Using PowerShell to Manage SharePoint Information Rights Management Settings

Information Rights Management (IRM) allows users to restrict how documents are handled. With SharePoint, IRM settings are applied at the List/Library level. When a document is added to an IRM-enabled Library, the IRM is stripped from the document. When that document is downloaded from the Library, the document has the IRM settings from the Library applied to it. This allows SharePoint to crawl the content.

Configuring IRM can be accomplished via PowerShell. This allows you to turn it on using the default server specified in Active Directory (which is set via the AD RMS Service Connection Point) or specify an existing server.

To enable IRM using the AD RMS SCP:

$ws = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService]::ContentService
$ws.IrmSettings.IrmRMSEnabled = $true
$ws.IrmSettings.IrmRMSUseAD = $true

Or to enable IRM using a specified AD RMS server:

$ws = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService]::ContentService
$ws.IrmSettings.IrmRMSEnabled = $true
$ws.IsrmSettings.IrmRMSUseAD = $false
$ws.IrmSettings.IrmRMSCertServer = ""

And finally, to disable IRM:

$webSvc = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService]::ContentService
$webSvc.IrmSettings.IrmRMSEnabled = $false

You can use PowerShell to manage IRM settings for each Library, and it is straightforward. Properties that use the InformationRightsManagementSettings are available in SharePoint 2013 only.

First, bind to the Web and the List:

$web = Get-SPWeb http://webUrl
$list = $web.GetList("LibraryTitle")

When making a change to a list property, make sure to call the Update() method, for example:

$list.IrmEnable = $true

Here are the various settings you can apply. I’ll be translating from the SharePoint UI to the PowerShell property.


Restrict permissions on this library on download

$list.IrmEnable = $true

Create a permission policy title

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.PolicyTitle = "string_value"

Add a permission policy description:

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.PolicyDescription = "string_value"

Do not allow users to upload documents that do not support IRM

$list.IrmReject = $true

Stop restricting access to the library at

$list.IrmExpire = $true
$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.DocumentLibraryProtectionExpireDate = "10/15/2015" #valid date in MM/dd/yyyy format

Prevent opening documents in the browser for this Document Library

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.DisableDocumentBrowserView = $true

Allow viewers to print

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.AllowPrint = $false

Allow viewers to run script and screen reader to function on downloaded documents

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.AllowScript = $true

Allow viewers to write on a copy of the downloaded document

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.AllowWriteCopy = $true

After download, document access rights will expire after these number of days (1-365)

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.EnableDocumentAccessExpire = $true
$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.DocumentAccessExpireDays = "nn" #value in days between 1 and 365

Users must verify their credentials using this interval (days)

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.EnableLicenseCacheExpire = $true
$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.LicenseCacheExpireDays = "nn" #value in days

Allow group protection. Default group:

$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.EnableGroupProtection = $true
$list.InformationRightsManagementSettings.GroupName = "string_value" #e.g.

As noted, those properties in InformationRightsManagementSettings are not available in SharePoint 2010. However, you can manipulate the properties directly. Again, get the list object into a variable.


Permission policy title:

$list.RootFolder.Properties.Add("vti_irm_IrmTitle", "string_value")

Permission policy description:

$list.RootFolder.Properties.Add("vti_irm_IrmDescription", "string_value")

Allow users to print documents

$list.RootFolder.Properties.Add("vti_irm_IrmPrint", 2) #2 = true, 0 = false

Allow users to access content programmatically

$list.RootFolder.Properties.Add("vti_irm_IrmVBA", 2) #2 = true, 0 = false

Users must verify their credentials every:

$list.RootFolder.Properties.Add("vti_irm_IrmOffline", 2) #2 = true, 0 = false
$list.RootFolder.Properties.Add("vti_irm_IrmOfflineDays", 45) #value in days

Stop restricting permission to documents in this library on:

$list.IrmExpire = $true
$list.RootFolder.Properties.Add("vti_irm_IrmExpireDate", "10/15/2015") #valid date in MM/dd/yyyy format

Trevor Seward is a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP who specializes in SharePoint Server administration, hybrid scenarios, and SharePoint Online. He has been working with SharePoint for 16 years from SharePoint 2003 on up, managing environments with terabytes of content for 150,000+ user organizations. Trevor is an author of Deploying SharePoint 2016 and Deploying SharePoint 2019. You can find him at /r/sharepoint.