I have a document library which has the hierarchy as follows:

  |---- Folder 1
  |         |----- Sub-folder 1
  |         |----- Document 1
  |---- Folder 2
            |----- Sub-folder 2

My requirement is to have users to:

  1. Create and delete stuffs at the sub-folders level but not at the Folder level,

  2. Not have the ability to delete Folders 1 and 2.

I have tried customizing permission levels but I can't get the desired result for (2). Is it possible to do so? Any recommendations or workarounds are appreciated.

EDIT: Just to add on that the sub-folders will be dynamic, hence I plan to use inheritance from Folder level to Sub-folders level for easier management. But with the inheritance, users still should not be able to perform (2).

3 Answers 3


You can definitely do this by breaking the permissions of your subfolders. If you set Folder 1 and 2 to view only you can then open the subfolder and break the permission inheritance from the ribbon. You can then grant access to users or groups at the appropriate access level (Contribute should do it). Updated your diagram below.

  |---- Folder 1 (View/Read Only)
  |         |----- Sub-folder 1 (Contribute)
  |         |----- Document 1
  |---- Folder 2 (View/Read Only)
            |----- Sub-folder 2 (Contribute)

My company sells a great tool for this at AvePoint.com. The Administrator Module in DocAve will let you handle all of these permission issues from one gui.

  • Please check the edit to my question. Sorry about that. Is it possible to have contribute to Folders 1 and 2 while users are unable to delete the?
    – Zerhinne
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 14:19
  • You will not be able to do that with SharePoint out of the box functionality. If you inherit, the permission level will have to be the same. Again, if you use DocAve (www.avepoint.com) you could set a policy for new folders created at that scope and enforce the permission change. I don't mean to kill you with my company info, but it would be a great solution here.
    – Benjooster
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 14:21

If I understood your requirements correctly, the only way to achieve this is with an event handler. This will require some development effort as it is not possible with the OOTB features of SharePoint, however it is really easy to accomplish.


For 2) you can create a custom permission level - contribute but not delete. Assign that to folders 1 & 2.

Should work as required

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