There is no indication that the subfolders I create are inheriting the sharing permissions of their parent folder

Nextcloud version: 11.0.3
Operating system and version: Mac OSX 10.11.6
Apache or nginx version: ?
PHP version: ?
Is this the first time you’ve seen this error?: Yes, it’s the first time I’ve noticed it

Can you reliably replicate it? Yes, steps:

  1. Create a folder and share it with someone
  2. Create subfolders in that same folder - you will see that there is no clue that these subfolders have inherited the sharing permissions from the parent folder

The issue you are facing:
Initially, I thought the issue I was trying to solve was that subfolders I created within folders that are shared with a group do not inherit the sharing permissions of the parent folder. But after a few days of testing with colleagues, it seems that these subfolders do inherit the sharing permissions of the parent folder, but there is no visual clue to the person who created the subfolders that they are being shared.

In my main files page,I have a folder that is being shared with Albert (I would include a screenshot but it only lets me add one image).

However the subfolders within that folder do not indicate that they are being shared with Albert. Even when you go into the Sharing icon, the right sidebar indicates that the folder is not being shared with anyone. See screenshot:

However, when others look at this folder, they see that the folders are shared because they have the Share icon on the folder and they see that it was shared with them by me.

This seems like a really strange behavior. Why not indicate that these subfolders are shared with others, even if they are subfolders and are created by me? Without this clear indication (like having the Share icon on the folder), it causes a lot of confusion because you aren’t really sure if those subfolders are being shared.

Furthermore, I tried to find information in the documentation on the default sharing behaviors (like the fact that subfolders inherit parent folders sharing permissions even if it says it isn’t shared with anyone) and didn’t see anything in the user guide. Can you point me to that information?

(Is this a feature request? If so, how do I document this request?)

Thanks for your help!

The shared symbol on a folder indicates, that you actively shared that folder and that you can remove this share. But actually you can’t because the way sharing works is like that:
If you share your bag (parent folder) with someone and that person can look into that bag to see your stuff and can also put things into your bag, then this person will of course also see the folder (folder in office terms here and as an analogy to the sub folder) with all the paper work you put in your bag. The folder in your bag is not shared additionally with the other person - so to speak.
The other users see the shared symbol to get a hint, that the folder was not created in their personal file space and doesn’t belong to them in the first place - the share can be removed.

Currently there is no way (out of the box) to forbid access to sub folders of shared folders. So whenever you share a folder, users see all the way down to every sub folder. Someone else in this forum however asked for a way how to forbid that and there is a way with “File Access Control” if you need that as well. I just wanted to describe how it is working right now.
Hope it helps so far.

Thanks for this explanation. Do you happen to know where any of this is documented?

I’m not completely sure I understand this:

The folder in your bag is not shared additionally with the other person - so to speak.

…but I understand the point that whatever is put into a shared folder will automatically be shared with everyone that the folder is shared with. (unless you restrict access via groups, access file control, and tags, as you mentioned)

I think it would be a big improvement in the UX if NextCloud could add a visual queue that indicates: this folder is being shared but you can’t remove this share. A different color share icon, perhaps?

At the very least, when you open the subfolder that has inherited its parent folder sharing permissions, you should see who this subfolder is being shared with. Currently, under “Sharing” it’s blank (see the screenshot above) which is misleading and confusing (unless I’m still missing something?).

Like many other organizations, our nonprofit is looking for a safe, intuitive way to share files across our organization. We like NextCloud because it’s open source and we can host it ourselves. I think the issue I’m raising here could help many other nonprofits who are trying to figure out how to set up NextCloud for organizational use.



I like the idea, that users should see by a different color for example that a folder is actually shared because it’s a sub folder of a shared folder.
I just checked on the NC12 beta server, if this behavior changed already, but it didn’t. You still have no indication that the sub folder is actually shared as well.

So while I think it is still obvious that every sub folder is shared as well, I agree that an indication would help. For me the sub folders could come with a symbol (in a different color maybe) or the folder icon could have a different color.

However, we need to open a feature request on Github, if we want to have that feature:

The documentation doesn’t describe that behavior. It only informs about the icons of parent folders, not about sub folders: