Using Distribution List to configure permissions in SharePoint groups

In repeated situations i’ve been asked whether Distribution Lists could be used to configure permissions in SharePoint Groups, by making them part of a specific SharePoint security Group.

The answer to that question is NO – if that Distribution List is NOT security-enabled (to figure out simply, besides asking your System Administrator is to look whether there is an Account behind that Distribution List – e.g does it have DOMAIN\DL_Name)!

Distribution lists are mainly used for e-mail distribution and are not security-enabled, by default. It is well known that Security groups can be used to control permissions for a SharePoint site by directly adding the security group and granting the entire group permissions, however one cannot use distribution lists in this way. Therefore, the distribution lists are not applicable for security permission scenarios in the SharePoint farm.

However, there seems to exist a way to manage the process of keeping the SharePoint group synchronized with the distribution group. Here is an article for this process (KB 825488):;EN-US;825488


2 responses to “Using Distribution List to configure permissions in SharePoint groups

  1. The Knowledgebase article is old and only works partially for Sharepoint 13. The User window is limited to 256 characters, which will only allow a fraction of a distribution list’s members to be pasted in.

    • @Bart – I have the feeling your message treats another subject. Yes, the article is old, and yes the People picker presents limitation, but using a distribution list’s name to handle permissions is a different topic – you do not have to type the full content in the people picker.

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