Groups File Access

Groups File Access is a WordPress plugin that allows to provide file download links for authorized users. Access to files is restricted to users by their group membership.

Among the many possible use cases covered by this plugin, the most prominent are:

  • Provide file downloads for Premium Members.
  • Allow registered users to download files from your site.


  • Restrict access to downloads to authorized user groups
  • Full multisite support (WordPress network installations)
  • File management area
  • Upload files via FTP and bulk import
  • File access notifications (customizable)
  • Flexible shortcodes: [groups_can_access_file], [groups_can_not_access_file], [groups_file_info], [groups_file_url], [groups_file_link], [groups_file_visibility], [groups_file_access_service_key]
  • Limited or unlimited number of downloads per user
  • Key authentication file access

Access to files is restricted by group membership. To be able to download a file, a user must be a member of a group that is assigned to the file. If an access limit has been set for the file, the user must also have accessed (downloaded) the file fewer times than the file’s access limit.

If you want to restrict access to a file to users that belong to a certain group, create the group, add the desired users to the group and assign the group to the files that the group should be able to access. More than one group can be assigned to a file.

Shortcodes are used on posts or pages to render links to files, provide information about files and conditionally show content to users depending on whether they are allowed to access a file.

For example, the [groups_file_link group="Premium"] shortcode renders links to files that members of the Premium group can click to download the files.


Get the plugin here: Groups File Access


Online Demo

323 Responses to Groups File Access

  1. EGFS March 2, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    I just purchased Groups File Access. I’m wondering if there is a way to assign a graphic icon to specific file types? For example, all PDF files could have a specific PDF icon for each download link. Is this possible?

    • kento March 3, 2015 at 9:28 am #

      Thanks for the suggestion, the file type isn’t taken into account in the markup generated but it’s a good idea to include that. Please see shortcodes for a styling example and options.

  2. EGFS March 2, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Another question about Groups File Access. Can there subfolders in the ‘groups-file-access’ folder on the FTP server?

    • EGFS March 2, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

      Is there at least an ability to assign Categories or Tags to each file?

      • kento March 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

        The categorization is supposed to be handled through the group assignments with this plugin. Could you please explain why you would want to assign the files to categories and/or tags, too? Maybe it’s something worth considering to add.

        • EGFS March 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

          Sure thing. Thanks for responding Kento. We are not using the File Access for any sort of paid download or membership activity. We are using this with an internal website for our franchise community. We have a relatively large number of file downloads (100-200) that are largely marketing and artwork files for our franchisees. The current ‘Groups File Access’ plugin does not allow for any organizing of the file download list on the visitor page side. We don’t want to use the ‘group assignments’ to provide file organization because we need that for access restrictions for the different types of franchisees that login.

          Without FTP subfolders, Categories/Tags or some type of ‘groups filter’, there is no way to make this large list of downloads more user friendly for our users to search and browse.

          I ended up going with WP Download Manager Pro ( instead, which thankfully seems to work fine with the ‘Groups’ access restrictions. I think you’ve done a great job on the backend of the Groups plugins. The frontend user experience seems to be missing though.

          Thanks for your response and all of your hard work.

          • kento March 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            Thanks for your feedback on that, also good to know that it works with that plugin which could be an alternative for others with a similar requirement. One note though, the group assignments also allow to categorize the files, here’s a simple example:

            – Assume a group “Downloads” that grants access to all files intended for members of the “Downloads” group.
            – Assume a group “Documents” that is used to classify files as documents. This group does not have any members, it is used to classify the files only.
            – Assume a group “Audio” that is used to classify audio files. No group members required here either.

            Now you can list files in the “Documents” group using [groups_file_link group="Documents"] and list files in the “Audio” set using [groups_file_link group="Audio"].

            The files are still restricted to members of the “Downloads” group if they are properly assigned, but the listings are showing files as per their classification.

    • kento March 3, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks for asking, subfolders aren’t supported.

  3. EGFS March 3, 2015 at 12:29 am #

    Can you explain more about ‘groups_file_info’ filter? Could this be used to ‘filter’ a list of download links to only show those that have a specific word in the name or description?

    We have a large number of file downloads and I’m trying to find a way to organize them for the user. All of the questions I’m asking have to do with solving this problem.
    1) Can there be subfolders on the FTP server?
    2) Can Categories or Tags be assigned to each file?
    3) Can ‘groups_file_info’ filter be used to show a filtered list based on a word in name or description?

    If the answer to all of the above is ‘no’, then the only other questions I have are…
    4) Can another download manager plugin be used with ‘Groups’?
    5) Can I get a refund for my purchase of ‘Groups File Access’?

    Thanks for your time.

    • kento March 9, 2015 at 12:26 pm #


      Regarding your questions:

      #1 No, the files are handled from the single folder
      #2 No, you would use groups to distinguish between sets of files
      #3 No, this filter is not related to the files handled by GFA
      #4 Yes if it is properly integrated with Groups’ API
      #5 Please get in touch with Envato for that as they handle sales


  4. Mickaël LIBLIN March 3, 2015 at 8:10 am #


    I’ve just bought your plugin to use in my website.
    I want ti use wp-login.php like you you did in your Live Preview but when use try to connect, he arrive each time on his profil page and not to the link I’ve send him.
    Is there a way to prevent it?
    My idea is : send a link a link to specific page. I’ve put script to detect group of the user. If it’s ok, he can see link, else he must login or register. If registered, he must login. When it’s done I want my user arrive on the download page, not on his account page. You see ?
    Thanks for your help.

  5. Abimar March 5, 2015 at 6:20 am #

    Is there a way to allow user to search documents by title?

    Basically I would like to give our users the ability to do a keyword search for file names or descriptions– ideally with the search results only producing files available to the user’s groups.

    • kento March 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

      Thanks for asking, this is not available but it’s a good suggestion, if you have many files it would really be useful.

  6. TeamDev March 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    I have a problem uploading zip and rar files… when I download them the files inside the archive are corrupted and don’t work anymore.
    Have you got any suggestion?
    Thanks in advance.
    Best regards

    • kento March 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm #


      Can you please provide access to check that? Please send admin credentials to support at itthinx dot com and include a link to your comment here.


      • TeamDev March 11, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

        are there any news about the problem?

        • kento March 15, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

          Yes I can confirm that this is an issue on your setup but it’s not an issue with the plugin. This might be due to a conflict with another plugin (the zip file downloaded seems to have one character prefixed at the beginning of the file). I would recommend to set up a test environment where you disable all other plugins and make sure that it works correctly with a minimum configuration.

  7. Xose March 9, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Is there any changelog? Which changes were implemented in this last version?

    • antonio March 9, 2015 at 9:34 am #

      you have available a changelog.txt file in the plugin zip file.
      This is:
      * 1.5.2
      - adjusted the filetype recognition to be less strict in favor of allowing file types to be recognized


      • Xose March 9, 2015 at 9:42 am #

        Ok! Thanks

  8. Henry March 12, 2015 at 3:47 pm #


    I’m looking into buying this plugin, and just have a quick question. Do you guys have a email functionality where you can send updates to your groups?


    • kento March 15, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

      Hi Henry,

      Not directly through this plugin, but you can distribute news to groups through Groups Newsletters.


  9. archivist March 20, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    i need for some more details for this addon. ; how it works?
    for example i need to limit my users download count individually:
    x user: can download 30 files at all
    y user: can download 5 files per day

    can this addon do what i want?

    • antonio April 4, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      with the plugin you can restrict the access to files by groups, and limit by users.
      But you can not limit by time and by total count. So you can not use this for your specifications.
      Antonio B.

  10. Julien April 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    I just bought group file access plugin to allow specific user to download report directly from our blog.
    I don’t know how to use it, documentation is really poor.
    There is not any tutoriel to help me to setup the plugin.
    I’ve already setup a lot of different plugins and I never had to ask for some support.
    If someone from the itthinx team could get in touch with me to understand how it works, it would be great.


    • kento April 17, 2015 at 10:59 am #

      Hi Julien,

      There is in fact plenty of detailed information in the documentation, you must have looked at the wrong place. See and let us know if you have any particular doubt or question you need help with please.


Leave a Reply