Groups File Access

File downloads for authorized users

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.

  • 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.


See the Groups File Access product page.

The GFA PDF Viewer is a free integration with PDF Viewer.


See the Group File Access documentation pages.


Please visit the Demo site.

408 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. Andrei G March 23, 2015 at 10:20 pm #


    I have lately run into an issue with the site using this plugin, that caused a major slowdown of the site not long after it was launched. It took quite a while to investigate the reason of the slowdown and the source was a field in the wp_options table of the database named “cron”.

    The contents of the field was really gigantic and what was particular about it is that most of the values were related to the Groups File Access plugin. The values contained.. that seemed to be repeated thousands of times were similar to: “a:1:{s:44:”groups_file_access_session_delete_transients”.

    I had suspected this plugin to be the cause of the slowdown earlier, but it wasn’t clear in what fashion it was affecting the site.

    To fix it, I simply deleted the “cron” field in wp_options table, but I would really like to know the reason for which this happened and how to go about preventing it.

    Any ideas?


    • kento April 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Andrei,

      This sounds like cron isn’t working on your site but also thanks for mentioning it because if it isn’t, the plugin shouldn’t be adding more and more jobs (although it already checks before adding them). In any case, I’ll re-check to see if anything needs to be done about that.


  11. Andrei G. March 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm #


    I wrote to you previously about the issue with plugin that caused the cron field in wp_options to be gigantic, causing a major site slowdown (with a major client).

    I can confirm now that this is indeed the case, and I believe to have also fixed it.

    The issue lies in class-groups-file-access-session.php, line 147. The check for whether a schedule exists already is bad. The function wp_get_schedule() returns false if no schedule or a string if a schedule exists. Thus, the check basically says “if !(false)” which equals true… so the line after will run basically every time.

    I have modified to be: if ( wp_get_schedule( ‘groups_file_access_session_delete_transients’ )!= false ) {

    This seems to solve it.

    For now, I have modified the plugin myself, but I’d like it to be included officially, so that I don’t have to worry about losing this fix with future plugin updates.


    • kento April 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

      Many thanks Andrei, that seems to make a lot of sense – I’ll run some tests with your modification and add it. Great work figuring that out! :)

      • Andrei G. November 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

        Hi Kento,

        Regarding this old issue I wrote about before with the site slowdown caused by unnecessary repeated entries of cron events for Groups File Access (as per my original post).

        I noticed you corrected in the latest version of the plugin, however the issue is still present, as it started manifesting itself again, causing site slowdowns, after I updated the plugin to the latest version. It took me a while to investigate but I think I figured it out. Let me see if I can explain:

        The problem as I described before was that the function wp_get_schedule() returns false if no schedule. The fix that I provided was actually incorrect, but it did prevent the adding of repeated entries.

        The thing is, in this particular case, wp_get_schedule() will ALWAYS return false. The reason is that you are scheduling a single event which doesn’t actually have a schedule.

        A schedule, as per the way WP Cron works, is a recurrence (hourly, daily, etc.). Since you are scheduling a single event, there is no reccurence – the function wp_schedule_single_event() does not allow passing a $recurrence as parameter the same way the function wp_schedule_event() does.

        As such, when you schedule a single event without recurrence (without an actual schedule), wp_get_schedule() is unable to see it (because it checks for the recurrence value which doesn’t exist) and will always return false. So when you check for if (!wp_get_schedule()), this will always be true because wp_get_schedule() will always be false, and the next line of wp_schedule_single_event() will always trigger.

        The question then becomes if wp_get_schedule doesn’t return what you want, how do you go about checking if a single event is scheduled for a one time trigger?

        Well, there is another function for that: wp_next_scheduled() (

        This is the function that should be used to check for the presence of a scheduled single event instead of wp_get_schedule().

        Thus, the correction is simple on line 149 of lib/core/class-groups-file-access-session.php in the 1.5.4 version of Groups File Access plugin:

        if ( !wp_next_scheduled( ‘groups_file_access_session_delete_transients’ )) {

        Hope this sheds some light on this issue.

        For those that have been having issues with site slowdowns, the fix consists of two steps.

        Step 1: First, you must apply the correction as I described above, by changing the line of code that has the bad check.

        Step 2: Then, you must delete a field in the database (which by now has grown so large it may freeze your browser). You can connect to your database via something like phpmyadmin, then go to the wp_options table of your database and locate the row that has a option_name of “cron”. this is the field that contains unnecessary repeated entries of {s:44:”groups_file_access_session_delete_transients.

        You can simply delete the row (instead of trying to edit it and clear it). It will get recreated automatically by WordPress.

        Once you’ve done that, you can monitor the existing scheduled cron events from the WordPress admin by installing the WP Crontrol plugin and then going to Tools/Cron Events. If you try to view the Cron events in this fashion before deleting the bad database field, it will probably crash the site/admin page because the field is too large to fetch and it will time out with a 500 error.

        • Kento November 6, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

          Hi Andrei,

          Thank you very much for the details, I’ll check this and let you know.


  12. yannick lévesque April 7, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Is it possible to open the document (PDF) when i clik ON the file ?

    Presently the document is DOWNLOAD in the bottom left like a download file.

    My client would like to open directly to the screen ?


    • kento April 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm #


      That depends entirely upon how the client has configured her or his browser, as this is a preference of the viewer and is normally determined by the settings used for the MIME type in the user’s browser.


      • yannick levesque April 20, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

        the link you generate is : (not know by all mime type)

        Is it possible to give me some information where in the php code you start or call download with this link. I will check for open pdf link in a new window at the place of the link you generated !

        What do you think about this approch ?

        My client want automatic pdf open for the member users !!!


        • kento April 20, 2015 at 9:38 pm #


          It doesn’t matter what the URL looks like, the MIME type is provided in the header of the response to the request if it’s recognized. Anyhow, if you want the link to open in a new window, you can use the shortcode like this [groups_file_link file_id="123" target="_blank"] see


          • Greg April 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

            Hi Kento, I’m not able to get the files from the group file link to open in the browser preview window.
            I have checked the browser MIME type preferences and can confirm the default for opening pdf files is set to the browser preview and it works fine on any pdf document that has been added outside of group file access i.e. Media library. And have tested this with Google and Firefox
            So I would have expected that when a user is logged in and has permission to access a file they would be able to view the pdf file controlled by group file access and not to have to download it to view it.
            Please can you advise as to why pdf files added by group file access won’t open with the browser preview, but pdf added using WordPress Media library do?

            • kento May 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

              Thanks Greg, I’ll review the conditions for that.

  13. 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.


  14. Mirko April 21, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    Hi, I am going to buy this plugin, it looks really great for my project. Before I get it, I’d like to understand how it exactly works. When a new user sign into my WP site, I don’t want him to immediately get access to the files. I’d want him to register by himself, just that, then I’ll give him access to one o more groups and notify him he’s been authorized.
    Is this how it works or could I get it working like that? Thank you so much!

    • kento April 21, 2015 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Mirko,

      I would recommend you to install Groups first before you decide. Set up a test group and try to execute the use case you have in mind – from what you say, this should be easy as you let them register and assign to a group manually. I’m suggesting this so you get an idea of how Groups itself works. If that is suitable, you can use GFA to upload files which the users in a specific group are allowed to access. As your process seems to be manual, you wouldn’t need anything else to cover this requirement.

      I hope that helps but please let me know if you have further questions. Oh also have a look at the documentation pages if you haven’t already, that is Groups and Groups File Access.


  15. Mirko G April 21, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi, I bought Groups File Access, it’s exactly what I needed. I’d like to integrate some download links inside my template code. I read about shortcodes and they are great for pages and posts content, but what about php code? I’m a designer, not a programmer, but understand a little. Could you please tell me what should I write to make a list appear only for the users from a given group? Thank you so much!

    • kento April 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

      Hi Mirko,

      Thanks for using the plugin, the easiest would be to use the shortcodes and an approach based on do_shortcode, there was a similar question here a few days ago.


  16. Mirko G April 30, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    Hi, I’d like to show all file a user can download, regardless of the groups. Something like:


    Login form



    All files you can download:



    • Mirko G April 30, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Never mind, I found out: I’ll use Registered as “all files” group.

      • antonio April 30, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

        Perfect 😉

  17. Jérem May 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    I would like to know how to create files that may be showed by all people (also not connected users) ?

    Thank you so much,

    • antonio May 10, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      Hi Jérem,
      you could use the wordpress media system, using the “Add Media” button above the text editor in posts/pages.
      Antonio B.

  18. Jérem June 15, 2015 at 9:45 am #


    It is possible to allow to a group of users the possibility to upload files but without the administer management ?

    Thank you.

    • antonio June 15, 2015 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Jérem,
      with the plugin you can not do it (it’s not the purpose of the plugin).
      Maybe Frontend Uploader plugin can help you.
      Antonio B.

  19. Abimar June 17, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

    Automatic updates for Groups File Access?

    I see that there is new update (1.53) available for download. Is there a way to arrange automatic updates or do all updates need to be installed manually?

    If it must be manual installation, what is the best way to to do this?

    • antonio June 18, 2015 at 6:43 am #

      Hi Abimar,
      right now automatic updates are not available. In the plugin you have a readme.txt file with instructions.
      3) Update
      If you have received or downloaded an updated version of the Groups File Access plugin, follow these instructions to update it:
      1) Backup
      Back up your WordPress installation files and database.
      2) Upgrade to the new release
      Upgrading requires to replace the plugin.
      Make sure that none of the data deletion options are checked on the "Groups > File Access" page:
      - DO NOT CHECK "Delete plugin data when the plugin is deleted?"
      - DO NOT CHECK "Delete all Groups File Access plugin data when the plugin is deactivated?"
      To update, the plugin must be deactivated, deleted and the new release uploaded and activated. These are the steps involved:
      1. Go to "Plugins > Installed Plugins", click "Deactivate" on the "Groups File Access" plugin, then click "Delete" to remove it.
      2. Go to "Plugins > Add New > Upload" and click the "Browse..." button to select the new release's zip file, and click on the "Install Now" button. After it has been installed, activate the plugin.

      Antonio B.

  20. Justine June 18, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    Hi there – I’m working with WP developer and looking for a solution to do the following. Will the “Groups” plug-in support the following? The one thing I haven’t seen is any file size limitations.

    1) Must allow users to register themselves
    2) Must collect and verify user’s e-mail address
    3) Users must be “approved” by an administrator
    4) Access control must be supported on an individual user and groups of users basis, using arbitrary groups (number of groups and membership of groups)
    5) Users must be able to be members of multiple groups
    6) Access control must be supported on individual files and groups of files basis (i.e. individual files as well as entire directories)
    7) Access control must include options for read-only control, as well as completely hidden (i.e. no indication that a file exists, not just denying access to read the file)
    8) A maximum individual file size of at least 20MB. If your server implements a PHP timeout limit, it must be long enough to allow a 20MB file to be uploaded via a typical ADSL line (i.e. 768kbps upload)

    Optional features:

    1) Per-user ‘private’ areas (i.e. “home directory” or similar concept)
    2) Allow uploads by users into designated areas, restrictable via access control

    Thanks so much!

    • kento June 29, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      Hi Justine,

      Your first two points are covered by WordPress itself. User approval is not handled by Groups and access control is based on group memberships, not on an individual user basis. #5 is inherent. These points are not related to GFA, only to WordPress and/or group memberships.

      #6 GFA doesn’t support folder structures.
      #7 it prodeces 404’s by default.
      #8 depends on your PHP limits, not on GFA.

      #1b again Groups is designed for memberships and works on a per group basis, not per user.
      #2b is not supported


  21. Clayton June 29, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Something has happened to our groups file access installation. It’s been working for over a year, and now none of the links will open. All pdfs. If I click on the link in the ‘files’ list in wordpress admin Groups -> Files, none of the links work. We did update all our plugins and WordPress recently, and we also moved to a new server. Are there any server config settings that could cause the link to hang?

    • kento June 30, 2015 at 10:10 am #

      Hi Clayton,

      As you mention that you have moxed to another server, I assume that the file paths need to be updated. Please refer to the section “Moving to another Server” on the File Access documentation page. You can alternatively use the File Import facilities to do this although updating the file paths as described at the end of the File Access page is quicker and simpler.


  22. TrueType July 2, 2015 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi there,
    I just got into it. You have that neat checkbox with the basic Groups plugin => Groups => Options “Adminstrator role can circumvent the rights management”. So what about this for the Files extension plugin? Am I blind? I think the use of it should be obvious. Why dont you have it, yet?

    Awaiting an update 😉

    • kento July 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm #


      This works in general, there is no need to have such an option for the GFA extension. Also note that you can use groups with appropriate capabilities added to construct specific capability sets and assign the users accordingly so that the override isn’t needed.


      • TrueType July 10, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

        Thanks for coming back on me.

        >This works in general, there is no need to have such an option for the GFA extension
        Do I get you right? No need to have such option in GFA, because the basic groups plugins setting is also valid for GFA? That I cannot confirm. The are no file links anymore as soon as I open a restricted page as administrator with all groups removed.

        You are right with the notion to use groups attached to the administrator…. I did that.

        Another thing: At the end of our project we had to install some image galleries. Which again hat to be protected from public access. We could not do this with GFA. If we would have bulk imported the images, then what? The shortcodes can only deliver some file links. There is no way to get this along with some gallery code. .. So if you know something about that, let me know. Perhaps there may be some solution to run accessing pictures through some rights managed folder. ?


        • kento July 15, 2015 at 11:37 am #


          Regarding the rights, if you don’t see the links as admin it’s because your admin is not in a group that grants access to those files. You need to add your admin to the appropriate groups.

          For image galleries, you could use the [groups_member] shortcode to enclose them.


  23. Antonio July 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm #

    I’ve bought GFA and I would like to use pdf.js ( for viewing my protected PDF files.

    I get this error “Message: Unexpected server response (0) while retrieving PDF “https://myserver/?gfid=1″”. I think “pdf.js” does not find my pdf file… however I can download this pdf file from https://myserver/?gfid=1 (in both scenarios I’m logged in my WP site)

    Please, any idea about this problem?


    • kento July 18, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      Hi Antonio,

      I’m preparing a small plugin based on PDF Viewer which allows to use a shortcode that uses GFA’s session access and the rendering facilities of pdf.js through that plugin. I’ll post a follow-up shortly with a link to the helper plugin.


    • kento July 18, 2015 at 11:04 am #

      Following up, please download GFA PDF Viewer and use it with PDF Viewer. When activated, you can simply indicate the file ID using this shortcode to display the file: [gfapdfviewer file_id="1" session_access="yes"]

      • Antonio July 21, 2015 at 10:11 am #

        thanks so much! It works! :)

        Just a suggestion (maybe you have a quick solution)… I have a list of documents and I don’t want “open” them until the user click on one of them for opening the PDF file in a new window using this viewer. Now, I’m thinking of developing a simple function to pass the ID to a general page to retrieve and display the document. My suggestion is that in the shortcode you can set if the document is opened by default or the user has to click to open in a new window.

        Thanks and regards!

        • kento July 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

          Hi Antonio,

          I think that would have to be an option of the viewer. If the viewer has an option to open the document or open it directly. Although another option which you could consider is to have a link to the page where the document is displayed and then it would only open if the user clicks the link to that page.


  24. Sylvain July 30, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    I’ve bought GFA and it worked great until today. It systematically causes the following error on all pages (front and back) :

    WordPress database error: [MySQL server has gone away] UPDATE `wp_options` SET `option_value` = ‘a:6284:{i:1437003606;a:3:{s:16:\”wp_version_check\”;[…………………] WHERE `option_name` = ‘cron’

    I didn’t copy all the sql request because it’s absolutely huge (1MO of text) !!! I think it’s growing over ! So mysql server can’t handle this.

    When I comment this line : Groups_File_Access_Session::init(); in class-groups-file-access-session the error desappears and the plugin works.

    Is the sql request normal ? Any idea about what’s wrong ? Thanks !

    • antonio August 3, 2015 at 8:02 am #

      Hi Sylvain,
      Groups File Access doesn’t add an option called ‘cron’. Probably is a problem with your cron system. Groups File Access uses the wordpress cron system. So if you comment the Groups_File_Access_Session::init(); line, the error disapears.
      Please be sure you have the lastest WordPress and plugins versions. If the problem persist and you have another plugins that uses the cron system, you can try to disable them.
      Antonio B.

  25. Sylvain July 30, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    Hi, please don’t reply to my previous question. The solution has already been given, I didn’t see it. I hope it will be fixed in next updates. Best regards

  26. Abimar August 19, 2015 at 7:20 am #

    Help! Shortcodes are suddenly broken — they were working fine yesterday. I think the problem is probably due to the WP 4.3 upgrade.

    But all my pages now simply displaying the shortcode, so my users seeing pages with entries like this:

    [groups_file_link group="13"]

    rather than lists of documents.

    This is very important to fix ASAP. Any ideas?

    • Abimar August 19, 2015 at 8:29 am #

      Follow up — I’ve tested — it is only the [groups_file_link] and [groups_file_url] short codes that are broken.

      I have tested this on my staging site and the same problem is there as well.

      WordPress documentation says that they have made some changes that impact Shortcodes used in conjuction with HTML — so that could be part of the problem, as these shortcodes call up HTML embedded links.

      However, the problem only showed up with the most recent upgrade to 4.3 — I am absolutely sure that there was no problem yesterday because I batch uploaded and tested a bunch of files then. WordPress documentation says that the change to their shortcode API took place with 4.2.3 — see

      Anyway – PLEASE check this, high priority — because my users depend on this function.

    • Abimar August 19, 2015 at 8:54 am #

      OK — I fixed it– I’m right about the upgrade — but my fix is a hack that won’t hold long. But it will help you figure out what you need to do.

      Here’s what I did -I downloaded WP 4.2.4 and replaced the shortcode.php file in the new 4.3 version with the older 4.2.4 version.

      Everything now seems to look fine — so I’m correct, the problem is a change in coding that particular file. So I think you are going to need to push out an upgrade that fixes whatever 4.3 broke.

      I’m hoping it’s no too complicated a task. I ran a comparison between the two shortcode.php files and can see several changes, but I don’t have a clue as to what it all means. But at least my support request can be downgraded from “urgent” to “as soon as convenient”….. (and I can get some sleep.)

      • antonio August 20, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

        Hi Abimar,
        It was a problem with the 4.3.0 wordpress version. Fixed in the latest version, please download it from Codecanyon.
        Thanks for the feedback.
        Antonio B.

  27. gillico August 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    On this page and others, the shortcodes for file access are being rendered on the page as the shortcodes (i.e. [groups_file_link file_id="222"]) not the expanded file name with links. Not sure what caused this to change, as it was working properly before. Please advise

  28. Gert August 20, 2015 at 8:50 am #


    on our Downloads site, the GFA shortcodes for files like [groups_file_link file_id="78"] working fine until ‘yesterday’ don’t work anymore.

    The issue seems to has appeared with the last WordPress update (?).

    For the shortcode [groups_can_access_file file_id="3"] This is shown if the user can access the file.[/groups_can_access_file] is still working, I’m pretty sure there is nothing wrong with the files or the group permissions or the site processing.

    Any idea, please?

    Gert T.

    • antonio August 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

      Hi Gert,
      please downlaod the latest version from Codecanyon.

  29. Kevin Hock August 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

    After upgrading to WordPress 4.3 the groups_file_link shortcode stopped rendering (the shortcode simply display as-is on the page). Downgrading to 4.2.4 restores functionality. Is this a known issue and is there any expected resolution? Thank you.

    • antonio August 20, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

      Hi Kevin,
      please download the latest version from Codecanyon.
      Antonio B.

  30. gillico August 20, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    In regards to my previous post, it seems that new new release of WordPress could be the the issue- does this plugin rely on php4 style constructors? 4.3 deprecates them.

  31. gillico August 20, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    Was just notified of the plugin update. Installed it and everything is functioning correctly now. Thank you.

    • antonio August 20, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi gillico,
      It was a problem with the 4.3.0 wordpress version. Fixed in the latest version.
      Thanks for the feedback.
      Kind regards,
      Antonio B.

  32. Gert Tauer October 5, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    Files in admin panel not shown.

    Hi, I’m already downloaded and installed the latest Version, but this didn’t fixed the problem:
    After a ftp file upload – Scan for files – Import files there is a success message. But if I switch to ‘Files’, nothing is shown on the page. Even the help tab doesn’t respond.
    It seems anything causes the plugin to choke on large files (>100Mb). Is there any Workaround for that?


    • Kento October 6, 2015 at 9:05 am #

      Hi Gert,

      See the section Serving large files on this page please File Access. You most probably need to adjust your PHP limits.


      • Gert October 9, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

        According to the descriptions I placed a php.ini in the wp-admin directory. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cures the problem.
        I don’t believe it is a php problem for the file scanning and import process works well.
        Any further suggestions?


      • Gert Tauer October 12, 2015 at 9:37 am #

        Thanks, I read it but it doesn’t helps.

        Also the solution described there

        leads no further.

        And yes, it is a Multi-Site.

        Any suggestions are welcome.

        • Kento October 12, 2015 at 10:24 am #

          After trying what I’ve suggested a moment ago, if it still doesn’t work you should get in touch with your hosting provider.

          • Gert Tauer October 19, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

            Thank you.
            Actually there is a hard php memory limit set by my host.

            Just to improve my knowledge a little bit:

            The memory limit causes my problem with the plugin, means, when the php script scans a file for its size, the script consumes a memory amount as big as the file size, right?
            If not, what is the problem when sanning big files (resulting in there is an entry with the file Name but no ID in the file import text file)?

            Thanks for any Information.

            • Kento October 26, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

              Hi Gert,

              If your host doesn’t allow you to upload files as large as you require, then you will have to switch to another service which allows it. This is not dependent on this plugin, if your host imposes any upload limits and does not offer you an option to override these, then there are plenty of hosting providers out there which will happily allow you to do that and I would certainly recommend to switch to one who does.


          • Gert October 27, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

            Thanks for your latest reply.

            Please tell me how to manage to see it here in the comment page to reply directly – the link shown in the notification e-mail doesn’t work:

            However, the problem is not to upload big files – it works. The question is, why the file import script doesn’t create a valid entry (there is no ID in the text file created).
            It looks like the plugin can’t write the file size into the data base if the size is large. The .mp4 file can be accessed if it is uploaded intoa different directory.


            • Kento October 29, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

              Hi Gert,

              Regarding this: “It looks like the plugin can’t write the file size into the data base if the size is large…” – I don’t really know what makes you think that but it’s not the case. Also you mentioned initially “It seems anything causes the plugin to choke on large files (>100Mb). Is there any Workaround for that?” and later “Actually there is a hard php memory limit set by my host.” but now you say “the problem is not to upload big files” … and you say you can upload files into a different directory. Using what? FTP? That’s not related at all to the problem we are discussing. As I’ve already pointed out before, you should work with your hosting provider to make it possible to upload files via PHP scripts supporting the file sizes you need. If that can’t be done, then you will need to look for another host.

              I hope that helps to clarify, sorry but if the limits are correctly set there should not be any issue at all.


  33. Giorgio October 6, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    1 API
    I didn’t find any API available to upload files.
    I desire to upload files through a WP REST interface or any other PHP interface.
    Do you think is possible?

    2 File limits
    What is the file number limits that you suggest to be able to maintain an acceptable speed? I’m worried about the single directory. 1.000 new files every year with something like 100 users/group. Do you think this numbers are too big for this kind of solution?

    • Kento October 6, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

      Hi Giorgio,

      #1 Currently it doesn’t provide any REST interface for that.
      #2 It doesn’t present an issue by itself, the limits depend entirely on the filesystem used. Here’s an interesting entry with references.


      • Giorgio October 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

        1 – no rest ok but what about PHP? We can write the REST part if some useful PHP API are available to insert new files in the repository.
        2 – ok, i know, no directory limits but what about speed and memory requirements? It depends on your implementation. Are filenames cached? Do you scan the directory or Are they readed from DB? What’s the biggest repo you are working on? I was asking for your point of view with respect to the plugin implementation and the numbers i provider.
        Thanks in advance.

        • Kento October 12, 2015 at 11:58 am #

          Hi Giorgio,

          I don’t think that this plugin would be suitable in your case. You’d have to derive the functions from the plugin’s code to create your own and then I would assume that there are other plugins out there that might already provide it and you could spare yourself the work. Regarding performance, it depends on the filesystem, the plugin holds its own database entries for files and is quick in retrieving the related information.

          My recommendation in this case would be to look for a solution that is closer to what you’re trying to achieve, it can spare you a lot of implementation.


  34. Fido October 8, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    i dont find the appropriate support forum for this groups plugin, i bought it 8 months ago.
    Since last wordpress update [groups_file_link file_id="3"] does not render the file anymore but throws a notice:

    do_shortcode_tag wurde fehlerhaft aufgerufen. Es wurde versucht, einen Shortcode ohne gültigen Callback zu parsen: groups_file_link

    Sorry for german. I think you can understand what this means,

    • antonio October 9, 2015 at 10:26 am #

      Hi Fido,
      please be sure you have the last version (you can get it in your codecanyon downloads page).
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

      • Fido October 9, 2015 at 10:54 am #

        Thx for the reminder.
        I thought i had it, but i forgot to upload the new version. stupid me.

        • antonio October 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

          Perfect 😉

  35. Mike October 9, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

    I’m loving the Groups File Access plugin. Great plugin!

    The docs show that you can list multiple groups separated commas. I’ve tried something like this:

    [groups_file_link group="blue,square"]

    This returns anything in the “blue” group OR anything in the “square” group. Is there a way to return only the “blue” “squares”?

    • Kento October 12, 2015 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Mike,

      You could use the following solution – install this which provides an additional shortcode to show content enclosed only if the viewer belongs to all groups:

      [groups_cmember group=”blue,square”][groups_file_link group="blue,square"][/groups_cmember]

      I hope that helps, please don’t forget to rate the GFA plugin, thanks!


      • Mike October 12, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

        Thanks for the reply. I may be able to use that one too. (groups-cmember restricts content for users that are part of both groups.)

        However, I would like to restrict the *list of files* to those in both “blue” and “squares” groups.

        • Kento October 13, 2015 at 8:02 am #

          Hi Mike,

          For this case you would have to create a separate group as the shortcode doesn’t support the logic. I can consider adding it though, but meanwhile you would have to create a group that covers files that are both in “blue” and “squares”.


  36. Mike October 12, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    Using the Groups File Access plugin, every file I download has a new line at the beginning of the file. For binary files (png, zip, exe…) this gives an OS warning that the file is corrupted when I try to use the file. If I edit the file and remove the extra newline, things are fine. Is there a fix for this?

    • Kento October 13, 2015 at 8:05 am #

      This sounds very much like a plugin conflict or an issue with the setup. Can you provide details on the environment you’re running this on please? Please also forward admin access to the site to support at itthinx dot com with a link to this conversation.

  37. Andrei G. October 27, 2015 at 1:47 pm #


    We’ve been using Groups File Access for a while now without issues. All of a sudden, though, it looks like the file links are no longer generated. Instead, all I see is the actual shortcode instead of the file url.

    The only thing that changed is we updated to latest WordPress version (4.3.1). Could this be the reason or is there anything else that could cause the shortcode to not be processed?


    • Kento October 28, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

      Hi Andrei,

      You probably need to upgrade to the latest version, please download the latest version and install it.


  38. Bryan October 28, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    I’ve been having some seriously long loading times with both this plugin and the Groups plugin. Here is the P3 analysis by plugin:

    WP 4.3.1
    PHP 5.4.22

    As you can see, they make up a huge portion of an already very long load time. I have WP Super Cache running as well as a few others, but nothing out of the ordinary. Any idea what might be causing these extremely long loading time? I saw another post from 7 months ago that had gone unresolved (, and am wondering if my problem might be related.

    I’ve also experimented with the Plugin Profiler, which allows you to control which plugins load. Whenever I set all Groups-related plugins to OFF, the pages load almost instantly. Turn them on again, back 7-8 second load times. I’ve tried disabling a combination of different plugins, but nothing seems to fix the problem. It hasn’t always been an issue, but I can’t continue to use a plugin that has people tapping their toes as my site loads.


    • Kento November 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

      Hi Bryan,

      It can be related to caching but I’d need to know details about the test run for which you have provided the screenshot. What pages have you visited during the P3 profiling?


  39. Mauricio November 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm #


    WordPress v. 4.3.1
    Groups File Access v. 1.5.4
    PHP V. 5.5.23

    I have a problem uploading pdf files. When I download them, the files inside the archive are corrupted : « Unable to open document PDF. document is damaged »

    Have you got any suggestion?


    • antonio November 16, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

      Hi Mauricio,
      sorry for the delay. Please try this:
      – check the file before to upload it.
      – Upload the file.
      – Download the file using the plugin and check it.
      – Download the file using your ftp account and check it.
      if the origin file is correct and both downloaded files are corrupted, probably there is a problem/conflict with the plugin.
      Please give us feedback about this test.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

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