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Protecting Files and Granting Access for Customers or Students

When you access your Thrive Apprentice dashboard, one of the sections from the left sidebar is the “Protected files” section:

This article will show you how to protect files, but also how to add them to pages/posts/course content or as lesson resources.

What are protected files?

This feature was created in order to provide you, course creators, with a way for them to protect the files uploaded to your websites.

This way, any file (PDF, XLS, DOC, etc.) that you might include as resources for your courses will be secure and protected from being shared by students or course participants.

A student that has access to your course will easily be able to download the resources associated with that course. However, if they decide to share the downloadable link, this will be protected and will not allow someone who doesn’t have access to that resource to download it.

Protecting your course can be done by adding the course (as well as other content, if you wish) to a Thrive Apprentice product and then setting up the access requirements for that product.

To even deepen the process, you can protect the files that are going to be included in that course, so that they will only be shared with the users that have access to the product in matter.

This way, if you’re a course creator and you also want to share an e-book with your students, for example, you can ensure that the download URL for that e-book can start the download only for the students that have access to your course.

How to protect files

Files can be easily protected and secured from the “Protected files” section, accessible from the left sidebar of your Thrive Apprentice dashboard:

When you first land on that section, a pop-up will open, with some instructions regarding protected files:

Clicking on “Let’s go” will give you access to the “Protected files” section:

Here is where you can start adding the files you wish to secure. Adding files can be done straight by dragging and dropping them on this section, or by clicking on the “Add file” button from the top side of this page:

If you click on “Add file”, a pop-up will open, from where you can start setting up the file:

File title

Firstly, you should provide a name for the file:

This name will be the one used when the file is downloaded:

Access to this file is protected by

Using the next field, you can open a dropdown to select the product(s) that will protect your file:

Your file will be protected according to the access requirements that have been set up for that product.

For example, my product is only available for the subscribers of my site. In this case, the file will be protected accordingly. If someone tries to download it, but they are not logged in, they will not be able to. Once they log in, downloading the file will be possible.

Note: You can quickly access and manage your Thrive Apprentice products from here, by clicking on this option:


Lastly, you can use the drag and drop section (or the “Select File” hyperlink) to add the file to be protected:

Once you set everything up, click on “Save”:

You will be taken back to the “Protected files” main page. If you want to protect multiple files, this is where you’ll see a list with all of them:

Once you’ve added some files, you will have some options available for each one:

Share your file

Sharing your file can be done in a couple of different ways:

  • You can add protected files as downloadable URLs to your Thrive Architect pages, posts or other content types – jump here to see how;

  • You can add protected files as lesson resources – jump here to see how;

Both of these methods are explained a bit lower in this article. Clicking on “Share your file” will open a pop-up directing you to this article as well:

Download file

Naturally, this option will start the download of the file for you, the admin.

Edit file

Clicking on this option will re-open the initial pop-up that was used to set up the protected file, and you can make modifications to the file name or product, if you wish:

Remove file

If you wish to remove any of the protected files, you can use this option. After you click on it, you will simply have to confirm:

These are the ways in which you can add protected files and edit them.

Now, it’s time to take a look at what you can do after you’ve protected your files – where and how these can be shared with your students or customers.

How to add protected files to pages/posts/course content

Protected files can be inserted as links throughout your Thrive Apprentice pages and posts. Moreover, when editing a lesson in the Thrive Apprentice editor, you can also insert links or buttons so that users can directly download a secure and protected file.

All you have to do is access the Thrive Architect or Thrive Apprentice editors and add a “Text” or a “Button” element.

Here’s an example of a “Text” element added to a Thrive Apprentice lesson:

And a “Button” element added to a Thrive Architect regular page:

If you decide to add a protected file as a downloadable URL, you will have to use dynamic text. For that, you can simply click inside a “Text” element and go to the top panel, where the “Dynamic text” options are:

In my case, I accessed one of my lessons and clicked on “Edit content”, to open the Thrive Apprentice editor.

Then, from the “Dynamic text” option, I will choose the “Protected files” source:

The second field will load the files that you have protected, and you can simply choose the one you want to insert:

The link will be added:

And when someone clicks on the link, if they have access to the product, the download will start immediately:

Add the files as buttons

In a similar manner, the download can start when someone clicks on a button, instead of a link. The process is similar, but you’ll have to add and customize a “Button” element instead.

I opened a Landing Page using Thrive Architect and added a “Button” element to it. I will select it and go to the “Button link” section of the left sidebar. Here, make sure you choose “Dynamic link”:

And, just like in the case of the dynamic link applied to a “Text” element, choose “Protected files” as a source:

How to add protected files as lesson resources

One more way in which your protected files can be shared with the course participants is by adding them directly as lesson resources.

For that, access your Thrive Apprentice course and go to the “Content” tab:

Find the lesson you want to add the resources to, hover over it and click on “Edit” and choose “Add resources” from the dropdown that opens:

In the pop-up that opens, click on “Add resource”:

Next, you are able to choose a source for the file. Click on the default “Link to file / URL” field to open the list of available options:

Choose the “Protected file” option:

You can click on the next field to load the existing protected files and add one as a resource:

You can also add a description if needed:

Make sure you save everything:

As an end result, the lesson will include the protected file as a resource and people will be able to safely download it:

What happens when someone doesn’t have access to a protected file?

If the file has been protected by a product and a user that does not have access to the product is trying to download the file, the behaviour will be inherited from the “Login & access restriction” section of the Thrive Apprentice general settings:

If you want the behaviour to be different for each protected file, you can make the modifications in the “Access Restriction Rules” section of the product that protects that file:

This will overwrite the general settings and will allow you to set a different behaviour for each file that is protected and someone that does not have access to it tries to download it.

Configuring your server to allow file protection

If your server is not correctly configured, you might get an error when trying to protect files. Please see this article to understand how to proceed in that case.

This is how to protect files and share them with your Thrive Apprentice members.

Hopefully, this article was useful 😄

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