SharePoint Online: How to Make a Site Collection Read Only?

Requirement: SharePoint Online Make Site Collection Read only.

How to make a SharePoint Online Site Read Only?
We've a business requirement to set a SharePoint online site collection into read-only mode, in order to prevent any further addition/modification of content but make the existing content available as read-only to the end users. Unlike SharePoint On-premises, there are no direct ways (Central Admin/PowerShell) to make a SharePoint Online site or site collection read only. However, we can use site policies in SharePoint Online to make site collection read only.
You can set the SharePoint online site collection lock status to "NoAccess" - But it defeats the purpose of Read-only mode!

SharePoint Online: Make a Site Collection read only using  site policies
Here is how to use SharePoint site policies for SharePoint Online to make site collection read only:
  • Navigate to the site collection that you want to make Read Only >> Click on Settings Gear and then Site Settings Menu item.
  • Click on "Site Policies" under Site Collection Administration. 
  • Create a new policy by clicking "Create" link
  • Provide a Name to your Policy, say for e.g. "Read only", optionally the Description. Set the following options and click on "OK" to create site policy:
    • Do not close or delete site automatically
    • Check the option "The site collection will be read only when it is closed"
      sharepoint online make site read only
This will create a Read only policy. So now, We have defined the site policy which will not close or delete the site automatically but will set the site to read-only mode when its closed.

Apply the policy and close the site:
Now the next step is to apply the policy and close the site.
  • Go to Site Settings >> Click on Site Closure & Deletion under Site Administration
  • Select the Site Policy you created in the previous step and click on Close this site now. (At times, You may have to select the policy and Click OK and then visit the "Site Closure & Deletion" page again to click "Close this site now" button)
    sharepoint online make site collection read only
That's it! Now you can see your site is set to read only mode with a notification at the top saying the site is read only!
how to make sharepoint online site read only
You can clear read-only mode and make the site editable by re-opening the closed site again, so that its available for users to add and update. To make a SharePoint On-Premises site collection to Read only, Refer my another post: How to Set SharePoint Site Collection to Read-only?
SharePoint Online: How to Make a Site Collection Read Only? SharePoint Online: How to Make a Site Collection Read Only? Reviewed by Salaudeen Rajack on January 20, 2017 Rating: 5

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