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.

738 Responses to Groups File Access

  1. Michael June 19, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    Pre-Sales question:
    I am looking to restrict downloads of a file to a client who would have a specific serial number or other type of alpha-numeric code they would need to enter, before being directed to, or being sent a download link.
    Can this plug-in do that?
    Please enter your special code here…..
    Then when code agrees with what is in a database…hopefully one this plugin can hold, then receive their download link.

    • antonio June 20, 2017 at 8:55 am #

      Hi Michael,
      with Groups Codes plugin you can add your users to groups using codes.
      So when an user is in a group, then you can use the shortcodes available in Groups File Access plugin.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  2. VK May 29, 2017 at 10:58 am #


    I’m looking for a way to publicly render a list of links to files that have been uploaded to Groups File Access.

    So basically I’d like to use something like this:

    [groups_file_link group="Registered" public=true]

    which would auto-generate a working service key to each link (and for that link only). I can’t show real service keys in public because they can be then used to get any file from GFA.

    I get the idea behind the service key, so that “secret” links to files can be rendered on demand. But I wouldn’t want to upload those files to media library just for sharing them because they already exist in GFA.

    best regards,


    • antonio June 1, 2017 at 9:55 am #

      Hi VK,
      Using this shortcode version [groups_file_link group="Registered" visibility="always" /] you can display a list of the files of a group to everybody, but if the user clicks on the file, then he will get a ‘You don’t have permission to access this resource on this server.’.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  3. Ezra May 29, 2017 at 1:11 am #

    Hi Guys,

    We’ve used Group File Access for a few years on our website, and we’ve recently experienced a problem in which downloaded files do not ever completely download.

    We’ve set up a local test site that bypasses CloudFlare, and we’re still having the issue, so we suspect it might be the Group File Access plugin.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    • antonio June 2, 2017 at 7:11 am #

      Hi Ezra,
      Please check:
      – Folder permissions.
      – If you have updated your wordpress, please check if you have installed our plugin last version.
      – Test with different file types (.zip, .pdf …)
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  4. Dwight Holman May 8, 2017 at 5:01 am #

    Hi Guys,

    we are using the Groups file access plugin on a website and are now up-to about 200 download files. It works great. When we go to the Files page to manage these, by default the list is sorted alphabetically by name.

    When maintaining or updating downloads, we almost always want to look at the most recent downloads first. We can click the column header in the table to change the order but this is annoying to do every time…

    Is there any way to set the default sort order for the list of files? I checked the documentation and could not find any discussion about this, and there are no options available in configuration.

    Best regards,

  5. Jac April 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    I installed Groups Files Access to a client’s website – this is the 4th time we have used it, but we keep having a problem with it. There is a similar issue described in an old situation above, but I didn’t see the solution here. (License was purchased by my client directly.)

    Installed and activated Groups and Groups Files Access fine. Added Group name fine. Added a capability fine.
    But if we try to Add File, it fails.
    After you fill out the form (even with a very small test file) and click the Add File button to submit, nothing happens. There is a blank area without any error message shown. If debug log is turned on, the errors collected are only about theme display issues and nothing about groups files access. The server admin said it looks like PHP just dies and doesn’t finish uploading the file. He tried changing to all versions of PHP with the same result.

    We also tried to increase the PHP memory limit to a high number, problem persists.

    I checked we have the latest WordPress version and plugins all upgraded. I even re-uploaded the groups files access plugin files to the server. Add File still does not work. Please advise ASAP, we really need this basic feature.

    • antonio April 27, 2017 at 9:28 am #

      Hi Jac,
      maybe there is a problem with the files/folders permissions. Please check this.
      If the problem persists, please try to reinstall the plugin and you can send me dashboard admin access to antonio[at]itthinx[dot]com indicating this conversation, and I’ll have a look at this.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

      • Jac May 1, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

        Hi Antonio. Thank you for your reply so far. I emailed you last week about this with more details and a login. Please reply as soon as you can so I can resolve this issue.

        • antonio May 6, 2017 at 8:33 am #

          Hi Jac,
          Sorry for the delay.
          I guess there is some conflict with the theme or another plugin. You can try to create a copy of the website, disable the other plugins, and activate them one by one to try to find the conflict. If this is not the problem, please try with another theme.
          Kind Regards,
          Antonio B.

  6. Max February 2, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    Hi Antonio & Kento,

    I am actually working with Version 1.6.0 of the Groups File Access plugin. My wordpress admin tells me there is a new version available. Whenever I try to update the plugin from within the admin panel I get the failure message “Actualisation Package not found”.

    Do you know what I am doing wrong or how I could get the actualisation package of the plugin?

    Thank you and best regards,

    • antonio February 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

      Hi Max,
      Groups File Access plugin is available from Codecanyon, so you can get the last version from your downloads page.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  7. yas January 31, 2017 at 11:35 am #

    hello . i have a question
    we want restrict number of download for all files in our site.
    i mean user just can download from our site twice a day.
    this plugin can this action ??

    • antonio January 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

      Hi yas,
      You can limit the total downloads per files, but not per time and the site total downloads.
      Please have a look at the documentation page.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  8. Andrei G. January 18, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    Hi, I am subscribed to this thread and receive emails about questions and answers but when I visit the thread here on the site, I am not able to find that discussion and I can’t seem to respond to the email either.

    Is it because maybe you respond to questions without approving them to be shown on the site?

    Anyway, I wanted to respond to one message in particular that discussed the quality of the support system.

    Indeed, there are a lot of good questions and answers going around for this plugin/add-on and the main Groups plugin as well, but it is very hard to keep track of everything or even search for something.

    I see a lot of devs and plugin makers these days use Ticksy for their support system. Maybe you could look into it:


    • antonio January 19, 2017 at 7:02 am #

      Hi Andrei,
      That’s true. We are working to improve the support system.
      Thank you very much for your suggestion.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  9. Max January 18, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    Hi Antonio and Kento,

    I apologise if I am not in the correct forum but I would like to ask you a support question to the Groups Plugin in general. As far as I understand I cannot login or create an account for the itthinx site althought I bought Groups File Access. I would also like to buy the general groups plugin or support to be able to ask some questions. I tried posting my question on but did not receive a response. Please let me know what would be the right way to ask a support question regarding the Groups plugin and thank you for your amazing plugin.

    Best regards,

    • antonio January 18, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

      Hi Max,
      We are working to improve the support system.
      If you have any question about the Groups File Access you can ask here using the comments system. If the question is about Groups. lease use the Groups page.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  10. FM January 16, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    Hi, I am having trouble with the group file access plugin.
    I have created a group Alarmdirector. Then uploaded a file and assigned that file to that group.

    Now I have created a test page and added the following shortcode [groups_file_link group="Alarmdirector"].

    The problem is that the file in the test page can not be accessed by the test user who belongs to the group Alarmdirector.

    Would you please suggest me any solution

    • antonio January 16, 2017 at 7:59 pm #

      Hi FM,
      You need to set a ‘file_id’ attribute. Please have a look at the documentation page.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  11. Andrew January 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi, I am using a popular Google Analytics tracking plugin and Groups File Access. I’ve provisioned the plugin to track downloads and it appears to be doing this for some files – but not for files downloaded via this plugin.

    Is there something preventing this from being tracked? It’s a problem for us as we need to generate reports on downloads – specifically we want to generate reports for user categories on what files were downloaded, and how many times. I suspect it is the ?gfid=xx which is preventing Google Analytics from detecting a file download link?

    Is there a way to manually put inline tracking for Google Analytics on links to files when the shortcode is generated? This would solve the problem well. Please help – Thanks!

    • Kento January 23, 2017 at 2:35 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      I think that the best solution would be to use the groups_file_served action which is invoked when an authorized download is accessed and served. This action provides two parameters, the first is the $file_id of the file served and the second the $user_id of the user whom it has been served to. This can then be used to Event Tracking by using the send command to Google Analytics and record a hit event.

      So basically I would suggest to define your function that is triggered on the groups_file_served action: add_action( 'groups_file_served', 'your_ga_send_hit_event', 10, 2 ); – you would have to implement this function to send the hit event to Google Analytics.

      Does that help?


      • Anna January 9, 2018 at 4:22 pm #


        We’ve been revisiting this problem for the past couple of weeks now and still have not solved it. I understand now that ‘groups_file_served’ is a custom action that gets created in “class-groups-file-access.php”, using the do_action function. From my understanding of how this works, I should then be able to hook my function into this action in functions.php.

        add_action( ‘groups_file_served’, ‘track_downloads’, 10, 2) isn’t working — the custom action isn’t recognized. I’ve verified my function sending the event to Google Analytics works. This is what it looks like:

        function track_downloads( $file_id, $user_id ){
        ?>gtag( ‘event’, ‘file_download’ );<?php

        The only way I've been able to get my theme to pick up the groups_file_served method is using method_exists( "Groups_File_Access", "groups_file_served" ).

        Is there something I'm missing here?

        I've also tried adding different custom action hooks in different places in the code, but none of those worked either.

        • Kento January 20, 2018 at 11:52 am #

          Hi Anna,

          The first thing that I would suggest is to check whether your action is added before the action is invoked. If it isn’t, then it won’t be called. This can sometimes be overlooked and I’d suggest to debug this and follow the execution process.

          By the way, aren’t you missing the script tags around the gtag() call?


  12. Bruno January 11, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    Hi, I have bought this plugin, installed and configured it following the documentation. Everything works fine except that I cannot open the file in any browser when clicked on. It says either page not found or there is a blank page. They are mostly PDFs. I already asked for support about 15 days ago and got no answer yet. Please advise as of what I can do to resolve this issue. My customer is waiting for this functionality to get their website online.



    • antonio January 13, 2017 at 9:41 am #

      Hi Bruno,
      Please send me dashboard admin access to antonio[at]itthinx[dot]com and I’ll have a look at your settings.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  13. Kevin January 10, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

    Hello, I’m having an issue with adding files via the import option. I am using Windows/IIS. I can provide screenshots if needed, but the issue I’m seeing is that instead of the proper file path, it’s a combination of both backslashes and slashes. The backslashes appear to being stripped out when trying to actually refer to the file, and I cannot find a place to modify the path outside of the database.

    Can I please get some support?! I paid money for this plugin and was told that it came with support…

    • antonio January 11, 2017 at 8:47 am #

      Hi Kevin,
      we are working on an update that solves this issue.
      Thank you for your contribution.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  14. Job January 4, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    I’m trying to get things working with nested groups.
    I’ve 1 parent group,let’s call it “Parent” and 3 child groups, “Child 1”, “Child 2” and “Child 3”.
    Users can be member of one ore more Child groups.
    My code says:

    [groups_member group="Parent"]

    (…) some text here ….

    [groups_file_link group="Child 1"]
    [groups_file_link group="Child 2"]
    [groups_file_link group="Child 3"]

    I can’t get this to work. The only way to give users access to their files seems to be adding them not only to the child group, but also to the parent group.
    Is inheritance not working like I was hoping it would or am I doing something wrong ?

    Kind regards

    • antonio January 18, 2017 at 9:16 am #

      Hi Job,
      That’s true, only the members of the ‘parent’ group can access inside the shortcode. We will review it perhaps to modify it in future updates.
      Right now, you could set as ‘group’ attribute of the groups_member shortcode a list of the children groups, ex. [groups_member group="Child 1,Child 2,Child 3"]
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  15. Bruno December 30, 2016 at 8:57 pm #


    I have purchased, installed and configured “Groups” + “Groups file access”. I have setup all the groups and the users. I have successfully imported some files and assigned them a group. So far so good and they display correctly on the page with the shortcodes. There is only one small problem which kind of kills the whole thing… whatever browser I use, all links sends me to a page not found.

    The URL to the files seems to be OK:

    How do I get support to resolve this?



  16. Pat December 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    Hi there, I am having an issue where the server path occasionally changes and then all the files break. Where can I change the path stored in the database so that it doesn’t beak.

    Example: the server path is /srv/bindings/XXX/code/wp-content/
    Where the XXX value occasionally changes/

    • Kento December 22, 2016 at 7:56 am #

      Hi Pat,

      You can export the files list and the import them again so that the file paths are updated. Basically first use Export and then use Import with the file you have obtained.

      Please give it a try and let me know if you need further help.


  17. Greg Holmes December 15, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

    We received an email that an update to groups File Access is available.

    Is there a changelog? Is it a security update?

    • Kento December 16, 2016 at 7:32 am #

      Hi Greg,

      The details on what has changed in the new version are outlined in the changelog.txt in the plugin’s root folder. It includes performance and security improvements, I’d recommend you to update the plugin.


  18. Godet Laetitia December 5, 2016 at 7:37 am #


    The documents filed by groups file are not visible on the net?

    Thanks you

    • Kento December 10, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

      Hi Laetitia,

      The files protected by Groups File Access are not accessible by normal visitors, only authorized users. They aren’t visible in that sense, even though one can share the URL to such a protected file, the file itself wouldn’t be available unless a properly authorized user tries to access it. For details please see the Documentation.


  19. Gregory Holmes December 2, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    How do we allow non-admin users to add files to Groups File Access?

    We have non-admin users who can edit a page, that is mostly links to files in Groups File Access. They need to be able to add files, and then link to them.

    • antonio December 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

      Hi Gregory,
      from Groups->Options you can add Permissions for example to your Editors (you need to select the tree)
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

      • Gregory Holmes December 2, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

        Thanks! So, which do we need to add to the role?

        Access Groups Administer Groups Administer Groups plugin options

        And can we limit them to only being able to add files to Groups File Access, not to be able to do other admin actions or changing of options?

        • antonio December 20, 2016 at 9:45 am #

          Hi Gregory,
          right now you need to select the tree options, we’ll review it in future updates.
          Kind Regards,
          Antonio B.

  20. Liz November 30, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

    I have looked at your premium plugin–Groups File Access and want to make sure this will work for me before I purchase it.

    I need to upload PDFs and jpegs with sensitive information to pages that are protected with group access and ensure that only users within a specific group can access them. Will this plugin accomplish this? If so, will they have to reenter their username and password to access? Or once they login, can they move freely to the media? Our users are museum volunteers and I do not want this to be any more difficult for them than it already seems to be!


    • Kento December 10, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for asking and in case this still helps … when a user logs in and assuming that the user belongs to the appropriate group, then the user can access the files that are protected and assigned to that group. The user doesn’t need to input anything more to further access, you would usually have a page where the protected files sit at. Please have a look at the documentation for details. Oh and it’s worth mentioning that you would not protect files in the media library with this plugin, it uses its own protected folder and provides a separate administration area for the protected files. You will use shortcodes to offer the files to your users. You’ll see how that looks like in the documentation.


  21. Godet November 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm #


    The document is not visible on the web ?

    Thank you

    • antonio December 1, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

      Hi Godet,
      if you llimit the file to a group, only the members of this group can see the file link.
      Please have a look at the documentation page.
      If you are using another plugin to embeb for example a video or a pdf, you can use the [groups_member] shortcode.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  22. pikkabbu October 26, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    This is an apology.

    I begged for support one hour ago, at I discovered the answer by myself.
    Please blame it on being in a rush 🙂

    The answer is “The plugin is an extension to and requires Groups.”.

    If not installed, groups-file-access does nothing and doesn’t appears in the admin’s panel.

    By the way, I’ve discovered you’ve a lot of interesting add-on to groups plugin.


    • antonio October 27, 2016 at 6:45 am #

      Hi pikkabbu,
      thanks for sharing the solution.
      Kind regards,
      Antonio B.

  23. pikkabbu October 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    Nothing appears in the administration panel. Setting impossible.

    I’ve installed and activate Groups-file-access that I’ve just bought minutes ago.

    Nothing appears in the admin’s panel. Nothing has changed. So I can’t set anything for the plugin, just as if it weren’t installed or activated.

    And now what?

    Thanks for your help.

  24. Jacqueline October 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    Hello, we started having an error this week with uploading files in Groups Files Access – Add New File. It worked fine previously. When you attempt to submit the Add File form, it hangs a while and then shows an Internal Server Error. In the error logs there is not much clue, other than a generic “archives.php” error.

    I have tried upgrading Groups Files Access to the latest 1.6.0 version. No change.
    I tried uploading only a small 1KB file. No change. I tried replacing the archives.php file from the theme (even though I didn’t customize it) with a default file from WordPress latest download.
    I checked that all plugins in entire site are up to date.
    PHP memory limit is high.

    Any advice?

    • antonio October 26, 2016 at 8:53 am #

      Hi Jacqueline,
      please check if your folder has the correct permissions.
      Also you can check this conversation.
      If the problem persists, you can enable the wordpress debug and check this.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

      • Jacqueline May 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm #

        Hello Antonio,
        I wanted to let you know that after a lot of troubleshooting including disabling plugins and themes we did not discover any conflict. The issue is related to the PHP version on our server. Once we downgraded to PHP 5.4 it began working. I am unsure what could be wrong and different with the new versions of PHP to cause Add Files not to work. If you have any notes about that happening to other people, I will relay to the server admin.

        • antonio May 12, 2017 at 10:29 am #

          Hi Jackeline,
          I really do not know of another case, but we will check it.
          Thank you very much for letting us know.
          Kind regards,
          Antonio B.

        • Kento May 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm #

          Hi Jacqueline,

          Tests with Groups File Access 1.6.1, WP 4.7.4, Groups 2.x running on PHP 7.1.1 don’t produce any errors, files are uploaded correctly and can be accessed by authorized users without any issues while access is denied correctly to those without proper authorization. I would recommend you to update GFA to the latest version 1.6.1, I don’t see any reason to downgrade PHP as both Groups itself and GFA work fine with PHP 7.

          The internal server error you mention would normally point to insufficient memory for PHP – I read you wrote your PHP memory limit is high, but how much have you assigned actually and what other plugins are running? Also if you have an error involving an archive.php I’d like to ask you to post the exact stack trace so we can have a look at that. I suspect that you might have some other plugin messing with the process or some PHP setting we’re missing, maybe related to timeouts, file sizes (also the size of a post is important), access rights to the directory where the files are stored … or a simple syntax error in some PHP file (including templates) although to be honest it’s not so easy without having a look at your site. If you’d like to provide us with temporary admin access, please forward credentials to support at itthinx dot com and make sure to include a link to our conversation here.


  25. Peter September 21, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi Antonio,

    I did as you asked and visited the ‘Permalinks’ subsection and Saved. The problem is still not solved. I’ve had someone else on my team look into this and here are their comments:

    After some exhausting testing I’ve narrowed down the issue. There are two funtions in the gfa file renderer class which are used to physically serve the files. The one used in my testing is buffered_read_serve_all() — these functions use what are called output buffers, which is fairly common; however, the server is having issues. There can be a few reasons for this, like timeouts, memory limits, or the PHP version is simply conflicting with what the plugin is doing. I’m not certain.

    After checking the server settings, everything looks OK:

    I looked at the PHP Configuration in WHM and it’s set at 256M
    memory_limit 256M

    In Apache Configuration,
    RLimitMEM Settings is Disabled

    The PHP Configuration is:
    Option Configured Value
    Default PHP Version (.php files) 5
    PHP 5 Handler fcgi

    Apache suEXEC on
    Apache Ruid2 off

    We’re going to have to wait for the dev — he would know more about what may be wrong. I have a feeling it is server related though, something with the headers in the file download.

    So, do you have any suggestions from here? The server appears to be OK, but is there something else that i can check with the hosting company?

    I sent you login credentials from the site yesterday for admin access. Do you need me to re-send them? They were from

    • antonio September 23, 2016 at 7:42 am #

      Hi Peter,
      sorry for the delay.
      I’m trying to login, but I can not (I have set the password, but I can not login)
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  26. Peter September 19, 2016 at 1:28 pm #


    This problem seems to have appeared since last week.Suddenly, whenever someone downloads a protected file, the downloaded file is 0 bytes. We currently have .xlsx and .zip files. I checked the files both via the plugin admin and also via FTP. Everything is there on the server. On the client side, I’ve tried this in Chrome, Firefox and IE, all latest versions. Any protected file is zero bytes after download.

    I checked the server logs and I see this error message whenever a file is downloaded:

    [fcgid:warn] […] mod_fcgid: stderr: PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined method stdClass::is_single() in …/wp-includes/query.php on line 596, referer:

    How else can I diagnose this problem?


    • antonio September 19, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

      Hi Peter,
      Please enable the WordPress debug, editing the wp-config.php and replacing the following line
      define('WP_DEBUG', false );
      with these lines
      define('WP_DEBUG', true );
      define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
      define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );

      Then try to download a protected file. If errors exist then a file named debug.log under wp-content folder will be created.
      Maybe you can see more data in this debug file.
      If the problem persists, you can send me dashboard admin access to antonio[at]itthinx[dot]com and I’ll have a look at your settings.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

      • Peter September 20, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

        I enabled the debug and I see there’s a recurring message that’s related to the Groups plugin.

        PHP Notice: Undefined variable: remove_on_hold in …/wp-content/plugins/groups-woocommerce/lib/core/class-groups-ws-handler.php on line 97

        I’v added you as an admin on the site so you can take a look. You’ll be receiving an email from the site.

        I’m not sure why this stopped working all of a sudden. We haven’t made any drastic changes other than updating plugins on a regular basis.


        • antonio September 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

          Hi Peter,
          answered by email.
          Probably you have not the latest version.
          Kind Regards,
          Antonio B.

          • Peter September 20, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

            Hi Antonio,

            Sorry, I was logged into the company account when i posted the last response and it put the company username on the post.

            I checked all the versions and the only one that was out of date was the Groups Woocommerce. 1.9.5 was installed and I updated it to 1.9.6.

            The current versions on the site are:
            Groups Version 1.13.1
            Groups File Access Version 1.6.0
            Groups Restrict Categories Version 1.4.2
            Groups WooCommerce Version 1.9.6

            It’s still not working. Any other suggestions? I need to get this working ASAP.

            Also, the following is a screenshot when i try to download one of the protected files and I have DEBUG turned on on the the site:


            • antonio September 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

              Please try to visit the ‘Permalinks’ subsection and Save (you do not need to make changes).
              If the problem persists, send me admin credentials and I’ll have a look.
              Kind regards,
              Antonio B.

  27. Andrew September 15, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

    Plugin works well. I don’t understand why it uses Groups as permissions, where in other parts of WordPress access is based on capabilities. I can make it work though.

    One question – is there any way to add the ability to display the date when listing out all of the files?

    [groups_file_link group="Subscriber" description="yes" order="desc" visibility="always" DATE="YES"]

    • antonio September 16, 2016 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Andrew,
      really this is based on groups because this is more intuitive for most users. You could play with groups and capabilities creating as many groups as you need.
      Sorry, the option to display the date is not available.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  28. Jeremy September 9, 2016 at 7:59 pm #


    I am looking for a plugin that will allow me to achieve certain file management functionality. Can you please advise if your plugin can do the following:

    – WordPress Multisite compatible
    – Allows fronted access to upload & download files (I cannot have my users playing in the backend, they are mostly non-technical)
    – Allows you to work with custom roles, such as created by the ‘User Role Editor’ plugin
    – Allows you to restrict the ability to upload files to specified User Roles
    – Files can be allocated to categories (e.g. Finances) and I can choose to restrict access to all files under that category to specified User Roles
    – Files cannot be browsed without logging in to the site

    Anything else is a bonus!


    • antonio September 11, 2016 at 11:03 am #

      Hi Jeremy,
      Please have a look at the documentation page.
      The plugin works with groups, not with roles, but you could relate to each other.
      Sorry, you can upload file only from the dashboard.
      There isn’t categories, you need to restrict the files one by one.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  29. Mark September 8, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    Hi – I just purchased the Groups File Access plugin. However I am totally lost. Is there a tutorial on how to restrict access to a file? I assigned a group to a file, but where do I insert a password for that group login? My scenario is the user will login with password, find the file, click and view in browser only (no download or print). I saw that this is possible via the GFA PDF viewer.


    • antonio September 9, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      Hi Mark,
      You could use the [groups_file_access_service_key] shortcode.But the user need to be in the group before.
      Really there isn’t an option to join to a group throw a password. You can add the user to groups from the dashboard, or using the [groups_join] shortcode.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

      • Mark September 14, 2016 at 8:20 am #

        Thanks Antonio! Is there a way to track user views?

        • antonio September 16, 2016 at 7:39 am #

          Sorry, there isn’t.

  30. Maxident September 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

    Hi Community,

    I am facing an interesting problem and hope you might be able to help me with it. I am using the [groups_can] shortcode.

    When using the shortcode to exclude a text passage to users who are part of a group that is not associated with the necessary capability it works completely fine. The content is displayed correctly to the users who are part of a group with the necessary capability and vice versa.

    [groups_can capability="testcapability"][mk_page_section full_width=”true”][vc_column][mk_fancy_title style=”avantgarde” size=”25″ font_weight=”bolder” text_transform=”capitalize” font_family=”none” align=”center”]

    Test Text within the page section

    [/mk_fancy_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/12″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][/groups_can]

    The problem is only that The text section below the one that i want to restrict for certain users is changing the layout when logged in with different users. So when logged in with a user account that is allowed to see the textblock the next textblock below (which was never changed by any shortcode) displayes correct. (white font over black background).

    When logged in with a user that is not allowed to see the textblock, it is invisible. (exactly how it should be). Never the less the textblock below has a different layout now. (black font over black background).

    Do you have any idea what could cause the issue? Please let me know if you need additional information.

    Thank you for your help,
    friendly greetings,

    • antonio September 8, 2016 at 10:49 am #

      Hi Max,
      please check your shortcodes, I think that they are not in couple.
      Maybe your [/vc_column_inner] after [/mk_fancy_text], should be [vc_row_inner]
      Maybe if you use tabs you can see more easily the couples.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  31. Karen Meade August 22, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    Antonio – thanks for the response. My version is Version 1.0.12. How do I go about getting the 1.6 version? Someone else set up up the web-site and bought the plug ins. If you could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it, thanks. Karen

    • antonio August 23, 2016 at 7:27 am #

      Hi Karen,
      the plugin is available from Codecanyon. You can ask them if you can recover the user, we can not do anything there.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  32. Maxident August 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    Dear Team,

    I am having trouble using the groups file access plugin. I did upload some files ago and embedded them in the website. Everything worked fine and when a logged in user who was part of a group with the necessary permissions clicked on the downloadlink the correct file would load.

    Recently I have the problem that many of those links are broken and clicking them gives a 404 error. Even if the member is logged in and does have the group permissions.

    Checkin the fileupload links and files I can confirm that the uploaded file still exists at the right location and the link seems correct.

    Looking at the dashboard of all uploaded files, the only suspicious thing I could spot is that size and file seem to have an error, everything else displays normally.

    Size: ERROR
    Date: ERROR

    When trying to edit the file entry and assign the correct file again I do get the following message when saving: “The file /Users/Maxident/Sites/wordpress/bestwebmulti/wp-content/uploads/groups-file-access/ZulassungMatten.pdf already exists but it is not related to this entry. The existing file is not replaced and the current file for this entry is maintained.”

    Please let me know if you do know this problem or If you have an Idea what could be causing this issue.

    Thanks for your support, I would really appreciate your input.

    Best regards,

  33. Karen Meade August 17, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    I have just updated my site to WordPress 4.6. I have dozens of groups access files but the links to them have stopped working and on the web-site you just see the file name rather than the link eg [groups_file_link file_id="225"]
    I have tried loading a new file but that does not help. I do have an error message :-

    Warning: Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare(), called in /data01/c0237241/public_html/wp-content/plugins/groups-file-access/lib/admin/files.php on line 472 and defined in /data01/c0237241/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1275

    Can anyone help? I am the web-master but am not very techy so help in basic language would be appreciated! Thanks

    • antonio August 22, 2016 at 7:51 am #

      Hi Karen,
      I can’t get the same error, please be sure that you have the latest 1.6.0 plugin version.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  34. neugon August 11, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

    Thanks for the reply on the generic issue with the “File Could not be Uploaded” the issue was permissions as you mentioned.

    The owner of the folder needs to be www-data. Once I changed the permissions everything worked fine.

    My question now is, how can I modify the wp-login.php url to a custom wp login page so that instead of:

    I want to use:

    • antonio August 12, 2016 at 8:43 am #

      please have a look at the Groups 404 Redirect plugin.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  35. neugon August 11, 2016 at 2:57 am #

    I have two sites. I bought two different licenses. One one site works perfect with the plugin and on the other, I can see the groups and the UI looks good, however after uploading..I get the message: “Could not upload the file.” I have enabled DEBUG on wp-config.php to see if I can see any issues, but the debug.log file does not show me anything.

    Is there a way to know why the file does not upload?

    • antonio August 11, 2016 at 8:04 am #

      Hi neugon,
      maybe there is a problem with the files/folders permissions. Please check this.
      If the problem persists, please try to reinstall the plugin.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  36. Maxident August 2, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    Hi Community,

    I do have a problem using the groups file access plugin. I did setup various files according the documentation and everything worked fine for a while. Only members part of a group that are related to the files were able to download them.

    Recently I realised that the download links do not work anymore and I get a 404 error message when clicking the downloadlink saying “The requested URL was not found on this server.”

    When checking the setup the files seem to be uploaded correctly, the downloadlink and rest of settings seem correct. When I try to reassign (upload again) the file to the existing entry i get the message “The file already exists but it is not related to this entry. The existing file is not replaced and the current file for this entry is maintained.”

    The only anomaly is that in the Files overview dashboard all files show Size: ERROR and Date: ERROR under the Path settings.

    Please let me know if this problem is familiar to you and you have an idea what could have changed in my previously functioning setup to cause this error and how to fix it.

    Thank you for any tip,
    best, Max

    • Kento August 15, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Max,

      Is it possible that the path to the files has changed?


      • Maxident August 22, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

        Hi Kento, I did check this but the path seems the same. Also I cannot assign the file again to the same entry to make sure the path is up to date as I get the message “The file already exists but it is not related to this entry. The existing file is not replaced and the current file for this entry is maintained.”

      • Maxident September 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

        Hi Kento,

        that was the first thing I checked but the path seems unchanged and fine.


        • Maxident September 1, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

          I found the issue finally and yes it was related to a change in linkstructure. The structure had changed due to updating my operating system. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

          • antonio September 8, 2016 at 10:40 am #

            Hi Max,
            sorry for the delay. I’m glad you’ve solved, thanks for sharing.
            Kind regards,
            Antonio B.

  37. Andrew August 1, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi, plugin working well. Wondering if it is possible to pass an “onclick” attribute when a number of file links are returned by the [groups_file_link group="Premium"] command?

    We track downloads by user, and would like the filename use for the onClick argument.

    • antonio August 16, 2016 at 8:51 am #

      Hi Andrew,
      This attribute is not available. You could use .click() based on the id or class attribute.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  38. Stefany Guedez July 5, 2016 at 11:30 pm #


    I have this particular shortcode:

    [groups_file_link group="whitepapers,Accountability" description="yes" visibility="always"]

    which allows me to see files that are grouped under whitepapers OR under accountability. I’m trying to see only files that are grouped under BOTH Whitepaper and Accountability. Is there a way to do this?


    • antonio July 6, 2016 at 7:01 am #

      Hi Stefany,
      Groups plugin works with ORs. You could create a ‘super-group’ WhiteAcc where are the users who are in both groups, and restrict the file to this super-group.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  39. Pierre June 18, 2016 at 2:09 pm #


    is there a way to choose the administrator(s) who are notified ? (we have many admin, but only one should be notified..) : your notification checkbox not very explicit when more than one admin :

    “Notify the admin
    Notify the site administrator
    Sends a notification email to the site administrator when a file has been accessed.”

    • antonio June 20, 2016 at 4:58 am #

      Hi Pierre,
      The admin email is based on get_bloginfo( 'admin_email' ), so you can set it in Settings->General.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  40. Janna June 11, 2016 at 1:33 am #

    I just purchased the Groups File Access and installed the Groups plugin and am having issues, either because my system doesn’t work with the plugins or because the steps in the documentation are not in order.

    I tried to add a file. However, there were no groups listed to allow me to do this.

    I went to Groups > Groups. But couldn’t add a group…I typed in the name and tried to add, but nothing happened. Not sure if it is because no capabilities were selected. But when I tried to type a WordPress capability, nothing happened.

    I then went to Groups > Capabilities and tried to add one using WordPress capabilities. I noticed the instructions say groups_read_post should be one by default. It’s not there. When I click to add a capability the page just reloads and nothing is added.

    I then went to Groups > Options and tried to start typing capabilities per but no list of capabilities appears to drop down for selection

    Have you seen this before?

  41. Cam June 7, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

    Is there a way to force the links to http://www instead of just http://
    I get a Forbidden if there is no www in the url.

    • antonio June 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

      Hi Cam,
      please check if you have in Settings->General the www or not.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

      • Cam June 7, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

        I do have the www, but if a user tries to access the file directly without the ‘www’ then it throws the Forbidden error.

        • antonio June 7, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

          It should be according to this setting.
          If you want, you can send me dashboard admin access to antonio at itthinx dot com indicating this conversation and I’ll have a look at your settings.
          Kind regards,
          Antonio B.

  42. Daisy Brown May 20, 2016 at 12:08 am #

    I just purchased and activated Groups File Access. It appears the file import only works on files just below groups-file-access. It doesn’t work with files inside subfolders below groups-file-access. I really would rather not dump all files into a single folder. There’s so gosh darn many of them that the only way to make sense is with a subfolder structure. Tell me there’s some way to do this? I really need to get this setup before the conference this weekend. (You are replacing user access manager). Also, how do I register on this site for support?

    • antonio May 20, 2016 at 5:52 am #

      Hi Daisy,
      subfolder is not supported by the plugin.
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  43. Dave Novelline April 11, 2016 at 2:04 am #


    I purchased Group File Access this evening. However, I do not believe it has the capabilities I am looking for.

    Is it possible to get a refund.

    If not I understand.

    Thank you.


    • Kento April 11, 2016 at 8:46 am #

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for trying it out, I think it should be possible to get a refund but as the sales for this plugin are handled on CodeCanyon, please refer to this page. When you submit the request you can also include a link to our conversation here.


  44. Adam Hollister April 4, 2016 at 10:36 am #


    I’m trying to use this plugin but none of the shortcodes seem to work, they just end up getting printed out to the page like:

    [groups_file_url file_id="1"]

    [groups_file_link group="1"]
    [groups_file_link group="Registered"]

    Is there something I’m missing here?

    • antonio April 4, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi Adam,
      Please check that the plugin is enabled and that you are using the ‘Text’ mode in the post/page editor (you have two tabs to select between ‘Visual’ and ‘Text’).
      Kind Regards,
      Antonio B.

  45. Maxident April 1, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    Hi Community,

    I just started using the groups wordpress plugin and seem to have trouble to make the [groups_can] shortcode work.

    I am trying to exclude a page section for some user groups, while they keep being visible for others.

    When trying to exclude one single page section within a page that is viewable to all groups, this works perfectly find using the shortcode for groups

    [groups_member group="Registered"]
    Only registered members can see this.
    I am placing the shortcode opening and closing before and after the page section like this:

    [groups_member group="test"][mk_page_section full_width=”true”][vc_column][mk_fancy_title style=”avantgarde” size=”25″ font_weight=”bolder” text_transform=”capitalize” font_family=”none” align=”center”]

    Test Text within the page section

    [/mk_fancy_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/12″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][/groups_member]
    When trying the same thing using the [groups_can] shortcode it does not work. As far as I understand this should do the same thing but not restricting certrain groups directly, but groups that do not posess the capabibility set with this shortcode. I integrated the shortcode like shown below, but when applied it does not restrict access and I can see the commands [groups_can capability="manage_plugins"] and
    [/groups_can] written on the published website like they were actual content to be seen by users.
    [groups_can capability="testcapability"][mk_page_section full_width=”true”][vc_column][mk_fancy_title style=”avantgarde” size=”25″ font_weight=”bolder” text_transform=”capitalize” font_family=”none” align=”center”]

    Test Text within the page section

    [/mk_fancy_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/12″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][/groups_can]
    Please let me know if you know what I am doing wrong or if you have similar experiences using the [groups_can] shortcode. Also please let me know if you nee further information or input.

    Im working on an intranet using wordpress, developing the site locally, it is not online so I cannot send you a link, but I am happy to provide screenshots where needed.

    Looking forward to your input, thanks

    • Kento April 4, 2016 at 7:59 pm #


      Thanks for providing the details, I think you have something interfering with the [groups_can] shortcode there before it is rendered, or maybe there is invisible whitespace between the opening or closing brackets. For the latter, try to look at it in the Text mode of the editor, or simply write out a simple test line like [groups_can capability="manage_options"]Just testing[/groups_can] to see if that works. Also note that the quotes must be straigt double quotes (the visual editor could have changed that if pasted in).

      I hope that helps …


      • Maxident April 22, 2016 at 10:37 am #

        Hi Kento, thanks for the reply. Took a while until i got round to trying your solution. It works fine now, I guess there was some text formating issue the first time I tried. Thank you for solving the problem. Cheers

        • Maxident September 1, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

          I was able to solve it in the end and yes it was a link related issue after all. I had overlooked a small change in the linkstructur due to updating my operating system. Cheers

  46. Mike March 24, 2016 at 12:57 am #

    I’m seeing what is apparently the same problem that Rose mentioned a couple of years ago, though I haven’t dug into the HTTP headers as she had done.

    Mobile users (probably all iOS) are having the audio reset on them when they try to stream it. Was there ever a solution to that problem?

  47. Luminaire P February 25, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    Hi guys,

    I need some help.

    Our site’s CRON functionality is behaving weird.

    WordPress cron events are not being executed, or maybe they are but not in a timely manner.

    Also, if you try and delete a cron event, it doesn’t go away.

    We’ve already set up an actual cron job as not to rely on traffic to fire off cron events, but it didn’t seem to help.

    Aside from that, we can see hundreds of “groups_file_access_session_delete_transients” cron events via a plugin called WP Crontrol.
    See screenshot

    Is this a normal behaviour of the Groups FIle Access plugin or is there something wrong?

    • Kento March 1, 2016 at 7:26 pm #


      You will need to get cron working on your site, the tasks that are listed are needed to clean up sessions periodically.


      • Richard November 1, 2016 at 11:59 am #

        I am seeing the same when inspecting cron jobs. There are hundreds of groups_file_access_session_delete_transients running at the same time or just a second apart. Is it really necessary to have hundreds of these jobs? Running all the time?
        Can’t you simply run it as a single cron job executed once every 24hrs (or whereabouts)?

        • Kento December 11, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

          Hi Richard,

          Many thanks for letting me know; yes, this needs to be fixed. An update is on its way.


  48. Abigail February 23, 2016 at 5:35 am #

    I am seeing an error on Chrome for some but not all PDF files:

    Failed to load PDF document

    This is not a problem with other browsers. I don’t know if it is simply a bug in Chrome or if it is related anyway to the Groups File program. It seems to happen with large files — and I am NOT seeing this problem for any other PDF files on other sites -so it seems to be tied to something related to the way the Group files or their links are coded. This problem just started within the past week or two.

    • Kento March 1, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

      Hi Abigail,

      Can you provide the URL to the site and create a test account for support at itthinx dot com that has access to one of those files please? Please make sure to include a link to this conversation when you provide the credentials so we know what it’s about.


  49. Kira February 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

    …OMG, thank you a lot! For some reason the changes in WP-CONFIG did not apply. Now I fixed the issue, setting memory to 256 megs and it works like a charm!

    Best regards,

    • antonio February 3, 2016 at 7:46 am #

      Perfect 😉

  50. Nathan February 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm #


    On the CodeCanyon-website, where I have bought this plugin, I’ve just read a very interesting sentence that might solve my problem. You are saying there: Files access can also be granted through key authentication so that users do not need to log in to download a file while access restrictions based on Groups still apply.

    This might override the problem that users are first sent to the backend before they can download. How does this work?



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