I have a work staff of about 100 employees, with a supervising staff of about 6 people (its a team approach for supervision - meaning all 6 people supervise all 100 employees). I should also say that we are new to using SharePoint!

I would like to have each employee's work files (such as performance files, training documents, etc...) viewable by that employee only (not all employees), and also have the files writable by the supervising team. I created a SharePoint Group for the Supervisors.

I also created a document library for the employee files. I set the document library to Stop Inheriting Permissions, and selected the correct permission level for the Supervisor Group. I then created a folder for the first employee, changed the folder permission to "Stop Inheriting Permission", and granted "View Only" permission to the employee only. This seems to have worked just fine.

However, each time I create a new folder for an employee, the folder inherits all the "View Only" permissions for every employee folder that I previously created. For example: I created a folder form "John Smith", gave permission to only John Smith to view the folder I then created a folder for "Jane Doe". The folder automatically inherited permission for John Smith to view this folder (from the previous step). I then selected to Stop Inheritance of permissions on this folder, removed John Smith's permissions and granted Jane Doe "View only permission. Then each time a create a new folder, it inherits all the other permissions - so if I create a third folder, it automatically inherits "view Only" permissions for both John Smith and Jane Doe. Needless to say, this can become quite labor intensive to manually remove and grant permissions for each new employee and for each new folder.

Is there a way to stop each folder from inheriting permission upon creation of the folder, or is there a better way to accomplish this than what I am doing? Thanks in advance for your help!

  • Yes , you can break the permission at folder level and document level as well. Dec 29, 2015 at 15:53
  • Thanks Bhaskar for the reply. Is there a way to stop the inheritance of permission at the point of folder creation, thus avoiding having to manually remove all prior "View Only" permissions each time a new folder is created?
    – Nick
    Dec 29, 2015 at 16:01
  • If you break permission at library level means it will be applicable for all folders inside it. Similarly if you break for one folder same will be applicable to all sub folders inside it. Dec 29, 2015 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


If you want to automate the whole process without manual step of removing/ editing permission follow below steps.

  1. Create a custom folder content type inheriting from Folder content type.
  2. Add a custom column Employee of type Person or Group.This column will hold detail of which employee the folder belongs to.
  3. Now use SharePoint Designer and create a Reusable workflow using 2010 platform and attach this workflow to the custom content type created.
  4. In the workflow add steps to break inheritance and give the Employee column value and Supervisors group permission on the current folder.
  5. Configure this workflow to start automatically on creation of new folder using your custom folder content type.
  6. Create new library and add this custom folder content type to library.
  7. Create folders for each employee using the custom folder content type instead of OOTB folder content type.

Now automatically the workflow will set the necessary permissions when you create the folder. References to tasks above:

  1. Create custom folder Content type
  2. Break Permissions in workflow

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.