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Preventing members from copying a board


I am using Trello for multiple purposes, sometimes I share boards with people that I do not trust 100%, if you know what I mean :)

It is not a problem for them to see all the content, but I don't want them to be able to make a straight-up copy of the entire board. 


Is there a way to prevent regular members of the board from making a copy of it?

Please let me know if you found such option or a work-around :)

3 answers

May I have permission for disagree? Take a screenshot is way more easy then elaborate a work flow that sometimes take you weeks, months or even years of work and expertise. This is not fair sometimes. Collaborate is totally different from distribute what costed you time, expertise and money. I'm part of some mastermind groups and this is a point of concern. We would be much satisfied if Atlassian / Trello could consider creating a block or authorization request for copies of boards made by board guests. Looking for hearing from you guys. Thanks. Sergio

0 votes

Even if we had this feature, couldn't they just take a screenshot of the board?

Hi Michael, good point :) 

It is the same issue with all systems containing fragile information that ban the user from copying or downloading data in bulk. (Most important for corporations of course, I worked in a bank for a while and these issues were taken very seriously there).

I believe that, starting with a simple function in Trello, you could develop it into a very useful board add-on, maybe called "Security" or something. It might also include more options to give and/or limit permissions to various types of board users. I believe in sharing and collaboration as much as the next guy, but data security is becoming super important these days and more people and companies are aware of the risks. 

In order to repell potential security breaches, several, actually very simple solutions can be deployed. If they do not prevent the breach 100%, they act as a "repellent" or make it much less usefull for the "offender".

Here are some ideas for you, first three I think could be deployed rather easily:

- copying / downloading and other "bulk" actions are simply disabled (in any format whatsoever)

- a "dynamic" watermark with the user's name displayed across the fragile information (in Trello's case it could be displayed on a card after opening it or on the entire board).

- restricting printing

- some of those systems also disable the screenshot function, although I can imagine more savvy people being able to go around that, but on top of that:

- I don't think it would be of much use for Trello users, but the most extreme cases allow users to only see a small part of  the document (eg. 5-10 lines), where the coursor is, the rest is heavily blurred or stripped over. It is usually called a "spotlight view" and can be extremely useful for longer documents, like contracts, movie scripts (I now work with the movie production industry, everyone is crazy scared of sharing those) Here's an example of how it looks:


Should you want to learn a bit more, here's an info on BlackBerry Workspaces, which is the go-to for secure file-sharing systems: 


To give you a simple use-case, I utilize Trello as a kind of a very simple CRM, where I could define my own custom fields and I find it best for my humble micro-needs. However, when I added a collaborator to the board it suddenly became more risky. I would want him to be able to work on the CRM, use it but not to download or copy it.

If he takes a screenshot - of course it is bad, but also not very useful for him to do it with many cards. 

Like sergiof likes this
0 votes
Ash Pitt Community Leader Mar 04, 2021

Hey @Fryderyk Gajewski 

Trello is very much about team collaboration and sharing and the like, so if someone has access in your team, then yes, they can make copies, modifications etc.

I'd suggest if you have items or configurations on a board you don't want people to be able to view/copy, make a private board and work off that.

If you're wanting more control, that's when you would look at a solution like jira software or core.


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