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Is that possible to set permissions on document library folder, so users will be able to create/modify/delete files, but cannot do anything on folders (create/modify/delete).

I read that I can disable "New Folder" button, but not folder deletion, and not in Explorer view ... Any thoughts ?

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You can disable the "New Folder" button in Library Settings - Advanced Settings - Make "New Folder" command available?. This does not stop a user from opening in explorer view and creating folder there, like you had mentioned.

As far as permissions on the library go, contribute to the library gives them access to create new documents as well as new folders. I don't think there is a way to have one over the other.

Looking through the permission levels you can see what SharePoint gives as list permissions as well. There's no differentiation between folders and documents from what I can see.

Item Permission Levels

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You can use event receivers. But it's not a good idea. Why users shouldn't be able to remove folders? If you want to create good structure, you should look to Taxonomy/Metadata feature.

You can find a lot of articles with Folders/Metadata comparison. For example:

  • Well I think it would be a good idea if you were creating a defined folder structure that users can't modify... – Bunzab Feb 9 '15 at 14:41
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As far as I know the only practical way to ensure that governance rule, is to set up a timer job that iterates the sites in question and verify that the folders are there (and no additional ones have been created)

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