What is a list in Microsoft 365?

What is a list in Microsoft 365?

A list in Microsoft 365 list is a collection of data that gives you and your co-workers a flexible way to organize information. You can create lists in Microsoft SharePoint, the Lists app in Microsoft 365, or Teams. To learn more, see Add list items. Learn to get started with Lists in Microsoft Teams.

You can add columns for different types of data, such as text, currency, or multiple choice. Create views to display data effectively. Sort, group, format and filter lists to highlight the most important information. A list can include people, links, pictures, dates, and more. Track history of a list item over time with versions and use Power Automate to automate processes.

Unlike SharePoint document libraries, lists are not created by default when you create a site. Add them wherever you need to.

Create a new list

A list can take many forms that depend on the type of information you want to use and share.

Notes: 

  • Does your screen look different than the examples here? Your administrator may have classic experience set on the list, or you're using an earlier version. If so, see Introduction to lists. If you're a list owner, site owner, or administrator, see Switch the default experience for lists or document libraries from new or classic for the steps to set the default experience.

  • Some features are currently only available in classic experience. Select Return to classic SharePoint in the bottom, left corner of the page to switch to classic experience.

  1. From from the Microsoft 365 Lists app, select New > Lists.

    • Or from a SharePoint site, select + New and then select List.

    New list

  2. Once your list is created, add columns for your content.

  3. Add new columns by selecting + Add Column on the far right side of the column headers.

    List with Add column button highlighted
  4. When you use a custom list, you can create custom views based on different filters or sort orders to highlight the data in various ways, all using the same data.

  5. At the top right of the list page, you can change the list view from the View options dropdown to one of your custom views..

    View menu with alternate view selected
  6. Save a custom view by selecting Save view as.

In SharePoint, you have the option to create a Power App from the command bar. Microsoft Power Apps is a service for building custom business apps that connect to your data and work across the web and mobile - without the time and expense of custom software development. For more information, see Introducing Microsoft Power Apps.

You can also use Power Automate to automate workflows between your apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data and other tasks. For more information, see Get started with Microsoft Power Automate.

If you're working with a team, you can create alerts on your list and data to receive notifications when something has changed.

Alert Me menu with Alert me selected

In the information pane you can view and edit information about an item, such as properties, recent activity, or how it is shared. To show or hide the information pane, select a file or folder and select Open the details pane Document Library Details Pane on the right-hand side of the main menu. You can also view the information pane by right-clicking a file or folder and selecting Details. To close the details window, select Open the details pane Document Library Details Pane again.

Open the details pane button highlighted

The menu at the top left of the list changes with the context of the list. If nothing is selected, you'll see actions you can do with the list, like export to Excel or create a new list item. When you select a list item, the menu changes to actions you can perform on that item. If you select more than one item, it changes again. If you see ellipses (...) on any menu, click that for even more actions.

List menu for a simple list

You can see another version of the list menu by right-clicking the file name or, if in Details or All items view, by selecting the ellipses (...) next to the file name. This menu contains additional selections such as setting an alert or in SharePoint, creating a new Power App.

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