What is a list in SharePoint?

A list in SharePoint is a collection of data that gives you and your co-workers a flexible way to organize information.

Add columns for different types of data, such as text, currency, or multiple choice. Create views to display data effectively. Sort, group, format and filter lists to highlight the most important information. A list can include people, links, pictures, dates, and more. Track history of a list item over time with versions and use Microsoft Flow to automate processes.

Unlike SharePoint document libraries, lists are not created by default when you create a site. Add them wherever you need to.

Let's take a look around

A list can take many forms that depend on the type of information you want to use and share.


  • Does your screen look different than the examples here? Your administrator may have classic experience set on the list, or you're using an earlier version. If so, see Introduction to lists. If you're a list owner, site owner, or administrator, see Switch the default experience for lists or document libraries from new or classic for the steps to set the default experience.

  • Some features are currently only available in classic experience. Select Return to classic SharePoint in the bottom, left corner of the page to switch to classic experience.

To get started, select Settings Settings icon and select Site contents, select + New and then select List to create a list on your site. See Create a list in SharePoint for more info.

New link clicked with List highlighted

Once your list is created, add columns for your content.

Add new columns by selecting + Add Column on the far right side of the column headers.

List with Add column button highlighted

When you use a custom list, you can create custom views based on different filters or sort orders to highlight the data in various ways, all using the same data.

At the top right of the list page, you can change the list view from the View options dropdown to one of your custom views. Save a custom view by selecting Save view as.

View menu with alternate view selected

From SharePoint Online, you have the option to create a PowerApp from the command bar. Microsoft PowerApps is a service for building custom business apps that connect to your data and work across the web and mobile - without the time and expense of custom software development. See Introducing Microsoft PowerApps for more information. You can also use Microsoft Flow to automate workflows between your apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data and other tasks. See Get started with Microsoft Flow for a quick overview.

PowerApp menu with Create and App selected

If you're working with a team, you can create alerts on your list and data to receive notifications when something has changed.

Alert Me menu with Alert me selected

In the information pane you can view and edit information about an item, such as properties, recent activity, or how it is shared. To show or hide the information pane, select a file or folder and click Open the details pane 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. To close the details window, click Open the details pane Document Library Details Pane again.

Open the details pane button highlighted

The menu at the top left of the list changes with the context of the list. If nothing is selected, you'll see actions you can do with the list, like export to Excel or create a new list item. When you select a list item, the menu changes to actions you can perform on that item. If you select more than one item, it changes again. If you see ellipses (...) on any menu, click that for even more actions.

List menu for a simple list

You can see another version of the list menu by right-clicking the file name or, if in Details or All items view, by clicking the ellipses (...) next to the file name. This menu contains additional selections such as setting an alert or in SharePoint Online, creating a new PowerApp.

Ready to start?

Here are some links to articles to help you get going.

Create a list in SharePoint

Edit list settings in SharePoint Online

Delete a list in SharePoint

Create a column in a SharePoint list or library

Get notified when a SharePoint Online list or list item changes

Control who has access to a list or an individual list item.

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