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Difference Between SharePoint Lists

If you are a beginner to SharePoint, you need to know one of the basic concepts in SharePoint and it is nothing but Lists and Libraries. But often it may be confusing, what is the basic difference between SharePoint lists and libraries.

What is a SharePoint list?

In SharePoint almost all the datas is saved in the format of lists. Lists are a kind of table structure where data will be saved in a format of Rows & Columns.
Below is a snapshot of the list where you can find the row and column structure and the different types of list columns that are available.

What is a SharePoint Library?

It’s nothing but a special SharePoint List, where documents can be managed in an organized way. Still the values are saved in a row and column manner.
In the SharePoint list, you can attach multiple documents to a single List entry. Here, in SharePoint document library each and every document you add is a separate list item.
Below is a sample snapshot of SharePoint Library,

Can we create folders within the SharePoint list?

The answer is Yes, you can create folders within the SharePoint list to organize the contents.
Here are the steps that showcase you how to do that.

  • Go to the list settings using the Settings icon at the top like below,

  • Then in the upcoming settings page, go to “Advanced Settings” and look for the setting “Make “New Folder” command available?” like below. Click, Yes

  • Now click the “OK” button at the bottom of the page.
  • Now when you add a list item, you will be able to see the “Folder” option.

It’s just a way to organize the list items, (table rows).

Can we use SharePoint lists to manage documents?

Technically speaking, yes you can use the attachments in the SharePoint to manage documents in SharePoint lists. But it cannot be organized, you can just attach multiple documents to every row.
Whenever you try to create an item in SharePoint lists you can find the “Attachment” option at the bottom as shown below,

Can we restrict attachment options in SharePoint List?

Yes, we can restrict the users from adding attachments in the list. Go to the list settings page and look for “Advanced Settings” then look for the Attachments setting like below and disable it.

We have discussed the key differences between SharePoint Lists and SharePoint Libraries.
Thanks for reading!

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