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Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions

Level 5

Hello,

Alongside other files, my company has a few dozen transactions.  These transactions are currently stored in a folder called Transactions that everybody has access to and are further divided into three subfolders:  Active, Prospective, and Finished.  So for example, if I have an actively running transaction named Foobar, it would be stored in Transactions\Active\Foobar\...

What I'm hoping to do is manage the permissions on the individual transaction folders so that only employees who are actively involved in each deal can access those folders.  However, when I try to do that with a shared folder, they just appear for the users under the Sharing tab and don't maintain the original folder structure which then becomes unwieldy.  I've tried adding users to the base Transaction folder and then just removing them from the individual transaction folders, but that doesn't work since subfolders inherit their parent permissions.

So my question is:  Is it possible to manage permissions at the subfolder level while still maintaining the parent folder structure for the users?  I suspect that the solution would be an explicit deny function which I've seen suggested on here before, though I don't believe it's been implemented yet.  If that's the case, is it being worked on?  In any case, I thought it would be worth checking if there were any other options.

Thanks in advance!

7 Replies

Re: Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions

Dropboxer
Hey there, @man112!
 
Indeed, when you share a parent folder, users have access to its contents, including subfolders. If you share a subfolder, users only have access to those contents and cannot go up the hierarchy to navigate through the parent folder. 
 
If access is required throughout all three subfolders, then you can share the parent folder (as I understand you have done so already). If you’d like for specific users to gain access to individual folders, I’m afraid sharing them individually is the way to go, as you very correctly mentioned:
 

@man112 wrote:

since subfolders inherit their parent permissions. 

If you do add them to each individual subfolder, you can change the permissions of each user by navigating to the Share tab that appears on the right-hand side of each folder, locating the relevant user, and changing their role to Can edit /Can view or even Remove (for example, to add to another subfolder). 
 
I understand that this isn’t the solution you were looking for, but I’d be happy to pass your ideas on to the dev team for future consideration. I hope I helped to some extent! grinning face with smiling eyes

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions

Level 5

Hi @Lusil,

Thanks for letting me know.  Yes, if you could please pass on the "explicit deny" idea to development, I'd appreciate it.  It would really help us keep everything organized and accessible.

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Re: Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions

Level 2

The question was clear and you marked it as solved although in reality it wasn't really. We're looking to move away from dropbox in our business for this reason alone. Not being able to keep a standard shared folder structure causes massive issues when a team starts growing. This is not convincing.

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Re: Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions

Level 2

Bit of an old thread I know...but was back searching the site again hoping there had been some progress. The lack of an explicit deny is probably the most frustrating thing about the dropbox platform for us. We frequently have to share asset folders with outside parties, and there are frequently a subfolder or two that for some reason or another we don't want the outside party to have access to. Explaining that they shouldn't use the stuff in XYZ folder is risky, individually sharing tons of subfolder rather than the root folder to avoid them accessing a couple of items is prohibitevely tedious, moving the assets is not an option as they are needed right where they are at for the internal team. Duplicating the tree and removing the unsharable items is a stopgap that works in the very short term but become impossible to keep track of if you actually try to maintain both trees with updated assets. I know people have been asking for this feature for years, and it has been passed along to the dev team multiple times...is it something that has just been deemed to difficult to implement?

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Re: Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions

Dropboxer
Hi there @jojacob, thanks for nudging us on the Community and on this thread!
 
In general, currently, it’s not possible to remove access from people who are members of higher-level folders. What I would recommend though is that if you want to share only specific subfolders with them, instead of removing their access, you can just directly add users to them. 
 
However, if you are part of the new team space (which you can recognize if you see a purple folder icon with one person on it on the website), you can remove user’s access by:
  1. Navigate to the sub-folder you want to remove a user from. 
  2. Click the Share button. 
  3. Go to Can edit or Can view that appears next to their name. 
  4. Select Remove. 
Hope this helps to some extent!

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions

Level 2

As someone that is just dealing with a similar corporate issue right now let me explain how I see the issue.  In my company we have a number of different physical projects we are working on and for each project there are groups of project specific tasks like engineering, finance, etc.  I have set up a series of team groups that for example identify all the team members that should have access to the engineering data or finance data.  The issue becomes that logically to keep things organized I should use a Team Folder for each project and then set up subfolders inside for engineering, etc.  When I assign the groups to each of the subfolder they sync a separate folder for every subfolder their group is assigned to and the overall project heirarchy is not present.  Therefore unless you are one of the people that has access to the very top Team Folder (for each project) you don't see all of the subfolders groupsed by project but instead as numerous individual folders on your computer.  The only way you can maintain the overall project folder structure is to be added to the top Team Folder level and then you have access to every subfolder.

Even as a starting point it would be extremely helpful if people that are part of groups assigned to subfolders could at a minimum have those subfolders display as part of a top level Team Folder (with project name assigned to it) on their computer synced drive.  They don't need to see any of the subfolders they are not assigned to but just having them grouped according to the Team Folder name would be immensely helpful.  Otherwise there is no real way to maintain some sort of organizational structure for the data for anyone not assigned at the Team Folder top level.

I hope this makes sense

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Re: Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions

Dropboxer
Hey @DK1000, thanks for sharing your thoughts on your current sharing experience! Now, I’d merely like to re-iterate @Lusil's post above, as this functionality is something we're still considering implementing in the future. That said, we’re currently gathering all relevant feedback & we appreciate the time you took to detail us how you’ve pictured that in your mind; everything you’re sending us over helps us understand your needs better.
 
Thanks for choosing Dropbox & taking a bit of your time to drop us a line on our Community on this matter! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


 


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Maintaining Folder Structure with Subfolder Permissions
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