Saturday, February 13, 2016

Disable SharePoint Alerts on a Specific List

Posted in SharePoint, Technical By Doug Allen @ 9/8/2013

employee directoryHere’s the scenario:  You have a picture library that stores employee photos.  This might be the case if you’re not storing the photos in Active Directory yet perhaps.  Now, HR comes to you and says that “we want to be sure that employees can’t set an alert, because then they would know if we remove a picture when an employee is terminated”.  Hmmm I never thought about it in that way, you’re right. 

First I’ll say that you will only be in this scenario if you’re not using search to generate an employee directory.  That would require a different resolution as you would have to remove the actions from the search results.  That’s out of the scope of this, as we’re focusing on disabling alerts on a list.

Ok back to our photo library.  Our goal is to remove the Alert Me custom action on the Actions menu of the list/library.  In our case, it’s a picture library:

SharePoint alert me

The first things that come to mind is, sure you can go into the library advanced settings and turn off alerts.  Good luck with that, it doesn’t exist.  You can turn off things like removing from search results, but you can’t disable alerts.  But you think, I know I’ve seen a setting for that.  You’re right, it’s in Central Administration, and would disable alerts for all of the entire web application.  In Central Admin, go the Application Management, then general settings:

disable sharepoint alert

Ok well now what?  You could wrap the control with a security mask via the master page, but we don’t want to go through all of that.  To solve this using OOTB functionality, we’re going to create a custom permission level.  What we want to do is copy the permission levels of the users of the library that has the individual Create alerts permission removed.  You can read more about permission levels in SharePoint 2010 here.

1. Go to the root of the site collection of the list or library, then go to Site Actions –> Site permissions.

2. Click Permission levels.

3. Now we choose a permission level to copy or create a new one.  I will say it’s never best to modify the default, always copy and modify.  Click Contribute, scroll to the bottom and click Copy permission level. 

4. Give it a name, and uncheck the box for Create Alert.

disable sharepoint alert with custom permission level

5. Save the permission level. 

6. Go back to the library or list in question, and go to the list permissions.  Modify the permission from the default permission to your custom permission level.

If you login as a user that falls in that group, if you click the ribbon or actions, it will be gone! 

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Got something to say? Join the discussion ยป
    Posted by Doug Allen on 7/20/2015

    This blog was focused on preventing users from subscribing to alerts in the first place using a custom permission level. If you want to temporarily disabling an alert on a per-user basis, you're going to have to use PowerShell or code. I quickly tested this method and it seemed to work. On the subsite, we get the user we want and read the alerts property. An alert has a property called Status which is On or Off. I saw some long C# examples, but none in PowerShell as most just told you to delete it. For this, I just set the status to Off. Try it and see if it will work for you but I haven't time to fully test it. But as I said, a quick check it seemed to stop the alert for my one user.

    $web = get-spweb "url of the subsite with the alert"
    foreach($alert in $SPalerts)
    $alert.Status = "Off"
    write-host "Disabled alert named" $alert.Title "for user" $ -f green

    Hope it helps!
    Posted by Lai on 7/20/2015
    I wanted to know how to disable an alert me message from one particular list or document. I only wanted to disable the alert to me.
    Posted by Will on 4/6/2015
    Thanks for the post. This is a nice solution for disabling alerts on lists that works in MOSS 2007, as well.
    Posted by Anil kumar on 9/25/2013
    nice post....

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