How to prevent external users creating new folders in Microsoft SharePoint


In Microsoft SharePoint, you will often find yourself creating new files on a fairly regular basis, given the premise of the application. Sometimes though, you may be in a managerial position, or something akin to it, and need to prevent certain users from creating new folders within your organisation’s SharePoint.

Follow the instructions below to prevent users creating new folders in SharePoint:

  • Open Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Access the Settings via the button in the top bar of the screen.
  • Here, click ‘Site Settings’.
  • Now, click ‘Site Libraries and Lists’, found under the heading ‘Site Administration’.
  • Next, look for ‘Customise “Site Library”’, and click it.
  • Click ‘Advanced Settings’.
  • Scroll down to the subsection titled ‘Folders’.
  • Under ‘Make “New Folder” command available?’, click ‘No’.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the options and click ‘OK’ in order to save your changes.

The problem with the method I’ve outlined above is it will prevent all users creating folders in SharePoint, rather than just external users. That’s certainly something you need to bear in mind before making the changes detailed above.

As is the case with every blog we write, don’t worry if the above statement is not enough detail for you to work with. Like always, we will first present you with a step-by-step of the procedure, before going on to detail the process with further depth, in a complete walkthrough complete with accompanying screenshots.

Step by step: How to prevent external users creating new folders in Microsoft SharePoint

  • Open Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Access the Settings via the button in the top bar of the screen.
  • Here, click ‘Site Settings’.
  • Now, click ‘Site Libraries and Lists’, found under the heading ‘Site Administration’.
  • Next, look for ‘Customise “Site Library”’, and click it.
  • Click ‘Advanced Settings’.
  • Scroll down to the subsection titled ‘Folders’.
  • Under ‘Make “New Folder” command available?’, click ‘No’.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the options and click ‘OK’ in order to save your changes.

Again, you needn’t worry if the steps are not detailed enough for you to use. Now, we will look at the process in more detail.

So, your first step is to open Microsoft SharePoint. In order to do this, you can either do so by manually signing in, or do so by accessing SharePoint via another Microsoft application, such as Outlook, from the app launcher.

After opening SharePoint, you will of course be greeted with the main menu of the application. From here, you will want to access the settings of Microsoft SharePoint, which can be done so by clicking the prompt in the top-right corner of your screen. It has been highlighted below:

After clicking the cog icon, you will be brought to the main menu of SharePoint settings, providing you with a lengthy array of aspects that can be edited in some fashion. Of all these subheadings and links, you should look for the title, ‘Site Administration’. Under that title, you should look to the third option down, ‘Site libraries and lists’. Click that.

Clicking ‘Site libraries and lists’ will bring you to another menu, though the options listed will be scarce in comparison to the array on the menu from which you came. Each choice will be prefixed with the word, ‘Customise’, which should serve as a healthy indicator that you’re in the right place to edit who can create new folders.

The second option from the bottom, titled ‘Customise “Style Library”’, is the one you will want to click. It has been highlighted in the screenshot below to help you find where it is.

Clicking this will bring you to yet another new menu, full of even more new settings for you to browse. Of the plethora presented to you, you’ll first need to look towards the section titled ‘General Settings’. Of the options listed, find the third one down within the list, titled ‘Advanced Settings’, and click on that.


Clicking the ‘Advanced Settings’ option will bring you to the menu on which you need to be in order to make an edit to who can create new folders which, given the title and content of this blog, is presumably what you need to do. Especially if you’ve read this far.

On the Advanced Settings screen, scroll down until you find the header titled, ‘Folders’. Under this heading will be some text, whilst next to it will be a two-pronged bullet point option for you to edit. It will be titled ‘Make “New Folder” command available?’, which will usually by default be set to Yes, as seen below.

Make sure you opt for the option to say No. After doing this, scroll down through the options, until you reach the bottom. Click ‘OK’ to save your changes, and you will then have successfully prevented users from creating new folders within your Microsoft SharePoint!

So, to recap one final time. In order to prevent users creating new folders within Microsoft SharePoint, you must do so by accessing the Share Library section of the SharePoint advanced settings. Within those settings, scroll to the Folders subsection, and where the option may be defaulted to yes, click no.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, I hope you found it as helpful as you wanted it to be! As is the case with every piece of ours, if you run into any issues when following the process, or simply wish to let us know any thoughts you may have, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Below are some links to blogs of a similar topic to this one. If this piece didn’t quite have the answers you were hoping for, then perhaps one of these will be of assistance to you.

Troubleshooting: Can’t share files with external users in Microsoft Teams – Business Tech Planet
(This piece looks at what you can do to try and share files in Teams, whilst also offering a similar route via Microsoft SharePoint).

How to prevent external users downloading files in SharePoint – Business Tech Planet
(This blog post explores blocking external users downloading SharePoint files through the ‘Search and Offline availability’ subsection of options).

How to fix “Allow editing” greyed out when sharing: SharePoint – Business Tech Planet
(In this article, allowing editing through ‘Check In’ under the ‘More’ tab of options, when the ‘Allow Editing’ option is presented as unavailable to you in Microsoft SharePoint).

Unable to log into SharePoint with valid account: Troubleshooting tips – Business Tech Planet
(The final post on the list explores being unable to log in to SharePoint with a valid account. It looks to resolve this via the ‘Privacy and Security’ in the settings of Chrome).

Recent Posts

© 2022 Copyright Business Tech Planet