User roles

Account role

Project role

Your  projects page on Workbench shows all the projects you have access to, but your role on each project may be different. Here's what the different project roles mean:

Project Owner

All projects need at least one project owner, so if you created the project your role is Project Owner by default, but if you assign others to be Project Owners, you can have a different role for yourself. 

The Project Owner can do everything a Collaborator can, but only the Project Owner can:

  • Change project settings such as name and description
  • Delete the project
  • Make new Partner Spaces
  • Invite new users to the project
  • Add specific partners to a Partner Space
  • Remove users from the project
  • Delete comments from other users


Collaborators are users who will be contributing to the project. They can keep their local files in sync using the Desktop App, as well as manage files within any existing Partner Spaces. 


The view-only role is designed for the type of user who needs to view and comment on files, but not upload or download any files. They will receive notifications about comments and file updates to the project. A Project Owner can add a view-only user to a Partner Space, if this user needs to be able to download a certain set of files. 


Partners only have access to specific Partner Spaces within projects, and cannot use the Desktop App to sync local folders. Collaborators and Project Owners can determine the permissions for all partners on the space, which includes allowing for partner uploads, and three different levels of download permissions: Download all files, prevent download of native CAD formats (only allow "Download As..."), and prevent all downloads. Partners do not have permission to remove files from their assigned Partner Spaces. For more info on Partner Spaces,  read here

Anonymous partner

When the partner space is shared using a secure link, people who are not GrabCAD users can access the Partner Space. Since they have not joined the Partner Space using their email login, they will not receive any kind of notifications about updates to the Partner Space, nor will they be able to upload files if that setting is enabled.

Collaborator (Common Parts Library)

When a Project Owner enables the project setting for  common parts library, all activated users on the account will have an implied role of Collaborator. The permissions of this role are identical to Collaborator however projects will appear under "Other projects in your account" on your account page. 

Project Owner (Account Admin)

When your account role is Activated user (admin) you have the implied role of Project Owner on all projects created by other users on your account. The permissions of this role are identical to Project Owner however projects will appear under "Other projects in your account" on your account page. Additionally, in order to use the Desktop App with these projects, you must add yourself to the project as a Collaborator or Project Owner using the Users page. For instructions read here.

Account role

When you are a member of at least one project, then you are a member of the account containing the project. Here's what the different account roles mean:

Activated user (admin)

Only the account admin has access to the account settings and is the user who can manage the team on the account. Accounts need at least one admin, so if you intend to remove your account admin privileges, you need to make someone else on the account an admin. 

To learn more about managing your team as the account admin,  read here.

Activated user (non-admin)

When you are invited to a project as either a Project Owner, Collaborator, or view-only user, your account role is activated user. You do not have access to the Users page for the account, and thus you cannot add new users to the account and multiple projects at once, but if you are a Project Owner on a project, you can invite new users to specific projects with the "Invite Users" button in the project. 

Deactivated user

The account admin can make any activated user a deactivated user from the Users page. This means that they no longer have access to any projects on the account, nor can they create new projects, however if at any point the account admin reactivates them, their project roles will all be reinstated at once and they can pick up where they left off. 

Users who have been removed from all projects do not automatically get deactivated, so they can still create new projects and access common parts libraries. 


When you have never been added to a project with any role other than Partner, then you are a Partner on the account level. You cannot create new projects on the account. You also do not have access to the cross-project search feature on the account page. As soon as you are added as a collaborator on one project, you will become an activated user with access to Common Parts Libraries and you will be able to create new projects. 

Note: Once a Partner becomes an activated user, they will remain an activated user even if they are removed from all projects. To change this user back to a Partner on the account level, and remove their ability to create new projects and access Common Parts Libraries, right click on this user and select "Deactivate." 

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