Is there an easy way (as in with some module) to restrict file downloads to certain user groups or users in Drupal 7? Tried to search and found only questions with no proper working answers.

I know about private files however that seems to restrict files only with logged in users not with certain user groups or individual users. I also know about content access module, but that does not restrict file downloads at all if user knows the direct url to the file.

2 Answers 2


Drupal supports this natively.

Use private file access and content_access to support granular access to your content.

Due to some bugs here and there I had to rebuild the permissions (/admin/reports/status/rebuild) after configuring content_access a usual clear cache wont work here.

  • I guess the answer was closer than expected. This seemed to do the trick. Thanks.
    – leilei
    Feb 6, 2013 at 8:43

I have similar issue and I am far from stating that drupal supports natively any form of access control for content of (organic) groups, not even mentioning files.

So far the most promising article I've found is http://www.onyxbits.de/content/drupal-and-problem-protecting-uploaded-files

I'll be trying it out this week and if it works I'll try to post an update here.

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