Getting an audit of who has been updating permissions in a site…

I got a help desk case today asking if I could tell who had updated permissions on a particular site.  After a little bit of Googling, I was able to get the basic information for them.  Go to the site in question and do the following:

  • Go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Collection Administration > Site Collection Audit Settings
  • Check to see what’s being audited.  In my case, I was fortunate in that the List, Libraries, and Sites > Editing Users and Permissions was selected (which is what I want).  If that hadn’t been selected, I could have only set it and audited items going forward from this point in time.
  • Click OK

Now to run the audit report:

  • Go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Collection Administration > Audit Log Reports
  • Click the link for Security Settings under Security And Site Settings Reports
  • Select a location where the spreadsheet report will be stored.  In my case, I just used the Shared Document library.
  • Click OK.

The report will churn away for a short bit and save the spreadsheet when its done.  When you go into the location where it’s saved, just click on the file and Excel will launch.

There are two sheets in the report.  The first is summary information (which wasn’t of much use to me), and the second sheet is the detail.  You’ll quickly see that the information will never be mistaken for “user-friendly”, but you can dig through and find who added, deleted, or updated permissions to the site.  It doesn’t tell you what was added or changed, but at least it gives you a general guide to who has been making updates and when they occurred.

Once I learn more about SharePoint, perhaps the other columns will be of more use to me.  But for right now, this worked for what I needed.

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