Collaborate: SharePoint Online

Confidential libraries

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You can add document libraries for special purposes, such as added protection for confidential documents. Information Rights Management (IRM) helps protect files from being distributed without permission after they have been downloaded. For added protection, it’s a straightforward task to set alerts on a library to see and record who is accessing it.

Note: To use IRM, the Office 365 Admin must enable it. For more information, see Set up Information Rights Management (IRM) in SharePoint admin center.

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Try it!

Note: You need to be a member of the Designers group or have contributor permission to modify a team site. A safe way to practice changing a team site is to create and use a subsite under the team site. For more information, see Create a subsite under the existing site.

Create a document library for confidential documents
  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account, and then navigate to your team site (In the app launcher App launcher button , click Sites, and then locate your team site).

  2. Click Site Settings Settings icon > Add an App.

  3. On the Your Apps page, choose Document Library.

  4. Enter a name for the new document library, such as ConfidentialDocs, and then choose Create.

    Your new document library appears in the Quick Launch (the navigation links on the side or top of the page) under Recent.

  5. To set up IRM on the library, do the following:

    1. In the library, click Library > Library Settings, and then in the Settings page, click Information Rights Management.

    2. Click Restrict permissions on this library on download.

    3. Enter a name in the Create a permission policy title box, such as Company Confidential.

    4. Enter a description in the Add a permission policy description box, such as Internal only: Do not discuss with anyone else.

    IRM settings
  6. Click OK.

Set an alert on the library
  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account, and then navigate to your team site (In the app launcher App launcher button , click Sites, and then locate your team site).

  2. In the library, click Library > Alert Me > Set Alert on this library, accept all the default settings, and then click OK.

    Library alert settings
Do more with library alerts (Extra credit!)
  1. Click Alerts Library > Alert Me > Set Alert on this library.

  2. Under Alert Title, enter Confidential Documents Library.

  3. Under Send Alerts To, add one or two users on your team to also be notified.

  4. Under Send me an alert when, click Someone else changes a document.

  5. Under When to Send Alerts, select Send a daily summary.

Additional resources

For more information, see the following:

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