many documents. Features, such as metadata and tree view navigation, content types, and Web Parts, help you organize and retrieve documents. “Content stewards” can quickly configure metadata-driven navigation to perform well for most libraries without explicitly creating indexes. Or content stewards can create indexes to enhance the performance over a wider range of filters and views. You can use a Document Center site as an authoring environment (where users check files in and out and create folder structures for those files) or a as content archive (where users only view or upload documents).

NOTE:  Document Center is not available in SharePoint Foundation.

The way that you organize your files in a library depends on the needs of your group and on how you prefer to store and search for your information. Some planning can help you set up the structure that works best for your group. Libraries have several features that help you work with multiple files in one library. However, multiple libraries may suit your group better.

You may want one library to serve diverse needs. For example, you might have several projects within the same group, or multiple groups working on the same project. Consider using a single library when:

  • Your group needs to see summary information about, or different views of, the same set of files. For example, a manager may want to see all files grouped by department or by due date.
  • People want to search for the files in the same location on a site.
  • You want to apply the same settings to files, such as tracking versions of files or requiring approval.
  • The groups that are working with the library share similar characteristics, such as the same levels of permission.
  • You want to analyze information about the files in a spreadsheet, or to receive consolidated updates about the files.

To work efficiently with documents in one library, you can organize files in a library by adding columns, defining views, or creating folders.

You may want to create multiple libraries when there are distinct differences among the sets of files that you want to store and manage, or among the groups of people who work with the files. Use multiple libraries when:

  • The types of files that you want to store and manage are distinct, and you don’t expect people to frequently view summaries of the files or to search the files together.
  • The groups of people who are using the files are distinct and have distinctly different permission levels.
  • You need to apply different settings, such as versioning or approval, to different sets of files.
  • You don’t need to analyze the files together or receive consolidated updates about the files.
  • You want to provide different sets of options for creating new files, or you want the options on the New menu of a library to appear in a different order.

The following are some ways that you can work efficiently with multiple libraries.

Set up site templates and columns    If your organization wants to establish some consistent settings across its libraries, it can set up site templates and site columns. You can share the settings across multiple libraries so that you don’t have to recreate the settings each time.

Send files to another location    If you want a file to be available in multiple libraries, you can store it in one library, and then send a copy to other libraries. You can choose to be reminded to update any copies of the document when you make changes to the original.

Create library templates    If you want to establish some uniform settings for libraries or reuse characteristics across libraries, you can save a library as a template. Library templates are available as an option on the Add an App page on your site.

There are several ways to organize files in a library. You can add columns, define views, and create folders. Each approach has its own advantages, and you can combine each approach together to fit the unique needs of your library and your team.

By default, libraries track the name of a file, as well as information about the status of a file, such as whether it is checked in. But, you can specify additional columns that help your group to categorize and track files, such as a campaign name or a project number, or other information that’s important to your team. You have several options for the type of column that you create, including a single line of text, a drop-down list of options, a number that is calculated from other columns, or even the name and picture of a person on your site.

Columns provide column headers that make it easy for people to sort and filter documents. When you display files in a library, you can temporarily sort or filter the files by pointing to the name of a column, and then clicking the down arrow beside the name. This is helpful if you need to see the files in a certain way, but you have to repeat the steps the next time you view the library.

Will users often want to see: all the documents related to a specific project, all documents that belong to a particular department, or group the documents by the month they are due? If you expect to view the files in a certain way frequently, you can define a view. You can use this view any time that you work with the library. When you create a view, it is added to the Current Views drop-down list located in the library ribbon.

A library view is a selection of columns on a page that displays items in a library, and often defines a specific sort order, filter, grouping, and custom layout. Libraries can have personal views and public views. Anyone who has been assigned to the Members group on the site (which has the Contribute permission level) can create a personal view to see the files in a certain way or to filter for only the files that they want to see. If you have permission to design a library, you can create a public view that anyone can use when viewing the library. You can also make any public view the default view, so that people automatically see that view of the library.

If members of your group view the libraries on a mobile device, you can even create mobile views that provide limits, such as number of items displayed in a view, that are optimal for the bandwidth and limitations of the devices.

Folders are containers that use can use to group and manage content in a library or list. If folders are enabled for the library, you can add folders to most types of libraries. If your library contains many items, folders also improve the efficiency of accessing those items. When you create a folder, behind the scenes you are creating an internal index. This internal index is also created for the root folder, or top-level of a library or list. When you access items in a folder, you are effectively using this internal index to access the data.

If a library contains many items that can be grouped in a particular way, you can use folders to organize content within the library. Good examples of groups include projects, teams, departments, product categories, age ranges, alphabetical listings, and alphabetical subgroups (A-C, D-F, and so on). Folders can help people to scan and manage lots of files in a familiar way.

Folders in library

By default, a library with folders enabled displays folders in the default view of the library without any filters. This is useful because users can choose the appropriate folder when they insert new documents. Displaying all the folders also makes it less likely that items will be incorrectly added outside the folders in the library. You can easily reorganize documents into different library folders by using the Open with Explorer command available on the library ribbon.

NOTE:  A library view can be set to Sort only by specified criteria, in which case the folders do not appear first before any items in the view. You may not want to use this view sort option if you want users to easily locate the correct folder.

Although library folders do not display in the site navigation, the site owner or a user with permission to design a site can enable the Tree View, which displays a Site Content section in site navigation, and lets you expand, collapse, and easily navigate folders of libraries.

Tree View on Site

All three approaches can work together. The same columns you use to track documents in the default view of a library can be used to create a view with several filter criteria. People can sort and filter a view dynamically by clicking the column headers to find content at the spur of the moment. If a folder structure has been defined in the library, you can “flatten” a library view by setting the Show all items without folders option in the Folders section when you create or modify the view. Each approach can complement the other to get the right content at the right time and in the right way for you.

Some libraries are created for you when you create a new site, such as the Documents library in a team site. You can customize these libraries for your purposes, or you can create your own additional libraries. Each type of library has a specific purpose and some have a different set of behaviors and features.

IMPORTANT:  You may have fewer or more libraries available on your site, depending on the version of SharePoint that your site is based on, the plan of Office 365 your organization subscribes to, or whether certain features are enabled on your site.

Asset library     To share and manage digital media assets, such as image, audio and video files, use an asset library. An asset library makes it easier for users to discover and reuse digital media files that others have already created, such as logos and corporate images. An asset library also provides content types with properties and views for managing and browsing media assets, such as thumbnails and metadata keywords. For example, you may want to manage and store branded images and reusable content fragments from applications so they are available throughout your enterprise and consistently used.

Dashboards library    Contains Web Part pages, Web Part pages with Status Lists, and PerformancePoint deployed dashboards.

Data Connections library     To simplify the maintenance and management of data connections, use a data connection library. A data connection library is a centralized place to store Office Data Connection (ODC) files. Each of these files (.odc) contains information about how to locate, log on, query, and access an external data source. Centralizing ODC files in a data connection library also makes it possible to share, manage, and search data connection files from within a SharePoint site, and helps ensure that business data and reports, especially spreadsheets, maintain a consistent set of values and formula results as “one version of the truth”.

NOTE:  To simplify the maintenance and management of data connection files for PerformancePoint, use the data connection library for PerformancePoint. In this library, you can store ODC and Universal Data connection (UDC) files.

Document library     For many file types, including documents and spreadsheets, use a document library. You can store other kinds of files in a document library, although some file types are blocked for security reasons. When you work with programs that are not blocked, you can create those files from the library. For example, your marketing team may have its own document library for planning materials, news releases, and publications.

Form library    If you need to manage a group of XML-based business forms, use a form library. For example, your organization may want to use a form library for expense reports. Setting up a form library requires an XML editor or XML form design program, such as Microsoft InfoPath. The form that people fill out is just an .xml file that contains the data (and only the data) that was entered into the form, such as the expense date and the amount. Everything else that makes up the expense report is provided by the form template. After people fill out forms, you can merge the form data or export it for analysis.

Picture library    To share a collection of digital pictures or graphics, use a picture library. Although pictures can be stored in other types of SharePoint libraries, picture libraries have several advantages. For example, from a picture library you can view pictures in a slide show, download pictures to your computer, and edit pictures with compatible graphics programs, such as Microsoft Paint. Consider creating a picture library if you want to store pictures of team events or product launches. You can also link to pictures in your library from elsewhere on your site, such as from wikis, and blogs.

Record library     To keep a central repository for storing and managing your organization’s records or important business documents, use a record library. For example, your organization may need to adhere to compliance regulations which require an organized process for managing pertinent documents. A Records Center site can contain a number of record libraries for storing different types of records. For each library you can set policies that determine what records to store, how to route and manage the documents, and how long these records must be retained.

Report library     To simplify the creation, management and delivery of web pages, documents and key performance indicators (KPI) of metrics and goals, use a report library. The report library is a central place where you can create and save reports, such as Excel workbooks, and dashboard pages. When you publish an Excel workbook to a reports library, it is single-click enabled to open in browser view, which is a convenient way to see the workbook without adding it to a Web Parts page.

Process Diagram Library (Metric and US Units)    To store and share diagram process documents, such as those created with Microsoft Visio, use a Process Diagram Library. The Metric and US Units libraries are tailored to their respective measurements.

Wiki Page Library    To create a collection of connected wiki pages, use a wiki page library. A wiki enables multiple people to gather information in a format that is easy to create and modify. You can also add wiki pages that contain pictures, tables, hyperlinks, and internal links, to your library. For example, if your team creates a wiki site for a project, the site can store tips and tricks in a series of pages that connect to each other.

NOTE: Depending on your site and configuration, additional system libraries, such as the style library, site assets library, and site pages library, are automatically created for you. However, you cannot create these specific libraries through the user interface.

You can drag files from your computer to upload them to your OneDrive for Business library or SharePoint team site. You can also browse and upload your file.

NOTE: If you’re using SharePoint Online or Office 365, see Upload a folder or files to a document library.

Updated October 18, 2016 thanks to customer feedback.

NOTE:  Before you can upload or create files in a library, your admin must give you permission to contribute to the library. Also, some file types in the library are blocked for security reasons. See Types of files that cannot be added to a list or library for more info.

See how to copy files and folders from your computer

Watch this video to see how to copy files to OneDrive for Business and your team site.

Upload files from Explorer to your OneDrive for Business or Sites library

  1. Open OneDrive or the SharePoint site library

.Screenshot of a document library in SharePoint Server 2016

2. Click Upload at the top of the documents library

Document library with Upload button highlighted

3. In the Add a document dialog box, you can click Browse to upload an individual file. Depending on the version of SharePoint you’re using, you may also be able to upload multiple files by holding down either the CTRL or Shift key, and selecting more than one file.

4. When you’ve selected the file or files to upload, click OK.

Data and lists

Create a list in SharePoint 2016 or 2013

  1. Click Settings Settings icon and then click Add an app.

Add an application (list, library)

2. Type the type of list template you want (custom, task, calendar, etc.) into the search box, and click SearchSearch box magnifying glass icon

Search for a calendar list with build-in calendar highlighted

3. Click the List template app you want use.

Apps to add screen

4. Type in a Name (required).The name appears at the top of the list in most views, becomes part of the web address for the list page, and appears in site navigation to help users find the list. You can change the name of a list, but the web address will remain the same.You can also click Advanced Options. Advanced Options lets you put an optional Description and additional information, depending on the particular list app.New app screen with fields filled in

  1. Click OK.

Add a list to a page in SharePoint 2016 or 2013

  1. On the page that you want to add the list or library, click Page and then click Edit. If you don’t see the Page tab, click settings Office 365 Settings button , and then click Edit Page.Edit the Page

    NOTE:  If the Edit command is disabled or doesn’t appear, you might not have permission to edit the page.

  2. Click the place on the page where you want to display the list or library, and click Insert and then click App Part.
  3. Select the App Part for the list or library and then click Add. You should see any lists you created in Add apps.
  4. When you’re finished editing the page, click the Page tab, and click Save. In some cases, you have the option to Save as Draft or Save and Publish.

IMPORTANT: Some pages can’t be edited, such as the Site Contents page.

Here’s an example of a list that was added to a page by using the previous steps.

List on a page

Minimize or restore a list or library on a SharePoint 2016 or 2013 page

  1. On the page where you want to minimize or restore the list or library, click Page and then click Edit.Edit the Page
  2. Point to the list or library, click the down arrow, click Minimize or Restore depending on the current position of the list or library and then click OK.Click the settings down arrow, then click Minimize
  3. When you’re finished editing the page, click Save. In some cases, you have the option to Save as Draft or Save and Publish.

Create a list by importing a spreadsheet

You can save time creating a list by importing a spreadsheet that has the columns and data that you want for the list. Importing a spreadsheet is also a way to create a list without the default Title column. For more info, see Create a list based on a spreadsheet.

Top of Page

Saving a custom list template

If you’ve created a list format that you’d like to reuse, then you can save it as a list template. A list template can be uploaded to the apps selection in SharePoint from which you can create new lists. For more info on saving list templates, see Manage list templates.

Delete a list from a page in SharePoint 2016 or 2013

NOTE:  This procedure does not delete the list from a site. It deletes the list only from the page.

  1. On the page where you want to delete the list, click Page and then click Edit.Edit the Page
  2. Point to the list you want to delete, click the down arrow, click Delete, and then click OK.The app part settings list with delete highlighted
  3. When you’re finished editing the page, click Save. In some cases, you have the option to Save as Draft or Save and Publish.

Delete a list completely in SharePoint 2016 or 2013

  1. Go to the list that you want to delete.
  2. Click the List tab and then click List Settings.List Settings on ribbon
  3. On the list settings page, click Delete this list, and then click OK.Delete this list under permissions and management

    NOTE:  If List Settings are disabled or Delete this list isn’t on the list settings page, you may not have the necessary permissions to modify the settings or delete the list, contact your administrator.

Create a view

NOTE: If you are creating views that will be accessed by phones and other mobile devices, you need to consider the capabilities of the mobile devices. To learn more, see Configure a SharePoint site for mobile devices.

To create a view:

  1. Go to the list or library where you want to create a view, click the List or Library tab, and then click Create View.

    NOTE:  If Create View is disabled, you don’t have the permissions to create a view. For information about the permissions you need to create personal and public views, see the Settings for views section below.

    The SharePoint Library Create view button on ribbon.

  2. On the Settings page, choose a view type. For information on each type, see Types of views you can choose below.
  3. In the View Name box, type the name for your view. Select Make this the default view if you want to make this the default view for the list or library. Only a public view can be the default view for a list or library.Create View Settings page
  4. In the Audience section, under View Audience, select Create a Personal view or Create a Public view. Create a personal view when you want a view just for yourself. Create a public view when you want everyone who uses the list to see it.

    NOTE:  If Create a Public View is disabled, you don’t have the permissions to create a public view for this list or library.

  5. In the Columns section, select the columns that you want in the view and clear the columns that you don’t want to appear. Next to the column numbers, select the order that you want to columns to appear in the view.
  6. Configure the other settings for your view, such as Sort and Filter, and click OK at the bottom of the page. For descriptions of all of the settings you can choose, see Settings for views below.

Change a view

Use the following steps to change a view, such as making it the default view, adding or removing columns, and changing the sort order of items in the view.

NOTE: Once a view is created, you cannot change the view type (for example, you cannot switch from Standard View to Datasheet View, or Gantt view to Calendar view, or vice-versa). You will have to create a new view with the view type you want. If you are just looking to edit columns and rows in lists or libraries quickly, however, you can temporarily change Standard View to Datasheet View by using Quick Edit. To do this, go to the List or Library tab in the ribbon and click Quick Edit. When you are done, the view will go back to what it was previously. Note that you cannot use Quick Edit on views where items are grouped. For more information on Datasheet view, see the Datasheet view section below in Types of views you can choose.

  1. Go to the list or library where you want to change a view and click the List or Library tab.
  2. Click Modify View.

    NOTE:  If Modify View is disabled, you don’t have the permissions to modify the current view. You can, however, modify your personal views. For information about the permissions you need to create personal and public views, see the section on Settings for views later in the article.

  3. Select the view you want to change from the Current View drop-down list.
  4. Make your changes, and then click OK at the bottom of the page. For descriptions of all of the settings you might want to modify, see Settings for views below.

    NOTE: Views in the Current View drop-down list are ordered alphabetically, and cannot be changed. You can, however, change the name of your view so that the first letter is in the alphabetical order you want.

Delete a view

Use the following steps to delete a view.

  1. Go to the list or library for which you want to delete a view, and click the List or Library tab.
  2. Select the view you want to delete from Current View drop-down list.Dropdown list of current list views
  3. Click Modify View.

    NOTE:  If Modify View is disabled, you do not have the necessary permissions to modify the current view. You can, however, modify your personal views. For information about the permissions you need to create personal and public views, see Settings for views later in this article.

    Modify view button with dropdown opened

  4. Scroll down the settings page to the Views section, and click the view you want to delete.
  5. In the top area of the view, click Delete.Delete View button

    NOTE:  If Delete is not an option, this may be the default view for a list or library, and you cannot delete a default view. You must first modify another view and make it the default.

  6. When prompted, click OK.

Types of views you can choose

View Types page

NOTE:  Once created, you cannot change the format of a view, such as from a calendar to a Gantt view. However, you can create additional views of the same data for each new format you want to use.

Here are the types of views you can choose from:

Standard View    This view displays your list and library items one row following another. Standard view is the default for most types of lists and libraries. You can customize the view in many different ways, such as by adding or removing columns from the view.

A standard view

Calendar View    This view displays your list and library in a format similar to a wall calendar. You can apply daily, weekly, or monthly views in this format. This view can be helpful if you want to see the items in the list or library chronologically. To use this view, your list or library must contain columns with start dates and end dates for the calendar items.

Calendar view

Datasheet View    This view displays list and library items in a grid, similar to a spreadsheet. This view, also known as Quick Edit, can be helpful if you have to edit many items in a list or library at the same time. This view is also helpful if you want to export your data to a spreadsheet or database program. There are some limitations to Datasheet View – not all Excel functionality is available, for example. If an item in a column is grayed out, then that type of column is not editable.

Datasheet view

Gantt View    This view displays list and library items in bars that track progress. A Gantt view can help you manage projects. You can use this view, for example, to see which tasks overlap each other and to visualize overall progress. To use this view, your list or library must contain columns with start dates and end dates.

Gantt view

Access View    Use Microsoft Access to create forms and reports that are based on the list or library. Only available when you have Microsoft Access installed.

Create a view with Microsoft Access

Custom View in SharePoint Designer     Start and use the SharePoint Designer app to create advanced custom views. This requires advanced permissions and SharePoint Designer.

Image of SharePoint Designer 2013 front page.

Existing view     If an existing view is almost the view that you want, you can save time by using an existing view as the starting point for creating your new view. Under the heading Start from an existing view, you’ll see a list of your current views. Click a view to create a new view.

Start from existing view

Settings for views

Views have many settings to help make it easier for you to quickly find the information that you need in a list or library. The following are the settings for SharePoint views. All settings are not available for all types of views. The settings for calendar views differ from other types of views.

The maximum number of items in a view is 5000. You can manage the number of items in a view by using the filter and item limit settings. See Manage lists and libraries with many items for more information.

  • Default view    All lists and libraries have a default view, which is the view that people see when they go to the list or library. You can change the default view to any public view for that list or library. but you cannot set a personal view as the default view. To delete a view that is the default view, you must first make another public view the default for that list or library.

    NOTE:  If Make this the default view is not displayed on the create or edit view pages, you do not have the permissions to create a public view or the view is a personal view. To create a public view you need to be in the Designer group for the list or library, or have the equivalent permissions. See Understanding permission levels in SharePoint for more information.

  • Audience    When you create a view, you can set the audience for the view to be Personal View or Public View. A personal view is a view that only you can see. A public view is a view that anyone can see.You cannot change a personal view to a public view or a public view to a personal view. You can use a public view as the starting point for personal or public views. You can use a personal view as the starting point only for personal views.If Create View is disabled when you try to create a view, you do not have the proper permissions to create a view. If Create View is available, but the Create a Public View option is disabled you need to be in the Designer group or equivalent permissions. With Create a Personal View, you need to be in the Member group for the list or library, or have the equivalent permissions.
  • Columns    The columns in a view contain the information that you need to see for list or library items. Columns, in combination with other features of views, such as filters, can help you see only the information that is most important to your work. This is especially helpful if the list or library contains lots of items. For more information about working with columns to create custom views, see Create a column in a list or library.
  • Gantt Columns    Select the columns that will be in the Gantt view. Title is a required text field. Start Date, and Due Date are required date fields. When you select a column, such as Title, if no option displays in the drop-down list, you must create the column to support this view.
  • Sort    Set the order in which items appear in the view. You can have up to two criteria. For example, show the items in a task list sorted by priority and then by due date.
  • Filter    Configure a view to display a subset of the items in a list or library by filtering them with information in columns of the list or library. For example, a view can show the documents in a library that are for a specific project.

    TIP:  You can use calculated columns or filters that use calculations, such as [Today] to show items when the date matches today or [Me] to show items for the user of the view. You can also combine simple equations with functions. For example, to show items created in the last seven days, filter on the Created column, set the operator to is less than, and set the value to [Today]-7 (no spaces). See Examples of common formulas in SharePoint Lists for more information.

  • Tabular View    Provides check-boxes for each item so that users can select multiple list or library items to perform bulk operations. This can save lots of time if many items in a list or library must be changed. For example, a user can select and check out multiple documents.
  • Group By    Group list and library items by information in the columns. For example, group the items in a task list by priority and then percent complete.
  • Totals    Displays summary calculations for the columns in the view, such as: count, average, maximum, minimum. By setting the title column to Count in a document library, for example, the view will display the number of documents in the view and in the groups in the view. The columns that are available for totals and the settings available for each column differ depending on the type of column, such as number, and the type of list or library the view is being created for.
  • Style    Determines the layout for the view, such as newsletter. All styles are not available for all view types.
    • Basic Table    Displays items in rows.
      A standard view
    • Boxed    Displays the items in the list using a layout similar to business cards. This style is available only for lists.
      Boxed style view
    • Boxed, no labels    Similar to the boxed style, but the labels for the columns are not in the view. This style is available only for lists.
    • Default    The default view varies, depending on the type and configuration of the list or library.
    • Document details    Displays the files in a library using a layout similar to business cards. This style is available for most libraries, but not lists.
      Document details view
    • Newsletter    Displays items in rows with lines between the rows.
      Newsletter styl view
    • Newsletter, no lines    Displays items in rows of alternating shades, without the lines between the rows.
      Newsletter no lines view
    • Preview Pane Displays the name of the items on the left side of the page. When you point to the name of an item, the columns selected for the view are displayed on the right side of the page.
      Preview Pane View Style
    • Shaded    Displays items in rows of alternating shades.
      Shaded view
  • Folders    Select Show items in folders to display the list or library folders in the view with the items. Select Show all items without folders to display only the list or library items in the view, also referred to as a flat view. You may also be able to select whether the view that you are creating is applicable in all folders, in only the top-level folder, or in folders of a specific content type.
  • Item limit    You can specify how many items are displayed at the same time (batches) in each view or the total number of items that the view will display. The larger the batch of items in a view, the longer it takes to download in the browser.
  • Mobile    You can specify that this view is for mobile devices, is the default mobile view for mobile devices, and the number of items to display in the list view Web Part for this view. This option is not available for all lists and libraries. The view must be a public view.

Toggle content goes here, click edit button to change this text.

Toggle content goes here, click edit button to change this text.


Introduction to lists

Learn what a SharePoint list is and see some examples of different types of lists.

Add items to a list

Add items to a SharePoint list, either individually or by pasting from a spreadsheet.

Edit or delete items in a list

Edit or delete list items quickly with Quick Edit or edit full details by opening an individual item.

Find information in a list with sorting, filtering, and views

Sort, filter, and use views to find information in a list.

Create a personal view of a list

Create a personal view of a list to organize and display information. Applies to many types of lists and libraries.

Delete a list from a page in SharePoint 2016 or 2013

NOTE:  This procedure does not delete the list from a site. It deletes the list only from the page.

  1. On the page where you want to delete the list, click Page and then click Edit.

Edit the Page

2. Point to the list you want to delete, click the down arrow, click Delete, and then click OK

The app part settings list with delete highlighted

3. When you’re finished editing the page, click Save. In some cases, you have the option to Save as Draft or Save and Publish.

Delete a list completely in SharePoint 2016 or 2013

Go to the list that you want to delete.

Click the List tab and then click List Settings.

List Settings on ribbon

On the list settings page, click Delete this list, and then click OK.

Delete this list under permissions and management

NOTE:  If List Settings are disabled or Delete this list isn’t on the list settings page, you may not have the necessary permissions to modify the settings or delete the list, contact your administrator.

Restore a list item using the Recycle bin

Depending on how you or your admin has set up the site, you can restore the list from the SharePoint Recycle bin for up to 90 days.

For more on the Recycle bin, see Restore items in the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site.

If you’ve cleared your SharePoint recycle bin, see how to restore from the Second-Stage recycle bin at Restore deleted items from the site collection recycle bin.


Your Office 365 document library offers many ways to work with your files, from creating files to copying and moving them between folders. You can view the work that you and others have done on the files, and save earlier versions that you can restore if needed. You and your team have a lot of control over where, what, and how you work with your files.

Create a new document, link, or folder in a document library

After you create a SharePoint Online document library, you’ll need to add content. You can start by creating or uploading documents and files.

Office 365 Create a new folder or document

When you choose a new Office 365 document, a generic file is created in the library (Document.docx, book.xlsx, etc), and a blank document is opened in the respective app. For more info see Create a new file in a document library.

To organize your files, you can use folders in a document library. For more info on adding folders to your library, see Create a folder in a document library

Edit files in a document library

Files associated with Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint can be opened and edited online when you click the file name in a document library. When you edit in Office 365, all changes are automatically saved.

File ellipse menu with Open highlighted

When you have a desktop app such as Word, it will show up when you open or edit the file. If you choose a desktop app, the document will open in the app and you can edit it like any other file. Unlike the online version of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, you need to explicitly save the document before you exit to keep changes.

If you don’t have an app associated with a file, you’ll get an option to download the file. See Edit a document in a document library for more info on opening and editing files.

Delete files from a document library

If an item in a document library is no longer needed, you can delete it. When you delete a folder, SharePoint Online also deletes any files or folders that are contained in it. See Delete a folder, file, or link from a document library for more info.

Delete icon and link highlighted on the top link bar

If you delete something but need to get it back, you may be able to restore it from the recycle bin. See Restore deleted content in the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site for more info.

Check files in or out for exclusive editing

When you check out a file, you lock out others from making any changes. This helps prevent coworkers from undoing or overwriting each other’s changes.

Ellipses with check out menu, with check out highlighted

While you have a file checked out, nobody else can check it out or edit it. When you check the file back in, others can see the changes you’ve made. For more info see Check out or check in files in a document library.

See activity on files in a document library

When working with a team, you can watch file activity such as adding, deleting, and editing in a document library to be sure things are on track. You can see file activity for a single item, or an overview of all activity in a document library.

Recent activity list

You can expand some items under recent activity for more detail where files were updated. See File activity in a document library for more info on viewing file activity.

View and work with version history of files in a document library

The SharePoint Online version history creates a new version of files that are saved or checked in to a document library.

Version History dialog box with 3 versions.

In the Version History, you can view comments that were added when the file was checked in, the file size, and the date when it was checked in or saved to a document library. You can also choose to restore or delete a version of the file. See View the version history for a file in a document library for more info.

View and edit file information in a document library

Your document library stores individual properties such as the file name, title, and hashtags for your files, folders, and links as well as the items themselves.

Office 365 Document Metadata Panel

You can view and edit the name, title, or hashtag properties on each item in your document library. See View and edit information about a file, folder, or link in a document library for steps to see and edit these properties.

When you set up metadata navigation in large lists and libraries, you make it easier for users to find content. Metadata navigation enables users to filter and find content in lists and libraries by using a navigation tree. They can also apply Key Filters, which work in combination with the navigation tree to refine the list of items that display.When you set up metadata navigation, you can determine which columns from the library appear in the tree, and you can specify Key Filters. The following illustration shows a simple navigation tree that is based on content type.
You can set up metadata navigation for a tree control in the left-hand panel
By default, metadata navigation and filtering is enabled on most sites. If it is not enabled for your site, you can enable it on the Site Features pages for your site.You must be a Site Owner or a Site Collection Administrator to enable metadata navigation and filtering.Enable metadata navigation

  1. Click Settings Office 365 Settings button , and then click Site Settings.
  2. Under Site Actions, click Manage site features.
  3. In the Features list, find Metadata Navigation and Filtering, and then click Activate.

Set up metadata navigation

You must have a least the Manage Lists permission level to set up metadata navigation for a list or library.

  1. Navigate to the list or library for which you want to configure metadata navigation and click the title.
  2. Click the List or Library tab on the ribbon, and then click List Settings or Library Settings.
  3. Under General Settings, click Metadata navigation settings.

    NOTE: By default, metadata navigation and filtering is enabled in most sites. If you don’t see the Metadata navigation settings option, it might be disabled on your site. To learn how to enable it, see Enable metadata navigation and filtering.

  4. In the Configure Navigation Hierarchies section, select the field or fields that you want to display in the navigation hierarchy and then click Add.Metadata Navigation settings let you specify the metadata fields that can be added to a navigation tree control
  5. By default, the navigation tree displays folders. If you do not want folders to display, select Folders, and then click Remove.
  6. In the Configure Key Filters section, select the fields that you want to add as Key Filters, and then click Add.
  7. In the Configure automatic column indexing for this list, specify whether you want to create indexes automatically on this list. This improves the performance of the queries that users perform when they use the navigation tree and Key Filter columns that you specified. It is recommended that you select the option Automatically manage column indices on this list.
  8. Click OK.

A marketing team at Contoso creates a team site where they plan to manage projects and documents. They pick a site owner to manage the site. The site owner gets the Full Control permission level when she is added to the Owners group for the site. She shares the site and gives everyone permission to contribute to it. The team decides to use the Documents library for managing press releases, budget files, contracts, proposals, and other team documents.

The site owner uploads important documents to get the team started using the library as a central location. Then she turns on versioning, so the team has a history of how files evolve and can restore a previous version, if necessary. The site owner also adds standard templates to the library for marketing reports, sales contracts, campaign plans, and budget worksheets. Each template contains the company logo and a format that everyone has agreed to use. When members create a new file from the document library, they can easily select which template they want to use.

As team members add files and collaborate on documents, they organize the library by adding columns and creating views to help them find documents quickly. For example, the site owner adds a “Project Name” column so members can filter or sort by that column. Other team members add public views that group by fiscal quarter, and filter for contracts that expire within six months. Each member also creates personal views to help them find information quickly and complete their work.

After much discussion at a staff meeting, the team decides to set alerts at the library level to report updates once a week. Each member can decide how to set up additional alerts or RSS feeds on specific files, as necessary.

Library tab with RSS alert highlighted

The team also commits to an important “best practice” in this new world of collaboration. When members want to share a document, they resist the temptation to attach it to an email message, and instead email a link to the document. Emailing a link is easy to do from the library and points people to the latest version on the team site.

A critical responsibility for this team is proposing marketing campaigns to drive sales and revenue. When team members develop a new campaign plan, they co-author documents and track minor versions of the files. Co-authoring lets multiple people edit a document at the same time, without having to worry about reconciling changes. If they make a mistake in one version of a document, they can restore a previous version. When they finish the campaign plan, they can create a major version and then send it for approval by their legal department and their manager. When the file is approved, other employees in the company can view the file.

The site owner researches the online documentation and training, and learns how to set up a workflow, associate it to the library, and automate the process of gathering feedback, collecting signatures, and publishing the final document.

After three months of use, the Documents library and site have become critical to the marketing team and helped improve their productivity and visibility throughout their enterprise. They can’t imagine working without it, and are exploring other ways to use SharePoint technologies to collaborate better.

Here are some ways to work with libraries and make them more useful for your group (organized loosely from basic to more advanced):

Use and create views     You can use a view to see the files in a library that are most important to you or that best fit a purpose. The contents of the library don’t change, but each view organizes or filters the files to make them easier to find and to browse in a meaningful way. For more information about views, see Create, change, or delete a view of a list or library.

Picture library view bar with Modify View selected

Track versions     If you need to keep previous versions of files, libraries can help you track, store, and restore the files. You can choose to track all versions in the same way. Or you can choose to designate some versions as major, such as adding a new chapter to a manual, and some versions as minor, such as fixing a spelling error. To help manage storage space, you can optionally choose the number of each type of version that you want to store.

TIP:  If your team plans to use co-authoring, we recommend turning on at least major versioning in the library, just in case someone makes a mistake and uploads a document of the same name in a library where everyone is co-authoring. This way, if you lose changes, you can restore a previous version of the document.

For more information about versioning, see Enable and configure versioning for a list or library.

Co-author or check-out of files     When you edit a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint document from a library without checking it out, other people can edit it at the same time (that’s co-authoring). When you check out a file, you ensure that only one person can edit the file until it is checked in. You can require documents to be checked out in libraries that contain sensitive documents, or when you want to carefully track the evolution of documents. But be aware that requiring checkout will make it impossible for people to co-author documents. Using check-out, people will be prompted to leave a comment about what they changed in the document, but check-out will also slow down the editing and reviewing processes. For more information, see Document collaboration and co-authoring or Check out, check in, or discard changes to files in a library.

Edit files from desktop programs    When you store documents on a SharePoint site, you can create, edit, and co-author documents directly from compatible desktop programs, such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, without even going to the site. For example, you can edit a PowerPoint presentation at the same time as other people are editing it (also known as co-authoring). You can also manage check-in and checkout directly from PowerPoint. In addition, you can use OneDrive for Business or Outlook to take library contents offline, work with them from a remote location, and then smoothly synchronize changes when you come back online.

Stay informed about changes    To stay updated when documents in a library change, set up alerts, subscribe to RSS feeds, or follow documents. The main difference between alerts, RSS, and following are where you receive the notifications. Both alerts and RSS feeds inform you about updates, and both allow you to customize how much information you receive. You can set up alerts or RSS to find out when anything changes in a library. If you care about only a specific document, set up an alert or follow the document. Alerts can arrive as email or text messages. RSS notifications arrive in a consolidated feed that you can read in Outlook or another feed reader. If you follow a document, you’ll receive a notification in your Newsfeed (if your organization is using Newsfeed). For more information about notifications, see Create an alert or subscribe to an RSS feed.

Require document approval     You can require documents to be approved before everyone can see them. Documents remain in a pending state until they are approved or rejected by someone who has permission to do so. You can control which groups of users can view a document before it is approved. This feature can be helpful if your library contains important guidelines or procedures that need to be final before others see them.

Set permissions    SharePoint groups and permission levels help you to efficiently manage access to contents. By default, permissions on libraries, folders within libraries, and documents are inherited from the site. Assigning unique permissions to a specific library or document can help you to protect sensitive content, such as contracts or budget information, without restricting access to the rest of the site. For more information about permissions, see Understanding permission levels in SharePoint.

Create workflows     A document library or content type can use workflows that your organization has defined for business processes, such as managing document approval or review. Your group can apply business processes to its documents, known as workflows, which specify actions that need to be taken in a sequence, such as approving documents. A SharePoint workflow is an automated way of moving documents or items through a sequence of actions or tasks. Three workflows are available to libraries by default: Approval, which routes a document to a group of people for approval; Collect Feedback, which routes a document to a group of people for feedback and returns the document to the person who initiated the workflow as a compilation; and Collect Signatures, which routes a document to a group of people to collect their digital signatures.

NOTE:  Only the three-state workflow is available in SharePoint Foundation.

For more information about workflows, see About the workflows included with SharePoint.

Define content types     If your group works with several types of files, such as worksheets, presentations, and documents, you can extend the functionality of your library by enabling and defining multiple content types. Content types add flexibility and consistency across multiple libraries. Each content type can specify a template and even workflow processes. The templates act as a starting point, for formatting and any boilerplate text and for properties that apply to the documents of that type, such as department name or contract number.

Audit Tracking    If you have a group of sensitive files, and it would be helpful to know how the documents were being used, you can define a policy that allows you to enable audit tracking of events, such as file changes, copies, or deletion.

Set policies    Policy settings enable document expiration, automatic deletion, or periodic review (through a workflow) of documents that have reached a specified age. As libraries evolve, using these disposition settings can save time and effort over trying to manually clean up hard disk space that is packed full or to avoid reaching quota limits.

NOTE:  Policy settings are not available in SharePoint Foundation.

Use a Document Center site    You can use a Document Center site when you want to create, manage, and store large numbers of documents. A Document Center is designed to serve as a centralized repository for managing many documents. Features, such as metadata and tree view navigation, content types, and Web Parts, help you organize and retrieve documents. “Content stewards” can quickly configure metadata-driven navigation to perform well for most libraries without explicitly creating indexes. Or content stewards can create indexes to enhance the performance over a wider range of filters and views. You can use a Document Center site as an authoring environment (where users check files in and out and create folder structures for those files) or a as content archive (where users only view or upload documents).

NOTE:  Document Center is not available in SharePoint Foundation.

The way that you organize your files in a library depends on the needs of your group and on how you prefer to store and search for your information. Some planning can help you set up the structure that works best for your group. Libraries have several features that help you work with multiple files in one library. However, multiple libraries may suit your group better.

You may want one library to serve diverse needs. For example, you might have several projects within the same group, or multiple groups working on the same project. Consider using a single library when:

  • Your group needs to see summary information about, or different views of, the same set of files. For example, a manager may want to see all files grouped by department or by due date.
  • People want to search for the files in the same location on a site.
  • You want to apply the same settings to files, such as tracking versions of files or requiring approval.
  • The groups that are working with the library share similar characteristics, such as the same levels of permission.
  • You want to analyze information about the files in a spreadsheet, or to receive consolidated updates about the files.

To work efficiently with documents in one library, you can organize files in a library by adding columns, defining views, or creating folders.

You may want to create multiple libraries when there are distinct differences among the sets of files that you want to store and manage, or among the groups of people who work with the files. Use multiple libraries when:

  • The types of files that you want to store and manage are distinct, and you don’t expect people to frequently view summaries of the files or to search the files together.
  • The groups of people who are using the files are distinct and have distinctly different permission levels.
  • You need to apply different settings, such as versioning or approval, to different sets of files.
  • You don’t need to analyze the files together or receive consolidated updates about the files.
  • You want to provide different sets of options for creating new files, or you want the options on the New menu of a library to appear in a different order.

The following are some ways that you can work efficiently with multiple libraries.

Set up site templates and columns    If your organization wants to establish some consistent settings across its libraries, it can set up site templates and site columns. You can share the settings across multiple libraries so that you don’t have to recreate the settings each time.

Send files to another location    If you want a file to be available in multiple libraries, you can store it in one library, and then send a copy to other libraries. You can choose to be reminded to update any copies of the document when you make changes to the original.

Create library templates    If you want to establish some uniform settings for libraries or reuse characteristics across libraries, you can save a library as a template. Library templates are available as an option on the Add an App page on your site.

There are several ways to organize files in a library. You can add columns, define views, and create folders. Each approach has its own advantages, and you can combine each approach together to fit the unique needs of your library and your team.

By default, libraries track the name of a file, as well as information about the status of a file, such as whether it is checked in. But, you can specify additional columns that help your group to categorize and track files, such as a campaign name or a project number, or other information that’s important to your team. You have several options for the type of column that you create, including a single line of text, a drop-down list of options, a number that is calculated from other columns, or even the name and picture of a person on your site.

Columns provide column headers that make it easy for people to sort and filter documents. When you display files in a library, you can temporarily sort or filter the files by pointing to the name of a column, and then clicking the down arrow beside the name. This is helpful if you need to see the files in a certain way, but you have to repeat the steps the next time you view the library.

Will users often want to see: all the documents related to a specific project, all documents that belong to a particular department, or group the documents by the month they are due? If you expect to view the files in a certain way frequently, you can define a view. You can use this view any time that you work with the library. When you create a view, it is added to the Current Views drop-down list located in the library ribbon.

A library view is a selection of columns on a page that displays items in a library, and often defines a specific sort order, filter, grouping, and custom layout. Libraries can have personal views and public views. Anyone who has been assigned to the Members group on the site (which has the Contribute permission level) can create a personal view to see the files in a certain way or to filter for only the files that they want to see. If you have permission to design a library, you can create a public view that anyone can use when viewing the library. You can also make any public view the default view, so that people automatically see that view of the library.

If members of your group view the libraries on a mobile device, you can even create mobile views that provide limits, such as number of items displayed in a view, that are optimal for the bandwidth and limitations of the devices.

Folders are containers that use can use to group and manage content in a library or list. If folders are enabled for the library, you can add folders to most types of libraries. If your library contains many items, folders also improve the efficiency of accessing those items. When you create a folder, behind the scenes you are creating an internal index. This internal index is also created for the root folder, or top-level of a library or list. When you access items in a folder, you are effectively using this internal index to access the data.

If a library contains many items that can be grouped in a particular way, you can use folders to organize content within the library. Good examples of groups include projects, teams, departments, product categories, age ranges, alphabetical listings, and alphabetical subgroups (A-C, D-F, and so on). Folders can help people to scan and manage lots of files in a familiar way.

Folders in library

By default, a library with folders enabled displays folders in the default view of the library without any filters. This is useful because users can choose the appropriate folder when they insert new documents. Displaying all the folders also makes it less likely that items will be incorrectly added outside the folders in the library. You can easily reorganize documents into different library folders by using the Open with Explorer command available on the library ribbon.

NOTE:  A library view can be set to Sort only by specified criteria, in which case the folders do not appear first before any items in the view. You may not want to use this view sort option if you want users to easily locate the correct folder.

Although library folders do not display in the site navigation, the site owner or a user with permission to design a site can enable the Tree View, which displays a Site Content section in site navigation, and lets you expand, collapse, and easily navigate folders of libraries.

Tree View on Site

All three approaches can work together. The same columns you use to track documents in the default view of a library can be used to create a view with several filter criteria. People can sort and filter a view dynamically by clicking the column headers to find content at the spur of the moment. If a folder structure has been defined in the library, you can “flatten” a library view by setting the Show all items without folders option in the Folders section when you create or modify the view. Each approach can complement the other to get the right content at the right time and in the right way for you.

Some libraries are created for you when you create a new site, such as the Documents library in a team site. You can customize these libraries for your purposes, or you can create your own additional libraries. Each type of library has a specific purpose and some have a different set of behaviors and features.

IMPORTANT:  You may have fewer or more libraries available on your site, depending on the version of SharePoint that your site is based on, the plan of Office 365 your organization subscribes to, or whether certain features are enabled on your site.

Asset library     To share and manage digital media assets, such as image, audio and video files, use an asset library. An asset library makes it easier for users to discover and reuse digital media files that others have already created, such as logos and corporate images. An asset library also provides content types with properties and views for managing and browsing media assets, such as thumbnails and metadata keywords. For example, you may want to manage and store branded images and reusable content fragments from applications so they are available throughout your enterprise and consistently used.

Dashboards library    Contains Web Part pages, Web Part pages with Status Lists, and PerformancePoint deployed dashboards.

Data Connections library     To simplify the maintenance and management of data connections, use a data connection library. A data connection library is a centralized place to store Office Data Connection (ODC) files. Each of these files (.odc) contains information about how to locate, log on, query, and access an external data source. Centralizing ODC files in a data connection library also makes it possible to share, manage, and search data connection files from within a SharePoint site, and helps ensure that business data and reports, especially spreadsheets, maintain a consistent set of values and formula results as “one version of the truth”.

NOTE:  To simplify the maintenance and management of data connection files for PerformancePoint, use the data connection library for PerformancePoint. In this library, you can store ODC and Universal Data connection (UDC) files.

Document library     For many file types, including documents and spreadsheets, use a document library. You can store other kinds of files in a document library, although some file types are blocked for security reasons. When you work with programs that are not blocked, you can create those files from the library. For example, your marketing team may have its own document library for planning materials, news releases, and publications.

Form library    If you need to manage a group of XML-based business forms, use a form library. For example, your organization may want to use a form library for expense reports. Setting up a form library requires an XML editor or XML form design program, such as Microsoft InfoPath. The form that people fill out is just an .xml file that contains the data (and only the data) that was entered into the form, such as the expense date and the amount. Everything else that makes up the expense report is provided by the form template. After people fill out forms, you can merge the form data or export it for analysis.

Picture library    To share a collection of digital pictures or graphics, use a picture library. Although pictures can be stored in other types of SharePoint libraries, picture libraries have several advantages. For example, from a picture library you can view pictures in a slide show, download pictures to your computer, and edit pictures with compatible graphics programs, such as Microsoft Paint. Consider creating a picture library if you want to store pictures of team events or product launches. You can also link to pictures in your library from elsewhere on your site, such as from wikis, and blogs.

Record library     To keep a central repository for storing and managing your organization’s records or important business documents, use a record library. For example, your organization may need to adhere to compliance regulations which require an organized process for managing pertinent documents. A Records Center site can contain a number of record libraries for storing different types of records. For each library you can set policies that determine what records to store, how to route and manage the documents, and how long these records must be retained.

Report library     To simplify the creation, management and delivery of web pages, documents and key performance indicators (KPI) of metrics and goals, use a report library. The report library is a central place where you can create and save reports, such as Excel workbooks, and dashboard pages. When you publish an Excel workbook to a reports library, it is single-click enabled to open in browser view, which is a convenient way to see the workbook without adding it to a Web Parts page.

Process Diagram Library (Metric and US Units)    To store and share diagram process documents, such as those created with Microsoft Visio, use a Process Diagram Library. The Metric and US Units libraries are tailored to their respective measurements.

Wiki Page Library    To create a collection of connected wiki pages, use a wiki page library. A wiki enables multiple people to gather information in a format that is easy to create and modify. You can also add wiki pages that contain pictures, tables, hyperlinks, and internal links, to your library. For example, if your team creates a wiki site for a project, the site can store tips and tricks in a series of pages that connect to each other.

NOTE: Depending on your site and configuration, additional system libraries, such as the style library, site assets library, and site pages library, are automatically created for you. However, you cannot create these specific libraries through the user interface.

There are many ways you can work with or query a SharePoint list or library without receiving a List View Threshold warning. You can store 30 million items or documents in a SharePoint list or library, and using the following ideas, you can get the information you need and stay within the 5000 item List View Threshold.

Overview of lists and libraries with many items

The List View Threshold (LVT) is in place to help get consistent performance across all users with queries to the database back-end. Here’s some information about the limits, how it all works, and how to change the List View Threshold value.

IMPORTANT: The List View Threshold cannot be changed in SharePoint Online. There also is no ability to create a Daily Time Window on SharePoint Online. Those features are only available on SharePoint 2016, SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint 2010.

Working with the List View Threshold limit

SharePoint has resource throttles and limits that govern the amount of data and throughput that can be managed. The List View Threshold is by default, approximately 5000 items, and is set to allow users to work with large lists, but keep good performance. There are three main ways to work with the List View Threshold:

  • For all versions of SharePoint, manage the number of items returned using indexing, filtering, folders, and offline data.
  • For on-premises versions of SharePoint, use an administrator scheduled Daily Time Window where limits are raised.
  • For on-premises versions of SharePoint, a network administrator can raise the limit of the List View Threshold.

For SharePoint Online, this limit can’t be changed, and is in place 24 x 7 to allow users on shared tenants to always have good performance on queries. To work around the limit, we’ve outlined some actions you can do to keep your queries within the limit.

  • Index and filter    Planning and, creating indexes and using them in filters can keep the number of items to under the List View Threshold.
  • Using folders to organize    You can use folders to organize data effectively, though you should be careful not to have a query on the folder return more than the List View Threshold.
  • Using Document center site    A Document center is a template that can be used to create a site with features geared for document search, storage, and manipulation. With the right permissions, you can create a site or subsite with this template.
  • Synced and offline data    Taking data offline allows you to use Excel or Access to query your list data without limits. When you sync a document folder, you can work locally on your computer, and changes are updated to the server automatically.

With SharePoint on-premises servers (SharePoint 2010, 2013, and 2016), the 5000 item List View Threshold is the default as well. However, because there’s more control by network administrators, a Daily Time Window can be set where the limits are effectively removed, allowing large queries as well as other data intensive operations to be done. This time is usually in the evening when most users are not on the system. The administrator can also choose to raise the limit if appropriate.

The last choice, also with on-premises versions of SharePoint, is to change the limit. This is risky, since a larger limit increases the possibility of affecting the performance for some or all users.

To check your version of SharePoint, see Which version of SharePoint am I using?

Using indexes and filtered views to control data and improve performance

On all versions of SharePoint, you can create a filtered view with a column index to help reduce the number of results when working with large lists and libraries. Creating a filtered view with an indexed column is a two-step process: create an index for a column and then create a view that uses the indexed column to filter the view:

  • Indexes    An index retrieves items quickly and can improve list and library performance. You can create up to 20 indexes for a list or library. Unique values require an index and the ID column is automatically indexed.

    NOTE: The ID column does not count against the number of indexes you can create. You can use the ID column as an index, plus 20 columns of your own choice for indexes.

    Because each index adds some overhead to every database operation to maintain the index, it’s best to only add indexes for the most common or likely columns used to query the list or library.

  • Filtered views   When you create a filtered view, make sure the first indexed column in the filter expression does not exceed the List View Threshold. SharePoint selects the first indexed column in a query. Other columns you specify in the view filter may or may not be indexed, but the view does not use those indexes, even if the result of the filtered view returns less than the List View Threshold.For example, you have a query: size = large AND color = red. In the list, size is not indexed, but color is. As long as there are fewer than 5000 “red” items in the list, the query succeeds in a large list. However, if you have a query size = large OR color = red, though database may find all the red items, it must scan the complete list to find all the large items. If there are more than 5000 items returned, the query is throttled.If you use two or more columns in the filter expression, the determining index or indexes should use an AND operator. For example, if you want to return Dogs from a large list of animals. You have an unindexed column called Species where you have Dog as a value. If you just query for Species = Dog, your query will be throttled. However, if you have an indexed column called Class, your query becomes Class = Mammals AND Species = Dog. You could also search for cats and dogs with the query Class = Mammals AND (Species = DOG OR Species = Cats). The second query selects all Mammals, and then filters to Dogs and Cats.

    NOTE: If you move items into the Recycle Bin, those items will still be counted when determining whether the filter expression exceeds the List View Threshold. If you clear the recycle bin they are no longer counted. For more info, see Empty the recycle bin or restore your files.

Upload files from Explorer to your OneDrive for Business or Sites library

  1. Open OneDrive or the SharePoint site library

.Screenshot of a document library in SharePoint Server 2016

2. Click Upload at the top of the documents library

Document library with Upload button highlighted

3. In the Add a document dialog box, you can click Browse to upload an individual file. Depending on the version of SharePoint you’re using, you may also be able to upload multiple files by holding down either the CTRL or Shift key, and selecting more than one file.

4. When you’ve selected the file or files to upload, click OK.


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