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Setting Folder Permissions

To increase security and reduce risk, Stanford is sunsetting its AFS service for web hosting and file storage. While you can still access AFS using your valid Stanford SUNetID, there are more secure web hosting platforms and document management solutions to which you should transition.

To reduce the use of AFS, UIT has taken these actions:

  • UIT no longer automatically provisions new faculty and staff members with AFS user volumes. New faculty or staff who need a personal user volume must submit a Help request.
    • This change does not impact existing AFS directories or the process for adding permissions for new individuals to those existing directories. Your existing space and everything in it remains intact.
    • This change does not impact auto-provisioning of new AFS user volumes for students and postdocs.

    See New Process for Provisioning AFS User Volumes for more information.

  • All user, dept, and group AFS volumes must be renewed annually or they will be locked, archived, and permanently deleted as detailed in the AFS Volume Expiration Policy.


You can set permissions for individual folders within a directory. Permissions determine who has read and write access to all the files within the folder.

There are a few things you should keep in mind about permissions::

  • Permissions are always applied to folders rather than individual files.
  • If you move a file, it gets the permissions of its new folder.
  • If you change the permissions for a folder, access to all of its files changes.
  • When you create a subfolder, it automatically inherits the permissions of its parent folder. You can, however, change the permissions since subfolders do not have to have the same permissions as the parent folder.

Set Permissions

  1. Select the folder you for which you want to set permissions by checking the box to the left of the folder name. (Note: You must select a folder in order to set permissions for it; you cannot set permissions for the folder you currently have open.)
  2. In the ACTIONS list on the left, click Set Permissions for Folder.

    Select the command to set permissions for the selected=
  3. The Permissions Manager box will appear, with the existing permissions for that folder displayed. The following permissions can be granted:
    Permission Description
    lookup Allows someone to see the contents of a folder but does not allow that person to read the files. A user must have lookup permission in order to use any of the other permissions.(For example, you need to be able to see the documents in a folder in order to select it to open and read.)
    read Allows someone to open and read any file in the folder (assuming the right application to open the file is installed on the computer).
    write Allows someone to modify the and save changes to any file in the folder.
    insert Allows someone to add new files and subfolders to a folder.
    delete Allows someone to delete files and subfolders from a folder.
    lock Allows someone to lock a folder while one of the files in the folder is being updated. This prevents another user from altering the file until the lock is released.
    admin Allows someone to change the folder and subfolder permissions. (You have admin permissions for all of the folders in your home directory but you cannot change the access permissions for your home directory itself.)
  4. To give someone access to a folder and its contents, type that person's SUNet ID in the box at the bottom of the list. Check the permissions you want this person to have and then click Save Permissions.

    Note: If you give someone permission to read files in a folder, they or system:anyuser must have at least lookup (l) access in all parent directories.

    Permissions Manager
  5. The person is added to the list. You can grant permissions to more people, one at a time. When you are finished, click the [X] in the upper-right corner to close Permissions Manager.

    Group Permissions: You can give permissions to groups by using pts group names. See the AFS: pts groups page for more information about group permissions.

    Remove Permissions: Uncheck the boxes for the permissions you wish to remove. To remove someone entirely from the list of users with permissions to a particular folder, uncheck all the boxes next to that person's name and then click Save Permissions.

    Add more users to Permissions Manager
Last modified May 21, 2019