What are the difference between a List and a Library in SharePoint?

What is the difference between a List and a Library in SharePoint?


A list contains items that are collections of fields/properties/columns. Optionally each item can have one or more attachments.

A library is a list, but but have one and exactly one file associated with each item.


Files are handled a little differently by search. When a user searches for a keyword in a document, if the document is in a library, they find the document listed in the search results. But when the document is a list attachment, search returns the list item. The user would then need to click the list item and then click on the attachments.


Libraries support Check in and Check Out., List don’t have this feature.


Library is referenced through an SPDocumentLibrary object. SPDocumentLibrary inherits from the SPList class.


A Library is a specific implementation of a List intended for holding documents and metadata about the documents in the columns of the Library. A Library is a List, but all lists are not libraries.

In document library we can SPFileCollection.add(string, stream) – Document Library Accept a stream, means the content can be in memory, or disk or even a TCP/IP socket. in List we Only Can SPAttachmentCollection.Add(string, byte[]) only accepting a byte[]


We can’t create Folder in List but can in Doc. Library in default option.


Document library support the Major and Minor Version of files and Folders. But in List only support the Major version.


List cannot have a document set


List attachments will not work with the eDiscovery feature



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