I have a file structure with a parent folder, two sub-folders, and multiple PPT documents in each sub-folder. The documents need to be able to move between the two sub-folders, but the tricky part is restricting access to who can view and edit these documents.

I need to set the permissions for these folders so that only the user who uploads the document is able to view/download/edit their document that they uploaded, but is unable to do the same for the other documents in the folder. It is not an issue for users to be able to see that there are other files in these sub-folders, I just cannot have them downloading and viewing the other files in the folder.

Is there a way to set up these permissions in SharePoint? Or maybe to create a list that users can upload a PPT file to instead (if that's possible) in order to limit the access to each of the documents?

My manual fix to this issue is to go document by document and give edit access to only the document that the user uploads and give no access to that same user to the other documents in the folder. The issue with this approach is

  1. It is incredibly manual and with the volume of files existing already this is untenable
  2. I believe that permissions would reset if the file is moved from one sub-folder to the other, in which case I (as the admin) would have to go back in and re-grant permissions each time a file was moved.

Any ideas on what I can do to address this issue would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

1 Answer 1


A couple of options... but it kind of depends on why you need the two folders you mentioned. Is one for "visible and shared" documents, and the other for "editing"?

  1. The most common solution is to create a workflow that breaks inheritance and sets the permissions of the file after upload. You now have lots of items with broken inheritance.

  2. Is this for many users with one file each, or a few users with many files each? If each user has many files, create a folder for each of the "editors". You set permissions once on the folder, and not once on each document. There is no daily maintenance! You then create a View named "Upload here" that displays the folders. You also create a view that hides the folders (the default view) and users can see everything they might have permissions to, with no clutter from the folders.

For some more on folders for security, scroll to the end of this article, to the "Security and Folders" section:

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