Download Threshold Exceeded Warning in NetDocuments

Download Threshold Exceeded Warning in NetDocuments

If you are a NetDocuments repository administrator, you are likely familiar with this email.  Sent from, It warns you that a certain user has downloaded a large number of documents during their current session.  Here is an example of this message:

Internal user “User Name” (VAULT-“VaultID”) has downloaded more than 2000 documents in a single login session.  The login session began at 4/8/2019 2:05:53 PM and the download threshold was exceeded at 4/8/2019 2:50:08 PM.

The first time you receive the message, it is somewhat disconcerting.  Your first reaction might be to think that a user is downloading hundreds of documents in preparation for a midnight exit from the firm.  While this could be the case the purpose of the notification is not entirely security related.  It can also be helpful for analyzing network traffic and other technical issues.

First, let’s look at where this warning is generated.  Within your Repository Administration, there is a link to “Edit name, logo and billing information.”  The first section is the Repository Description which includes a “Download warning threshold” field.  In the example below, this is set to 1000 documents.

Understanding NetDocuments Download Threshold Exceeded Warning

What is included in those 1000 documents?  Surely, it would be a problem if a user copied 1000 documents from your server to a flash drive or other removable media.  However, that is not what this number represents.  The number actually represents nearly all of a user’s activity within NetDocuments.

All of the following actions count against the threshold:

  • Opening a document via the web interface.

  • Printing a document via the NetDocuments print option.

  • Viewing a PDF or HTML document (since we download the original document to the workstation rather than downloading a converted form).

  • Launching a document in a client side application (like Workshare).

  • Downloading a document (including the Mass Export utility).

  • Emailing a copy of a document. However, emailing a document link (Email Link, Follow) is not counted.

  • Moving a document to a cabinet in a different repository.

  • Moving a document to a ShareSpace that is in multiple cabinets.

  • Making a ShareSpace that is currently accessible in just one cabinet accessible in another cabinet.

  • Opening or downloading a document via WebDAV.

  • Synching a document using ndSync for the first time.

  • Downloading a document using the download option.

Each time one of these actions is performed by a user during a single login session (even on the same document) it counts as a "download".  As you can see, most of these are things that NetDocuments users do all day, every day.  Only the last two – ndSync and Download – cause many documents to be downloaded at once.

Our recommendation is to set this value relatively high, perhaps 1000 as above or even 2000.  This number will not inundate you with messages when users are working with the program normally.  At this setting, the notification will probably occur when someone uses the download option, although ndSync will trigger it occasionally if someone syncs a large workspace for the first time.  Consistently receiving messages about a user at this level should prompt questions regarding how that user is working with NetDocuments.  Perhaps they are downloading large numbers of documents because they think they need a local backup or perhaps they are overusing ndSync.  Either of those use cases could be chewing up your bandwidth or slowing down your network.

Setting the number this high still protects you from more nefarious uses of the download option.  Most users are not aware of this setting and would not realize their actions will cause the notification to be sent.  Also, most would attempt to copy large numbers of documents in a single day which would trigger the warning even at a high number.

For more information about the download threshold or warnings and settings in NetDocuments, just contact us at, call us at 877-676-5492 or request a consultation

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Jeff Krause

Written by Jeff Krause

Jeff is a Partner with Affinity. Jeff’s expertise ranges from case management, document management to billing and accounting. His career in legal technology has focused on not just helping other attorneys choose the right technology and use it the right way; but also, understanding how to apply it to their daily jobs in the context of their current work process and master business concepts that they can apply to their practice and achieve greater success. Jeff is a frequent author and speaker on a variety of legal technology subjects.

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