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I'm a newbie to Sharepoint and I was wondering if it's possible to upload an Excel document and stop other users from downloading this file. I would like to have this file readable only inside Sharepoint and nothing else.

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If a user has Read permissions to a file, then they will be able to download it. You can specify 'View Only' permissions, which will prevent a report (rdl) from being downloaded, but won't stop a user from downloading a word document.

You can look into Information Rights Management, which can specify for an individual document who has the rights to have it on their computer. It isn't an easy thing to implement.

  • IRM will allow you to prevent certain things (such as saving a local copy, printing, copy pasting, along with features such as enabling log audit trails etc). With Powershell and the AARMS module, it's a fairly powerful and simple method method. That being said you can lock down the machine as well as you'd like, but there's nothing to stop a malicious employee from data exfiltration with something as simple as an iPhone 7 camera. Once the bytes hit the disk, you have a "people" problem, not a "tech" problem. Data compartmentalization between employees, proper audit trail policies. – Andrew Feb 27 '17 at 14:04
  • What Andrew said. :) I've personally never bothered with trying to prevent document download to documents that everyone is allowed to read. Usually the concern is 'But then they end up with 40 different versions on 40 different computers!?' It's a culture change, not specifically a SharePoint change. – Jack Mar 2 '17 at 15:13
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If you want to restrict users from downloading the file (that is what i understand from the title of this post) you cannot do it through only changing the file permissions

Refer this

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