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Rights Protected Folder Explorer

Published: November 11, 2011

Updated: August 1, 2014

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

ImportantImportant
Do not download the software for Rights Protected Folder (RPF) Explorer. Support for this software will end on 8/27/2015. Instead, download and use the Rights Management sharing application, which replaces the RPF Explorer:

For more information, see RPF Explorer deprecation announcement on the Microsoft Rights Management (RMS) Team blog.

Rights Protected Folder Explorer allows you to work with Rights Protected Folders. A Rights Protected Folder is similar to a file folder in that it contains files and folders. However, a Rights Protected Folder controls access to the files that it contains, no matter where the Rights Protected Folder is located. By using Rights Protected Folder Explorer, you can securely store or send files to authorized users and control which users will be able to access those files while they are in the Rights Protected Folder.

securitySecurity Note
Rights Protected Folder Explorer can control the users who can extract files from a Rights Protected Folder. Rights Protected Folder Explorer cannot control files once they are extracted from a Rights Protected Folder.

Rights Protected Folder Explorer works with Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) in your organization’s network to control access to Rights Protected Folders. When you create a new Rights Protected Folder, Rights Protected Folder Explorer allows you to select a policy to protect the contents of the Rights Protected Folder, or you can create a custom policy. The policies that you can select from are set by your network’s AD RMS administrators and are the same policies you can use in such applications as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Outlook to protect documents and messages.

You can use Rights Protected Folder Explorer a number of ways to protect important files so that only authorized users can access them. The following are just a few of these ways:

  • Protect information on your computer in case it is lost, stolen, or broken into

  • Protect information that you send in email

  • Protect information that you store on a network

TipTip
Many applications, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Outlook can work with AD RMS to protect documents and messages when they are saved or sent. Rights Protected Folder Explorer is best used to protect files created by applications that are not designed to work with AD RMS.

If you have a laptop or other portable computer, you are probably aware that it could be for stolen when it is not in your immediate control. Desktop computers can also be stolen and any computer on a network can potentially be attacked. For this reason, if you are in possession of information that should not be seen by unauthorized people, you would likely want to take extra precautions to protect it from access by thieves or attackers.

Rights Protected Folder Explorer lets you create a Rights Protected Folder that only you can access or add anyone else to the Users and Rights list. In many cases, you may want to use one of your organization’s protection policies. You may also add other users and groups in your organization to the Users and Rights list to make sure that the information stored in the Rights Protected Folder is accessible if you are not available to open the container. For example, if you are planning a vacation, you can allow that by making sure that other members in your workgroup are included in the Users and Rights list of a Rights Protected Folder.

If your organization uses Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Outlook Web App to send and receive email, you probably can use their information rights management (IRM) features to protect email messages and the files attached to them from unauthorized access. One limitation of sending an attachment in a protected email message, however, is that whoever can open the email message usually can also open the attachment. More importantly, once the attachment is taken out of the message, it might no longer be protected.

Rights Protected Folder Explorer provides a solution to this problem by letting you attach a Rights Protected Folder that protects its contents even after it has been removed from the message it was attached to. When you create the Rights Protected Folder, you can choose to protect it with a protection policy that is different from the policy you use to protect the email message itself. That way you can pass protected files to another person (such as the owner of a shared file folder) without making those files available to that person.

A file folder that is shared on a network is protected by permissions that control who can access the shared folder and its contents. Typically, new files that are placed in the shared folder inherit their permissions from the folder. When a file is copied or moved from the shared folder, however, the permissions that protect it will not be transferred with the file. If a file is copied to a location that does not support access control, the file is no longer be protected.

You can use Rights Protected Folder Explorer to create a Rights Protected Folder that protects files in a shared folder so that only authorized users can access the files, regardless of where the container is located. This ensures that the files in the container are protected both in the shared folder as well as wherever the container is copied or moved.

Other than creating a new Rights Protected Folder, all of the following tasks require that you have permission to edit an existing Rights Protected Folder. If you created the Rights Protected Folder, you always have permission to edit the Rights Protected Folder. If the Rights Protected Folder was created by someone else, the user who created the container must have given you the right to edit the container.

When you open the Rights Protected Folder Explorer, the Create New Rights Protected Folder dialog box opens. To create a Rights Protected Folder, you must first select one of the templates to use for securing your content and then click Next.

TipTip
Once the Rights Protected Folder Explorer is open, you can also create a new Rights Protected Folder by clicking the New Folder button in the ribbon

You can also create a Rights Protected Folder from the command line using the following syntax:

RPFExplorer.exe </Create> /Rpf:file /TemplateId:{GUID} [/Owner:owner_email] [/File:file [/?]

 

Parameter Description

/Rpf:file

A required parameter that specifies the path and filename of the .rpf container you want to create.

/TemplateId:{GUID}

A required parameter that specifies the template ID you want to use. This template ID must be supplied by the AD RMS administrator, which is available in the Rights Policy Template Properties.

/Owner:owner_email

An optional parameter that specifies the content owner. If not specified, defaults to the local logged on user.

/File:file

An optional parameter that specifies the path and file to be protected. If not specified, empty container is created.

/?

An optional parameter that displays information about available command-line options and arguments.

noteNote
  • Rights Protected Folder creation does not work if there is a trailing backslash (\) in the path.

  • The command line help displays a /silent option. That option is not implemented.

The following command creates a new Rights Protected Folder in the C:\SecureFiles folder named Project1.rpf. The owner of the Rights Protected Folder is John@contoso.com and the Proj1.xls (from the C:\Files folder) is included in Project1.rpf:

RPFExplorer.exe /Create /Rpf:C:\SecureFiles\Project1.rpf /TemplateId:{6d9371a6-4e2d-4e97-9a38-202233fed26e} /Owner:John@contoso.com /File:C:\Files\Proj1.xls

The following command creates a Rights Protected Folder named Project1Files.rpf that includes the C:\Files folder and all files within:

RPFExplorer.exe /Create /Rpf:C:\SecureFiles\Project1Files.rpf /TemplateId:{6d9371a6-4e2d-4e97-9a38-202233fed26e} /File:C:\Files

You can add files or folders to the Rights Protected Folder or to a folder in the Rights Protected Folder. To add files or folders, click the Add Files button in the ribbon, or you can drag and drop files from a file folder. If a file with the same name already exists, you will receive an error message.

You can view or edit the permissions that are assigned to a Rights Protected Folder inside the Rights Protected Folder Explorer.

  1. Open the Rights Protected Folder in the Rights Protected Folder Explorer.

  2. Click the link in the ribbon that reads Click here to view/edit permissions.

  3. On the Access Rights dialog box, click View or edit permissions.

  4. On the Rights Protected Folder Access Permissions dialog box, you can see the permissions configured for the Rights Protected Folder. You can also use this dialog box grant or modify user access.

    • To add users, type the user's email address and then click Add.

    • To remove users, select the user's email address and then click Remove.

    • To modify permissions, select the user's email address and then set the permissions you want to configure.

      • View access is automatically granted for all users added to the permissions list.

      • Edit access can be configured by selecting the Edit check box.

      • You can use the Expiration option to configure whether the user's file access will expire on a certain date. By default, file access never expires.

You can select an email address from the Users and Rights section and grant permissions by selecting the View or Edit checkboxes.

Extracting a file creates an unprotected copy of the file in a file folder. When a file has been extracted from a Rights Protected Folder, it is no longer protected by Rights Protected File Explorer. The file in the Rights Protected Folder itself is not changed. To extract a single file from a Rights Protected Folder, double-click the file you want to extract. To extract all files from a Rights Protected Folder, click the Extract All button.

securitySecurity Note
Once files are extracted from a Rights Protected Folder they are no longer protected by Rights Protected Folder Explorer.

You can also extract files and folders from the command line using the following syntax:

RPFExplorer.exe /Extract /RpfContainer:file [/Folder:path] [/?]

 

Parameter Description

/Extract

A required parameter that specifies the existing .rpf container to be extracted.

/RpfContainer:file

An optional parameter that specifies the folder where files are to be extracted. If no folder is specified, contents are extracted into the same path the .rpf folder resides

/Folder:path

/?

noteNote
  • Rights Protected Folder extraction does not work if there is a trailing backslash (\) in the path.

  • The command line help displays a /silent option. That option is not implemented.

The following command extracts a Rights Protected Folder named Project1.rpf from the C:\SecureFiles folder. The extracted files are placed in the C:\Files folder.

RPFExplorer /Extract /RpfContainer:C:\SecureFiles\Project1.rpf /Folder:C:\Files

To delete files or folders from within a Rights Protected Folder, open the folder in Rights Protected Folder Explorer. Select the file or folders you want to delete then right-click the selected items and click Delete (Del), or press the DELETE key.

You can use the Open Folder button in the ribbon to open a Rights Protected Folder. You can browse to the Rights Protected Folder and double-click to open it. If you receive a Rights Protected Folder in email, you can double-click it to open it. You can also save the Rights Protected Folder to your computer and double-click to open it using the Rights Protected Folder Explorer.

You can rename files or folders inside a Rights Protected Folder by right-clicking the file or folder you want to rename. Then click Rename Folder (F2), or press the F2 key.

To create a new folder inside a rights protected folder, right-click in the details pane and then click Create Folder (F3), or press the F3 key.

You can uninstall RPF Explorer from the Control Panel by using Programs and Features or by using the command line. To uninstall using the command line you can use the command setup_rpfe.exe /uninstall.

WarningWarning
Using the command line to uninstall also removes the AD RMS client (MSIPC). If you use the command line to uninstall and you still need the AD RMS client software, you will have to reinstall the AD RMS client software.

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