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Applying Information Rights Management to a SharePoint List or Library

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This course explores Information Rights Management in Microsoft 365 and how to configure it for different workloads including SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange Online.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn what Information Rights Management is and what it does
  • Learn how to set up and use the service
  • Learn how to set up Information Rights Management for SharePoint Online and apply Information Rights Management to SharePoint lists and libraries
  • Understand how to configure Information Rights Management for OneDrive
  • Learn how to check the status of Information Rights Management in Exchange Online and how to enable it

Intended Audience

This quick course is intended for those who wish to learn about Information Rights Management in Microsoft 365.


To get the most out of this course, you should have a basic understanding of Microsoft 365.


So now that we have Information Rights Management set up for our SharePoint online, what we're gonna do in this demonstration here is walk through the process of applying Information Rights Management to a list or library within SharePoint. Now on the screen here, I'm in SharePoint. You notice here it's berksbuilders.sharepoint.com. So this is my SharePoint online site, and I do have a communications site that's been set up previously. And this is the one we're gonna work with here.

So what we'll do is we'll open up our communications site. And when we do that, we have the home, we have documents, pages. We have an issue tracker, my list, some site content. So just a vanilla communication site. What we're gonna do in this demonstration here is go into issue tracker and what we're gonna do is apply Information Rights Management to this list. Now to do that, from the issue tracker page what we need to do is go up into the gear here.

If we click this gear in the upper right-hand corner it allows us to configure our SharePoint. And what we're gonna do for this demonstration is go into list settings. This is where we configure the settings for this particular list. And now when this settings page opens, you can see we have general settings we can configure, permissions and management, communications. We can even configure the columns displayed in the list. 

What we're interested in here in this demonstration here is Information Rights Management within permissions and management. If we select Information Rights Management what this does is take us out to the page where we can restrict permissions on this library on file download. Essentially, we're gonna configure Information Rights Management on this list so that we can protect sensitive files from being misused or distributed. So what we'll do here is we'll check the box to restrict permissions. And then what we need to do is create a permission policy title, and we need to create a policy description.

So for the title here, I'll just call this IRM policy. And I'll just call this My IRM policy as the description. Now, if we click show options here, we can see the IRM settings that we can configure here. And for this demonstration, we are really only gonna select one or two of these. What we'll do here for this demo is check the option here to not allow users to upload documents that do not support Information Rights Management. And that makes sense. If you're going to have Information Rights Management, you wanna make sure you're blocking files that don't support it.

And then what we'll do down here under configuring document access rights, we could see here, if we read this little blurb here, that the controls in this section are used to control document access rights for viewers, after a document has been downloaded from the library. It also tells us here that a read-only viewing is the default right and that granting any of the rights in this section, what it does is it reduces the bar for accessing the content by unauthorized users. So what we'll do here for this demonstration here is just select the option to allow viewers to print.

Now, down here under set group protection and credential intervals, we can do stuff like force users to verify their credentials every so many days or we can allow group protection. We're gonna leave this stuff alone here and we'll just okay it. And with that, we now have Information Rights Management set up within SharePoint and we have it applied to our issue tracker list.

About the Author
Thomas Mitchell
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.