What is the best method to share folders between users?

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I would like advice on the best method to create shared folders.

@t-into say that he does not understand why NC keep the group folders in the app-store.

I use group folders extensively and wonder what is the alternative.

@rakekniven answers “Manuel sharing. Create a folder and share with users.”

I am admin for an intranet solution for an organisation with currently 66 users. These users are members of about 15 different groups. Users can be members of many groups.
In the beginning, I as an admin created folders and shared them with other users. I abandoned that method as it was tied to me as an admin.
Then I created dummy users for each group. This dummy user created and shared folders. As far as I remember it got too complicated so I abandoned also that method when the Group folders app got available. With group folders it is very easy to give different permissions to the groups.

Now I get confused. Have I misunderstood what is the best method?

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The advantage of group folders is that you can create a folder that isn’t tied to one particular account. I would say that’s probably the best method, and to say it should be removed as an available app is a bit short-sighted.

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Did I miss something? The Group Folders App should be removed? :cold_face:
This is an absolute basic function of every file sharing software!

I’m still confused why this functionality is not available in the core of Nextcloud, but is provided by an external app instead? :thinking:
IMHO this functionality should be provided and maintained by the core developer team itself.

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It would be sooooo good if anyone who really knows the differences could create a camparing List with pros and cons of the different possibilities of sharing files and folders. Each year I start to investigate again because either I can’t remember the precise differneces or I have the feeling that something could have changed.
I am definetly NOT the one to create a list but to motivate the real experts I just start it…and would love to edit this post and delete the following part again:

App “Group Folders”

  • Pro:
    *. Not tied to one single user account
    *. ?!
  • Con:
    *. No encryption
    *. Problems with deletion
    *. Many mor options to admin

Global Shares by Admin oder Ghost-Accont

  • Pro:
    *. No further app or options needed
    *. Works fine if group members and admin aren’t changing
  • Con:
    *. Something with quota seems bad?!

App “Circles”:

  • Pro:
    *. Didn’t get it
  • Con:
    *. Didn’t get it…

Can’t we have an open OO Sheet, where all can enter Pros and Cons and that is always uptodate?

Actually it’s such an important topic and I think it was worth for the NC admins to organise a “fair” comparison Site in the Documentation.


I want to add some points here:

GF pro:

  • Seperate quota (not filling up users quota)
  • Not tied to one single user account (Files remain when user leaves group or gets deleted)

GF con:

  • Problems with sharing of subfolders (GitHub)
  • Trashbin/Versions of GF filling up (GitHub)
  • GF replaces local user folder if it has the same name (GitHub)
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GF pro:

  • specific permissions for different groups

GF con:

  • New files don’t show up in “recent” or “recommended files” (Github)
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GF con: The NC Desktop Client treats Group Folders as External Storage, creating notifications that are confusing and alarming to the non-technical end user and requiring them to change settings that they don’t understand. See:


Together with GF preventing encryption this makes it a risk to the acceptance of Nextcloud in an association I’m currently working for as a volunteer. I’m considering the alternative approach suggested by @ Kerasit in this topic: